In the space of a week the scenario changes completely from the rocky desert of Bahrain to the giant metropolis of Shanghai, as Scuderia Ferrari hits China off the back of the victory in Sakhir. As reported by Scuderia Ferrari’s official website, the majority of the team came straight here, while a few reached Shanghai after a brief stop in Maranello. Naturally, Francesco Cigarini also went home, after the unfortunate incident during last Sunday’s pit stop. He has undergone a successful operation on his left leg and is now convalescing.
Shanghai and Sakhir have probably just one thing in common, namely that they both first appeared on the calendar in the same year, 2004 and both resulted in wins for the Scuderia for Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher respectively. The tracks themselves are completely different, as the one in China puts the front tyres under a lot more strain, leading to understeer. The Shanghai International Circuit, shaped like the Chinese symbol “Shang” which means “to aim high” also boasts one of the longest straights on the calendar, measuring 1200 metres. That means top speed and the use of DRS are both important factors.
In terms of logistics, it’s quite a complicated race and not just because it’s the second Sunday of racing in a row. The circuit is quite a way out from the city centre, which is where most of the hotels are located and one usually has to factor in an hour in traffic before spotting in the distance, the vast lotus leaf shapes of the grandstand roof at the Hermann Tilke-designed facility. There’s never much time, but the city is worth a visit, with its strangely European feel, a result of the Chinese port city having always had an influx of foreign influences.
2018 Chinese Grand Prix weather forecast:
Then we have the weather and as usual, different weather conditions can result in very different races, as Formula 1 teams adapt their strategy accordingly, for example using different tyres in wet conditions and taking account of cross winds which can cause stability problems at high speeds. In Shanghai, the sky is usually grey, because of the smog, but this weekend, that could be down to rain, which is forecast especially for Friday and Saturday, as reported by metoffice.gov.uk. It’s one more variable to consider when looking at tyre choice, which skips one compound, running from white-banded Medium, to yellow Soft and purple Ultrasoft.
2018 Chinese Grand Prix Information – Timetable (Showing local times for London, Europe)
First Practice Session, Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix Shanghai – 13 APRIL 03:00
Second Practice Session, Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix Shanghai – 13 APRIL 07:00
Third Practice Session, Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix Shanghai – 14 APRIL 04:00
Qualifying Session, Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix Shanghai – 14 APRIL 07:00
Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai – 15 APRIL 07:10