Chinese Grand Prix extends its deal with Formula One until 2020 and gets new home on race calendar
Sources reveal that a three-year extension has been agreed and is likely to be confirmed in the coming weeks
Confirmation that China will continue to host a grand prix on the Formula One calendar will be announced soon as well as a new home on the roster.
The organisers are set to reveal the details of the deal which will see the race continue to be hosted at the Shanghai International Circuit until 2020.
A report on formula1.com said the race would be moved to a new date on the schedule to avoid a national holiday exodus which is believed to have been the cause of dwindling spectator numbers in recent years.
There was speculation that China would join Malaysia in ending its association with Formula One when the current deal ended after this season, but new F1 owners Liberty Media were thought to be eager to maintain the link-up with the massive potential market in China.
The Sepang Circuit in Malaysia will host its last race this weekend. Organisers there blamed declining economic returns for their decision to end the association with F1.
Singapore, which was also considering scrapping its race, rubber-stamped a deal to continue hosting its Grand Prix earlier this year.
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement which will see the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix continue as a fixture of the Formula One World Championship for at least a further three years,” said Chase Carey, chairman and CEO of Formula One, in a statement.
“This great country has already demonstrated an overwhelming show of interest in our sport and we firmly believe there is still a great deal of unexplored potential here. That’s why this renewed agreement is so important as part of our development strategy, especially in this part of the world.”
Terms of the new China deal have not been disclosed, but it was previously claimed that organisers would be seeking some relief on the massive cost of holding a licence, reported to be among the highest paid to host an F1 race.
Jiang Lan, chairman of Shanghai Juss Sports Development, the company that promotes the race, reiterated its support for the event.
“Shanghai Juss Sports will continue to apply all efforts and resources to promote and grow the Formula One popularity in the future. The group is pleased to renew the Formula One host and promoter commitment, as it provides us an opportunity to stage the world’s ‘Top In Class’ international sports events and showcase the city of Shanghai as a truly global city.”
China has been a constant fixture on the F1 calendar since first hosting a GP in 2004.
Current championship leader Lewis Hamilton holds the record for the most Chinese GP wins with five, after securing his third win in four years at the Shanghai circuit in April.
The Chinese GP was previously included on a provisional 2018 Formula One race calendar, but it was noted that it had not yet secured the requisite licence to host the race.