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2015 Chinese F1 Grand Prix preview

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Previewing the 2015 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix

Looking ahead to the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix

The third round of the 2015 Formula 1 season has arrived, and we are stopping this time at Shanghai, for this year’s Chinese Grand Prix. The 2015 edition of the Chinese Grand Prix will again be held at the, Hermann Tilke designed, Shanghai International Circuit. This is will be the 12th time that a Chinese race has been featured in the Formula 1 World Championship calendar. And, this Grand Prix will mark the second Asian race of the season.

The layout of the Shanghai International Circuit:

The whole layout of the SIC is inspired from the Chinese letter of ‘Shang 上’. The track has 16 turns, and has all the telltale signs of a Tikle creation. The first part of the circuit has a long start-finish straight followed by a very difficult to take first corner and the subsequent twisty turns, where a car‘s aerodynamics is tested.

The second sector features a long flowing left hander, and the whole section involves technical turns before falling into the final long straight of the circuit at the 3rd sector. The whole circuit is 5.451 Kilometers long, and features 2 places were DRS can be used, the start-finish straight and the long back-stretch (between turns 13 and 14) at the final sector.

The circuit is quite fast in general, and can provide various opportunities in terms of overtaking thanks to its wide layout and numerous heavy braking points. The track asphalt is also very smooth throughout, as it is a permanent track, and because of that, drivers can be encouraged to go off track to complete their overtaking endeavors. However, there are some places where bumps can catch the drivers out.

The whole circuit is a prime monument of how a modern track can be safe, and yet be challenging for the drivers. And, overall, this makes the SIC one of the better creations of Tikle, and a must watch race in the F1 calendar.

The Tyre and the Pit Strategy:

In terms of tyres, Pirelli are bringing in the White circled medium compounds, and the Yellow marked Soft tires for the 56 laps long Chinese Grand Prix. Last year, most of the drivers and teams had opted for a very safe 2 stop strategy, and all are expected to follow the same this year. However, do not be surprised, as we have seen many times in the past, if teams try to do something different with their approach during the race-weekend. In terms of weather, there is a small threat of rain; however, dry conditions are expected all through-the weekend.

Changes from the last Grand Prix:

It is expected that there will no race-day driver changes in China, as, thankfully, none of the drivers have reported any issues with health or otherwise during the 2-week break.

But, in terms of Practice outing, Lotus reserve driver Joylon Palmer will get a run with the E23 during the first practice session. It is expected that he will take the seat of Romain Grosjean, and the Frenchman will take over from the young British driver for the weekend, from the second practice session onwards.

Hamilton would love to make it 4 Wins at Shanghai this weekend

The Current Form Book

Thanks to Sebastian Vettel’s 40th career win at the Malaysia Grand Prix a fortnight ago, everyone will be expecting the Ferrari team to produce a challenge to the Silver Arrows. In turn, Mercedes will like normal service to be resumed at Shanghai, after the team failed to capture its 9th straight win at Sepang couple of weeks ago. Lewis Hamilton would like to repeat his 2014 win this year and get back to winning ways by clinching his 4th career race win in China.

In the midfield, Williams would like themselves to be back amongst the mist of the front runners. But, Red Bull may well just focus on stopping their free-fall from the pecking order.

The battle between Lotus, Toro Rosso, Force India, Sauber, and sadly Red Bull, is too close to predict or call. Hence, the points paying positions from 7th to 10th may depend on strategy or individual team-driver magic on Saturday or Sunday.

At the back, McLaren-Honda are expected to gain a bit more in terms of lap time and reliability after their lack-luster showing in the last two races, and Marussia-Manor will just hope to run 2 cars during the race.

Driver and Team Records:

Last 5 Winners of the Chinese Grand Prix:

Year

Driver (Nationality)

Team Name

2014

Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)

Mercedes

2013

Fernando Alonso (Spain)

Ferrari

2012

Nico Rosberg (Germany)

Mercedes

2011

Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)

McLaren

2010

Jenson Button (United Kingdom)

McLaren


The Current Team and Driver records at the Chinese Grand Prix;

Most Wins (Drivers) at the Chinese Grand Prix:

Number of Wins

Driver (Nationality)

Team(s) and year of win

3

Lewis Hamilton (United Kingdom)

McLaren (2008, 2011) Mercedes (2014)

2

Fernando Alonso (Spain)

Renault (2005) Ferrari (2013)

1

Kimi Raikkonen (Finland)

Ferrari (2007)

1

Sebastian Vettel (Germany)

Red Bull (2009)

1

Jenson Button (United Kingdom)

McLaren (2010)

1

Nico Rosberg (Germany)

Mercedes (2012)


Most Wins (as a team) at the Chinese Grand Prix

Number of Wins

Team Name

Years

4

Ferrari

2004, 2006, 2007, 2013

3

McLaren

2008, 2010, 2011

2

Mercedes

2012, 2014

Note: Only F1 world championship races counted, minimum 2 wins listed.

Renault Wins not included as the team is now Lotus.

Track Record:

2014 Pole Time: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1:53.860 (Rain Affected Qualifying)

2014 Fastest Lap Time: Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 1:40.402

Lap Record: Michael Schumacher, Ferrari 1:32.238 (Year 2004)          


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