Facts and statistics ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend, Round 3 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, at Shanghai International Circuit.
The Shanghai International Circuit was designed as the race circuit for the new millennium. And the modern track, with its stunning architecture, has achieved its goal of becoming China’s gateway to the world of Formula One racing since it debuted on the calendar in 2004.
Circuit architects Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl on their creation: “The 5.4 kilometre racing track is shaped like the Chinese character ‘shang’, which stands for ‘high’ or ‘above’.
Other symbols represented in the architecture originate from Chinese history, such as the team buildings arranged like pavilions in a lake to resemble the ancient Yuyan-Garden in Shanghai. Here, nature and technology are carefully used to create harmony between the elements.”
Not only is the course remarkable for its change of acceleration and deceleration within different winding turns, making high demands on the driver as well as the car, but also for its high-speed straights. These offer crucial overtaking opportunities and give an intense and exciting motorsport experience to the spectators. The main grandstand with 29,000 seats provides a spectacular view of almost 80 percent of the circuit. (Source f1.com)
- Lap distance: 5.451km. Total distance: 305.066km (56 laps)
- 2017 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes — One minute 31.678 seconds.
- 2017 winner: Hamilton
- Race lap record: Michael Schumacher (Germany) Ferrari 1:32.238 (2004)
- Start time: 0610 GMT (1410 local)
- Toughest corner Turn One, a 270-degree right-hander. The cars turn in at 300km/h/186mph and scrub off speed as the drivers increase the steering angle towards a late-apex. The drivers are also braking through here; as the aerodynamic load comes off the car they have to be careful not to lock the unloaded inside front wheel
- Unique difficulty Balancing straight-line speed with braking stability and cornering grip. The 1.17km/0.727-mile back straight is the longest of the season and to be competitive in the race, a high top-speed is vital. But take off too much downforce and the car will slide in the corners and wear out its tyres
- Biggest challenge Keeping the tyres in their correct temperature range will be particularly difficult this year. Pirelli is bringing an eclectic range of tyre compounds: the Ultrasoft will act as a qualifying tyre, but there will be no Supersoft rubber and the cars will be forced to jump to a much harder compound at the pit-stops
- Braking There are eight braking events around the lap, which is relatively high, including one of the most severe braking zones of the season, into Turn 14, where longitudinal forces peak at 7g. But the long straights allow the brakes to cool, and that makes it a relatively easy race in terms of brake wear
- Power The cars use 1.7kg of fuel per lap, which is average for the season. But such is the increase in full throttle this year, due to the increased aerodynamic downforce produced by the cars, every race is marginal on fuel without a Safety Car period
- Aero The long straights encourage the teams to take off downforce. That makes the two 270-degree corners very tough, because a precise front-end is crucial to a good lap-time
- Hamilton has 62 victories from 210 races and is second in the all-time list behind seven-times world champion Michael Schumacher (91). Vettel has 49.
- Ferrari have won 231 races since 1950, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 76 and Red Bull 55. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.
- Vettel has won the first two races of the season. The last Ferrari driver to do that was Schumacher in 2004.
- Hamilton has a record 73 career poles. Vettel has 51.
- Max Verstappen, at 20 years old, can become the youngest ever pole sitter this season. The current youngest is Vettel, who did it at the age of 21.
- Hamilton has 119 career podiums and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155). Vettel has 101, Kimi Raikkonen 92.
- Hamilton can set an all-time Formula One record of 28 scoring finishes in a row, having equalled Raikkonen’s previous best of 27.
- Three drivers on the grid have yet to score points in their F1 careers: Rookies Charles Leclerc (Sauber) and Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) and Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley.
- Pierre Gasly’s fourth place in Bahrain for Toro Rosso was his first top-10 finish.
- Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson also scored his first points since 2015 in that race.
Chinese Grand Prix
- The race made its debut on the calendar in 2004 and nine of the 14 Chinese Grands Prix have been won from pole.
- Hamilton is the most successful with five wins (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2017), and is the only driver to have won two years in a row.
- Fernando Alonso has won twice in China (2005, 2013), Vettel and team mate Kimi Raikkonen once each.
- Mercedes have won five times, Ferrari four.
- The circuit saw Red Bull’s first F1 win in 2009.
- Vettel won in Bahrain on his 200th start.
- Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas will be making his 100th race start this weekend.
- McLaren have now gone 100 races since their last victory in 2012.