F1 highly interested in second grand prix in China - Sean Bratches
Formula 1 is engaged in discussions to add a second event in China, according to commercial chief Sean Bratches, with a street circuit on the agenda.
Formula 1 has visited China annually since 2004, with a grand prix held at the purpose-built Shanghai International Circuit, and last weekend it hosted the 1,000th event.
Since Liberty Media acquired Formula 1 in 2017 it has added just one new event to the schedule, with Vietnamese capital Hanoi poised to welcome the sport for the first time in 2020.
It is keen to explore potential venues in the United States but proposals for a Miami Grand Prix have been repeatedly delayed.
China is regarded as an important market for Formula 1 due to the strength of the country’s rapidly-expanding automotive sector, now the largest in the world, and Liberty Media is set to hold talks with several potential host cities.
“In terms of interest, we would be highly interested in a street race," Bratches told AFP regarding a second event in China.
“It would be a nice juxtaposition to the purpose-built, extraordinary facility that we have here [in Shanghai]. Our intent is to bring our show to the people.
“There's meetings set up in each [city] with government officials to talk about identifying a second city to host a grand prix. We think there's an opportunity to grow from that perspective.”
Formula 1 has yet to feature either a Chinese driver or team but Renault-backed Guan Yu Zhou has reached Formula 2 and demonstrated the squad’s 2012-spec E20 at last weekend’s fan festival.
Formula E, meanwhile, has connections to two Chinese organisations courtesy of the NIO and Techeetah teams that compete in the series.