F1 managing director Ross Brawn has defended the eventual decision to stage the 1000th world championship race in China.
There was already too much confusion over the number 1000 in the media ahead of the Chinese GP last weekend and on top of that China hosting a milestone F1 event, it made many chew their lips with the country being a non-traditional venue.
Majority felt that circuits like Monaco, Monza, Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone should have hosted the event instead of Shanghai International Circuit. However, it was evident that China will be the hosts long back and logistically it won’t be possible to shift it.
In fact, looking back at the other milestone events, the 100th was hosted at Nurburgring Nordschleife (Germany), followed by the 200th at Monaco – arguably the only two iconic venues in the list, as the 300th was at Kyalami (South Africa).
It followed with 400th at Red Bull Ring (Austria), 500th at Adelaide (Australian GP), 600th at Autodromo de Buenos Aires Juan y Oscar Galvez (Argentina), 700th at Interlagos (Brazil), 800th at Marina Bay (Singapore) and 900th at Bahrain.
Looking at the list, only Nurburing and Monaco has historic relevance in current times with probably Interlagos can be counted in in too apart from the top two. And so, F1 chief Brawn has so defended the call to keep the event in China as a ‘new frontier’ venue.
“It was an historic weekend for F1,” he started. “Celebrating the milestone of 1000 races is quite amazing, and is proof of this sport’s deep roots, not just in the world of motorsport, but it is also significant that it took place in China, as this is one of the new frontiers for F1.
“It’s true that the sport, which we have loved since we were kids, has its roots in Europe on tracks like Spa, Silverstone, Monza and Monaco, which have been figured heavily on the calendar since the sport’s first season in 1950, but F1 is now a global sport and China is a venue that has the greatest potential for growth.
“That fact was evident with a 10% increase in the crowd, with 160,000 turning up over the three days. The downtown Shanghai Heineken F1 Festival was also a great success, bringing the sport closer to people who possibly had no previous interest in F1.
“They got a real feel for the excitement of being near these cars on the streets of the city. Now we start another ‘millennium’ but more importantly, we are in the crucial phase of defining the future of this sport.
“Along with the FIA and the teams, we are listening to what the fans have to say as we put together all the pieces of the jigsaw. We hope that like the 1000 pieces we have put together so far, that it will continue to enthral millions of fans around the world.”
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