Chinese Grand Prix Fears Allayed with 7-Year Extensions
February 17, 2011
The Chinese Grand Prix will remain on the Formula One circuit after doubts over the race’s future were allayed by the signing of a seven-year extension for the Shanghai International Circuit to remain on the schedule.
The event had been cast under a cloud by a combination of poor attendances and remedial work needed to address problems with sections of the circuit, but officials were still holding out for an improved financial deal before agreeing to renew their contract.
According to the Shanghai Daily newspaper, Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Management, which oversees the sport’s commercial aspect, has now agreed terms with event organiser Juss Events which will ensure that the race remains a part of the calendar until 2017.
Shanghai Sports Bureau deputy director Chen Yiping admitted: “We’ve learned that high ticket prices have led to fans staying away and will try to improve the situation in the following years.”
The deal, which Shanghai vice-mayor Zhao Wen claimed was an improvement on the previous agreement, has come sooner than initially predicted, with sources suggesting that SIC’s place on the schedule may not be secured until weeks before this year’s race, owing to its homologation licence having expired.
The Shanghai circuit is due to stage its eighth Chinese Grand Prix on the weekend of 15-17 April.
Yang Yibin, manager of event organiser Juss Event, said earlier this year: “Subsidence is normal because of the soft soil in Shanghai, which the circuit was built above, plus the circuit has hosted seven F1 grands prix and other racing events of high intensity. There should be no problem, – we’ve communicated well with the FIA, our plan has been approved and the grand prix will be on time.”