F1 drivers say they can tell the sport is taking off in China from the attention they get at their hotels, but are puzzled why more fans don?t turn up to the race.
Speaking in a press conference today Felipe Massa suggested the cost of ticket prices may put some fans off attending the race.
?We just need a little bit more people to watch the race,? he said, ?because here ? I don?t know if it?s too expensive or what ? but people they are always in the hotel waiting for you, a lot of fans, but maybe they are not here on the track. We need to push on that.?
Jenson Button says he has seen an increase in interest in the race but suspects it needs to be promoted better to Chinese fans.
?I actually think the last couple of years we?ve had more people at the race, more supporters,? he said. ?Obviously the first year there was quite a lot because it was new and exciting but I think the last couple of years have been pretty good.?
?It still looks like we need more advertising in the city because when you?re in the city you don?t know there?s a grand prix going on apart from the fans outside of the hotel.
?It?s great to see how passionate they are about the sport and it?s men and women as well, which is good. Hopefully it can just keep growing like obviously China?s economy has.?
Massa also praised the improvements made in the transport network around the circuit. ?Since I came here for the first time, it was 2004, until now you see how much this place developed,? he said.
?I remember in the first year it was taking more than two hours in traffic to be from the city to the track and now it?s much better to see how much this country developed and see how much nicer it is to be here, the people. So it?s nice, I enjoy a lot to come here in China and it?s also a nice track.?
2015 Chinese Grand Prix
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