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Carey confident of keeping Singapore on F1 calendar for 2018

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Chase Carey is confident of keeping the Singapore Grand Prix on the Formula 1 calendar for 2018 as part of his push to grow the sport in Asia.

Carey took over from Bernie Ecclestone as F1’s CEO and chairman back in January after Liberty Media completed its $8 billion takeover of the sport.

Ecclestone said last November that Singapore was considering dropping its F1 race as it had fulfilled its purpose, with its existing contract set to expire after the 2017 event on September 17.

Neighboring Malaysia has already confirmed it will no longer be hosting F1 beyond this year, agreeing a deal with the sport’s management to end its contract one season early.

Speaking in a conference call with investors, Carey discussed the importance of keeping a foothold for F1 in Asia, making reference to Singapore and expressing his confidence that a deal could be struck.

“We are actively engaged on redoing Singapore, so we don’t expect Singapore to go away. We’ve got to reach a deal, but we are actively engaged there and our goal is to continue the race in Singapore,” Carey said.

“We have a list of locations that want to add races, and in many ways were trying to engage with as many of them as possible, evaluate both in markets like Europe that obviously are much more historical markets, as well as opportunities in the Americas and Asia.

“We want to make sure we understand what each of those opportunities means to us as we go forward. Although in many ways priority one is to make sure we’re doing everything we can to make the 21 races we’ll have next year as successful as possible.”

France and Germany are set to return to the F1 calendar in 2018, making up for the loss of Singapore, but Carey admitted he has been inundated with interested cities and countries for new events.

“I could fill a page with the number of locations that have asked to meet and discuss the opportunity to host a Formula 1 race,” Carey said.

“So I think it speaks well to our ability to continue to take advantage of the global appetite for this sport and the excitement for this event and as we make the event, as we make the event better and improve the sport on the track.

“We think all those things just add fuel to each of those initiatives.”

F1 2017 driver review: Lance Stroll

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Team: Williams

Car No.: 18
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Best Finish: P3 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 40
Championship Position: 13th

Lance Stroll’s arrival in Formula 1 at the start of the 2017 was a far from smooth one despite a significant private testing program being undertaken in the months leading up to his grand prix debut.

Even with older hand Felipe Massa at Williams, Stroll looked uneasy behind the wheel of the FW40 car through the opening run of races as he failed to reach the checkered flag in any of his first three starts.

The Canadian was left deflated after his first decent effort in Bahrain was cut short after a clash with Carlos Sainz Jr., calling it his “rock bottom” moment – but things would turn around on home soil.

Stroll produced a stunning fight through the field to take an excellent P9 in Canada, proving his talent seen in Formula 3 the previous year and shushing many of his critics.

Better would follow two weeks later in Baku when Stroll became the youngest rookie in F1 history to score a podium, dodging a crazy race to finish third. It would have been second had he not lost a drag race against Valtteri Bottas to the line.

Stroll’s form then fluctuated greatly. He was sublime on occasion, the best examples being Monza, when he started a remarkable P2 on the grid and ended as the top midfielder in P7, or Mexico where he took a brilliant sixth.

But there were too many weekends he was a little anonymous. Sure, Williams didn’t have the best car this year, but perhaps a little better was expected from Stroll.

2018 will be an even bigger challenge as he looks to the lead the team when a new teammate arrives – and at only 19, it is a lot to handle. Nevertheless, there are positive signs to be found; you just need to look for them a little.

Season High: Taking a shock podium in Baku after dodging chaos in front.

Season Low: A poor opening two races in Australia and China.