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F1 Boss Backs Shanghai GP

shanghai-circuitRed Bull Renault claimed their historic first victory yesterday as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber celebrated on podium in Shanghai GP. A source told us that the Chinese Grand Prix only sold 70 percent of its tickets despite the prices were cut nearly half than the previous year.

“The economic crisis has indeed affected the sport and we felt there’s a need to adjust the prices,” Jiang Lan(姜澜), general manager of the Juss Event Co Ltd, the organizer, told Qianjiang Evening News(钱江晚报), a Hangzhou-based paper, “Another reason is to help recruit more Chinese F1 fans.”

“As long as there is China, we will be here,” said Bernie Ecclestone, the CEO of Formula One Management and Formula One Administration in a recent interview, remaining positive for the future of the game in Shanghai. “It is good for a country to have the exposure.”

Ecclestone is keen to pin the future of F1 to Asia, with South Korea GP confirmed next year and India in 2011. The Formula One first entered into the continent in 1976 in Japan. Malaysia signed their deal in 1999 while China and Bahrain joined the family in 2004. Singapore came on board in 2008 and Abu Dhabi is to debut this November.

Shanghai’s contract with F1 will end in 2010 and the municipal government has been reportedly doing the assessment whether to extend the deal. The decision will be made by the end of this year.

Links and sources:

  • Times: Sebastian Vettel wins Chinese Grand Prix
  • Sky Sports: Bernie says China GP will stay
  • Dushi Kuaibao:  700 RMB for 3-day tickets in Shanghai GP (in Chinese via Sina)

Previously:

photo: kenworker

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