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Gearing up for Singapore GP with live audience despite uncertainty amid COVID-19

  • Tiffany Fumiko Tay

    The Straits Times/Asia News Network

Singapore   /   Tue, May 26, 2020   /   02:00 pm
Gearing up for Singapore GP with live audience despite uncertainty amid COVID-19 McLaren's Spanish driver Carlos Sainz Jr takes part in the first practice session for the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore on September 20, 2019. While the fate of this year's Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix remains up in the air, preparations are under way for it to go ahead with a live audience. (AFP/Mladen Antonov)

While the fate of this year's Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix remains up in the air, preparations are under way for it to go ahead with a live audience.

At least four tenders related to the set-up of viewing facilities and ancillary activities for the Sept 20 Formula One race were put up by the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) between February and last month, according to checks by The Straits Times.

These include the construction and fitting out of the Temasek and Singapore suites at the F1 Pit Building, shuttle bus services for suite guests and precinct parties to be held in Orchard Road and Clarke Quay.

Other tenders relate to works to be carried out at the F1 Pit Building and storage site in Tampines.

Promoter Singapore GP said last week that it is not feasible to conduct the race behind closed doors, given that it is a street circuit.

The Formula One season is expected to kick off in Austria in July without spectators, after a series of cancellations and postponements.

The request for proposal to organize and execute precinct parties is part of the Grand Prix Season Singapore, scheduled to happen from Sept 11 to 20.

Race-themed parties were first extended beyond the racetrack in the lead-up to last year's event, which drew 268,000 spectators over three days. Fringe activities including racing simulators, a carnival and live music were held in Orchard Road, Kampong Glam, Clarke Quay and Jewel Changi Airport.

Examples of the desired scale and variety of activities this year include a "mega outdoor party" in Clarke Quay and partnerships with nightclubs in the area, as well as branded race-themed activities in and around Orchard Road, according to tender documents seen by The Straits Times.

STB noted, however, that tenderers should factor the Covid-19 pandemic and any related regulations in their planning and proposals.

A contractor is expected to be appointed by early next month, according to the request for proposal, which closed last Thursday with seven bids.

The budget for the precinct parties is listed as between $490,000 and $590,000.

Social, cultural, religious and business gatherings are expected to resume by the third phase, with limits on gathering sizes.