Shanghai will continue to host the Chinese Grand Prix at least until 2020, after a new three-year contract was announced by F1 on Friday.
'We are very pleased to have reached an agreement which will see the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix continue as a fixture of the Formula 1 World Championship for at least a further three years,' stated F1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey.
'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.'
Change of date
According to a report on F1’s official website, the race will be moved to a new date in order to avoid a national holiday happenstance.
The current Chinese GP coincides with Qingming (also known as Tomb Sweeping Festival), a three-day national holiday in which families pay respects to their ancestors.
The Shanghai race will take place a week later next year, on April 15, changing places in schedule with the Bahrain GP, which will move to April 8.
Asia: a key market
Formula 1 came under new ownership this year, when Liberty Media bought the racing company.
Chase Carey, the new chairman and CEO, has declared that F1 has big plans to expand its reach, identifying Asia and the Americas as key markets.
Aside from China’s new deal, the Singapore race is, as of today, marked as “subject of confirmation”. According to Carey, negotiations are underway to renew this GP.
However, one the most popular races among drivers, the Malaysian GP, hosted since 1999, is dropping due to cost reasons.
Carey has stated that races in India and South Korea, which were organized by Ecclestone, F1’s previous owners, are unlikely to return.
“We had a race in Korea, we had a race in India, but they were very much one-offs, deal of the day, as opposed to a commitment to really build and grow a sport,” he said.