McLaren-Honda F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview

McLaren-Honda F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview

03.04.2017: Race title Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix Circuit name Shanghai International Circuit First race 2004

Race title Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix
Circuit name Shanghai International Circuit

 

First race 2004
Previous winners
2016 Nico Rosberg 56 laps, 1:38:53.891s
2015 Lewis Hamilton
2014 Lewis Hamilton
2013 Fernando Alonso
2012 Nico Rosberg



History lesson The Chinese Grand Prix has been a regular fixture on the Formula One calendar since 2004. The race takes place at the Shanghai International Circuit, which is one of the most expensive purpose-built F1 facilities in the world.



Completed at a cost of $450m, the 5.451km/3.367-mile layout is shaped like the Chinese character ‘shang’, which stands for ‘high’ or ‘above’

 



TRAVEL


City Shanghai
Time zone GMT +8
Population 13.4 million
How far? Shanghai is 5,723 miles from the McLaren Technology Centre



Getting there Every member of the team flew back to the UK after the Australian Grand Prix. There are plenty of flight options from London to Shanghai, with the major airlines flying twice daily to the Chinese city.



 “China and Bahrain are back-to-back races,” says Clare Martin, Head Race & Test Co-Ordinator. “You have to think about the welfare of the individuals in the race team, who would have spent six weeks away from home if they’d stayed away between all three opening races. Better to bring them home for a few days”


Surprising fact To drive a car in China you need a Chinese driving licence and while it’s relatively easy to obtain a provisional licence, McLaren prefers to hire a car with a driver. Progress is usually slow: a recent study revealed that Shanghai has the worst rush-hour jams of any major city in China



Weather The race is one week earlier than last year, but the temperature is expected to be similar. The forecast is for a dry race weekend, with the ambient temperature expected to peak at 21 degrees

 



TRACK



Track length 5.451km/3.387 miles (10th longest of the year)


2016 pole position Nico Rosberg 1m35.402s


2016 fastest lap Nico Hulkenberg 1m39.824s (lap 48)


Lap record 1:32.238s (Michael Schumacher, 2004)


Tyre choice Supersoft (red); Soft (yellow) and Medium (white)


Distance to Turn One 380m/0.236 miles (longest of season: Barcelona, 730m/0.454 miles)


Longest straight 1.17km/0.727 miles (longest of the season)


Top speed 340km/h/211mph mph, on the approach to Turn 14 (fastest of season: Monza, 350km/h/217mph)


Full throttle 55 percent


Brakewear Medium. There are eight braking zones around the lap, but the long straights cool the brakes


Cooling Medium. The cars spend long periods at maximum revs, but the relatively cool ambient temperatures help to keep temperatures under control


ERS demands Low


Gear changes 51 per lap/2856 per race

 



RACE

Laps 56 laps
Start time 14:00hrs local / 07:00hrs GMT



Grid advantage Pole position is located on the racing line, on the left side of the track, but the grid advantage is negligible. Last year Daniel Ricciardo, who started second, beat pole-sitter Nico Rosberg into Turn 1



DRS There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns One and 14. The latter is the longest DRS zone and the most likely overtaking point because the cars slow for a 50km/h (31mph) hairpin



Don’t put the kettle on… at the start, or during the pitstops. Last year’s race was won using a two-stop strategy, which would mean pitting on or around laps 15 and 30. With this year’s harder tyre compounds, one pitstop is more likely, on or around lap 20



Pitlane length/Pitstops 351m/0.218 miles (longest of the season: Interlagos, 380m/0.236 miles). Estimated time loss for a pitstop is 21s, which is relatively short


Safety Car likelihood 45 percent, which is a relatively high probability. Historically there are a lot of collisions at this racetrack, particularly at Turn 1, and the result is invariably the appearance of the Safety Car.



But in 2015 the race finished under Safety Car conditions after Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso was left stranded on the start-finish straight following a transmission failure


Watch out for… the large bump on the pit straight, especially when it’s wet. During last year’s qualifying session a combination of this bump and a damp patch under a bridge caught out Pascal Wehrlein, who spun and hit the barrier




Silvia Hoffer Frangipane - photos McLaren

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03.04.2017 / MaP

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