F1 “out of reach for most Singaporeans”

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Singapore’s Democratic Party calls the country’s race “a playground for the rich”.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Will Singapore Stick With Formula One? (Wall Street Journal)

“A statement by the Singapore Democratic Party last week said the race was an example of the government’s attempts to turn Singapore into ‘a playground for the rich,’ while ‘sacrificing the interests of Singaporeans.’ ‘For most Singaporeans, the F1 remains out of reach,’ the statement continued.”

Slowdown raises questions about future of F1 (Austin-American Statesman)

“On Monday, promoter Tavo Hellmund called state Comptroller Susan Combs asking whether a change in management or promoters would affect the circuit’s eligibility for money from the state Major Events Trust Fund. The state has pledged $250 million over 10 years from the fund.”

Bahraini doctor ‘tortured and threatened with rape’ (BBC Today programme)

“A military court in Bahrain has sentenced a group of 20 medical staff who treated anti-government demonstrators earlier this year to up to 15 years in prison.”

Singapore GP In The Books (Speed)

Paddy Lowe: “It was a brilliant drive, but frustrating, because he was really damaged a lot by backmarkers, particular after the safety car, and particularly Kobayashi. It just seemed to be countless times he was coming on the radio and just saying, ‘This guy’s been holding me up for a whole lap.’ Effectively the viewing public were robbed of a close race at the end there. He lost more time than the gap that was established at the end.”

Formula One Fantasy – Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi (F1)

“I think we should listen to what fans like. It’s also their sport and I think with the changes that have been done – making it easier to overtake – the fans appreciate this very much, as races have become much more exciting. And of course you need to keep the sound. A good ‘roar’ makes for about half the excitement.”

The Mystery of Carlos (Williams)

“If Carlos [Reutemann] didn’t like the feel of the car mechanically it upset his whole approach. If the car was good he was stunning. He was an artist in the car really, and when things were perfect he could transcend what seemed possible. At Williams we were down-to earth pragmatic types and it was hard to understand how he was.”

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Comment of the day

Lebesset is encouraged by Mercedes’ latest signings:

Few people seem to appreciate how severely Brawn had to be pruned in order to stay in business after the Honda withdrawal.

Even with this move Mercedes will still lack resources compared to the biggest teams. I was beginning to wonder if Daimler were serious about their F1 strategy, but it looks clear that they were just waiting for the right people to become available, so Ross Brawn has just been playing the long game!

Bob Bell, Aldo Costa, Geoff Willis – not bad so far – more to come when the right people are available.

From the forum

Thoughts on another poor season for Felipe Massa.

F1 Fanatic Live: IndyCar Kentucky and BTCC Brands Hatch

There’s no F1 weekend so we’ll have to look elsewhere for our racing entertainment.

It’s the penultimate rounds of the British Touring Car and IndyCar championships and both have much more closely-fought championship battles than F1.

F1 Fanatic Live will be running throughout the three BTCC races from Brands Hatch, followed by the Kentucky Indy 300. See you there!

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Michael Schumacher scored his last F1 win five years ago today in the Chinese Grand Prix:

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “F1 “out of reach for most Singaporeans””

  1. Finally a Kobayashi F1 Fantasy…that was great :)

    1. Couldn’t agree more. I’m loving the drivers’ comments on engines too… :D

  2. so how many of british can afford f1

    1. If I have to pay Sky from next season, not me.

    2. OK, but we dont basically close down our country to host it.

  3. It’s also the final round of the American Le Mans Series this weekend, and Antony Davidson has put his Peugeot on pole position for tomorrows race! :)

    1. http://www.americanlemans.com/primary1.php?cat=tv

      If you’re outside of the US and can’t get ESPN360, ESPN Play, or ESPN Star Sports? Have no fear. The same incredible live qualifying and race coverage will be available on this website. In most corners of the world, you’ll be able to watch!

    2. It’s also the final round of AutoGP today and tomorrow!

    3. I really ought to watch ALMS next season.

  4. Classic opposition talk from the Singapore Democratic Party. Then again, I guess I shouldn’t be too harsh – that actually marks progress for Singapore (considering it has had some issues in the past with how to define democracy).

    Just as well that the article mentions it actually brings a tangible economic gain to Singapore (and that’s before I even go into the intangibles of Singapore’s increased profile in the world). Singapore is well on its way to becoming the Monaco of the East. It is best they do not squander that opportunity.

    1. Singapore Democratic Party is the most opportunistic opposition party in Singapore – and the F1 is just another chance for them to take potshots at the ruling party.

