Formula One: Singapore says no deal yet on extension

The future of Formula One's only night event, the Singapore Grand Prix (SGP), is still under negotiation with just one race to go before the current deal ends, the local organisers said Wednesday.

"What is presently on offer from Formula One Administration is insufficient for us to commit to a full five-year extension," SGP said in a statement after a Singapore newspaper reported that terms for a new deal had been agreed.

"Negotiations have been going for almost a year. SGP has received a formal renewal notice from Formula One Administration to confirm their wish to continue running the night race for a further five years," it said.

"Since then, SGP has been in talks to cement terms that offer commercial viability for the full five years. We remain hopeful at reaching an outcome that is mutually beneficial to all parties."

Local media reports estimate that each race costs about Sg$150 million ($118 million) to stage, with the government footing 60 percent of the cost.

The last race under the current deal will be staged on September 23.

Germany's Sebastian Vettel won the 2011 race on his way to becoming the youngest double world champion in Formula One history.

A mass-circulation Singapore daily, Today, quoted Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone as saying that Singapore will host the night race for another five years after both sides agreed on the terms.

"Everything that was in the way of the Singapore Grand Prix continuing for another five years has been cleared," Ecclestone was quoted as saying in a front-page report on Wednesday.

"It has always been my intention to see that this race in Singapore continues beyond our current deal."

Singapore in 2008 hosted the first night race in Formula One history and it soon became a hit with fans worldwide, with the brightly illuminated track running along landmarks in the financial and entertainment district.

Coupled with pop concerts and other events staged during the racing weekend, the Grand Prix has helped Singapore as it seeks to shed its image as a staid city with little excitement to offer visitors.

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