singapore garners praise for quality of world’s first night race

Bernie Ecclestone praised Singapore

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone praised Singapore for putting together a top quality race within a short span of 1 year.

Find out from the article below what Singapore did right to make the inaugural night race a resounding success.

Singapore Praised

SINGAPORE’S famed efficiency has come in for praise from Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone.

He said it would have taken any other country two years to achieve what the Republic did in just over a year in gearing up to host a Formula One race from scratch.

“We’ve never seen anything built so good, so quickly,” said Ecclestone, the president and chief executive of Formula One Management, the sport’s commercial right holder, in a press conference yesterday.

“I’d be surprised if it hadn’t been really top quality standards. Singapore should be very, very proud of what’s happened.”

Among the major preparations for the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix were building a $40 million Pit Building to house the F1 team garages, media centre, and Paddock Club, and a new road.

Roughly parallel to the Republic Boulevard, the road was required for the Start/Finish stretch.

These major projects were completed in June, three months ahead of race week and about a year after Singapore signed the deal to host F1 races for five years.

Ecclestone, who has been involved in F1 since the 1960s, in roles ranging from team owner to administrator, also praised the inter-agency effort for this weekend’s highly anticipated event.

Various agencies, from the Land Transport Authority, Singapore Police Force, National Parks Board and Singapore Tourism Board, worked together to deliver the event in a short time.

“Everybody has done a fantastic job, the quality of the work’s been super, those from the top all the way down have worked very hard to make it happen,” he said.

Turning to his brainchild of night races to suit European television audiences, Ecclestone said he was ‘anxious’ just hours before the first cars took to the Marina Bay street circuit for practice.

But he was hopeful that Singapore’s organisers would reap the benefits for taking the bold step of hosting the first night race.

“They were courageous enough to want to do it,” he said. “There was a lot of criticism but I hope they’re well rewarded for what they’ve done.”

The success of the Singapore race is seen as a litmus test for other Asian nations to stage races under floodlights, something Ecclestone wants more of.

“We’re going to get Japan to do it. It will be prime time in China and this part of the world, and in Europe it will be at a sociable hour to watch rather than the middle of the night,” he explained. ‘I hope when people see this, they realise it wasn’t just a stupid idea.”

As for whether a European country could host a night race, he said there was no push for now to introduce this.

“It’s not cheap and I don’t think there’s much advantage.”

The state-of-the-art lighting system, which involves 1,500 projectors shining four times brighter than a typical soccer stadium, is believed to cost over 5 million yen (S$10.4 million).

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