Singapore says negotiations are underway to extend Formula One race in the country but no decision has been made. AFP

SINGAPORE: Singapore will not be rushed into extending its contract with Formula One, the trade ministry said Tuesday as negotiations for the night race to continue in the city-state are underway.

“Negotiations for the term renewal for F1 is ongoing and a decision has not been reached,” a ministry spokesperson told AFP in an emailed reply.

“The process has to be a deliberate one to carefully consider the terms and benefits.”

Race organiser Singapore GP said it could not comment because negotiations are underway.

In a 2018 event calendar released Monday by motorsport’s governing body FIA, there was an asterix next to the Shanghai and Singapore dates with a note that said “subject to commercial rights holder confirmation.”

Singapore’s Formula One future hangs in the balance as the city-state looks to renegotiate its contract to host the sport’s only night race.

The then-Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said last year the promoter was trying to strike a “long-term” deal with Singapore, and played down comments that the Lion City was looking to drop the race.

Singapore’s 23-turn, Marina Bay street circuit is seen as one of the most challenging on the calendar and has proved popular with fans.

But organisers said a slowing economic climate has seen daily attendance slump to 73,000 in 2016 from 87,000 in 2015.

If negotiations fall through, it would mark the end of Formula One in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has announced that this year’s race there will be the last due to rising costs and low returns. --AFP

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