Wei Di, the director of the Automobile and Motorcycling Administrative Center, part of the country’s General Administration of Sport, says that a Chinese group is bidding to acquire a Formula 1 team and that “in the next one to two years, China will have its own F1 team”.
He did not say who was behind the idea. The organisation he heads is the state-run sports organization which serves as the permanent administrative body of the Federation of Automobile Sports (FASC), the country’s FIA-linked sporting federation. It was established in 2002 in order to organize, direct and promote automobile and motorcycle sports in China.
These reports were followed by an announcement today from the State Council, China’s cabinet, that the country intends to grow its sporting sector into a $813 billion industry (yes, you did read that right) by 2025 to boost employment and domestic consumption. A policy document issued by the Council says that private investment will be encouraged, new sports facilities will be built and the government will support the sector. This is part of the current shift that is going on to create what the Chinese are calling “a new economy”, moving away from heavy industry.