As the third event on the 2013 F1 Grand Prix calendar, the UBS Chinese Grand Prix features practice sessions and qualifier on Friday and Saturday, with the F1 Grand Prix taking place on Sunday April 14 at the Shanghai International Circuit. The race covers a distance of 305.066 km, being 56 laps of 5.451 km each. The current lap record is 1:32.238, set by Michael Schumacher in 2004. For more information visit formula1.com
Date: 14 April 2013
Venue: Shanghai International Circuit
The UBS Chinese Grand Prix is the third race of the F1 Championship season. It consists of 56 laps of 5.451 km, totalling 305.066 km. The lap record for the race was set in 2004 by Michael Schumacher at 1:32.238. Practice sessions will be on Friday and Saturday, with qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
Date: 15 April 2012
Venue: Shanghai International Circuit
Rubens Barrichello finished in first place, at the very first Chinese Grand Prix, on 26 September 2004. As a new circuit in the world of Formula One racing, the Shanghai International Circuit is the most expensive circuit facility of its kind to date, costing US$ 240 million to construct. The Chinese Grand Prix consists of 56 laps, and has a total race length of 305.07 kilometers. The seventeen million inhabitants of Shanghai, and designer Herman Tilke, can rightfully be proud of this wonderful circuit.
Designer, Herman Tilke, took into consideration the Chinese history and beliefs while designing the circuit. He created the circuit in the form of the “shang” symbol. It means above or rising. The Shanghai International Circuit was constructed in Anting, which is in the same neighborhood as the Volkswagen plant. It has a truly amazing environment and is the most modern circuit at the present time. Tilke is a genius when it comes to designing a race track, taking the environment into consideration, and working with it. His race tracks are therefore all different, while retaining the same elements and specifics to ensure a safe but exciting circuit. The area that was used for the construction of the Shanghai International Circuit, has very marshy ground. To compensate for this, polysterene blocks were used to cover the thousands of concrete columns that were placed into the ground. The circuit was then constructed on top of the polysterene blocks. Due to polysterene being quite a young material to use, and there are no other experiences to work from, the estimated life of the circuit has been put down to a minimum of seventy years.
The Shanghai International Circuit is also the proud host of the Formula One Grand Prix with the longest straight on the current Formula One calendar – an impressive 1.2 kilometers in length. The Chinese Grand Prix is also the noisiest Grand Prix circuit, with the roofs of the grandstands carrying the noise levels.
Despite having signed a contract with Formula One Management to host the Chinese Grand Prix until the 2011 season, it was announced in 2009 that the future of the sport in China hangs in the balance due to the heavy losses incurred by the organizers. Fans in China were no doubt relieved when the 2010 Grand Prix schedule included their home country.
Viewed from overhead, the shape of Shanghai International Speedway is reminiscent of the Chinese symbol “Shang,” which translates as “high” or “above.” According to computer simulations, current-generation Formula 1 cars will lap the track in about 1:34 at an average speed close to 205 kilometers per hour (roughly 127.4 mph). On the longest, 1175 meter straight, which links Turns 13 and 14, cars should reach a maximum speed of 327 km/h (203mph). This distinctive speedway – which in sheer size will overshadow every other track in the Grand Prix of Nations – incorporates 14 wide-ranging corners, an equal blend of left and right-handers that combine to form a 5.45 kilometer (3.39 mile) lap.
The Shanghai International Speedway has an overall length of 5,451.24 meters and includes seven left and seven right turns. The longest straight runs parallel to the Dragster track between the turns T13 and T14 and has a length of 1.175 m. The standard width of the track is between 13 m and 15 m, expending up to 20 meters in turns, such as T13.
Further unique characteristics of the Shanghai International Speedway are turns with snail-like narrowing (T1 to T3), turns with snail-like expansion (T10 to T12) and two pointed turns (T5 and turn T13).
The axis of the Shanghai International Speedway is at its lowest point on + 4.50 meters above sea level, the highest point in T2 is on + 11.24 meters above sea level. The maximum upward slope amounts to 3%; the maximum downward slope to 8%, the transverse downward slope of the roadway is 2.5%.
The combination of turns and straight lines, with the rising and falling of the gradient, permits top speeds up to 327 km/h on the longest straight line (between T12 and T13) and a deceleration to 87 km/h is required by drivers in close turns.
The constant change between acceleration and deceleration sections, connected by high-speed sections, presents a challenge to driving skills, offers sufficient opportunities for overtaking maneuvers, resulting in an intense motor sport experience for spectators.
After an exciting race at the Shanghai International Circuit on the weekend, Lewis Hamilton goes on to the next leg of the Formula One Grand Prix Championship with a few more notches on his belt. Hopes are high that he’ll be able to clench the championship this year – a feat which is made even more special by the fact that it is exactly 50 years since the first British driver ever won the Formula One world title.
Lewis Hamilton is often considered to be the first ‘black’ driver in Formula One. Hence his winning this year’s world title would be yet another great accomplishment for British Formula One. Nevertheless a lot can happen between now and the end of the race and while the 23-year-old driver is currently in the lead, a similar lead in last years world title slipped between his fingers in the final races. While no one can predict what will happen in the last few championship races of the season, what is clear is that Hamilton absolutely dominated the Chinese Grand Prix from start to finish.
After world champion Kimi Raikkonen has slipped a bit too far down the standings, he has pledged to help Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa in his bid to win the world title rather than waste time trying to recover. And that is exactly what he did by easing his pace and letting Massa gain a place during the last few laps of the race. However Hamilton was clearly in top form and it seemed nothing would give Massa the boost needed to overtake him and claim the winner’s trophy. Massa finished second but that doesn’t mean that McLaren driver Hamilton can rest on his laurels. He still needs a further four points to be sure that the world title will not slip through his fingers a second time.
While it may seem that Hamilton just had the better skill that day, it would seem instead that a lot was determined by the tires used by the Ferrari and McLaren teams and this probably affected the handling of the vehicles quite a lot during the race. McLaren chose to use hard tires, while Ferrari opted for softer tires. That seemed to give Hamilton the boost he needed – he launched off the starting grid, led cleanly into the first corner and was 1.1 seconds ahead of competitor cars by the end of the first lap. It took ten laps just for the Ferrari team to gain on him. It was a mistake that Ferrari is unlikely to make again. It is now just a matter of time before the 2008 World Champion is crowned and all eyes are on Hamilton and Massa as they compete for top honors.