Chinese Grand Prix: Shanghai F1 circuit guide

Chinese Grand Prix: Shanghai F1 circuit guide
Apr 11, 2018, 3:18 PM

Take a closer look at the Shanghai International Circuit ahead of Formula 1's Chinese Grand Prix with our exclusive track animation.

Our video takes you around the 16-corner track in detail, exploring the most challenging parts of the layout and recalling a famous moment that took place on a corner that isn't part of the conventional lap!

Drivers' view

Brendon Hartley: I quite like the track, it's very technical and very hard on tyres with such a long Turn 1 - where I think there's 10 different options and lines, and there's always some crazy passes on the inside, which is good for the driver and fun for the fans.

"Also entering the back straight, there's a really long right hander which is really hard on the front left tyre, so I think tyre management will be a bit of a discussion in China."

Romain Grosjean: "It's a front-limited circuit, meaning that the car needs to work well with front tyres. I like the high-speed corners at [Turns] 5 and 6. It's just an amazing part. And Turns 1, 2 and 3 are very challenging. There's a lot of demand on the front tyres, and it's not easy to find the perfect lane.

"Then being up on the back straight, that long right-hand side corner, going onto the throttle, as well, is important because you've got one-and-a-half kilometre of straight line. You need to be as early as possible on the power."

Esteban Ocon: "It's a tough circuit, with some unusual corners and it's not easy to hook up the perfect lap. You have to really attack the lap, rather than being smooth, and use the kerbs. Overtaking is possible, but it's still difficult. You can sometimes find opportunities in Turn 6 and also at the end of the back straight.

Nico Hulkenberg: "The track is famous for the never-ending Turn 1-2 combination. It's a tricky complex because it's easy to go in too hot, especially during qualifying, and it really eats the front-left tyre. It really draws you in, as it goes on a long time after a really fast entry. You are decreasing speed after that as it gets tighter and tighter and seems to go on forever, before reaching the downhill Turn 3. The first few corners are notorious for tyre-deg and later on in the lap, turn 13 is another long right-hander that takes even more life out of them.

"After that unique first sector, the rest of the lap has a bit of everything from low-speed to high-speed, which makes it challenging to find a balanced set-up. There's a big long straight where you have enough time for a game of chess as you're going in a straight line with your foot hard down for so long, then you wake up and you're hard on the brakes."

Kevin Magnussen: "Shanghai is a really good circuit to overtake. It always offers lots of opportunities. My favourite part is Turns 7 and 8 – the fast ones in the middle. It's a pretty good section of the track. Turns 1, 2 and 3, it's a pretty unique place, where you enter so fast and then have to stop the car in the corner all the way down to low speed."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Chinese GP
Location Shanghai International Circuit
Article type Special feature