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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 08:20 GMT 09:20 UK
China's F1 track chief dismissed
Yu Zhifei, general manager of Shanghai International Circuit, in 2004 file photo
Yu Zhifei helped bring the Formula One circus to China
The head of China's Formula One racing track and two others have been fired as part of a corruption investigation, Chinese state media report.

Yu Zhifei, general manager of the Shanghai International Circuit, was accused of using public money to buy a house and of taking bribes, media said.

The sackings were related to an inquiry into misuse of Shanghai's pension fund.

The scandal has already led to the sacking of Chen Liangyu, who was the city's Communist Party secretary.

Last September he became the most senior party official to be dismissed in more than a decade.

Corruption widespread

Yu Zhifei managed and helped develop Shanghai's Formula One racing track, and organised the Grand Prix - one of China's showpiece international events.

The state-of-the-art track, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, hosted the country's first Grand Prix in September 2004.

Mr Yu has been expelled from the Communist Party and is facing criminal charges, the Shanghai Daily and other newspapers said.

The former district chief, Chen Chaoxian, was also sacked and so too was Ling Baoheng, the former director of the city's state-owned asset supervision board.

Despite China's market reforms, Communist Party officials still have control over large parts of manufacturing, banking and real estate.

Corruption is a widespread and growing problem which the Chinese government is struggling to control, says the BBC's Quentin Sommerville in Shanghai.

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