2009 Chinese GP Preview

Button and Barrichello on 2004 Chinese GP podium

Button and Barrichello on 2004 Chinese GP podium

This week F1 circus moves to Shanghai for the 6th Chinese F1 GP. This will be the first time the Shanghai race is happening at the beginning of the F1 season instead of the usual end of season October date.


The decision of the FIA International Court of Appeal means that Brawn GP, Toyota and Williams will keep on racing with their double diffusers and likely will remain at the front end of the pack at least for now. But none of them can take anything for granted. Red Bull (on merit) and BMW Sauber (thanks to strategy and luck) were close to the front both in Australia and Malaysia. The previous winners in Shanghai (Ferrari, McLaren, Renault) will probably need some serious luck on their side to win the Chinese GP this year.

The teams will have to use super soft and medium tyres allocated by Bridgestone for Shanghai, the same tyres as used in Melbourne. Shanghai is a tough circuit for the tyres. Not only are the front tyres heavily loaded by corners such as turn 1 (left front), 7 (right front) and 8 (left front), but the numerous slow corners mean the rear tyres are worked hard under acceleration. It will be interesting to see how long will the super soft tyres last on this track …

shanghai-track
(click on the image to enlarge)

The best part of the track is said to be the first sequence of corners, especially the almost complete circle of turn 1. The best place to overtake is the turn 14. The cars come off the banked turn 13 which is a long right hander that can be taken flat-out. Then they hit the longest straight on the circuit reaching well over 300 km/h. Then comes braking for turn 14 that the cars take less than 100km/h. It may be the best place to overtake but it also is the best place to outbrake and lose time and positions as many F1 drivers can tell…

Weather in Shanghai in March is a bit cooler than in October. The expected temperatures for the weekend are in low 20s (Celsius). Forecast for Sunday is cloudy but at least one weather report (BBC weather) predicts heavy rain …

Photo: Shell Motorsports
Track Diagram: Bridgestone Motorsports

One Comments Post a Comment
  1. KotenokNo Gravatar says:

    Nothing to do with the topic: I listen Le Mans Series already! These cars are even more audible than F1 cars!!!

    “To go or not to go, that’s the question” :)

    Kotenoks last blog post..F1Wolf added a video

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