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Bernie swings into town

Nirgunan Tiruchelvam
Nirgunan Tiruchelvam9/1/2022 04:05 PM GMT+08  • 4 min read
Bernie swings into town
Ecclestone (right) with Flavio Briatore, Renault team manager (seen in this 2006 photo), towers over the whole F1 franchise like a floodlight / Photo: Bloomberg
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A tiny 91-year-old looms large over Singapore’s Formula 1 Grand Prix, but he is not one of the drivers. He won’t even be here this month. But, he is the unseen force that will power the race.

Bernie Ecclestone is the F1’s godfather. He controlled the sport for four decades until his fall from grace in 2017. Ecclestone stands at 160cm but towers over the F1 like a floodlight.

Almost 300,000 tickets have been sold for the F1 this month. Over 100 million people will watch it on TV. Singapore expects five million visitors. Hotel rates are skyrocketing. Bookings have now reached record heights for the F1 weekend. The Fullerton Hotel suite provides a ringside view of the race. It is going for $2,500 a night, which is twice the rate in 2008. It is nine times the rate for a typical weekend.

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