The Chinese Grand Prix will continue beyond the 2010 season on a rolling contract Bernie Ecclestone has stated answering doubts about the future of the loss making race which had initially signed a 7 year deal in 2004 due to expire with the seventh race this season. It was rumoured that the organisers wont renew the race contract owing to the super large losses being made by the race.
In a statement to the press, Ecclestone was quoted as saying :
“We’ve talked to them all the time about everything, we’re happy with everything, no dramas,” Bernie Ecclestone told reporters at Shanghai.
“The contract is ongoing here, it will go on as a rolling contract. I’ll be here next year also.”
Bernie Ecclestone further went on to blame the organisers for the poor run of the race.
“It’s a shame, the whole venue’s good, everything’s good, they’re not promoting it properly, it’s a simple as that,” Bernie Ecclestone added.
“These people that run the place should do a bit more, in the centre of Shanghai, you wouldn’t even know there’s a race here.”
He is right on that part, I was searching for the website of the Chinese Grand Prix and drew a big blank. Even in a neighbouring country like India there are no ads for the Chinese Grand Prix nor are there any education campaigns.
Compare that to Malaysia and Singapore who spend so much time and money in promoting their annual formula one races (both print and TV advertisements) and are rewarded with high footfall from all around the world. Infact both Singapore and Malaysia have local contracts with travel agents who also popularise the events on their behalf.
China needs to do a lot more to promote the race at one of the swankiest race tracks in the world if it wants to make a profit on the race. As Bernie points out most people are not even aware of the race. No awareness = no profit 🙂