Shanghai seeks stability amid GP extension talks
Shanghai: As negotiations to keep the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai beyond 2010 continue, the city remains determined to stem the losses suffered by the Formula One race, according to organisers Juss Events.
The current seven-year deal ends after next year`s race and an official at the Shanghai sports ministry said last year that the city might not take up the option for another five years.
"We are in discussion with F1 to extend beyond 2010," Leon Sun told an agency at this week`s Shanghai Masters tennis, which the municipality-owned Juss Events also runs.
"Although it`s not been so financially successful, it`s a great event for the city. We are looking for a different strategy to see how we can cover the costs and one day maybe break even."
The home of the Grand Prix is the stunning USD 350 million circuit on the outskirts of Shanghai, which can seat 200,000 fans but has rarely come anywhere close to accommodating that number.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has consistently said he believed the sport has a long future in China and Sun added that was his hope too.
"Any type of negotiation is trying to pay less and get more. We don`t know how it`s going to end, but, from my heart, we`re going to try and make this continue," added Sun, Juss`s general manager of event management.
"The deadline is obviously the end of next year but I think we`re working very hard on this, we`re probably going to see something earlier than expected." The Chinese Grand Prix moved from an end of season slot to April this year and was likely to keep a similar place in the calendar for 2010, Sun said.