Shanghai is a sell-out

Organisers of the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix claim to have sold all 150,000 initial tickets available to the general public, bringing in more than £20 million according to the Shanghai Star newspaper

Shanghai is a sell-out

The tickets prices range between approximately £25 and £250 in a country where the average annual wage is less than £600 per annum. An average wage for the Shanghai area is thought to be around four times that.

The Shanghai circuit has a 200,000 capacity but there will be empty seats on Sunday. The official line is that an extra 10,000 tickets have been released, and almost all sold, but that a 160,000 cap has been imposed to make the traffic situation manageable.

With huge local interest in the race, a healthy black market for tickets has developed with many being sold on the internet and the more expensive tickets fetching £700.

In the early days of the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka, demand for tickets reached almost six times the allocation and a draw was held to decide who was eligible to buy tickets.

According to the Shanghai papers, race merchandise is proving highly popular, with a set of Jaguar pitlane fireproof overalls on sale for around £1000, and all things with a prancing horse logo doing a roaring trade.

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