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China gets new three-year Formula 1 contract to end of 2020

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Formula 1 will continue to visit China for the next three years after announcing a new contract for the race in Shanghai lasting until the end of 2020.

China first hosted F1 at the Shanghai International Circuit back in 2004, joining the calendar as part of the sport’s push into Asia that also saw the likes of Bahrain, Singapore, Abu Dhabi and Korea stage races.

The race’s pre-existing contract expired after this year’s running in April, but F1’s new bosses were keen to keep the race on the calendar given the size and importance of the Chinese market.

On Friday, F1 issued a statement confirming a new three-year deal had been agreed with the promoters of the race in Shanghai, securing its place on the calendar through to the end of 2020.

“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement which will see the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix continue as a fixture of the Formula 1 World Championship for at least a furthe three years,” F1 CEO and chairman Chase Carey said.

“This great country has already demonstrated an overwhelming show of interest in our sport and we firmly believe there is still a great deal of unexplored potential here. 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.

“Finally, we wish to thank the Shanghai Municipal Government for the support it has given and continues to give to the Grand Prix, which has been a crucial element of its success.”

As part of the new deal, China is confirmed to be swapping dates with Bahrain for 2018, the latter becoming the second round of the season on April 8.

Shanghai will stage its race one week later on April 15 in order to avoid clashing with a national holiday in China.

F1 2017 driver review: Kevin Magnussen

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Kevin Magnussen

Team: Haas
Car No.: 20
Races: 20
Wins: 0
Podiums: 0
Best Finish: P7 (Azerbaijan)
Pole Positions: 0
Fastest Laps: 0
Points: 19
Championship Position: 14th

Kevin Magnussen’s move to Haas proved to be a win-win situation for both parties through 2017 as they banished the struggles of the previous Formula 1 season.

For Magnussen, the move came after a difficult one-season stint with Renault who despite offering him a way back into F1 after a year on the sidelines were unable to produce a car allowing the Dane to fight far up the order.

Haas had not expected to be able to be that much further ahead, but Magnussen nevertheless immediately offered an uplift in performance after replacing Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to score a single point through 2016.

Magnussen picked up Haas’ first points of the season with a solid drive in China, and was able to capitalize on the bonkers Baku race to take P7, which would ultimately be his best result of the season.

Consistency was a real issue for Haas throughout the year as it continued to have teething problems most new teams encounter, and while Magnussen was more able to drive around the problems than teammate Romain Grosjean, he lacked the ultimate pace of his teammate.

That said, Magnussen’s season highlight came in Mexico, a track Haas expected to be its worst of the season. The ex-McLaren driver qualified on the last row but produced a stunning display to finish eighth, soaking up pressure from Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton late on.

The signs are positive moving forward. Next year should be Haas’ best yet thanks to the stability in the regulations, presenting a good opportunity for Magnussen to prove his star quality.

Season High: Taking P8 in Mexico when Haas expected to be slowest.

Season Low: Lagging home P15 at Spa as Grosjean hit the points.