How race sheds new light on the Lion City
Richard Tan could well be talking for the entire Singapore business community as well as for the city itself when he reflects on how the race has afforded his company the opportunity to capture the world's attention.
Tan's Arina Hogan Builders was in 2008 charged with providing the temporary lighting structures that makes hosting the grand prix possible.
Like everyone else, Tan and his team obviously had no previous experience in putting together such a project, as there had never been a night-time Formula One race.
But the event's subsequent success has shown the world what is possible - and given Tan's company a profile right around the world. The lighting around the Marina Bay Street Circuit helps bring the grand prix to stunning life - lighting up the night and helping frame all the action for those in the stands and for those tuning in from all over the world.
Those involved with the race itself are most certainly impressed. 'The setting and atmosphere make it one of the jewels of the calendar,' is how McLaren F1 team principal Martin Whitmarsh describes the event - and Tan is justifiably proud of the contribution his team has made.
'The Singapore Grand Prix is a world-class event with all the right attractions,' says Tan. 'Being involved in the only Formula One night race has given Arina Hogan the required mileage and propelled our company on to the world stage.'
The same might be said for Singapore itself. The city's emergence over the past decade as one of the world's 'must see' destinations has been remarkable - and the grand prix has played its part.
The Singapore Tourism Board estimates total revenue from the annual race runs at around S$200 million with more than 250,000 people taking in the grand prix and everything that surrounds it for three days on the ground, joined by the more than 500 million television viewers from across the globe. Tourist arrivals in Singapore hit an estimated 13.2 million in 2011 - an all-time record that has been fuelled by the city's growing list of attractions.
'The race gives fans in Singapore and all over the world the chance not only to enjoy the thrill and excitement of F1, but to also experience a unique night race in the heart of the city. Rounding off the race experience are the dance parties and in-circuit music performances that have become a hallmark of the Singapore race,' says Lynette Pang, executive director, F1 & Sports, at the Singapore Tourism Board.
Number of tourist visits to Singapore last year, a new record
- An estimated 250,000 people visit the race