Key Strategic Moment
The Key Strategic Moment of the 2015 FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX was in the second stint of the race, when the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 team changed its strategy and put both drivers onto soft tyres instead of the mediums. In order to make the tyres last 18 laps, Lewis Hamilton had to manage them by driving slowly.
This backed up team mate Nico Rosberg, who was in second place, towards the Scuderia Ferrari car of Sebastian Vettel. At the second stop, Vettel tried to undercut Rosberg, but the Mercedes team covered the situation by letting Rosberg pit first.
The Mercedes cars were then faster on the medium tyres than the Ferraris and the 1-2 finish was secure.
Race Strategy Briefing
Because of its layout, with some long, tight corners, a significant percentage of the lap time in Shanghai is spent turning and so this is a circuit where the cars are limited by the way they use their front tyres. This will be even more true this year as the Pirelli rear tyres are much stronger than in 2014. Teams will have to work around how many laps their car‘s front tyres will last before performance drops off and they must plan their strategy around their relative strength or weakness in this area compared to the opposition. Overtaking is easy here because of the long straight (1.17km), so teams can plan for the fastest strategy, knowing that passing through traffic will not be a huge problem.
In collaboration with James Allen
April 12 | 14:00 local time, 8:00 CET
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
2014 race winner Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)