F1's change of management held up talks for a new Singapore grand prix deal, minister S Iswaran said ahead of the city-state's 2017 race. Before a new contract for 2018-2021 was announced on Friday, the Singapore night race - now one of F1's blue-riband events - had mere provisional status on next year's calendar.
Trade and industry minister S Iswaran said the move from the Bernie Ecclestone era held up the talks which have now concluded successfully: "First, with the changes in the ownership and management of F1, serious negotiations could commence only in February," he explained.
Iswaran also explained why Singapore has agreed only a four-year deal, even though the previous contract extension was for five years. It is believed the decision is connected with the looming end of the current 'Concorde agreement' in 2020 and Liberty Media's plans beyond that.
"We wanted to thoroughly evaluate the medium-term prospects for F1 and the value a term extension could bring to Singapore," said Iswaran. "I am glad that all parties have been able to agree on commercial terms for the extension."
Bahrain International Circuit - Winter testing