Grand Prix History
The vision of a Chinese grand prix started in the early 1990's. The Chinese government had originally planned for an F1 circuit to be located in the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, southern China. A racing circuit was designed and built and was provisionally added to the 1999 F1 World Championship calendar, but the track failed to meet standards set by the FIA. However, the Chinese government, with assistance from the organisers of the Macau Grand Prix, set about organising a successful race track. In 2002, it was announced that the Shanghai circuit had signed a 7 year contract to host the Chinese Grand Prix starting in 2004, and ending in the 2011 season. The Chinese Grand Prix debuted on the Formula One calendar on September 26, 2004, and was won by Rubens Barrichello. The following year it hosted the final race of the Formula One championship, where world champion Fernando Alonso emerged victorious, and with it claimed the constructor's title for Renault F1. In 2006, the Grand Prix became the final race in which Michael Schumacher was victorious.
Grand Prix Information
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Circuit length 5.4 km (3.36 miles)
Race length 305.066 km (189.60 miles)
Most wins by single driver Rubens Barichello / Fernando Alonso / Michael Schumacher (1)
Most wins by single constructor Ferrari (2)
Lap Record Race 1:32.238
Lap Record Driver Michael Schumacher (2004)
Tires Prime Hard
Tires Optional Medium
Last Race (2006)
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Winner Michael Schumacher
Winning team Ferrari
Winning time 1:37:32.747
Pole time 1:44.360
Pole driver Fernando Alonso
Pole team Renault
Fastest lap 1:37.586
Fastest lap driver Fernando Alonso
Fastest lap team Renault
Kimi Raikkonen’s lap of the circuit
The lap starts on the long pit straight, we power along the 600 metre section reaching speeds of 305km/h in sixth gear as we pass underneath the impressive grandstand walkway. As we reach the first corner we are down to fifth gear travelling at 234km/h, here we should pull 3.4G. This corner is very long as it sweeps round to the right, it is immediately followed by the right then left of turns two and three. Our speeds drop quite low through here to 107km/h as it is quite tight and we need to be in second gear.
As we exit turn three, we will have to push on the throttle to build up speed as we pass through the slight kinks of turns four and five that gently flick the track first left then right on the run down to turn six. We hit about 291km/h along here reaching sixth gear before braking hard for the hairpin of six, which will see us drop down into second gear and 102km/h.
Coming out of the hairpin there is a short straight that leads to a long, wide, sweeping S of seven and eight, with the track first curving to the left and then to the right. This is a chance to get the speed back up again and we reach 265km/h over turn seven and only lifting slightly for the apex of eight.
The two almost 90-degree bends of nine and ten follow which see us drop down to second gear and 137km/h before coming onto the short straight which leads to the tight left of eleven. We can reach speeds of 284km/h coming into turn 11 but drop down to second gear and 91km/h for the turn.
This then takes you onto another long sweeping right hander, similar to the complex at the end of the pit straight. This double-apex bend swings us back round on ourselves onto a straight that runs parallel to the one we were just on. The corner is the widest section of the track and it is fairly long so we are able to increase our speed to 249km/h as we drive through it and are back in fifth gear as we exit onto the back straight. This corner is particularly important for a quick lap time, as it swings round onto the longest straight, which is just over one kilometre.
We need to ensure we have the maximum speed possible as we exit the corner so that we have the momentum to power along the back straight at speeds nearing 326km/h in sixth. A hard braking zone at the end of the straight for the two rights of fourteen and fifteen as we descend to second gear and 88km/h for these corners. Again on the power for a short straight that takes you to the final corner, a 90-degree left-hander taken at 181km/h in third gear returning you to the pit straight.
Can Lewis claim his first Formula 1 World Championship here?
Who will be on the podium?
Will we see another wet race?