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Singapore Grand Prix taken off the grid this year
SINGAPORE'S Formula One race this year will be cancelled, after the Covid-19 pandemic put the brakes on construction activity and prompted restrictions on crowds.
In a press release on Friday, race promoter Singapore GP said it is unable to proceed with the race due to prohibitions imposed on access and construction of the event venue as well as restrictions on mass gatherings and international travel. In past years, about 40 per cent of the spectators for the Singapore Grand Prix have typically come from overseas.
Singapore GP added: "With these limitations, which continue to remain in place, building and construction work of the circuit, which normally commences in May, have not been able to commence. We are therefore unable to complete the race circuit infrastructure in time for the race to take place."
The F1 night street race, which has taken place in Singapore for the past 12 years, is expected to return next year - the last year of its four-year contract. It is unclear at this point whether the Singapore Grand Prix will now be extended by another year given this year's cancellation.
Colin Syn, deputy chairman of Singapore GP said: "The last few months have been extremely challenging on all fronts, and we have now made this difficult decision which Formula 1 and our stakeholders accept we have had to take."
"Ultimately, the health and safety of our contractors and their workers, spectators, Formula 1 crew, staff and volunteer marshals is our number one priority and we thank everyone for their patience and unwavering support thus far," he added.
Ong Ling Lee, director (sports) at the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), said that STB supports the joint decision by Singapore GP and Formula 1 to cancel the Singapore Grand Prix 2020, as it "safeguards the health and well-being of participants, fans and all Singaporeans".
Existing ticketholders can choose to either get automatic refunds within 30 business days, or roll over their tickets to next year's event.
Aside from Singapore, other countries that have decided to cancel races this year due to the pandemic include Japan and Azerbaijan. Formula 1 expects to have between 15-18 races in its calendar this year by the time it concludes the season in Abu Dhabi in December, it said in a separate press release.