Motor racing: Formula One 'would love' second China race

 Performers before the Chinese Grand Prix race in Shanghai, China, on April 15, 2018.
Performers before the Chinese Grand Prix race in Shanghai, China, on April 15, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI (AFP) - Formula One is keen on establishing a second grand prix in China to go with the current Shanghai race, a top figure in the sport says.

There are no immediate plans for another race in the country but it would be part of a concerted effort to ramp up interest in Formula One in China. We would love to have a second race here," Formula One's head of global sponsorship Murray Barnett, speaking in Beijing, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency on Wednesday (Jan 23).

"Probably not in the short term, given how congested the schedule is already, but we'd certainly love to figure out a way to have another grand prix here."

A Formula One spokesman told AFP that it was too premature to talk about any location in China.

Shanghai has staged a grand prix since 2004 and in April will be the venue for the 1,000 Formula One world championship race since the series began in 1950.

Barnett, who was in the Chinese capital for a Formula One marketing conference, added that China was a major focus for growing the sport.

"We can't just be here for the three days of the Shanghai Grand Prix," he said.

"We need to have a year-round presence here and be much more locally relevant in order to really establish a big fanbase here."