Chinese Grand Prix
Join Live Racing to watch Chinese Grand Prix live from Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai. Catch all the 2012 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix F1 action live — practice, qualifying, and race — on 13–15 April 2012 or anytime after via replay. Access Chinese GP Formula 1 championship streams and feeds aggregated from sources worldwide. Never miss a race again!
- Next Race Date — 15th April 2012
- Location — Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China
- Number of Laps — 56
- Circuit Length — 5.451 km (3.387 mi)
- Race Distance — 305.256 km (189.677 mi)
Chinese GP Overview
The Shanghai International Circuit host of the Chinese Grand Prix is in the Jiading District of Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The Shanghai International Circuit is high on the favourites list to all fans. The circuit is tough on rubber with two long straights and 16 corners of varying character. Heavy braking, extreme lateral loads and high demands on traction all take their toll on driver and machine. Throw all that in with a weather that tends to have a mind of its own, you are guaranteed action and more than often, an unexpected result. No driver has ever won the Chinese GP more than once since it arrived within Formula One in 2004, with the circuit having seven different names on the winners list every year, no driver or team is guaranteed anything at the Shanghai Circuit, the only certainty is that Formula One fans are always guaranteed a great race.
Architectural and design experts began planning and visiting the site between April and May 2003, and the area was transformed from swampland to an international racetrack in 18 months with a team of around 3000 engineers working around the clock. The circuit was designed as the race circuit for the new millennium. And the modern track, with its stunning architecture, has achieved its goal of becoming China’s gateway to the world of Formula One racing costing approximately $450 million. It was designed by Hermann Tilke and the new facility with its massive main grandstands, amazing media facilities and unparalleled team facilities set a new standard that other race circuits must now aspire to. The Main Grandstand with 29,000 seats provides a spectacular view of almost 80 percent of the circuit
The 5.451 km racing track is shaped like the Chinese character ‘shang’, which stands for ‘high’ or ‘above’. Other symbols represented in the architecture originate from Chinese history, such as the team buildings arranged like pavilions in a lake to resemble the ancient Yuyuan-Garden in Shanghai. Here, nature and technology are carefully used to create harmony between the elements.
The race is held over 56 laps where the cars will cover 305.066 km during this process. The lap record of 1:32:238 is held by Michael Schumacher who achieved this feat in 2004. The track has 16 corners and not only is the course remarkable for its 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 straight between turns 13 and 14, spectators are guaranteed overtaking and action prior to arriving at turn 14.
History of Formula 1 in China
The possibility of a Chinese Formula One race being held was started in the early 1990′s. The Chinese government had originally planned for the F1 race to be held at the Zhuhai International Circuit, located in the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, southern China. The Circuit was provisionally added to the 1999 F1 calendar, but the track failed to meet certain standards set by the FIA. However, the Chinese government did not give up and eventually held their first ever F1 race in 2004 following the assistance from race organisers Macau Grand Prix.
In 2002, it was announced that the management of the Shanghai International circuit had signed a 7 year contract to host the Chinese Grand Prix starting from the 2004 season until the 2011 season
In November 2008 the BBC reported a senior race official, Qiu Weichang, as suggesting that following financial losses recorded, the tracks slot on the F1 calendar might be cancelled. Weichang said that the race’s future was under consideration, and a decision would be made the following year.
2010 came and went with no formal announcement of an extension to the initial 7 race deal announced in 2002. However, immediately after the 2010 Shanghai race, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone who manages the contracts with the various circuits, said of the 2011 calendar, “We are not dropping anything. It’s 20 races – getting ready for 25″.
It was only in February 2011 that F1 and the organisers of the Chinese round of the word championship had reached a deal. Reasons for the delay appear to have been over the fee paid to F1 to host the race. After recording losses year after year, the organisers of the race refused to pay the fee required, with rumours suggesting the fee to be amongst the highest paid to host an F1 race. The new agreement means the Shanghai International Circuit will be host an F1 through to 2017.
Chinese F1 Grand Prix Key Moments
- During Friday Practice 1, The Toro Rosso of Sébastien Buemi suffered a right-front upright failure, resulting in both front wheels flying off the car simultaneously approaching turn 14 where F1 cars speed exceeds 300 km/h.
- Sebastian Vettel Wins the 2009 Chinese GP handing Red Bull their first F1 race win. Mark Webber completed Red Bulls perfect race by finishing second making it a 1-2 for the team.
- Yet again, another wet race started to dry, and championship leader, Lewis Hamilton began to suffer from tyre wear. With his pit stop imminent, McLaren elected to keep Hamilton out and stick to the original strategy. By the time Hamilton pitted, his tyres were down to canvas. As he entered the pit lane, he failed to negotiate the sharp left-hander into the pits, beaching his car in the gravel.
- Fernando Alonso was leading the race by 20 seconds on a drying wet track when he pitted on lap 22 respectively. Fernando changed only his front tyres and kept his worn rears on. This decision saw his 20 second lead disintegrate and contributed to Michael Schumacher winning the race despite a late charge from Fernando Alonso in the closing stages.
- During the parade lap, Christijan Albers and Michael Schumacher’s cars collided. As a result, both were forced to start from the pits in their teams’ spare car, along with Narain Karthikeyan who also missed the start.
- Michael Schumacher finishes the race after starting from the pit lane, but out of a podium position and points-paying position for the first time of the season.