POWER OF TWO
Two heads are better than one. With that in mind, organisers of the Chinese Grand Prix and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games will join forces to ensure the success of both events.
International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge is in China this week to seal the deal between Bocog, the organising committee for the 2008 games, and the Shanghai International Circuit, which hosts the grand prix.
Beijing Olympic merchandise stands and displays will feature on the periphery of the circuit and large billboards promoting the 2008 games will decorate the entrances as well as Shanghai's streets during the racing extravaganza. The F1 organisers will also pass on their experience of running a major international event to their counterparts in Bocog.
'With two such big sporting events as the Olympic Games and the Formula One Grand Prix, it would be easy to get lost in the battle for spectators but, after much discussion, we decided that the best way forward is an alliance,' said Yu Zhifei, general manager of the Shanghai International Circuit.
'The Chinese Grand Prix is the biggest international sports event in China now but it will concede the status to the 2008 games ... the Olympic movement is without peer,' Yu said. 'I am glad that we can make our own contributions to the games through this alliance.'
The Olympics is one of only two sporting events, alongside football's World Cup, which boosts higher international television viewing figures than Formula One.