Weigh costs, returns in F1 extension decision

Formula One does bring benefits to Singapore. But the bottom line is whether enough money is being made to justify the huge costs ("Consider huge costs of F1 race" by Mr Loong Chik Tong, "Has F1's crown jewel lost its lustre?" and "Some businesses see lower gains from race"; all published on Nov 23).

Singapore will, therefore, have to be realistic, brutal even, in ensuring that it gains from an event that is not necessarily accessible to all.

Nonetheless, the race is a door to one of the most technologically driven sports in the world, with much that is developed in F1 finding its way into the automotive industry.

It opens up all sorts of possibilities, and we should seize upon this for the sake of the industry and future generations that will benefit from it.

It is also a natural fit for Singapore, with its technical prowess in being able to run a night race successfully, which it has done from the very beginning in 2008.

For Singapore, it is also a matter of being on the map every year, attracting crowds of some 300,000 on average over three days, a significant portion of whom are from overseas, boosting tourism and other related sectors.

Attendance has fallen in recent years, and with the slowdown in the global economy, there remains the need to weigh the amount of money spent against the returns to be had overall, especially with the Singapore Government footing 60 per cent of the $150 million bill for each race.

Manoraj Rajathurai