Prixveiw – Chinese Grand Prix

Prixview Testing & Race Reports

Round three of the season sees Formula One head to China and the city of Shanghai. China held its first F1 race in 2004, and has thrown up many dramas for many years the race was in the final rounds of the season. The circuit was designed around the Chinese character in the name of the city Shanghai, which means “above” or “ascend”.

The circuit was built in the early 2000’s and held its first race in 2004, which was won by Michael Schumacher. The circuit requires high downforce with its long back straight which is 1,170 metres long,  the equivalent to elven football pitches laid end to end, or the same length as three and a half of the world’s biggest aircraft carriers.

The first four corners are tight as the drivers bunch up through the corners before running at high speed all the way to the hairpin at turn six. The track was designed to be tight and technical, with an equal number of right and left-handers, a good mix of corner types, from long sweeps to tight hairpins and a number of straights.

Mercedes have dominated this race since 2013, Nico Rosberg took the team’s first win since 1955. The team has. But for the last four years, Mercedes have dominated with their power and speed, Mercedes power has also seen three other victories since 2008.

Sebastian Vettel took Red Bull’s first win here in 2009, while Michael Schumacher took his final win in 2006. Shanghai has always thrown up great racing and drama, while Lewis Hamilton has the most wins it has not always been a happy place. He crashed out in the pit lane while on course to seal his first title in his debut season in 2007.

Facts and figures

Race 2018 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix
Venue Shanghai International Circuit, Jiading, Shanghai, China
Circuit Length 5.451 km (3.388 mi)
Laps 56
Race Distance 305.066km (189.559 mi)
Lap Record 1:32.238 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
Most wins drivers Lewis Hamilton (5)
Most wins manufacture Mercedes (5)

Fast facts

  • Shanghai s the most populated city in all of China, it tops the list of world cities by population within the city and comes third in the world in terms of commuter zone population with the population of the metropolitan area being thirty five million
  • The circuit configuration has never changed, meaning the current 5.451-kilometre layout is the same as used in that inaugural race more than a decade ago.
  • The circuit was designed around the Chinese character in the name of the city Shanghai, which means “above” or “ascend”.

Event timetable

Session Local BST
P1 10:00-11:30 03:00-04:30
P2 14:00-15:30 07:00-08:30
P3 11:00-12:00 04:00-05:00
Qualifying  14:00-15:00 07:00-08:00
Race 14:10 07:20

What happened in 2017?

Lewis Hamilton took a grand slam in damp conditions to dominate the race and take his sixth win in Shanghai ahead of Sebastian Vettel. The then three times champion made a better start pulling away and left Vettel to fend off his teammate Valtteri Bottas.

In his debut race, Ferrari’s young driver Antonio Giovinazzi crashed out. The Italian aquaplaned as he cross the finish line losing control of his Sauber and spun off into the wall. That gave everyone a free stop and aided Hamilton’s victory. McLaren’s difficult start to the season continued as both Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne retired

What to watch for?

Lewis Hamilton has always gone well in Shanghai and Mercedes have been dominating here since 2013. Hamilton should have the straight-line speed advantage from the Mercedes and as we have seen in the last few races that following cars have been difficult in the last two years.

It will be interesting how far Honda has recovered that deficit in straight line speed, because they have struggled here in the past three years. Ferrari will give us more answers about how genuine the performance is to Mercedes, as I believe the team need to start beating Ferrari has started the season stronger than expected.

2016 vs 2017 Race Data

  P1 Fastest P2 Fastest P3 Fastest Q1 Fastest Q2 Fastest Q3 Fastest Race Time Fastest Lap
2017 01:50.491 Cancelled 01:33.336 01:33.078 01:32.181 01:31.406 01:37:36.158 01:35.423
Diff +12.466 N/a -24.025 -4.077 -4.077 -4.003 -01:40.747 -4.401
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

Data Profile

A lap of Shanghai  

Lewis Hamilton comes across the line heads to the outside gets into eighth gear before turning to the inside breaking un the middle of the corner then goes to the centre before hitting the kerb. Hits outside kerb, before running through to the inside, runs straight through four.

Breaks at 100 metres for six staying on the outside before turning in hits the apex, then runs to the outside opening the throttle up. Goes through the centre of seven then tries to stay left to keep the speed through eight. Little understeer at nine nicely through then nine and ten, then accelerates along the inside.

Breaks 50 metres before twelve, goes to the outside good exit for thirteen. then runs to the outside while opening the car up through the corner, exiting on the outside hits kerb. He keeps the steering wheel as straight as possible before going to the outside breaks at 100 metres turns in and hits the apex.

Runs all the way to the outside re-crosses the track taking as much speed into sixteen runs along the pit side and across the side. doing a 01:31.678.



Team Ultrasoft Soft Medium

L. Hamilton

Mercedes 6 6 1
V. Bottas 6 5


S. Vettel

Ferrari 8 3 2
K. Raikkonen 8 3


D. Ricciardo

Red Bull – Tag Heuer 7 4 2
M. Verstappen 7 4


S. Perez

Force India – Mercedes 6 4 3
E. Ocon 6 4


S. Sirotkin

Williams – Mercedes 8 4 2
L. Stroll 8 3


F. Alonso

McLaren – Renault 8 4 1
S. Vandoorne 8 4


P. Gasly

Toro Rosso –Honda 7 5 1
B. Hartley 7 4


R. Grosjean

Haas – Ferrari 8 4 1
K. Magnussen 8 3


N. Hulkenberg

Renault 7 2 4
C. Sainz 7 2


M. Ericsson Sauber – Alfa Romeo 7 4


C. Leclerc 7 3



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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.

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