Jordan happy with Chinese - but who cares?

The Jordan team yesterday announced a small sponsorship deal with the Shoulu-Huayuan Company, China's biggest property development company, which is promoting its latest upscale project, Beijing Chateau.

"Jordan appeals to Chinese business and fans, in part because the colour yellow symbolises prestigious values in Chinese culture," said Eddie Jordan, "but also because we are an open, friendly team that is accessible to everyday people."

The Chinese are keen to use the forthcoming Grand Prix to show the world a new open and friendly face but unfortunately some of the bureaucracy in Beijing is having trouble understanding this concept because attempts by international journalists, photographers and TV crews to get the necessary media visas are being blocked, despite the fact that the race organizers have arranged a special deal with the Shanghai Foreign Office.

The authorities in Beijing are currently saying that media visas cannot be granted until a week before the event. The F1 media, worried that they will not be granted visas, are wary of confirming travel arrangements to report the event and unless action is taken quickly they will run out of time because of the pressure that exists for flights and hotel rooms.

The Chinese are running the risk that their new showcase event may not get much international coverage, particularly now that Michael Schumacher is close to securing the World Championship. Once that has been settled the interest in F1 drops off each year and with additional barriers in the way of journalists it will be hard to create much enthusiasm to struggle through what is not a very friendly nor open process. In the press room in Hungary there was much talk about people not bothering to go to China.

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