racing - China is a long-term play for F1, says Carey
Send a link to a friend
[July 29, 2017]
By Alan Baldwin
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Formula One views
China as a long-term play and a second grand prix in the nation of
1.3 billion people remains years away, according to the sport's
chairman and chief executive Chase Carey.
"China is a little bit like the U.S. -- two enormous markets. It
will clearly take time," the American told Reuters at the Hungarian
"They are markets that will probably be important to Formula One in
a five to 10 year timeframe, not a three-year timeframe," he added.
China has had a grand prix in Shanghai since 2004 but the contract
is up for renewal and next year's race has an asterisk against it
along with Singapore's round, which is also subject to confirmation.
Carey said he was having 'good conversations' with organizers of
While negotiations continue, there has also been talk of China
eventually hosting a second race along with expansion in the United
McLaren executive director Zak Brown said earlier in July that
Formula One needed two rounds in China and suggested one should be
on a street circuit to bring racing closer to the people.
Formula One has also announced a deal with marketing agency
Lagardere Sports to build strategic partnerships in China from 2018.
Andrew Georgiou, chief executive of Lagardere Sports and
Entertainment, told Reuters in March that the growth of the Chinese
middle classes could see 400 million people over the next 12 or 13
years having disposable income to spend on entertainment and
Carey said it was important to have a partner that understood the
market and helped lay the groundwork for Formula One by building an
audience through television, digital media, exhibitions and events.
"I think itís much more holistic than Ďis it one or two races?í? I
think thatís putting the cart before the horse," said the American.
[to top of second column]
F1 chairman Chase Carey during an interview REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh
"It starts with 'what are the right relationships to
have to develop the Chinese market and with them develop the
extensions and capability to connect with the marketplace and
Chinese fans in the right way?'.
"Could you have a second race? Yes. But those are discussions to be
had down the road."
Carey said the focus over the next six months would be on developing
a strategy for growing the sport.
"The technology in our sport and the stars make it a great sport to
resonate with the Chinese partner, we just need to build the
platforms to connect with them in the right way," he said.
The chairman, who replaced Bernie Ecclestone at the helm in January
following Liberty Media's takeover of the sport, said any race in
China would attract a substantial crowd.
But that was not the big picture.
"The important thing is going to be 'how do we take whatever events
we have, and all the things we create around the event, and enable
1.3 billion Chinese to connect with them?'," he said.
"I think a second race ... in the priorities of developing the China
market, it's like priority five or six.
"At some point it will be important, but right now itís not the
priority of how do you start to connect with 1.3 billion people in
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Nick Mulvenney)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights
reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten