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Formula 1: Singapore Grand Prix cancelled for second year in a row amid COVID-19 pandemic

Formula 1: Singapore Grand Prix cancelled for second year in a row amid COVID-19 pandemic

Red Bull's Dutch driver Max Verstappen takes part in the first practice session for the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, Sep 20, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mladen Antonov)

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Grand Prix has been cancelled for the second year in a row amid the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

Race promoter Singapore GP on Friday (Jun 4) announced the cancellation of the 2021 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, citing "ongoing safety and logistic concerns" brought about by the pandemic.

Given the "evolving and unpredictable" pandemic situation around the world, Singapore GP said it has become increasingly challenging to stage a “complex multi-faceted event” for tens of thousands of local and overseas spectators.

Tickets for this year’s race had not been released for sale, pending the decision on the event’s feasibility. Ticket holders who deferred their 2020 tickets to the 2021 race will be fully refunded. Singapore GP said it will be contacting these ticket holders directly with the details.

Formula 1 Singapore GP night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit. (Photo: Singapore GP)

“We understand that our fans were looking forward to another edition of the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix. To cancel the event for a second year is an incredibly difficult decision, but a necessary one in light of the prevailing restrictions for live events in Singapore,” said deputy chairman of Singapore GP Colin Syn.

Mr Syn said Singapore GP would not be able to deliver a “full event experience fans have come to expect over the years” while safeguarding the health and safety of the fans, contractors, volunteers and staff members.

“Ultimately, we have to be responsible, cautious and prudent as safety is our number one concern,” he said.

“We are grateful for the support of Singaporeans, stakeholders and local businesses who have helped contribute to the success of the night race. Needless to say, we look forward to the safe return of Formula 1 racing against the spectacular Marina Bay skyline.”

Singapore Tourism Board's (STB) director of sports Ong Ling Lee said the board understands the decision to cancel this year’s Singapore Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc takes part in the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix night race at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore, Sep 22, 2019. (Photo: AFP/Mladen Antonov)

“Given the unpredictable COVID-19 situation around the world, this decision prioritises the health and safety of all participants, fans and the public. Since 2008, the Formula 1 race has generated benefits for both Singapore and the Formula 1 franchise, with many local businesses actively involved in race preparations and operations.

“As the first night street race, it is one of the most iconic races on the Formula 1 calendar. We are working closely with Singapore GP, Formula 1 and other government agencies to determine the future of the race,” added Ms Ong.

Singapore GP said that it is in discussions with the Government and Formula 1 on the issue of hosting the FIA Formula 1 World Championship going forward. Details will be announced in due course, said the race promoter.

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Source: CNA/zl

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