      There are other more rational opposition parties, which I believe, thinks F1 is good for the nation.

      But then again, my views are biased because I am a F1 fan.

    2. Singapore is well on its way to becoming the Monaco of the East. It is best they do not squander that opportunity.

      A better, faster circuit layout wouldn’t hurt.

      1. Indeed. Rather ironic, though, considering Monaco is as slow a circuit layout as it gets.

      2. Noooo, it’s a good tight, pain in the backside of a circuit. I love how awkward it is and how long it is.

      3. Agreed. And that doesn’t just mean putting long straights separated by chicanes everywhere either.

    3. Yeah, I think it must be seen as an improvement, that there is a notion of working opposition, even if highly oppertunistic, in Singapore.

  5. I don’t know about anyone else, but i cetainly wouldn’t have considered travelling to Singapore before the GP was introduced. My brother went there in 2008 and did plenty of things other than just going to the race. I’d certainly be keen to go there when finances allow, hopefully 2013. I always think it’s narrow minded for politicians to bag an event as a negative for their country when the potential for increased tourism and local business is enormous. It’s the same problem we have every year in Melbourne. The GP has certainly put Singapore on the map for me.

  6. Carlos Reutemann is still enigmatic. After F1, he was elected governor of Santa F1 and did quite well. He was tipped as candidate for the 1999 presidential elections but he kept saying nothing about it and never postulated himself. Then again in 2003, 2009 and 2011.

    Every journalist went to him asking: “what are you going to do for the elections?” And he always found ways to avoid the question and be anything but clear about it.

    People here don’t consider him that good in F1, sadly. He’s always tipped as “an eternal second”. Odd considering he won 13 races, and was at the top of his game against such a strong opposition. He’s always mantained in some way Williams prevented him to take the title, but to be honest, from what I read and listen, he just imploded mentally.

    1. Its funny how that article already shows it and it more or less continued in politics. Guess that is part of his charm though.

  7. F1 has always been for the rich & I am a big example.It took me 5 years so far to work, do business just to go fly from Bangladesh to Malaysia to watch the GP which also sell the least expensive tickets among all other GP but still I am not sure whether I will be able to manage $100- $1800 to go for 2012 GP?

    1. How easy/hard would it be for you to get to the Indian GP?

      We have it pretty easy in Europe. Half of the races are on our doorstep.

  8. F1 is expensive for everyone, not just Singaporeans. It’s expensive because it happens once a year. It’s not like watching your favourite football team, that plays every single week (or sometimes twice a week) miles from home.

    For the spectacular venue Singapore is, you cannot expect anything but the prices to be moderately expensive. And it’s even more obvious considering Singapore must be one of the venues most of the fans around the world want to attend.

    1. It’s expensive because the FOM demands massive amounts of money from circuit owners, and then all the money from the trackside advertising goes straight to the FOM, along with all the money paid by the TV stations to show the race on TV, leaving the track promoters with one avenue to try and cover costs, through the sale of tickets. As a result it means we the fans have to pay much more for tickets, then we really should have to, and it means that a lot of races are poorly attended – example Spa, best circuit in the world, in the middle of Europe and no one goes.

      The sport of F1 should really be an alliance where the risk and reward is shared equally between all stakeholders – the FOM, the FIA, the teams, and the circuit owners. At the moment, the circuits take the most risk for the lowest return, and FOM takes the least risk for the greatest return.

      Essentially it means that the FOM make an absolute stack of money, for doing not much, while the fans pay a heap to watch it, and the circuit owners are left bleeding money. Not really a sustainable future for the sport. Eventually the number of places that will shell out bags of cash for right to hold a race with perceived (some would say dubious) economic, status and tourist benefits will run dry, and F1 will be left with no where to race, and the sport will have been throughly bled dry.

      1. Totally agree Pinball. The business structure is exceptionally bad for the good of F1 long term.

        And as could have been predicted they are trying now to put the whole show behind a pay TV wall with extremely limited viewing potential.

        As if it isn’t enough FOM are bleeding the sport dry they are also trying their best to do the worst possible job of promoting it. They are too short sighted at grabbing pennies that they can’t see the pounds.

        They do a horribly inadequate job of a TV feed, it really is difficult to understand how they make such a disaster of it.

        After races they police YouTube like crazy in case someone puts up some great footage that they will never show in their 3 min 2 week late highlight video that most F1 fans don’t even know exists.

  9. The reason the GP is in Singapore is to bring in foreign tourists and their cash. That was the stated aim of the government and it works. I would not have considered Singapore for a holiday in a fit but because it had the GP I took my kids then spent another few days doing the tourism thing. Singapore jjust made $7500 Aussie dollars from me that it would not have without the GP. The marketing atrategy works and I will go back next year and drop some more cash. If they dont have a GP Singapore for me will go back to being an airport transit lounge.

