Formula 1: Discussions ongoing for Singapore race, but not feasible for it to be a closed-door event, say promoters

Baku, May 18, AZERTAC

While the Formula One season is on track to make its belated flag-off in July with closed-door races in Austria and England, such an option is not possible for the Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, according to the StraitsTimes.

Promoters Singapore GP told The Straits Times on Saturday (May 16) that as the September 20 race is held at the Marina Bay Street Circuit, it is "not feasible to conduct the race behind closed doors".

The spokesman added: "The calendar for the 2020 season is currently being finalised and Singapore GP has been maintaining an open dialogue with F1, the Singapore Government and our stakeholders during this time, to assess different possibilities.

"The top priority remains the well-being and safety of our fans, volunteers, and all Singaporeans."

The clock is also ticking to get the 5.063km, 23-turn layout ready.

The spokesman noted there is considerable temporary infrastructure to be set up, such as stands for fans as well as the lighting for the night race, and "sufficient lead time to complete the construction of the various components must be factored in [and] works typically require three months to complete, and this will depend on whether such activities are permitted under the prevailing government regulations".

The Singapore Government on Friday said building contractors can gradually resume operations from June 2, starting with critical projects such as MRT works, deep tunnelling of sewerage systems and residential renovation projects that were suspended, but they must put in place new safe distancing requirements.

All projects will need the Building and Construction Authority's approval before they can restart.

For James Walton, head of Deloitte South-east Asia's sports business group, whether the Republic stages the Grand Prix is a question of money.

He said: "If you can get the hosting costs waived, which is estimated to be around $30 million for Singapore, and any other contribution from Formula One towards hosting costs, and find a way to maintain safe distancing and keep the area secure, it could still just about make sense."

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