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Last Updated: Friday, 11 May 2007, 09:58 GMT 10:58 UK
Singapore to stage F1 night race
Singapore's Marina Bay
Singapore has secured F1 rights for five years from 2008
Singapore will stage a Formula One Grand Prix next year, with the race set to be the first in the sport's history to be held at night.

It will be on a street circuit around the Marina Bay district, and is planned for September or early October.

"Singapore is going to be the leader with the street race at night - we're excited about the idea," said F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone.

But Singapore's government says safety concerns will have to be resolved.

"Safety is of paramount concern to all of us," said Singapore's Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran.

606: DEBATE

"Therefore, we will proceed with a night race only if the safety and operational requirements of all parties are fully met - if not, we will revert to a day race.

"(But) a night race will be unique and allow the Singapore event to reach out to television audiences in Asia, Europe and the US."

Red Bull driver Mark Webber agreed the safety of the drivers must be absolutely guaranteed before night-racing could be allowed to make its debut.

F1 cars do not have lights and so the circuit would have to be brilliantly lit for visibility purposes.

"The power of the lights you would need to artificially light the place for visibility for the drivers, flag marshalling and other tasks would be enormous," Webber said.

"I think you could do it, but then there is a question of the rain or a blackout that could embarrass you if don't do your homework.

"I have also done a few laps of a track in Singapore and there were a few places that needed to be made safer."

I know that the F1 drivers, teams and fans are all looking forward to coming to Singapore next year

F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone

Singapore will stage the race for five years, with Ecclestone keeping the option to extend the deal for a further five years until 2017.

Ecclestone wants to expand the F1 calendar from 17 to 20 races per season, and the addition of Singapore is the second new race in two days after Valencia joined the circuit on Thursday.

"I am very pleased to welcome Singapore to the F1 family and we look forward to this exotic addition to the championship," said Ecclestone.

"This will be the first fully-lit street race in F1 and as a night race, we anticipate it will quickly establish itself as one of the most dramatic and atmospheric races in our calendar.

"I know that the F1 drivers, teams and fans are all looking forward to coming to Singapore next year."

Singapore's government anticipates tourist revenues of around 33m from the event, and says it will cover 60% of the estimated cost.

"Singapore is a leading business centre and our aim is to be a vibrant global city that is abuzz with high quality entertainment and events," added Iswaran.

"A world class event like the F1 race, with more than 500 million viewers worldwide, will take us closer to this objective.

"By holding the race on a street circuit in Marina Centre, we will bring the buzz and excitement into the heart of the city, so that everyone can join in the festivities."

SEE ALSO
Valencia streets to host F1 GP
10 May 07 |  Formula One
Cautious welcome for night racing
04 Apr 07 |  Formula One
F1 boss wants to hold night race
03 Apr 07 |  Formula One


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