The Formula One Singapore Grand Prix weekend has come and gone, and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulated the Ministry of Trade & Industry and Singapore Tourism Board on Monday (Oct 3) for the F1 success.
Indeed, in spite of heavy rains and a five-second penalty meted out to the winner, Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Pérez, the Singapore Grand Prix was something to celebrate for the tens of thousands of locals and visitors who showed up not just to the races but to the concerts and other F1-related events.
In a Facebook post, PM Lee noted that after the Covid-19 pandemic had caused the event to be cancelled for two years in a row, “the Marina Bay area was once again filled with the thrilling roar of F1 cars!”
He posted photos of himself at the different events, and noted that “The crowds were back too, soaking in the electric atmosphere, and getting soaked by the heavy downpour, but that didn’t take anything away from the festiveness nor Sergio Perez and team Red Bull’s commanding win!”
The Prime Minister also wrote that the Singapore Grand Prix is still one of the country’s largest international events, and was the first F1 night race to be held in 2008.
“I’m glad to see spectators from all around the world visiting Singapore just to attend it. It is yet another sign that we have emerged from the pandemic and are open for business.
Indeed, the F1 is not just a high-profile event for Singapore but has also been a profitable one as well.
While according to dollarsandsense.sg the average cost of hosting F1 is around a hefty $150 million a year, this amount is well worth it.
The government shoulders sixty per cent of the total cost, and the remaining 40 per cent is shared by sponsors such as Singapore Airlines and various hotels.
Over 550,000 tourists have come to Singapore for the F1 events since its beginnings in 2008. MTI has said these events generate about $130 million in annual incremental spending from those visiting the country.
F1 has been good for the tourism sector. Hotels and restaurants, which took a hit during the Covid-19 pandemic, have traditionally been among the biggest winners in the past years and are likely to be so this year as well. /TISG