Grand Prix Preview: The Chinese Grand Prix

GPP31

THE 2015 FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX

ROUND 3

Date: 12 April 2015

Name of Circuit: Shanghai International Circuit

First Grand Prix: 2004

Type: Permanent, purpose built race track. Notably long straight. Combination of sharp but quick turns with some slower corners. Medium downforce required.

Circuit Length: 5.451 km

Race Distance: 305.066 km

Laps: 56

Lap Record: 1:32.239 – Michael Schumacher (2004) / Ferrari F2004

Tyre Allocation: Soft (Yellow Wall) and Hard (White Wall)

DRS Zones: 2. One on the long back straight, the other on the pit straight. Each has their own detection point.

2014

Pole: Lewis Hamilton 1:53.860

Fastest Lap: Nico Rosberg 1:40.402 on lap 39

Winner: Lewis Hamilton

GPP31B

 Shanghai International Circuit

 

Formula One’s first visit to the orient is Shanghai China. This classic Hermann Tilke layout pays tribute to his lengthy straights followed by an abrupt hairpin. In fact, Shanghai is home to the longest straight on the F1 calendar at 1170m. Notably the track design was inspired from the Chinese character shang “上”. This “tangled Shang” is guarded by an eternal haze which lazily hangs over the circuit throughout the race weekend. Track surroundings are fogged and blurred. The blacktop’s abrasive surface with long, sharp bends is tough on tyres and the driver’s neck.

The layout itself has a combination of turns – all testing in their own right. The first corner is a prolonged right hander, sharpening over ever meter travelled, the driver throws the car left at the pinnacle of this turn and goes downhill for to finish the first sector. The 2nd sector begins with a rapid left-then-right complex before slowing the car down considerably for a double left hander. Though short, this sector is all about momentum and a good execution is important. The third sector is dominated by the longest straight in F1 with a well cambered right hander slinging the pilots onto it. This straight is so long in fact, there is enough time for fans to pop the kettle on, butter their toast, make a quick phone call and be back in time for the tight hairpin at the end of the 1.1km line.

What to expect

 

The Mercedes front will be on high alert to keep the Ferrari cars at bay. Whether or not the Scuderia can give fans another surprise victory could only be hinted to us in qualifying. Until then, it is anybody’s guess. Red Bull and Renault will be looking to make a mends in China as the French engine supplier will be keen to prove its worth to F1 once again. Red Bull’s sister team Toro Rosso, will be looking to outdo its more successful brother team. As for the British plight on the grid, Williams, Mclaren and Manor will all be looking to do some damage control. For the rest of the field, it seems the usual suspects will be fighting it out in the mid-field with Force India and Sauber in the thick of it. Dark horse Lotus, will be looking to sneak out of the messy mid-field and head for the drivers up front.

Dane Hansen

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About dphansen24

I am an avid freelance Formula 1 writer and blogger. My writings are diverse and range from historical insights, to thorough and exciting analysis of the modern era and the topics that come with it. I am also able to take in requests from readers that wish to gain vision into particular stories. All are welcome. I encourage constructive criticism and conversation in comments or via email. My passion for the world’s fastest show consumes my daily efforts and I am always enthused to write about the sport I love most. Even as a pundit, I too have a curiosity and am always ready to learn more about an ever expanding sport.

Posted on April 8, 2015, in Grand Prix in Preview and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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