Chinese Grand Prix officials are weighing up whether or not to extend their Formula One contract beyond 2010, with the race's future in the balance because of the huge costs of holding the event.
The race in Shanghai arrived onto the F1 calendar with huge fanfare in 2004, but poor ticket sales and suggestions that title sponsor Sinopec will not renew for next year have left question marks over the race's future.
A senior track official told news agency AFP that there was a chance the race could be dropped once the current contract runs out in 2010.
Qiu Weichang, deputy director of the Shanghai Administration of Sports, was quoted as saying: "We're doing the assessment. By next year we should be able to give you an answer."
He added: "We want to create a win-win situation, for our side and for Bernie (Ecclestone) and the F1 organisers as well. If this is something we can do, and our cooperation is very happy and smooth, we will consider it.
"Of course we would like at least to break even. But there are two factors, one is the assessment the other part is the win-win situation that we can create."
Future costs for Shanghai could also increase if Ecclestone puts pressure on race organisers to turn the event into a night race in a bid to boost European television audiences. Qiu said he was not convinced such a move was right for China.
"In Singapore... holding the event at night is a good way to attract tourists to a small country," he said. "It's obviously enlightened us quite a bit but we will decide based on our own situation what we're going to do to attract fans.
"I think Singapore is hosting this event in their own unique way but we have our own situation."