Chinese Grand Prix – Preview

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Formula One continues its Asian tour this weekend, visiting China to host its third round of 2018 world championship. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel is currently leading the Drivers’ Championship while his team is at the top of the Constructors’ Championship.

The quadruple champion scored the hightest amount of points available after the first two rounds with his two surprise victories. His douple triumph came as a surprise after a less promising winter test period. With Mercedes’ frightening speed and with cooler, changeable weather, the reigning world champion squad is fully prepared to bounce back and score its maiden victory of the current season.


This weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix will be its 15th edition. Formula One started its flirt with the huge Asian country back in 2004. However, the vision of a Grand Prix ont he Chinese soil started more than a decade earlier. The Chinese government wanted to host a Formula One race ont he Zhuhai International Circuit, but the track failed to meet certain standards set by the FIA. However, the government did not give up its plans and agreed with the FIA in 2002 to host a Grand Prix from 2004.

The Chinese Grand Prix debuted on 26 September 2004, and was won by Ferrari's Rubens Barrichello. In September 2017, a new three-year contract to host the race was announced, keeping the race on the calendar until 2020.

The Chinese Grand Prix has had various sponsoers over its history. Sinopec, UBS, Pirelli served as sponsors and Heineken is the title-giving sponsor since 2017.

The vast country

China, officially the People's Republic of China is a unitary sovereign state in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Its capital is Beijing, but Shaghai which hosts the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix is the largest city in the state.

The total area of the People’s Republic of China is 9596961 km2, of which 2,8 per cent is water, with its area, China is the third largest country. China has the most neighbor countries i the world.

The country which emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations is governed by the Communist Party of China.

China The official language is the standard Chinese, but languages as Mongolian, Uygur, Tibetan or Zhuang are also recognised regional languages.

Interesting facts about the country

The Chinese New Year celebration lasts for 15 days. In China, every year is represented by one of 12 animals. China’s Bailong Elevator carries visitors more than 300m up a cliff’s edge. You can buy green-bean-flavoured ice pops in China! In Ancient China, soldiers sometimes wore armour made from paper. The Forbidden City, a palace complex in Beijing, contains about 9,000 rooms! The mortar used to bind the Great Wall’s stones was made with sticky rice! Temperatures in China”s Turpan Depression can range from 49°C in summer to -29°C in winter. China is about the same size as the continental USA but it only has one official time zone. Continental USA has four. Hong Kong has more skyscrapers than any other city in the world. China’s giant pandas are good swimmers.

Track characteristics

The circuit is among the longest track with its length of 5.451km. Drivers have to circulate 56 times around the complex to complete the full race distance of 305.066km.
The official lap record is 1:32.239 which was set by Michael Schumacher in the 2004 Chinese Grand Prix.

The track is made up by 16 corners, of which seven are left-handed ones. There are remarkably many long bends which generate immense load into the front tyres. It means a stable, precise front end of the car is a key to master the circuit and to unlock its full potential.

The pole position is usually important at least for the first part of the race as overtaking after the start is rather difficult coming into the middle-speed first bend despite to the relatively long distance of 458.1m from the pole position to the first corner.

After a tricky pit entry, drivers have to travel 383m long at the pit limit speed of 80kph. This period is 17.2s without completing a tyre change.

Drivers apply full throttle 54 per cent of the lap, but they are close to full thottle in many corners due to the very high cornering speeds in a few bends. The fuel consumption is 1.7 kg per lap which means an estimated amount of 95.2kg during the race. It makes the Grand Prix a less fuel-sensitive circuit which comes as a relief after the fuel-killing Melbourne and Bahrain track.
There are seven braking zones, but only one is considered as a heavy one. This is the braking event after the mesmerizingly long back straight.

Turn one and turn four usually serves as overtaking spots. The FIA mandates as usual two DRS zones for the Chinese track: the first one is the main straight while drivers can activate their drag reduction system on the back straight for the second time during the lap.

Pirelli supplies the teams with the trio of ultrasoft, soft and medium tyres which means it skips one compound, the supersoft.