This years F1 schedule is packed with the most races in F1 history, and as a result we have several back to back races this year. This weekend sees the first of these, the Chinese Grand Prix, held at the Shanghai circuit.
Designed by Hermann Tilke, when completed in 2004, the Shanghai Circuit was the most expensive F1 facility, costing $240 million. The track is 5.451 km long and features one of the trickiest corner combinations on the Formula One calendar, comparable to that of Istanbul Park's turn 8, also designed by Tilke. A 270 degree right hand corner combination at the start of the lap, which is very fast on entry and tightens as it reaches its end, which is then immediately followed by a 180 left had hairpin.
The Chinese government had originally planned for an F1 circuit to be located in the city of Zhuhai in Guangdong Province, southern China. The Zhuhai International Circuit was designed and built and was provisionally added to the 1999 F1 World Championship calendar, but the track failed to meet the standards set by the FIA.
Formula One Management announced in 2002 that the management of the Shanghai International Circuit had signed a 7 year contract to host the Chinese Grand Prix starting from the 2004 season until the 2011 season. In February 2011 that contract was extended to 2017 after lengthy discussions over the fee to host the event. It is reported that the fee was the largest of the F1 venues, and after heated debates it would appear the FOM reduced the fee to keep the grand prix.
Past winners of the grand prix have been:
2010 Jenson Button - McLaren–Mercedes
2009 Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull–Renault
2008 Lewis Hamilton - McLaren–Mercedes
2007 Kimi Räikkönen - Ferrari
2006 Michael Schumacher - Ferrari
2005 Fernando Alonso - Renault
2004 Rubens Barrichello - Ferrari
Being one of the 'Fly Away races' means that the Western viewers will have to get up early for the 3rd consecutive race this year if you want to see it live.
|Value for money|