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The Chinese Grand Prix - did you know?

08 Apr 2015

Shanghai has hosted a Grand Prix every year since 2004, but did you know that in all that time no driver has won consecutive races? Ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix, we present all the need-to-know facts, stats and trivia...
  • The Shanghai International Circuit hosted the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in 2004, and has been a permanent fixture on the calendar ever since. 
  • The circuit configuration has never changed, meaning the current 5.451-kilometre layout is the same as used in that inaugural race more than a decade ago. The layout itself reflects the shape of the Chinese character ‘shang', which stands for high or above.
  • Only once has a driver claimed pole position and race victory and also set the fastest lap - Lewis Hamilton, when he triumphed for McLaren in 2008. It wasn't a 'Grand Slam', however, as his then-team mate Heikki Kovalainen led for three of the 56 laps (Hamilton led the other 53).
  • It is just one of several records Hamilton holds at the circuit. He has won the race three times, taken four pole positions, set two fastest laps and claimed six podiums in total - all unmatched feats. He has also led more laps, and therefore kilometres, than any other driver in Shanghai.
  • While that might bode well for Hamilton's 2015 hopes, one interesting quirk of Shanghai is that no driver has managed to win back-to-back races at the circuit. In fact Fernando Alonso is the only other driver to win on more than one occasion, his triumphs coming in 2005 and 2013 for Renault and Ferrari respectively. Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg all have one win to their name.
  • It is Button though who holds the honour of leading the most Chinese Grands Prix. The Briton has found himself at the front of the field on six occasions in China. Button's McLaren team mate Alonso has led for five races, as has Hamilton.
  • Alongside their McLaren, Mercedes and Ferrari colleagues, one other current driver pairing has led in Shanghai - Force India duo Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg have both hit the front previously in China, in 2012 and 2013 respectively. On both occasions, they failed to finish in the top eight however.
  • Barrichello's victory came in the inaugural race in Shanghai, when he beat Button (then racing for BAR Honda) by just over a second. It remains the closest winning margin of any Grand Prix in Shanghai. It also proved to be the final time Barrichello triumphed in the red of Ferrari.
  • Ferrari also hold another record in China courtesy of Michael Schumacher - the German came through from sixth on the grid to take victory ahead of Renault's Fernando Alonso in 2006, which remains the lowest winning grid position at the circuit.
  • That said, pole is no guarantee of success at Shanghai. Since 2004, victory has come from pole on only six occasions - a strike rate of 55 percent. Over the last five races, only Hamilton in 2014 and Rosberg in 2012 have managed a win/pole double.
  • Rosberg's 2012 triumph, incidentally, was his first victory in Formula One racing and also the first for the revived Mercedes works team. Since that breakthrough, the team have gone on to win a further 20 times in F1 competition.
  • It is Ferrari though who boast the best victory record at Shanghai, having prevailed four times (despite not having been on pole since Barrichello in 2004). McLaren have won three times, Mercedes twice, while Red Bull and Renault have one victory apiece.