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This country is kind of taxing

india Updated: Sep 28, 2008 01:06 IST
Shrenik Avlani

There's a joke about Singapore that says it's a “fine country”. Whoever came up with that did so because he/she couldn't pun on tax. In Singapore, people are taxed for everything, even for domestic help. And F1 has brought along its own taxes.

The track has been designed to give maximum exposure to some of the biggest sponsors of this sport. The circuit goes through one of the busiest financial hubs of Singapore. Big banks like RBS, HSBC, Citibank, DBS and Standard Chartered have their head offices right in the middle of all the action.

Many who work here plan to stay back and watch the race from their offices, just to see what was it because of which they couldn’t bring their cars to work, for which they had to take a detour for three days and for which the metro is over-crowded.

But not all offices are joining the speed party. Why? Rumours are the government has levied a tax on offices around the circuit if they choose to function

on Saturday and Sunday! Or they have to board up all the windows that look over the circuit. So would you still call Singapore a fine country? Tax your brains over this one.

Stay Malaysia, go Singapore

Hotels in the city were booked a month before the race despite the fact that they had raised their rates by around three to four times. So many fans traveling on a budget are staying beyond the border at Johor

Baru in Malaysia. It’s just 45

minutes away by bus and

much cheaper than the Singapore hotels.

Bumped about

The Singapore street circuit is the first to use raised red and white track markers along the turns. The capsule-shaped markers along turn 10 of the track protrude a few

inches from the surface to prevent drivers from taking a shortcut while overtaking. Teams showed some reservations about it

because if their cars go off the racing line and hit one of them, it would cause irreparable damage. The markers were lowered just a wee bit later but they may

still be dangerously high for this speed.