Rich Energy Haas F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview

Rich Energy Haas F1 Chinese Grand-Prix preview

09.04.2019: Formula One Charges Into China for its Milestone 1000th Grand Prix When Shanghai International Circuit hosts its 16th Chinese Grand Prix April 12-14, it will also serve as the site for a massive milestone in Formula One’s storied history –

Formula One Charges Into China for its Milestone 1000th Grand Prix



 When Shanghai International Circuit hosts its 16th Chinese Grand Prix April 12-14, it will also serve as the site for a massive milestone in Formula One’s storied history – its 1,000th grand prix. 




Nine hundred and ninety-nine races ago on May 13, 1950 at Silverstone Circuit in England, the first Formula One race was contested. Driving an Alfa Romeo 158, Giuseppe Farina won that inaugural race – a 70-lapper around a 4.649-kilometer (2.889-mile) layout on the current grounds of the British Grand Prix. The car was advanced for its time, but incredibly rudimentary in today’s world, where hybrid engine machinery and carbon-fiber parts long ago replaced the 1.5-liter, straight-eight engine and metalwork Farina and his counterparts considered cutting edge.



It is appropriate then that China – home to both old-world ways and brave-new-world technology – is also home to such an incredibly significant marker for Formula One.



Shanghai International Circuit perfectly embodies the yin and yang of Formula One’s history. The 5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile), 16-turn track debuted in 2004, and it’s one of the many new-age tracks penned by Hermann Tilke, whose trademark design cue is a long backstraight followed by a hairpin corner.



The 1.4-kilometer (.869 of a mile) backstraight is the longest in Formula One. It is the equivalent of 11 soccer fields laid end to end, or the same length of three-and-a-half aircraft carriers lined up bow to stern. Current-generation Formula One cars surpass 340 kph (211 mph) on this straight, which is located between turns 13 and 14. Juxtapose that with the top speed in 1950 at Silverstone, which was around 220 kph (137 mph).



Another distinctive aspect of Shanghai is its “snail corners”, which comprise turns 1-4 and turns 11-13. The high-speed straight combined with these sharp corners pose a conundrum for teams, as they must balance the amount of downforce needed to negotiate these vastly different aspects of the track.



Rich Energy Haas F1 Team is still learning this balance. In just its fourth Formula One season, the American squad has only 64 grands prix to its name as it goes up against counterparts with decades of experience and hundreds of grand prix starts. Yet the team is fighting at the top of the midfield, keeping many establishment names at bay and occasionally nipping at the heels of such championship stalwarts as Red Bull, Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes.



Its driver lineup of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen is responsible for its best season – a fifth-place finish in last year’s constructors’ standings. The duo is back with Rich Energy Haas F1 Team in 2019 with their collective eyes set on further gains, specifically, fourth among constructors.



Currently, Rich Energy Haas F1 Team is fifth, tied with McLaren. Alfa Romeo sits fourth with a two-point advantage while the French manufacturer Renault is two points back in seventh.



It’s a poignant battle for points, but Rich Energy Haas F1 Team comes to Shanghai with back-to-back point-scoring results in the Chinese Grand Prix, all care of Magnussen. The 26-year-old finished eighth in the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix to score his first points as a member of Rich Energy Haas F1 Team, and was 10th last year. And while Grosjean hasn’t yet scored for Haas at Shanghai, the veteran pilot has logged three point-paying drives in the Chinese Grand Prix, with the 32-year-old’s best result being a sixth-place effort in 2012. And in the 2017 race, Grosjean just missed finishing in the points as he came home 11th.



Increased speed theoretically increases one’s points tally. With Rich Energy Haas F1 Team having sent both its drivers to the final round of knockout qualifying in the last two races, the speed of its Haas VF-19s is inherent. The trick, however, is translating that speed into race pace and delivering those coveted points.



Rich Energy Haas F1 Team did this in the season opener in Australia, yet found it elusive in the series’ last race in Bahrain. China is the next opportunity to showcase its speed, and for the sport to showcase the speed of its evolution.
   


     

Chinese Grand-Prix facts and figures




Total number of race laps: 56

Complete race distance: 305.066 kilometers (189.559 miles)

Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)


This 5.451-kilometer (3.387-mile), 16-turn Shanghai International Circuit has hosted Formula One since 2004, with last year’s Chinese Grand Prix serving as the venue’s 15th grand prix. 



Michael Schumacher holds the race lap record at Shanghai (1:32.238), set in 2004 with Scuderia Ferrari.


Sebastian Vettel holds the qualifying lap record at Shanghai (1:31.095), set last year with Scuderia Ferrari in Q3.




The Shanghai International Circuit is one of the many Formula One circuits designed by Hermann Tilke, which features a trademark cue of his – a long backstraight followed by a hairpin corner. The 1.4-kilometer (.869 of a mile) backstraight is the longest in Formula One. It is the equivalent of 11 soccer fields laid end to end, or the same length of three-and-a-half aircraft carriers lined up bow to stern.



Current-generation Formula One cars surpass 340 kph (211 mph) on this straight, which is located between turns 13 and 14. Another distinctive aspect of the track is its “snail corners”, which comprise turns 1-4 and turns 11-13. The high-speed straight combined with these sharp corners pose a conundrum for teams, as they must balance the amount of downforce needed to negotiate these vastly different aspects of the track.
   


     


   

Pirelli is bringing the following tire compounds to China:






P Zero White hard – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints) - The C2 version will be used, with a working range between 110-135 degrees Celsius (230-275 degrees Fahrenheit)



P Zero Yellow medium – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying) - The C3 version will be used, with a working range between 105-135 degrees Celsius (221-275 degrees Fahrenheit)



P Zero Red soft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations) - The C4 version will be used, with a working range between 90-120 degrees Celsius (194-248 degrees Fahrenheit)



Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)



Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected. The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of White hards and one set of Yellow mediums) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of Red softs). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:



Grosjean: one set of White hards, four sets of Yellow mediums and eight sets of Red softs.
Magnussen: two sets of White hards, three sets of Yellow mediums and eight sets of Red softs.
   

   


Stuart Morrison- photos Haas F1

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09.04.2019 / MaP

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