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Singapore, F1 still in talks on whether race can go on in Sept, says Chan Chun Sing

SINGAPORE — The private consortium behind the Singapore Grand Prix is in discussions with the global franchise to assess whether it is still possible to hold the Singapore leg of the Formula One (F1) night race this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (May 30).

Singapore, F1 still in talks on whether race can go on in Sept, says Chan Chun Sing

Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said there are contractual issues that will have to be ironed out and studies to be done before the various parties involved can decide whether this year's Singapore Grand Prix can proceed in September as planned.

SINGAPORE — The private consortium behind the Singapore Grand Prix is in discussions with the global franchise to assess whether it is still possible to hold the Singapore leg of the Formula One (F1) night race this year amid the Covid-19 pandemic, said Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on Saturday (May 30). 

There are contractual issues that will have to be ironed out and studies to be done to help make the final assessment, he said.

When asked by the media during an interview held via video-conferencing platform Zoom if he could confirm whether the annual F1 race would be held this year, Mr Chan said discussions are ongoing, and that an announcement will be made in the coming week. 

The Straits Times reported on Tuesday that preparations for the Singapore Grand Prix are still underway despite the Covid-19 pandemic, as it found that the Singapore Tourism Board has put up at least four tenders relating to the setting up of viewing facilities and other ancillary activities for the night race.

The race is slated to be held on Sept 20 this year. 

The Singapore Grand Prix has been a fixture on the Republic’s events calendar since 2008, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world. 

Last year, some 268,000 people attended the three-day event, which not only features the F1 race but also concerts and a food festival. Last year, Swedish House Mafia, Gwen Stefani and Fatboy Slim headlined the entertainment acts.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has put a question mark over whether the F1 race can continue this year, the medical commission of the F1’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), has said the race could cope with “up to 10 positive tests”.

The chairman of the FIA’s medical commission, Professor Gerard Saillant, made the comment to Sky Sports television following the cancellation of an F1 race in Australia in March, after a McLaren team member contracted the coronavirus. 

“If we have one positive case, or maybe even 10, it is possible to manage perfectly with a special pathway for the positive case," he said.

He added: "We have to try to anticipate that, to know where the red line is beyond which it is impossible to continue. But I think it is not a problem for us now.”

F1 already cancelled a race in Australia in March, but is planning to hold two races behind closed doors in Austria in early July, with safety precautions in place for the teams.

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Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

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