SINGAPORE: Singapore may bid to host a Formula One Grand Prix race as part of ongoing efforts to boost tourism, a trade official said.
Minister of State for Trade and Industry S. Iswaran has been studying the feasibility of holding an F1 race, and the government was willing to support such a venture up to a level commensurate with the broader benefits to the economy.''
To be known and seen as a truly global city, we must have ... not just a wide variety of quality lifestyle, leisure and entertainment options but also world class events, Iswaran told Parliament on Monday.
This is why we are taking a very serious look at hosting a Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore.''
Lee Kuan Yew, a senior Cabinet minister and the founder of modern Singapore, said two years ago he regretted making the stupid decision'' not to allow Formula One racing in the city-state, as it would have benefited the economy.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone had denied on Monday that Singaporean property tycoon Ong Beng Seng had secured the rights to host a grand prix in the island state.
We haven't entered into any agreement with anyone at the moment, the Briton said.
Ecclestone, 76, said he had been talking to interested parties in Singapore for three years but rejected media reports in the Far East suggesting that Ong's Hotel Properties had secured the rights.
I don't know anything about it, he said.
Ecclestone, who would not say who he was talking to in Singapore, added that he was keen on a night-time race but no announcement was imminent.
I think it would be good, I was the one who suggested night races to them (the Singaporeans), and not only them but other countries in other parts of Asia, added the commercial rights holder. Agencies