Shanghai gears up for F1

The organisers of the planned Chinese Grand Prix were in Malaysia to look at the facilities at Sepang and to learn more about how each Formula 1 race operates. Work is well underway on the construction of a huge racing facility close to the city of Shanghai. Work began in October last year after a deal was struck for a race to be held between 2004 and 2010.

The new circuit is bigger and better than anything seen in Formula 1 to date, underlining the huge investment that is being made by the Chinese. There will be facilities for 200,000 spectators, including a light railway which will go to the track directly from downtown Shanghai. Access to the circuit by car will be through a huge new motorway interchange to enable cars to get in and out quickly.

One unusual innovation in the facilities will be an artificial lake behind the paddock on which team offices will be built on stilts. This will ensure that teams have more privacy than at most "fly-away" races where they are restricted to the pit garages and makeshift accommodation in the paddock.

It is worth noting that Jordan Grand Prix has a small deal this weekend with the Shanghai International Circuit and China Central Television. The deal will see Jordan named as the "preferred team" of CCTV.

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