China to remain on F1 calendar until 2020 after new three-year deal

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The future of one of Formula 1's most important races has been secured following as Chinese Grand Prix officials signed a new three-year deal with the Formula One Group in Malaysia.

The event has been held every year since 2004 but, as with many races around the world, falling attendance figures led to a re-evaluation of the value hosting F1 brought and the race in Shanghai was marked as provisional on the 2018 calendar pending a new contract.

New F1 owners Liberty Media have already earmarked growing the sport in the world's most populous market as one of their key goals, even forging a collaboration with a marketing company with well-established work in China to boost interest.

Therefore, as you would expect, to be able to announce a continuation of the China GP was clearly a relief to CEO Chase Carey.

"We are very pleased to have reached an agreement which will see the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix continue as a fixture of the Formula 1 World Championship for at least a further three years," he said.

“This great country has already demonstrated an overwhelming show of interest in our sport and we firmly believe there is still a great deal of unexplored potential here. That’s why this renewed agreement is so important as part of our development strategy, especially in this part of the world.

“We and our partners in this venture want to make this Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix even more spectacular while bringing Chinese fans ever closer to the sport.

"Finally, we wish to thank the Shanghai Municipal Government for the support it has given and continues to give to the Grand Prix, which has been a crucial element of its success”

The news of China's renewal would come on the same weekend Malaysia said goodbye to F1 after 18 years, highlighting though trust is being built some are still unconvinced by the new owners.

However, nearby Singapore also recently announced it too would be staying on the schedule until 2021 with the night race along with China set to be two key bricks in building F1's presence in Asia.