SINGAPORE - Singapore is in talks to continue hosting the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix next year, said Transport Minister S. Iswaran on Monday (Nov 15).
This year's night race, which was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is the last under the current four-year extension signed in 2017.
Responding to a question at a press conference, Mr Iswaran said discussions with Formula One management and race organisers Singapore GP on a new contract are ongoing.
The minister noted that Singapore's tourism and lifestyle sectors have been hit hard by Covid-19, with many events, including the past two editions of the Formula One race in Singapore, cancelled or postponed.
"Yet, I think we all recognise that events such as Formula One generate significant economic benefits and global branding value for Singapore," he said.
"They invigorated Singapore's events calendar, they build our international demand and also support job creation and businesses."
The Ministry of Trade and Industry and Singapore Tourism Board fund 60 per cent of the $135 million race costs each year, with race promoters Singapore GP footing the rest.
Since the inaugural event at the Marina Bay street circuit in 2008, the race weekend contributes about $130 million annually in tourism receipts.
As Covid-19 restrictions gradually ease and Singapore's borders reopen, Mr Iswaran said a phased resumption of such international events is on the cards, with essential safeguards in place.
He added that Trade and Industry Minister Gan Kim Yong has asked him to oversee the talks with Formula One and Singapore GP, due to his familiarity with the parties and issues involved.