The Chinese Grand Prix has featured on the Formula 1 calendar since 2004 and has provided many thrilling races including the pitlane entry drama for Lewis Hamilton in 2007 costing him the 2007 Formula 1 Drivers Championship and providing a debut win for 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg in 2012 as well as the last ever win for Michael Schumacher in 2006. All of these races have been held at the Shanghai International Circuit but could a second venue be added to the Formula 1 Calendar?
It was announced this morning that Formula 1 was going to team up with Lagardere Sports for one main reason. This is to help out with expanding the Formula 1 market out in China. Lagardere Sports have recently helped out with the incredible rise of Chinese Football which in the space of just over a year has gone from a small market to attracting world class footballers for incredible amounts of money.
Formula 1’s Commercial Chief Sean Bratches said “We have a proud and longstanding relationship with motorsport in Asia, working with some great motor race circuit owners and successful race promoters from Singapore to Suzuka in Japan through to Shanghai in China.
Across the region, Formula 1 fans have proven themselves to be some of the sport’s most passionate supporters with over 8.8 million people attending race weekends since 2004.”
CEO of Lagardere Sports Andrew Georgiou said “Having advised clients in the region for over 20 years, we’ve seen first-hand the enormous growth to date in the live sports and entertainment market in China; and also the new opportunities presented by the emerging middle and upper classes.”
All of this most certainly means that the Shanghai International Circuit will stay on the Formula 1 Calendar but if they are trying to expand the sport and with the rumors of a China F1 Team lurking around, who knows if another circuit in China will be added? A circuit that could be the answer is the Zhuhai International Circuit as it has hosted many GT races and A1 Grand Prix with the racetrack wanting Formula 1 to be raced around it.
What is your opinion on the boost to F1 in China? Let us know down in the comments.