View from grandstand during practice session for the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai. File photo Wang Zhao / AFP

Sepang, Malaysia - China will continue to host a Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai for at least three more years.

Formula One said on its website on Friday the Chinese Grand Prix, which made its debut in September 2004, would take place a week later in 2018, on 15 April, swapping places with the Bahrain race, which will move to 8 April.

The current Shanghai race weekend coincides with China's Qingming three-day national holiday, also known as the Tomb Sweeping Festival, when families pay respects to their ancestors.

F1 Chairman and CEO Chase Carey said: "We are very pleased to have reached an agreement which will see the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix continue as a fixture of the world championship for at least a further three years

"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."

Motorsport showpiece

The 2017 race, won by world championship leader Lewis Hamilton for a record-extending fifth time, was set to be the last under the previous contract.

Jiang Lan, chairman of Shanghai Juss Sports Development, the company that organises the race, said the Chinese Grand Prix had become "one of the most prestigious and recognised events" on the Formula One calendar.

"Since its Shanghai debut in 2004, the Formula One Chinese F1 Grand Prix has become a motorsport showpiece for China but also a fixture for all of Asia Pacific and global motorsports fans,” he added.

Friday’s announcement comes as Malaysia, which pioneered Formula One’s push into Asia, is set to host its final Grand Prix at Sepang, while Singapore agreed a four-year extension earlier in September, keeping it on the calendar until 2021.

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