The Chinese Grand Prix, the third race of the 2016 Formula One season, will be held on the 17th of April, 2016 at the Shanghai International Circuit. Lewis Hamilton is the reigning champion at the track, with Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel rounding off the podium in second and third.
Last year’s race was the 12th edition of Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The race will see a return to the 2015 qualifying format, after the FIA trialled the new knockout qualifying format in 2016, and keeping it for the Grands Prix of Australia and Bahrain. Following disapproval from drivers, teams and management, team officials and drivers decided they wanted to return to the old qualifying format. Discussions to this effect had been initiated soon after the Australian Grand Prix, and it had been widely believed that the race at Bahrain would see a return to the former qualifying.
In addition to this, several new ideas were also discussed – among them an aggregate qualifying format, which would see the existing knockout format remain, but a driver’s two best times would be aggregated to decide their spot on the grid ahead of the race.
No changes were effected ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, however, and drivers continued to use the old qualifying format.
Following meetings with Formula One Management and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, it was unanimously decided that drivers would go back to the three-session format that drivers had used up until last year.
What time does the Chinese Grand Prix 2016 Race start, Information about the race and track (all times in IST):
Friday, 15th April 2016
Free Practice 1 07:30 am
Free Practice 2 11:30 am
Saturday 16th April 2016
Free Practice 3 09:30 a.m.
Qualifying 12:30 pm
Sunday 17th April 2016
Race 11:30 am
The Shanghai International Circuit is located in Jiading, Shanghai and designed by famed F1 track designer and engineer Hermann Tilke. It is a 5.45km long track, with drivers taking 56 laps and driving a total of 305.67km over the race.
The track has 16 turns, with the most difficult Turn 1 and 2, a sharp, high-speed set of corners that tighten going into Turn 3.
The Chinese Grand Prix was first held in 2004, and Ferrari are the most successful constructors here, winning 4 races. Each of those races was won by a different driver – Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barichello have each won the race once for Scuderia Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver at the track, with 4 wins – in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015 – and as of now is the reigning champion at the track, setting the fastest lap, starting the race in pole and winning – also known as the Grand Chelem or Grand Slam of F1.
Chinese Grand Prix 2016
Lewis Hamilton receives 5 grid penalties for a gearbox change ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix; this means that even if he qualifies on top, he will not begin the race in pole position.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who sat out the Bahrain Grand Prix as a result of injuries sustained at the Australian Grand Prix, has been provisionally cleared to race in China. The FIA medical team, however, have said that he will be re-examined following the first practice session to see if he will be permitted to race on the day.