Approval for Chinese GP

The Chinese Grand Prix, which will be the newest addition to the future Formula One calendar in 2004, has been given the thumbs up by prominent F1 figures. Bernie Ecclestone signed the deal at the beginning of this week for the planned 5.4km...

The Chinese Grand Prix, which will be the newest addition to the future Formula One calendar in 2004, has been given the thumbs up by prominent F1 figures. Bernie Ecclestone signed the deal at the beginning of this week for the planned 5.4km 'Shang' circuit in Shanghai

Renault technical director Mike Gascoyne is looking forward to it: "With new events you usually get huge crowds who are massively enthusiastic," he said, according to Autosport. "I remember the first year at Indy, with 180,000 in the grandstands, was a fantastic thing and I'm sure it will be like that. This is a world championship and we are meant to be racing around the world."

While the fans are enthusiastic, so are the financial prospects. Jim Wright, Williams' commercial director, thinks the benefits could be huge: "Potentially it is an enormous breakthrough," he said, "because it opens up whole new possibilities for us -- there is not a single one of our sponsors who feel that they do not want to be marketing in China."

The recently signed contract stated China has a place on the GP calendar for six years and Ecclestone hopes to raise interest in the sport: "We've had many, many offers for us to hold Formula One racing in different parts of China," he said. "And I'm very, very pleased that we decided to wait for Shanghai. We hope that coming to China will bring enthusiasm for motorsport."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Mike Gascoyne , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Williams