SINGAPORE (Sept 19): It was a great 2016 Formula 1 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix (Singapore GP) again for spectators this year.

This year it was Germany’s Nico Rosberg who took top spot, beating his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton into third place after Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, as Rosberg retook the World Championship lead from Hamilton.

Mercedes has a tight grip on the Championship again this year thanks to the two drivers. The luxury German car brand has also enjoyed success off the racetrack as it strengthened relationships with lifestyle brands in Singapore this year, using Formula 1 as its platform.

One of its tie-ups is with Swiss watchmaker IWC, which has been involved with Mercedes-Benz and its high-performance sports brand AMG since 2004. It decided to raise the partnership’s profile in 2012 when AMG went through a rebranding exercise. So successful has the partnership been for IWC, that is has extended its deal with Mercedes to 2018 and possibly beyond.

“We have used Formula 1 to build that branding up. It’s been a great partnership platform,” said Yan Lefort, global head of sponsorship & partnerships at IWC Schaffhausen.

“IWC has a reputation for creative design and technical engineering which are qualities also important to Mercedes-Benz,” said Matthieu Dupont, managing director at IWC Schaffhausen, South East Asia. “The partnership has been a door to the world. With F1, it takes the brand to a whole new level,” he added.

The pair were speaking at the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Press Day ahead of the night race. As part of the event, and in the lead-up to the Singapore Grand Prix weekend, there was a full scale replica of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team garage on display at ION Orchard which allowed F1 fans to get a close-up look of the engineering excellence behind the cars.

Nico Rosberg, a brand ambassador of IWC in addition to a number of other high-profile brands, also made an exclusive public appearance at the garage and took part in a Q&A session with the public. Having gone on to take pole position on Saturday and then win the race on Sunday night, it was a productive weekend in Singapore for the German.

Although this year’s Singapore GP was a smooth-sailing one for Mercedes, this wasn’t the case for other drivers.

Force India driver Nico Hülkenberg had a spectacular start to the race as he spun into the wall and crashed his car, which immediately brought out the safety car. This lead to a controversial incident as a marshal who was helping to clear the debris was still on the track when the safety car was deployed.

“It was very dangerous. I'm really happy it ended up with nobody being hurt," said Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff.

As the dust settles on this year’s race and the barricades are gradually dismantled around the CBD, plans are already underway for next year’s event, scheduled to take place from September 29th to October 1st.

Singapore GP is offering super early bird tickets at discounts of up to 33% for keen race-goers. For the first time, the Premier Walkabout ($398) and Turn 3 Premier Grandstand ($1,688) categories will be available for sale at special prices due to popular demand.

Michael Roche, executive director at Singapore GP, said: “We’ve certainly come a long way since the inaugural edition in 2008 and we are thrilled to be celebrating out 10th Formula 1 night race next year. This being such a historic milestone for Singapore, we intend to pull out all the stops to make it an unforgettable sporting and entertainment experience.”

This year, F1 and music fans alike were treated to live performances by stage headliners such as Queen, Adam Lambert, Kylie Minogue and Imagine Dragons.