Singapore Airlines has extended its sponsorship of the Formula 1 Grand Prix in the city for three more years, the national carrier said on Saturday. The extension will start with this year’s race in October, the company said in a statement. In January, Singapore said it would host the event after a two-year hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic . Formula One “will be an important milestone for Singapore, marking the return of a major international sporting event to the city after a two-year disruption due to the pandemic,” Lee Lik Hsin, Singapore Airlines’ executive vice-president for commercial operations, said. The renewed deal also heralded the country’s determination to woo back tourism as it recently lifted most rules for fully vaccinated travellers and eased other domestic restrictions, in line with its policy to live with the virus. Air-passenger traffic to Singapore reached 400,000, or 31 per cent of pre-Covid levels, in the week ending April 17, according to latest data from the country’s civil aviation authority. Singapore Airlines first signed as the title sponsor in 2014 for four years, and subsequently extended it in 2018 and 2020 for two years respectively. Formula 1’s popularity has continued to grow and the sport is enjoying a strong start to the 2022-23 season, highlighted by record viewing figures in the US for the inaugural Miami Grand Prix last weekend. Live coverage of the race drew and average of 2.6 million viewers, peaking at an average of 2.9 million. The Netflix behind the scenes docu-series Drive to Survive has been credited with fuelling Formula One’s rising popularity in the United States, a market the sport had previously struggled to crack.