Race Preview: China
The inside track to the third round of the 2018 season. Find out what’s coming up by reading our race preview.
The 5.451km Shanghai International Circuit first appeared on the calendar in 2004 and this year’s race represents the 15th edition of the event. Designed by Hermann Tilke, the track features an intriguing 270-degree right-hander combination to open the lap with extremely high-speeds reached down the back straight which measures over 1km in length. In past years, rain has played a significant role in deciding the outcome of the race so expect the unexpected.
Shanghai International Circuit
One of the most challenging combination of corners on the calendar, turns 1 and 2 are an ever-tightening 270-degree right-hander, followed by a tight, switch-back left. Drama is to be expected here on the opening lap.
After a technical and tricky start to the lap, turn 6 provides a great overtaking opportunity as the drivers stamp hard on the brakes to slow down for the tight right-hander.
Coming out of turn 13 the drivers head on to the long back straight, which also acts as a DRS activation zone. Heavy braking is required at the end of the straight as the drivers are greeted with a tight hairpin right-hander, offering a fantastic overtaking opportunity as we approach the end of the lap.
A deceptively difficult left-hander, turn 16 sees drivers head back on to the start-finish straight. It is critical to carry as much speed through the corner and on to the straight but be wary of running wide on to the kerbs on exit, they can be very slippery.
Press the marked areas to learn more about each
Q: How challenging is the track on a low-med-high scale?
A: With its long straights, the Shanghai International Circuit puts a lot of demand on the engine so it’s imperative that the fuel delivers top end power. However, given the 105kg fuel limit, it’s critical to get the trade-off between performance and efficiency right.
Q: What challenges do you face as a team?
A: With the race taking place just one week after Bahrain, a quick turnaround is required so that the Track Lab team is ready for the start of the weekend. The flyaway Track Lab is in use for this race too, meaning space is a little bit more restricted than at European races.
Michael Schumacher’s final victory for Scuderia Ferrari, and in F1, came at the Shanghai circuit in 2006.
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