A lot of Formula 1 fans complain that there are too many races these days outside the sport’s traditional heartland in Europe. Grand Prix racing used to be all about Monaco, Monza, Spa, Silverstone and the Nürburgring.

There were extraneous races, but the 'World Championship' was actually a bit of a misnomer, although not perhaps on the scale of Major League Baseball’s World Series.

In the last 10 years Bernie Ecclestone has taken F1 global. Where once there were 10 races in Europe and six 'flyaways', today we have 11 races outside Europe and only seven or eight on the traditional European tracks. And Europe’s dominance will weaken further as F1 aims to consolidate its presence in the Americas. These strategic moves offer the world’s largest companies a package that no other sport can match.

This is all the more important when you realize that this year, for the first time, China is almost certainly going to produce more cars than all the European countries combined. Europe’s share of global automobile manufacturing is down to only just 20 per cent of the total.

The new car owners in Asia may not have embraced F1 as yet, but these things take time…