Saturday, September 27, 2008
Source: The Straits Times Sep 20, 2008
Excerpts to be captured here. In case the web page was removed eventually.
NEVER one to shy away from bold predictions, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone made another ahead of the much-anticipated SingTel Singapore Grand Prix.
'Whoever wins this, whether it's (Lewis) Hamilton or (Felipe) Massa, will probably be the champion,' the sport's commercial rights holder told The Straits Times over the telephone from his London office earlier this week.
'This is a very important race for the championship.”
With four grands prix in the 18-race season remaining - Japan, China and Brazil are next after Singapore - the drivers' championship is balanced on a knife's edge.
McLaren driver Hamilton tops the standings with 78 points but Ferrari's Massa is just one behind. If Massa takes the chequered flag here on Sept 28 and Hamilton finishes second, it will be the Brazilian's turn to carry a slender one-point advantage.
market2garden: We shall see whether the prediction by the supreme is correct by year-end. Will follow-up on this.
The hotel, retail and entertainment sectors are expected to benefit the most from the 40,000 tourists coming for the race. One week before the big day, some are already caught up in the F1 fever.
market2garden: How about the fellow Singaporeans? Feverish or “who cares?” attitude? And really benefitted economically?
There is always the element of the unknown when drivers manoeuvre new tracks, and fans are already fired up by the possibility of crashes or crucial driving mistakes.
The season has already been packed with race incidents. Remember Hamilton shunting the back of Raikkonen's car in the pit lane at the Canadian Grand Prix, forcing both to quit the race prematurely? Or the Finn and his Ferrari colleague Massa's late engine failures in Valencia and Budapest respectively?
market2garden: Last night the practice sessions already shown that that’s possibility of “mistakes” for today’s qualifying session and tomorrow’s the actual race.
There will be unprecedented global attention and media coverage of this country - because of the title chase, the prospect of more unfolding drama, and so much more.
What better way to sell Singapore, than for attractions like the Esplanade or the Flyer to be beamed into living rooms worldwide during the 90-minute race?
market2garden: The race is tje only part of the whole. The GP Season, planned by Singapore Tourism Board, including Singapore River Festival, Singapore Motors Show and others. Intentionally the Singapore Government is seriously remaking Singapore, with the help of the race, plus the other mega projects, such as Integrated Resorts (with casinos) at Marina Bay and Sentosa by the year 2010 or 2011. Let’s hope the efforts are well paid.
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There will be another blog entry after the race. Stay tuned.
Add-on Oct 07,2008:
Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix (Part 2)
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My other blog entries related to the topic:
Friday, September 26, 2008
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