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2022 Singapore Grand Prix Breaks Attendance Record

2022 Singapore Grand Prix Breaks Attendance Record

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The Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix 2022 notched up an impressive new record over the September 30 to October 2 weekend. Organizers said 302,000 fans trooped to the Marina Bay Street Circuit to watch a thrilling F1 race, as well as worldclass entertainment acts and support racing series. The impressive attendance figure is significantly higher than the 268,000 spectators who went to the 2019 event.

The Singapore government recently extended the contract for another seven years to 2028, at a cost of SGD135 to SGD140 million. The F1 race event generates significant economic benefits, estimated at SGD130 million annually, from tourists attending the race. Singapore Transport Minister S Iswaran said that about half of the attendees are foreigners. He noted that the race has boosted hotel occupancy, despite average rates exceeding SGD440 per night. “It’s a reflection of the keen interest in our race, its uniqueness, and the various elements that we wrap around the race as well. I think it’s a very good sign of how things are recovering in Singapore,” he said.

MARINA BAY STREET CIRCUIT, SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 01: An aerial view of the action at night during Qualifying during the Singapore GP at Marina Bay Street Circuit on Saturday October 01, 2022 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images)

The night race certainly delivered the thrills. A strong downpour before the race delayed the start by at least an hour as marshals tried (mostly in vain) to sweep away the water from the track. The race finally started at 9pm local time, with all runners on the semiwet Intermediate tires. Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez took the checkered flag with a calm and collected drive. Perez, starting from second on the grid, overtook Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc on the opening lap and never relinquished the lead. With a few laps remaining, Perez was under pressure from Leclerc on track, and from a potential 5-second time penalty for falling more than 10 car lengths behind the Safety Car. Perez put in a blistering drive in the last three laps to win despite the penalty. “That was my best performance [in F1],” said Pérez. “The last three laps were so intense. I gave everything for the win today.

“To keep Charles behind, especially after the restart, when the [tire] warm-up was super hard with half the track on the dry side, and the other half was good enough for inters.”

Leclerc finished second, and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz took third. McLaren also racked up the points with a double point score, drivers Lando Norris finishing fourth (from sixth), and Daniel Ricciardo taking fifth (from 16th). Aston Martin likewise did well, with Lance Stroll finishing sixth, and five-time Singapore GP winner Sebastian Vettel finished eighth.

MARINA BAY STREET CIRCUIT, SINGAPORE – SEPTEMBER 30: Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, leads Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL36, Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo C42, and others practice their race start procedures during the Singapore GP at Marina Bay Street Circuit on Friday September 30, 2022 in Singapore, Singapore. (Photo by Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images)

Championship leader Max Verstappen did not fare so well, with an aborted qualifying lap placing him eight on the grid, and finishing seventh. Four-time Singapore GP winner Lewis Hamilton had a nightmare race, with a contact with Sainz and with the barriers, ending up ninth. Perez is the first driver to win both the Monaco and Singapore Grand Prix in the same season since Sebastian Vettel in 2011.

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Dutch racer Beitske Visser won the all-female-driver W Series race, putting her second in the championship standings. Thai racing driver Kantasak Kusiri won the TSS, The Super Series second race, with Audi Sport Asia Team Absolute driver Andrew Haryanto winning the first TSS race during the weekend.

Singapore Grand Prix organizers made sure there was plenty to keep the fans around before and after the races, with more than 100 hours of entertainment events around the track. Crowd-magnet acts included Green Day, Black Eyed Peas, TLC, Westlife and Marshmello.

Philippine president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was one of the attendees at the night race.