Shanghai F1 race set for April 8

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Shanghai Daily, June 21, 2017
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The 2018 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix has been preliminarily scheduled for April 8, according to the latest race calendar approved by the FIA World Motor Sport Council.

The Chinese GP's local organizer Juss event told Shanghai Daily yesterday that talks on a new contract are still ongoing. The deal might not be for 7 long years as the previous two contracts.

Shanghai has been hosting the annual premier motorsport race since 2003. The event has become one of the best known international sports competitions in the city along with ATP Rolex Masters, IAAF Diamond League, etc.

Last year marked the end of the second 7-year contract for Shanghai to host the race. Juss Event CEO Jiang Lan said during this year's race that he saw no reason why the contract should not be extended.

Talks over details of the new contract are still going on though the term of the deal is not likely to be as long as 7 years, according to Juss Event.

The 2018 F1 season will boast 21 Grands Prix, equaling the record for the most number of races in a year. The Chinese GP on April 8 will continue to be the second race of the year following the opener in Australia's Melbourne on March 25.

The French and German Grands Prix will return to F1 in 2018. France was one of the seven races that made up the first ever World Championship in 1950 and it now returns after a decade. It will be held at the Paul Ricard circuit, which last hosted a F1 Championship round in 1990.

Apart from the GP in Australia, 11 races will take place in Europe, five in Asia, and four in the Americas.

F1 Chairman and CEO Chase Carey said FIA wanted to finalize next season's calendar early so that all stakeholders would have more time to prepare.

Singapore, however, will not be rushed into extending its contract with F1, the trade ministry said yesterday as negotiations for the night race to continue in the city-state are under way.

“Negotiations for the term renewal for F1 are ongoing and a decision has not been reached,” a ministry spokesperson said in an emailed reply. “The process has to be a deliberate one to carefully consider the terms and benefits.”

Singapore's F1 future hangs in the balance as the city-state looks to renegotiate its contract to host the sport's only night race amid a daily attendance slump to 73,000 in 2016 from 87,000 in 2015.

If negotiations fall through, it would mark the end of F1 in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has announced that this year's race there will be the last due to rising costs and low returns.

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