“The effect of Zhou being in the F1 world” – F1 boss Stefano Domenicali makes a significant reveal of potential new venues this decade.
China is betting big in the Formula 1 world this decade, as it strives to expand its soft power in the sporting domain further.
It already has an existing race in Shanghai, and next season, will have its first-ever driver in the form of Guanyu Zhou, after he was confirmed by Italian automobile giants Alfa Romeo as the replacement to Antonio Giovinazzi.
Now, F1 supremo Stefano Domenicali has revealed a second venue in China is also being touted. He resisted revealing the city, but confirmed that the OEMs (Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin) are in favour of the proposal.
“I can tell you we have already received interest from another city to have a Grand Prix in China.
“Next year we will not be there – not because of us, it’s because of the pandemic.
“That’s why we extended the contract this year straight away for three more years, to make sure there is this understanding for us to be there.
“And I’m sure the effect of Zhou being in the F1 world, the first Chinese driver in Formula 1, will have a huge impact on the awareness.
“That’s an area where we should be present, for sure. It’s an area of big development – all the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are very interested in staying there.”
Power of F1 drivers
Guanyu Zhou’s signing will have a gigantic impact on fellowship for the sport in Mainland China. Similarly, Lewis Hamilton is pushing for a return to Africa.
Domenicali refers to this as “the power of the drivers”, and the impact they have as the stars of the sport.
“It shows what I always said since the beginning when I came in this position about the power of the drivers.
“The drivers are at the centre of our project because they are aspirational, they attract fans. Everyone wants to see them fight.”