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12 - 14 Apr
Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix 2019
Shanghai International Circuit
First Grand Prix
Number of Laps
1:32.238 Michael Schumacher (2004)
In April 2003, a marshland in the Jiading District of Shanghai was earmarked for Formula 1 greatness. Eighteen months and around $450 million later, the state-of-the-art Shanghai International Circuit was complete.
The 2004 season featured two new races, one of which was the Chinese Grand Prix (the other was Bahrain). If either were added to try and stop Ferrari from winning everything, however, it didn’t work – Schumacher won in Bahrain, while Rubens Barrichello triumphed in China.
The circuit’s pleasing form when seen from the air – it’s designed to look like the Chinese symbol for ‘shang’, meaning upwards – is equally pleasing to the drivers on terra firma. There’s a unique start to the lap as the drivers fly into the ever-tightening Turns 1 and 2, before they dart left through 3 and 4. The super-high g force Turns 7 and 8 are loved by the drivers, while the circuit also features one of the longest straights on the calendar, the 1.2km stretch that separates Turns 13-14.
Shanghai has expanded itself into one of the world’s most dynamic and lively cities since the start of the millennium, making it an awesome F1 tourist stop. The sprawling Pudong district is chock full of hip bars and amazing restaurants. Then when it’s time to go racing, just hop on the Shanghai Metro’s Line 11 and get off at the Shanghai Circuit stop 60 minutes later.
We’re going to recommend Grandstand K, overlooking the Turn 14-15 hairpin, where you’ll be in the best seats to watch all the overtaking. Alternatively, head for Turn 6, the track’s other best passing spot, where Daniel Ricciardo sealed his 2018 win with a brave move on Valtteri Bottas.
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