Shanghai wows F1 teams

The mind-boggling new facilities at China's Shanghai International Circuit have once again drawn attention to some of the shortcomings of European Grand Prix venues according to F1's team bosses

Shanghai wows F1 teams

Renault F1 principal Flavio Briatore said: "You see places like Malaysia and Bahrain and you are impressed. Already Bahrain, for me, was state of the art, but this one is even better. In Europe the facilities and the circuits are very poor by comparison. We have six or seven circuits not suitable for F1 anymore." Among those singled out were Magny-Cours, Silverstone, predictably, and Imola.

Jaguar boss Tony Purnell, however, pointed out that for many reasons it is not a valid comparison and that the best solution for F1 is to have more races, incorporating the traditional events as well as the new world races.

"I think the way it's heading is that we are going to have more races," Purnell said. "Formula 1 attracts massive publicity, people want to see it and the solution seems to be to give them more races. I think that's the way it's going to head whether the teams find it arduous or not.

"The great European races need to be kept alive and the new world tracks used to their fullest extent. It's actually a good problem to have. Don't forget, this is the newest track in the world, so it should be the best, and the European ones are 20/30 years old."

Eddie Jordan agreed: "You have to make sure you keep raising the bar, and this has done it again. What is happening, unfortunately, is that the flyaway races seem to have a better edge to them at the moment and there is more excitement. Next year we're going to Turkey and then there's talk of a race in northern Africa or one in Russia. There is a demand and usually supply and demand come together well.

"These countries see that there is a huge economic value for it, and maybe the Europeans have got a little lazy or tired. Or maybe there's too much sport - football, rugby, golf and everything else. In China maybe this is the biggest sporting event on their calendar, so they are making sure they are putting in a huge effort to get full recognition and value."

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