The increasing exclusivity of F1 may mean that we will no longer get comped tickets to hangout with F1 drivers in the pits or have parents who will buy us walkabout tickets just to see J-Lo. But it may also mean the rise of Singapore as an emerging global power. With an annual tourism revenue of over 24 billion dollars, as reported by the Singapore Business Review, it is also not news that Singapore is a growing tourist haven. In particular, Singapore’s annual Formula One Race draws global exposure.
After Singapore’s F1 Contract with the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile) ended last year, the speed with which the contracts were renewed gives some insight into how valuable Singapore deems F1. In the mere 72 hours that Singapore’s Formula One Grand Prix takes place, tourism receipts added up to more than 100 million dollars (SBR). According to The Fullerton Hotel and Marina Bay Sands guest services, hotels that normally go for $300-$400 a night skyrocketed to $1000 and up. Hundreds of businesses tapped into the F1 mindset, putting on F1 promotions and F1 themed dinners, nights, and sales.
Singapore’s F1 race is still the only one to start at night, although two other Formula One Races are considered to be “under the lights.” Just from looking around the crowds in the various zones of the F1 Race, one can see the influx of tourists the race brings, an influx of about 250,000, according to the Straits Times.
A common complaint of Singaporeans is an increasing loss in identity. Many feel that Singapore is turning into a foothold for Western investment. Singapore seems to be addressing this problem, specifically within F1, through the change of this year’s sponsor. From its inception in 2008, Singapore’s F1 Race was officially known as the Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix, which is now known as the Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix. Aside from the notable color scheme of the race track, Singapore Airlines’ main sponsorship called for numerous changes and additions to the famous night race. Spread across Singapore Airlines’s homepage months ago were F1 flight deals from cities ranging from London to New Delhi to Tokyo.
However, the most noticeable change that integrates Singaporean culture into the F1 experience was the implementation of the Singapore Girl. Various Singapore Girls were seen this year at F1 escorting drivers to their cars under the spotlight of all media, further promoting Singapore Airlines and Singapore as a whole.