Chinese F1 GP agrees new 3-year deal until 2020

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen of Finland steers his car during the first practice session for the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix at Sepang International Circuit in Sepang, Malaysia, Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Daniel Chan)

The Chinese Grand Prix will continue to host races until 2020 after a new three-year deal was announced on Friday

SEPANG, Malaysia — The Chinese Grand Prix will continue to host races until 2020 after a new three-year deal was announced on Friday.

Races have been held at the Shanghai International Circuit since 2004.

"We firmly believe there is still a great deal of unexplored potential here," F1 chief executive Chase Carey said in a statement. "That's why this renewed agreement is so important as part of our development strategy, especially in this part of the world. We and our partners in this venture want to make this Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix even more spectacular, while bringing Chinese fans ever closer to the sport."

Two weeks ago, a new four-year deal was announced for the Singapore GP to continue hosting races until 2021.

The motorsport series came under new ownership this year when the U.S. sports and entertainment firm Liberty Media bought out investment fund CVC Capital Partners, with Carey ending Bernie Ecclestone's near-40 year reign in charge.

Carey has big plans to expand F1's reach, both in terms of adding more races and increasing its digital appeal, an area largely neglected by Ecclestone. He has also identified Asia and the Americas as key markets, with plans for another race in the United States.

Malaysia, however, is dropping off the calendar next year due to a massive shortfall in attendances at the Sepang circuit, which has hosted F1 races since 1999 and remains one of the most popular among drivers.

Next year's Chinese GP will be moved to April 15, meaning that the Bahrain GP moves forward to April 8.

This must be approved by the World Motor Sport Council of governing body FIA before it goes through.

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