China, Bahrain could swap places on roster
22 September 2017 – Formula 1 commercial chief Sean Bratches is "incredibly optimistic" that China will remain on the calendar next season, though says it could swap places with Bahrain.
China was one of two Grands Prix, along with Singapore, to be listed as provisional on the 2018 calendar, subject to confirmation of a new contract.
It is set to host the second round of the season on April 8, with Bahrain's Sakhir circuit given the third round a week later, in a back-to-back sequence.
However, Shanghai's F1 race currently coincides with the Qingming national holiday, also known as Tomb Sweeping-Day, when families pay respects to ancestors.
Bratches says talks are ongoing to find an amicable solution.
"We're trying to take into account global events, local events, religious holidays and things to ensure that we're maximising the opportunity for fans to attend the Grands Prix," he told Reuters.
"We're talking to both of them [China and Bahrain] to that end and if we can reach a mutually agreed upon solution, which appears to be on track to happen, you'll probably see that."
On the subject of F1 chiefs agreeing a new deal with China, as per Singapore last week, Bratches added: "We're incredibly optimistic on bringing that to fruition."
Formula 1's 2018 calendar was announced back in June, with France and Germany returning, and a 'triple header' featuring in the middle phase of the season.