Singapore will likely scrap its Formula One race at Marina Bay Circuit after the end of 2017 season, according to Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone. The 86-year-old hinted that the republic might as well not extend its contract, which expires in 2017.
Singapore witnessed a 20 percent dip in ticket sales for the 2016 race, which was held on 18 September. It is also reported that the attendance has slipped 15 percent and currently stands at 219,000 spectators over three days of the race and 73,000 per day.
Ecclestone revealed that Singapore has achieved what they wanted with the night race and has no intentions of renewing their contract. Saying that the teams are opportunistic, he blasted the lack of "gratitude" that is becoming prevalent in the sport.
"Look at what we have done for Singapore. Yes, the Grand Prix has cost Singapore a lot of money, but we've also given them a lot of money," Ecclestone told German motorsports magazine Auto Motor Und Sport, as quoted by the New Straits Times.
"Singapore was suddenly more than just an airport to fly to or from somewhere. Now they believe they have reached their goal and they do not want a grand prix anymore."
Notably, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran had said in September that no decision was taken to extend the deal to host F1 races after the 2017 season, according to the Channel News Asia.
Malaysia are also planning to "take a break" from hosting Formula One races at the Sepang International Circuit (SIC) due to dwindling interest in the annual race.
SIC Chief Executive Officer Razlan Ahmad Razlan Ahmad Razali pointed fingers at the Mercedes domination for the dipping viewership of the race. Ecclestone also fears that some of the race's prominent constructors including Ferrari and Mercedes might quit F1 in the near future.
"We have to expect the manufacturers to leave us anyway. Mercedes will retire on the day when it suits them and it's something we had before — look at Honda, BMW and Toyota," he added.
"They go when Formula 1 has done the job for them. There is no gratitude. It is the same for the organisers."