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The Way Forward For The Singapore Grand Prix

Good or bad, drama lifts the races from the typical monotony. It is the vital ingredient that will sustain the Singapore race and enrich the folklore that goes with the race” (Good Or Bad, It Takes Drama To Fill Seats, Mr. Chia Han Keong).

I refer to the article on the Singapore Grand Prix, “Good Or Bad, It Takes Drama To Fill Seats” (September 28, 2009), by Mr. Chia Han Keong.

Mr. Chia is right on the money when he suggests that drama has been an integral factor in stimulating and sustaining interest in this year’s Grand Prix. The onslaught of the Renault saga, coupled with the increasingly tight contest between Brawn and Red Bull, has proliferated interest amongst fans and non-fans alike. Moreover, the inherent challenge of the race – the heat and nature of the track, as alluded by many drivers – provides exciting climaxes in the middle of the race. All these characteristics of this year’s Grand Prix have converged to provide a more exciting and dynamic edition compared to the first.

However, all these peripheral factors – based on the Formula 1 organisation and the interactions of the entire racing season that are beyond the reach of Singapore – cannot be solely relied upon for future successes of the Singapore Grand Prix. There will come a time when the novelty of the night race would wear off, when the beauty of the skyline would be taken for granted, and even when the drama on the race-track subsides. There is the pertinent need for organisers to spice up the event itself, along with the sideline activities, to maintain the allure of the Grand Prix.

The assortment of parties and concerts have been a great first step. In addition, organisers should also explore alternatives to bring the Formula 1 fever into the heartlands, and allow more individuals to appreciate and comprehend the complexities and beauty of the race. This can be a perfect opportunity to enhance the sporting culture in Singapore; because even though many are aware of the Grand Prix, there is a dearth of knowledge with regards to the mechanisms and workings of the teams and drivers. Competitions can be organised in various institutions to encourage students to develop an interest for the sport, with race tickets as prizes for incentives. The potential activities are vast – from carefully-planned television programmes to heartland meet-the-drivers sessions – and if organisers can capitalise on the novelty and interest towards the race in its infancy, more Singaporeans would naturally be involved. As the event spiral upwards, the international appeal of the Grand Prix would be sustained.

The next Forumla 1 season would indeed be an exciting one, with the inclusion of new teams and drivers. The Singapore Grand Prix has to simultaneously up its ante to ensure that it remains an attractive and enticing event for everyone to indulge, enjoy, and to be thrilled.

A version of this article was published in My Paper.

About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.


3 thoughts on “The Way Forward For The Singapore Grand Prix

  1. I don’t see how bringing F1 into the heartlands will enhance its international appeal. F1 is a sport based on exclusivity. To truly be passionate and appreciate the sport, one must have a concrete knowledge of the car: the V8 engine, aerodynamics, turbochargers etc.
    it would be extremely unwise to focus too much on F1 in singapore. our hold on the sept F1 race is tenuous, subject to bernie ecclestone’s contract-making. plus, a large portion of the tickets (or at least the most expensive ones) are purchased by corporations for wealthy clients. it is the corporations that we need to court.
    Moreover, F1 is an expensive sport, and sometimes unsustainable. for example, the global economic downturn has forced teams/sponsors to pull out.
    Instead, singapore should diversify into many sports. F1 should not be the sole basis by which we attract foreigners. We have to compete with the other exotic countries that mark the F1 calender, plus the new entries into the sport. What you have suggested is hardly feasible, let alone sustainable.

    Posted by - | September 28, 2009, 6:24 pm
    • I don’t think any sport is truly exclusive, because with effort and interest any individual can develop an interest or passion – both of which can be nurtured and promoted. Indeed, participation in the sport itself, be it the racing or the maintenance, has a considerable learning curve. But what I am suggesting is that organisers look into heightening knowledge and interest within society, particularly schools. I am positive that many students and youths have a considerable interest and curiosity towards the sport, but often their sources of information are limited to websites that might be convoluted or too technical for comprehension.

      Appreciation for any sport can be made mainstream, regardless of the cost or level of participation in the events. The engagement of drivers and participants of the sport in dialogues would not only heighten the proliferation of the sport, but also grant insights to the technicalities and values that are involved in the dedication and participation.

      True that Singapore should diversify into other sports, though I believe it is imperative to move on step at a time. It’s about the quality, not the quantity. First, Singapore should continue to find a niche for the sport (because the novelty of the night race would wear of sooner or later), through the inclusion of side events and activities to lead up to the main event. The involvement of Singaporeans would ensure that there is a sustained hype for the event, instead of entertainment and joy for a select few. Second, in terms of general diversification, it should be a slow and steady process; and time should be granted to allow for more trials and evaluations.

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | September 28, 2009, 10:16 pm
    • And just to add on. I’m presuming you are coming from a fan’s perspective, so it’s perfectly reasonable. From my view, as an occasional viewer, a basic understanding and comprehension of the sport would very much suffice. It’s also in my perception that the appeal to the Singapore Grand Prix need not be a general appreciation or obsession of the sport per se; rather, the interest should culminate specifically in the Singapore leg where support can be drummed up and interest, locally, can be sustained.

      Definitely true that corporations make the bulk of the purchases, but the two commitments are definitely not mutually exclusive.

      Jin Yao

      Posted by guanyinmiao | September 28, 2009, 10:35 pm

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