Another Asian addition to the 2004 season, once again designed by Hermann Tilke was the Shanghai circuit. The layout is based on the Chinese sign of 'Shang' meaning 'rising' and has been constructed on thousands of polystyrene blocks in swampy land. It has a contrasting blend of fast-flowing turns and some tricky, slow sections. The venue boasts one of the largest and most impressive paddock facilities on the calendar. A fast, sweeping section mid-way through the lap challenges the drivers to keep their right foot pinned down and extract the most from their machinery on the all-important qualifying lap. The circuit has hosted some dramatic races in its eleven-year history. Michael Schumacher pulled off a brilliant victory in wet conditions in 2006 while Lewis Hamilton saw his title hopes fade in 2007 when he got beached in a gravel trap entering the pit-lane. Nico Rosberg claimed his first pole position and race victory here in 2012 for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team.
Circuit length 5.451 km
Race distance 305.066 km
2013 race winner Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
Race Strategy Briefing
Shanghai has been won on strategy many times. It is all about getting the front tyres at the optimum temperature, especially for qualifying. The front tyres are the limiting factor at this circuit, where the race is usually held in cooler temperatures than Malaysia and Bahrain. The teams now have a good knowledge of the Pirelli soft and medium tyres which will be used here.
The long main straight is going to sort out the teams’ power units, with the Mercedes engine cars expected to gain ground. However with 80% of the lap spent cornering, particularly the two long slow right handed corners, this will help Red Bull to gain back any ground lost on the straights.
In collaboration with James Allen