SINGAPORE - As racing spectators fill the Grandstand and hobnob at the Pit next weekend, they can contemplate how much more it is costing them to watch the Formula One Grand Prix in Singapore.
The country is ranked at a worse-than-middling 13 out of 19 Grand Prix destinations in terms of affordability, according to travel site TripAdvisor's TripIndex Racing. This also makes Singapore the seventh most expensive city overall, and the costliest one in the region if the cheapest ticket for the Sunday race is used as a yardstick.
According to the index, Singapore's cheapest Sunday Grand Prix ticket alone costs S$207.33 for an adult. TripIndex Racing collected the prices between March and April this year from several sources, including the official Formula One website, it said.
Assuming the average petrolhead also scarfs down a burger and chips (S$17.08), guzzles a soda (S$5.58), drowns his sorrows in a pint of beer (S$13.58) should his team lose, and lays his jetlagged head on a pillow in a hotel near the Marina Bay Street Circuit the night before (S$379.10), he will spend a total of S$622.67 in Singapore.
In contrast, the entire experience (burger et al) would set you back just a third of the price - S$206.85 - in Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian capital holds pole position in TripIndex Racing's affordability stakes, based on the cheapest ticket. The downside, of course, is that you would have been in KL.
Based on maximum ticket price, the Monza circuit in Italy becomes the cheapest place to watch the Grand Prix - at S$552.11 for the whole shebang, with the ticket price accounting for S$173.32 of the total.
Even in the most-expensive-ticket league, Singapore remains the seventh most costly destination, with a ticket price of S$877.50 making up almost 70 per cent of the total cost of S$1,292.84.
If it softens the blow any, TripIndex Racing points out that Singapore's GP is "the only night race in the F1 calendar held in the heart of the city at Marina Bay. The tickets to the Singapore Grand Prix also provide access to a wide variety of food, beverage, and entertainment options."