SEPTEMBER 6, 1999
Cosmetic surgery for China
The Chinese have been chasing a Grand Prix since 1991 when the government made available a 1000-acre parcel of land for the development of "a sports complex". The circuit was announced in 1992 and work began in 1993. The first international race held on the circuit was at the end of 1996 when the GT series visited the track. At the time the sportscar drivers reported that the track was up to F1 standard. The Chinese were hoping for a Grand Prix in 1997 but this was shelved.
In 1998 China was given a race but this was later pushed off the F1 calendar. At the time the FIA World Council said that a race would "definitely be on the calendar for 2000".
Although the Chinese still seem to think that they might get a date next year, it is more likely that the event will not now take place until the early part of 2001.