  10. I’m not enamoured with the SDP and their particular brand of activist liberal democracy, but there is a growing perception which is being vocalised that the current party in government is pandering to the moneyed classes at the expense of the electorate which they routinely condescend to and patronise.

    Here’s an article describing how wages and purchasing power for the majority of Singaporeans have remained flat or in decline, despite the increasing cost of living:


    Most Singaporeans don’t really care for or understand F1, I suppose it’s pretty much like the UK in that the most popular sport remains football (mostly EPL) and motor racing is on the fringes. There also seems to be very little trickle down effect from the GP, motor racing here remains non-existent outside of karting; there is very little engineering or industrial focus other than tyre rims (Advanti/YHI), and serious karters need to move to Malaysia in order to get some exposure.

  11. Hi KNF

    We’d better not look at social policy, equity or democracy in the majority of F1 countries if Singapore is a problem. Korea, Japan, India, Turkey, China, Gulf States all are apalling in their own way – there’s precious little equity in the UK, USA or Australia either. Every country has its skeletons, some more obvious than others. Just like the Olympics, F1 host nations are looking for tourist dollars, market exposure and “cred” as a big-boy in the world. I’d go so far as to say that not one F1 host country gives two hoots for the local fan base. It’s all about marketing the country – nothing more nothing less. I’m not saying that is a good thing, it’s just the way it is.

  12. Is it true or just rumours that the other drivers will have a talk with Hamilton over at Suzuka about his driving style? At least Italian Autosprint and Finnish MTV3 are reporting something like this. They’ve even have a quote from DC saying “–he needs someone to talk to him openly and honestly; he needs someone to tell him that he’s acting like an idiot”.

  13. Lucas Alexander Munro
    1st October 2011, 14:43

    Keith, I had a thought today. Germany alternates with Hockenheim and the Nurburgring, Spain have been thinking about alternating Barcelona and Valencia. So how about if MotoGP do the same thing? For example, next year the German GP will be at Hockenheim for F1, have MotoGP at the Nurburgring so there will be racing for all the fans. People who live near one track won’t need to go to the other for racing.

    1. I think MotoGP avoid Nurburgring because they never do well there ticket-wise. Most German motorcycle fans are in the former East Germany (it’s a long story, but it’s due to historical context). The Sachsenring is in that part of Germany (Leipzig, I believe), and that’s why they like racing there.

      1. Spot on mate, the MotoGP won’t be going anywhere other than the Sachsenring as no other track attracts the same number of spectators – and it’s by a very big margin too.

  14. Dont know if this is any help but managed to get to this site despite the Google warning by copy an pastin https://www.racefans.net into the IE bar at the top of the page

  15. f1fanatic reported as an attack site by google on firefox. are you aware of this keith?

    1. Keith is already handling the issue.

      1. Apparently there was some malicious code in some ad AFAIK.
        I tried with Chrome and got the same message, so it wasn’t only FF related.

        And my Kaspersky detected some trojan in a page i visited today, but that might be from some other page of course…

        Well done for fixing that Keith ! That must have been a hell of an afternoon ! Thanks God (or someone else…) it hasn’t happened on a race day !

  16. That interview with the Bahraini doctor is really showing the appalling state the country is in and how little hope of “getting back to normal” there is in the space of only a couple of months.
    Really if there is any serious effort to be made in that direction, all these “trials” should be stopped, the truth of the torture, forced testimony etc. investigated and only then if there is still any reason to prosecute any of these people, do it in a real court of justice.

    I am sad to say, I fear Bahrain will keep bringing up these stories for years to come now.

  17. The Singapore government never said F1 was brought here for the locals. It was meant for foreigners to bring in tourism money and highlighting the country as a modern venue. And it did indeed succeed.

    After attending four years of this grand event faithfully with my family I’ve noticed more and more fans from abroad have gathered at Marina Bay. Praises have been sung labeling it Monaco of the east, rather fitting IMHO. The buzz is amazing if one had experienced being here.

    Ticket prices has never been cheap except for Sepang, but the atmosphere and facilities can never be matched. As for the locals motor racing has never been our culture only to a small group of crazy nutheads who are really into F1. Just bear in mind one spends three days for a single winner, unlike football or horse racing. F1 requires a certain amount of attention unlike other sports. But slowly and surely it will gather pace.

    I hope 2012 will not be the last race for Singapore.

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