Photo of Mr S Iswaran and Mr Ong Beng Seng along with Stefano Domenicali

F1 News: Singapore to review F1 deal following S. Iswaran probe (Update)

A dark cloud continues to hang over the future of Formula 1’s original night race in Singapore.

In January, we reported that the event was in fact likely to survive a corruption scandal that in 2023 engulfed the Singapore GP promoter and high-ranking government minister Subramaniam Iswaran – who resigned last month.

Singapore’s trade and industry ministry had insisted: “There is nothing to suggest as of now that either the F1 contracts or other contracts were structured to the disadvantage of the government.”

However, on Monday, Singapore’s trade relations minister Grace Fu admitted in parliament that the Formula 1 race contract is in fact still being reviewed.

“Members will understand that I cannot say more on this at this point,” she said.

Fu’s comments came after other parliament members filed several questions about the F1 corruption scandal, but she informed them that she could not answer prior to Iswaran’s trial.

But Fu did admit that it will be the trade and industry ministry that would be reviewing the Formula 1 race deal.

“It is not appropriate for us to speculate or prejudge the outcome of the proceedings,” she insisted. “I will answer in so far as it is possible to do so.

“Whilst we will review any government contracts to safeguard Singapore’s interest, we remain committed to the Singapore GP,” Fu added. “Preparations for the 2024 race have started.”

February 5, 2024 

Singapore will review the terms of its F1 Grand Prix deal and will audit a previous race following a corruption probe involving former Transport Minister S. Iswaran, a ruling party lawmaker said on Monday.

Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations Grace Fu told in parliament that “there is nothing to suggest as of now” that either the F1 contracts or other contracts were structured in a way they would disadvantage the government.

“But as members would appreciate given the allegations of corruption, we are reviewing the terms of the deal again,” she said, referring to the contract between the Singapore Tourism Board and Singapore GP Private Ltd. to organize the F1 night race in the city state.

Photo of Mr S Iswaran and Mr Ong Beng Seng along with Stefano Domenicali
Photo of Mr S Iswaran and Mr Ong Beng Seng along with Stefano Domenicali, the current CEO of Formula One Group at the F1 Grand Prix in 2022 (Photo: S Iswaran’s Facebook page)

Singapore has also asked the Tourism Board to conduct an audit of the race back in 2022, “of which accounts are ready for audit,” Fu said.

Iswaran, 61, resigned last month after being charged with corruption in the city state’s biggest political scandal in almost four decades. The former minister, who’s out on bail, was slapped with 27 charges, including allegedly obtaining tickets to musicals and soccer matches in the UK. He denies the charges and has pledged to defend his innocence in court.

Iswaran is accused of receiving bribes in various forms with a total value of close to US$298,000 from Ong, the republic’s corruption watchdog said in a statement.

Some of these alleged bribes were in exchange for advancing Ong’s business interests in matters related to a contract between Singapore Grand Prix and the country’s tourism board, it added. SCMP

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