2016 Track Preview: Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai

china_shanghai_international_circuit

The Shanghai International Circuit is 5.45 kilometers long and features 16 corners, nine right-handers and seven left-handers. With a unique combination of slow spiraling corners, fast corners, hairpins, long and short straights put high demands on the braking systems in the cars, making Shanghai one of the most challenging circuits of the F1 season. In common with many other Formula 1 circuits, it was designed by German architect Hermann Tilke.

The circuit is ideal for overtaking as it has one of the longest straights, 1.1 kilometers, on the Formula 1 race calendar. The key to the long straight is the sequence of corners just prior to it and therefore downforce tends towards the higher end. The track has a width ranging from 13 to 20 meters. The highest up-going slope stands at 3 percent and the down slope 8 percent. There have been some problems with rain drainage and heavy rain often causes long safety car deployments.

Shanghai International Circuit took just 18 months to complete. The load on the soil would be too heavy to take, therefore 40,000 stone pillars were inserted into the marshland to give a stable base for the track. The venue was officially opened on 6 June 2004 and can hold around 200,000 spectators.

Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello won the Chinese Grand Prix in its debut year. At a cost of $240 million, the Shanghai Circuit was the most expensive Formula One racetrack to build. Shanghai Circuit also is a place for promotions, car displays, exhibitions, press conferences, and massive activities.

Here’s my facts and figures as well as my predictions heading into the Chinese Grand Prix this weekend…

Facts and Figures

  • Shanghai has hosted the Grand Prix since 2004, even though China had a provisional track and the Grand Prix added to the calendar in 1999.
  • Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver to win the Grand Prix with three wins
  • Ferrari are the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with four wins
  • Race distance: 305.06km (189.56 miles)
  • Number of turns:16
  • Top speed: 317kph
  • Lap record: Michael Schumacher- Ferrari (2004)- 1.32.238

Last five winners of the Chinese Grand Prix:-

  • 2011-Lewis Hamilton
  • 2012-Nico Rosberg
  • 2013- Fernando Alonso
  • 2014- Lewis Hamilton
  • 2015- Lewis Hamilton

My top five predictions for the Chinese Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my top five predictions for the Chinese Grand Prix as follows:-

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Valtteri Bottas

Based on what the top five drivers have managed to achieve in the first two Grand Prixs, I believe that Rosberg might have the edge over Hamilton this weekend in Shanghai. With Rosberg winning his first race at the circuit in 2012 and he enjoys racing at the track; he will want to do well this weekend.

Hamilton will also want to repeat his performance from last year and gain on the championship gap that Rosberg has and also keep Vettel behind him as well who I believe could challenge the Mercedes pairing this year; provided that Ferrari keep going in the same direction they are currently. And finally, I believe that Raikkonen and Bottas could both have solid weekends provided that they are able to get the right set ups on their cars over the weekend.

Do you agree with my predictions for this weekend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and the BBC also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 2.45am and 6.45am [Replays throughout Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 4.45am and 7.00am [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 5.30am
  • Channel Four- Saturday (Qualifying highlights) 12.00pm, Sunday (Race highlights) 1.30pm
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