Preparations for the first Chinese Grand Prix are now gathering pace as Shanghai gears up for the arrival of the first Formula One race to be held in China. Ticket sales are approaching capacity, with over 90% of all tickets already sold. The race...
Preparations for the first Chinese Grand Prix are now gathering pace as Shanghai gears up for the arrival of the first Formula One race to be held in China. Ticket sales are approaching capacity, with over 90% of all tickets already sold. The race has attracted worldwide interest - according to current figures, 30% of spectators for the GP will come from Shanghai, 55% from other parts of the China and the remaining 15% from the rest of the world.
The Grand Prix is creating a real buzz in and around Shanghai and as the date draws near, several events have been taking place in the race build-up. On 4 September, CCTV broadcast a live concert from the Circuit, with a host of VIP guests and media in attendance, together with 20,000 spectators.
This was followed on 7 September by a visit by members of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), including Vice-Chairman Cheng Siwei, who wished the Circuit every success with the Grand Prix. On 8 September, Circuit General Manager Wang Ying witnessed the unveiling of an impressive mural, a 15-metre long artwork depicting racing cars in action, by the Japanese artist Ted Tanabe.
The support race programme for the Grand Prix has now been finalised, with the line-up featuring rounds of the Asian Formula Renault Challenge, the Formula BMW Asia Series and the Porsche Infineon Carrera Cup Asia, together with a one-off Volkswagen Polo Celebrity Race, featuring an impressive entry of ex-Formula 1 drivers who today work as commentators including Christian Danner (Germany), Marc Surer (Switzerland) Jacques Laffite (France) and Martin Brundle (Great Britain).
Sights of Shanghai and China
Meanwhile, many those who are travelling to China intend to make the most of their stay there, by visiting some of the country's most important sights. Jaguar Racing driver Mark Webber (28) will be arriving early in China to do some sightseeing at several of the world's most famous landmarks.
The Great Wall of China and the Forbidden City are just two of the activities on his programme. Mark will also be supporting team sponsors, Tom Tailor by joining in with fashion shows and store appearances. Mark will start his trip in Beijing and then travel on to Shanghai before competing in the first Chinese Grand Prix.