The first of our back-to-back races occurs early in the season, with China following on from a pretty successful Malaysia Grand Prix last weekend. With the great and the good of Formula One descending upon the Shanghai International Circuit, we need to recap where we’re going and what we’re going to find there.

Event Schedule

Sebastian Vettel made it two for two in Valencia, with Red Bull remaining dominant for both races in 2011 so far. Even more worryingly, they were on the road to getting their KERS working, although it wasn’t a reliable process for them in Sepang.

The good news is that the competition seemed far more fierce in Malaysia, and the trend seems to be heading in the right direction. Both Renault and McLaren were on top form (well, at least half of each team, anyway), although Ferrari continued to struggle.

In the mid-field, Force India and Mercedes picked up a handful of points here and there, but further down the order, Virgin seemed to struggle. HRT qualified and although neither car made it to the end of the Malaysian Grand Prix, they appear to be on the way up. Virgin need to watch out.

Hopefully we will see more of the same excitement this weekend – a super close qualifying to keep us on the edge of our seats, and then plenty of competition as the weekend progresses.

Session Timetable
Date Day Session Time (GMT+1)
15 April Friday Free Practice 1 03:00
Free Practice 2 07:00
16 April Saturday Free Practice 3 04:00
Qualifying 07:00
17 April Sunday Grand Prix 08:00

The Weather

The long range weather forecasts for Malaysia predicted rain throughout the weekend, and although there was plenty of precipitation, it missed the most important of sessions. This weekend there is more rain predicted, although it doesn’t seem to be as heavy or as often as was forecast for Sepang.

Saturday seems to be the tricky day, with Sunday drying up. It looks like we won’t see much of the sun, though.

Friday, 15 April

  • 28℃
  • Low: 13℃
  • Humidity: 62%
  • Light rain showers

Saturday, 16 April

  • 15℃
  • Low: 11℃
  • Humidity: 95%
  • Light rain

Sunday, 17 April

  • 21℃
  • Low: 10℃
  • Humidity: 68%
  • White cloud

Circuit Map

The Circuit

Circuit Data
Name Shanghai International Circuit
Location China
Timezone GMT +0700
First Race 2004
Laps 56
Length 5.451 km
Distance 305.066 km
Start / Finish Offset 0.190 km

The Shanghai International Circuit looks impressive, the features were stunning when it first entered the F1 calendar in 2004. However, as the years pass, more wear and tear occurs. The track itself, designed by the infamous Hermann Tilke, has little to get spectators excited.

There are two super-long straights, so again we should see more action from the drag reduction systems. The braking can be tough, and with high speeds, levels of G can be higher than at other tracks.

After the high temperatures and humid air of Malaysia, China offers up some cooler ambient conditions, although it can still be a tough race of endurance.

2010 Results
Session Driver Team Time
Free Practice 1 Jenson Button McLaren 1:36.677
Free Practice 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:35:217
Free Practice 3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:35.323
Qualifying Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:34.558
Grand Prix Jenson Button McLaren 1:44:42.163
Fastest Lap Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:42.061

Tyre Compounds


S.Vettel onboard lap in Chinese Grand Prix 2010