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Survey reveals local support for Singapore GP amid doubt over F1 future

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70% of Singaporeans believe that their nation’s Formula 1 race has been a positive force for the country, according to a new survey.

The future of the Singapore Grand Prix is thought to be in doubt, with its existing contract set to expire after the 2017 race at Marina Bay.

The night-time event has been a firm favorite in F1 since it joined the calendar back in 2008, with F1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone telling The Straits Times back in November: “We want to extend long-term”.

With neighboring Malaysia set to drop its grand prix after 2018 due to a supposed drop in interest, support for the race in Singapore has now become clear after a poll from British company YouGov.

The survey polled over 9,000 people in the Asia-Pacific region, including 1,002 Singaporeans, with a majority believing that the race had been a positive for the country.

When asked “has the Singapore Grand Prix been a net positive or net negative for the country?”, 18% responded “very positive”, with a further 52% saying it was “somewhat positive”.

24% said the race was “neither positive nor negative”, with just 7% giving either “somewhat negative” or “very negative” as an answer.

However, when asked if they would like to see the race return beyond 2017, affirmative support fell to 57%. 19% said they did not want to see it return, while 25% were undecided.

The YouGov report also showed that 46% of Malaysians polled disagree with the decision to stop hosting F1 after 2018, while Ferrari was the brand most strongly associated with the sport, as per 56% of respondents.

You can see the full YouGov report here.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry. Time just published a brief piece by Wallace saluting Hamilton as a trailblazer.

The idea of Hamilton attending the NASCAR season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it would seem right for Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — to spend some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).