McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen describes a lap of the Shanghai circuit

Kimi Raikkonen.
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"The lap starts on the long pit straight, we power along the 600 metre section reaching speeds of 305km/h in sixth gear as we pass underneath the impressive grandstand walkway. As we reach the first corner we are down to fifth gear travelling at 234km/h, here we should pull 3.4G. This corner is very long as it sweeps round to the right, it is immediately followed by the right then left of turns two and three. Our speeds drop quite low through here to 107km/h as it is quite tight and we need to be in second gear."

"As we exit turn three, we will have to push on the throttle to build up speed as we pass through the slight kinks of turns four and five that gently flick the track first left then right on the run down to turn six. We hit about 291km/h along here reaching sixth gear before braking hard for the hairpin of six, which will see us drop down into second gear and 102km/h."

"Coming out of the hairpin there is a short straight that leads to a long, wide, sweeping S of seven and eight, with the track first curving to the left and then to the right. This is a chance to get the speed back up again and we reach 265km/h over turn seven and only lifting slightly for the apex of eight."

"The two almost 90-degree bends of nine and ten follow which see us drop down to second gear and 137km/h before coming onto the short straight which leads to the tight left of eleven. We can reach speeds of 284km/h coming into turn 11 but drop down to second gear and 91km/h for the turn."

"This then takes you onto another long sweeping right hander, similar to the complex at the end of the pit straight. This double-apex bend swings us back round on ourselves onto a straight that runs parallel to the one we were just on. The corner is the widest section of the track and it is fairly long so we are able to increase our speed to 249km/h as we drive through it and are back in fifth gear as we exit onto the back straight. This corner is particularly important for a quick lap time, as it swings round onto the longest straight, which is just over one kilometre."

"We need to ensure we have the maximum speed possible as we exit the corner so that we have the momentum to power along the back straight at speeds nearing 326km/h in sixth. A hard braking zone at the end of the straight for the two rights of fourteen and fifteen as we descend to second gear and 88km/h for these corners. Again on the power for a short straight that takes you to the final corner, a 90-degree left-hander taken at 181km/h in third gear returning you to the pit straight."

-credit: mclaren