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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 09:30 GMT 10:30 UK
Shanghai F1 boss 'in graft probe'
Shanghai International Circuit, host to Formula One motor racing
Mr Yu is being questioned over "illegal operations" at the track
The head of Shanghai's showcase Formula One motor racing circuit is being questioned over a major corruption inquiry, a state newspaper reported.

Yu Zhifei, manager of the Shanghai International Circuit, is assisting police in the high-profile case, the Shanghai Securities News said.

The investigation is centred on the alleged misuse of the city's multi-million dollar pension fund.

Several top officials and prominent businessmen have also been implicated.

The government investigation has centred on the alleged misuse of at least one third of the 10bn yuan ($1.2bn) pension fund to make illegal loans and investments in real estate and other infrastructure deals.

Beijing has sent over 100 investigators to Shanghai.

Chen Liangyu on 21 September 2006
1998: Beijing mayor Chen Xitong jailed for corruption
2000: Scores of officials implicated in smuggling scandal in Xiamen
2001: Mayor of Shenyang and his deputy sentenced to death for land deals
2006: Shanghai Party boss Chen Liangyu sacked over pension fund charges

Last month, China's most senior Communist Party official in Shanghai, Chen Liangyu, was sacked for corruption.

Mr Chen, 60, was accused of seeking benefits for companies and relatives and protecting people around him "who had seriously violated discipline and law".

Mr Yu is being questioned over "illegal operations" at the $240m (128m ) F1 track, according to the Shanghai Securities News report.

Earlier reports highlighted Mr Yu's friendship with Mr Chen, whose administration was responsible for bringing motor racing to China.

Mr Yu, 54, is a flamboyant businessman who went from running a small manufacturing company to controlling a Shanghai football club before he took the racing job.

Shanghai's hosting of the Formula One race in future would not be jeopardised by the scandal, according to the report.

The Chinese Grand Prix, last held earlier this month, is staged with government support and has a spectator capacity of 200,000.

The 3.39-mile, 14-turn track is fast and technical. After its debut Grand Prix in 2004 former world champion Michael Schumacher described it as "the best race track I have ever seen".

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