CIRCUITS: SHANGHAI INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT

Name: Shanghai International Circuit

The People's Republic of China had wanted to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix as early as April 1992 the Chinese announced plans to build an international standard racing facility on a 1000-acre site at Zhuhai, near Hong King. The following year China hosted its first motor race on a makeshift street circuit in the city and representatives from Zhuhai met F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone to discuss the possibility of a Chinese GP. The track was ready in 1996 and two years later was given a date on the Formula 1 World Championship calendar although it was later removed from the calendar because of infrastructure problems.

Zhuhai faded away and with Beijing bidding for the Olympic Games of 2008, the city of Shangahi decided that it would turn to F1 for international recognition. In the summer of 2001 the city budgeted $400m in order to create the Shanghai International Circuit, in the north-western suburbs of the city. The plan was for the race to support Shanghai's drive to become the Detroit of the East. In July 2002 the Shanghai authorities announced that they had signed a deal to host a Chinese GP between 2004 and 2010. Work began almost immediately and the construction crews had to overcome serious problems with the marshy ground at the site. More than 2 million cubic meters of earth were moved and 40,000 foundation piles were driven into the ground but quickly the facility rose up from the old paddy fields. The work involved several ground-breaking technologies in the construction industry. All went to plan at by the end of 2004 the circuit was ready for F1.

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