Preview – Chinese Grand Prix


Formula One heads to Shanghai for the second race of the 2017 season. Built on marshland twelve miles from the city the circuit cost $450 million it was the most expensive circuit ever built for Formula One when it opened in 2004. Originally, the race was held at the end of the season, but since 2009, it has been firmly held in April.

The layout was inspired by the Chinese character in the name of the city Shanghai, which means “above” or “ascend”. This gives the circuit a high speed fast flowing nature, including one of  the longest straights in Formula One. This challenges the drivers because 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.

Mercedes have won this race for the last four seasons and while the circuit still plays to their strengths as Melbourne proved, they cannot take that for granted following Ferrari’s surprise win.

Facts and figures

Race 2017 Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix
Venue Shanghai International Circuit, Jiading, Shanghai, China
Circuit Length 5.451km (3.388 mi)
Laps 56
Race Distance 305.066km
Lap Record 01:32.238 (Germany Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
Most wins drivers Lewis Hamilton (4)
Most wins manufacture Mercedes (4)


Event timetable

  Local BST
P1 10:00-11:30 03:00-04:30
P2 14:00-15:30 07:00-08:30
P3 12:00-13:00 05:00-06:00
Qualifying  15:00-16:00 08:00-09:00
Race 14:00 07:00

What happened in 2016?

Nico Rosberg took another victory despite losing out to Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton early on in the race. Rosberg had to fight for the win after losing out at the start to Sebastian Vettel, while he collided with Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap which dropped him down the field. The contact between the two Ferraris’s caused Hamilton to take avoiding action when he hit the Sauber of Felipe Nasr.

Vettel blamed his collision on the fast start of Kvyat. The German and the Russian would later meet when Vettel was fighting back later in the race. Kvyat finished third ahead of Riccardo who may have been on the podium if he didn’t suffer a puncher when he was leading.

Full Race Report Full Result

2015 vs 2016 Race Data

  P1 Fastest P2 Fastest P3 Fastest Q1 Fastest Q2 Fastest Q3 Fastest Race Time Fastest Lap
2016 01:38.037 01:36.896 01:57.351 01:37.001 01:36.118 01:35.402 01:38:53.891 01:39.824
Difg -0.004 +4.677 +19.736 -0.501 -0.305 -0.380 -1.897 -2.384
2015 01:39.033 01:32.219 01:37.615 01:37.502 01:36.423 01:35.782 01:39:42.008 01:42.208

Data Profile

A lap of the Shanghai International Circuit

Nico Rosberg goes to the inside on the exit of sixteen and runs along the pit straight against the wall before crossing to the outside of the circuit. He runs along the outside, before breaking just after 50m board before crossing the track. Hits the kerb before crossing the track to the outside briefly before going back to the outside. The circuit then dips down into turn three before opening up the car for turn four.

Flat-out through the kink at five before entering sector two, breaks around the 100m board for six. Runs close to the kerb before heading across the circuit and along the outside before crossing, to the inside for entry then back to the inside for eight. Runs back around the inside at eight dips down into nine taking the outside. Runs to the kerb on exit. Nicely through ten.

Breaks a 100m before the long complex at eleven to thirteen. Then hits the kerb before going across the track. Hits the kerb then runs to the outside and opens up the throttle and accelerates down the long straight, trying to keep his steering wheel a straight as possible. Breaking for fourteen in between 150m and the 100m boards for the hairpin.

Turn in then runs to the outside and along the kerb on exit, before crossing to the inside before darting  back to the outside. Runs along the inside until he crosses the line, with a 01:35.402 on the supersofts.


Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

1 thought on “Preview – Chinese Grand Prix

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.