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New seven-year deal for Shanghai

NEWS STORY
17/02/2011

Although the circuit has yet to have its licence renewed by the FIA, and the fact that the number of people in the paddock usually outnumber the fans in the stands, Shanghai has agreed a new seven-year deal to host the Chinese GP.

It's believed that 270,000 spectators attended the inaugural race at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2004, however, by 2010, when Bernie Ecclestone and a number of drivers remarked that the circuit was looking a bit "tatty", this had dropped to around 155,000 - though even then it is believed that many tickets were given away.

Nonetheless, the Shanghai Daily claims that the city's vice mayor, Zhao Wen, has negotiated a new deal with Bernie Ecclestone's Formula One Administration (FOA).

While details of the deal have not been given - they rarely are - it is understood that Ecclestone agreed a reduced rate which will be passed on to fans attending the event (both of them?).

"We've learned that high ticket prices have led to fans staying away," the Shanghai Sports Bureau's deputy director Chen Yiping was quoted as saying., "we will try to improve the situation in the following years."

Reports claim that ticket prices could be cut by as much as 45 percent.

The circuit is due to be inspected early next month after the FIA called for work to be carried out on the current drainage system and the track surface.

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