APRIL 11, 2017
Shanghai happier with post-Ecclestone era
With Liberty Media now in charge of F1, organisers of the Chinese grand prix say hopes are high the Shanghai race will stay on the calendar.
Actually, China's latest multiple year contract is up for renewal, but officials met last weekend with Chase Carey, the new F1 chief executive.
"We haven't talked about details yet -- it was more about the sport itself and how to promote it better here," Jiang Lan, boss of the China GP promoter Juss Event, told the Shanghai Daily newspaper.
Jiang indicated he is happy the forthcoming negotiations will be with Carey rather than his predecessor, the ousted long-time F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
"F1 has been seeing a drop in viewership worldwide. But I found Chase, who has a media background, more tolerant and open minded. He was willing to give more power to F1's local organisers," he said.
"Of course, we need to thank Bernie for all his contributions to the sport over such a long time. But it's obvious that the sport and its promoters are expecting some changes and renovations, especially on how to expand the market.
"Chase might not know about F1 as clearly as Bernie did, but he agrees that the F1 weekends should be more fun, which is in line with what we want," Jiang added.
"F1 is a disciplined sport with strict rules even for organisers. The activities and commercial booths we arranged near the entrance of the circuit had been questioned by the previous F1 management, but the new bosses like it," he said.
And so he said he is optimistic the forthcoming contract talks will proceed positively, also because crowd numbers were up in 2017.
"It shows that fans are also optimistic after the new changes in the sport," he said.
"There is little suspense about whether we will continue to host the race," Jiang revealed.