Track tips and circuit stats

Chinese Grand Prix 2017

From gear changes to corner speeds, our track guide is the home of F1 geekery. 

Swot up on the stats and facts ahead of the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix.  

 InformationStats
 Track name Shanghai International Circuit
 Track length 5.451km/3.387 miles (10th longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)
 2016 pole position Nico Rosberg 1m35.402s
 2016 fastest lap Nico Hulkenberg 1m39.824s (lap 48)
 Lap record1:32.238s (Michael Schumacher, 2004)
 Distance to Turn One 380m/0.236 miles (longest of season: Barcelona, 730m/0.454 miles)
 Longest straight 1.17km/0.727 miles (longest of the season)
 Top speed340km/h/211mph mph, on the approach to Turn 14 (fastest of season: Monza, 350km/h/217mph)
 Full throttle55 per cent
 Fuel consumption1.7kg per lap, which is average for the season
 ERS demandsLow 
 Gear changes 51 per lap/2856 per race

 

Engineering challenge?

Getting the front tyres to switch on. The number of long corners around the lap means the circuit lends itself to understeer.

How to tell when a driver's really on it

Listen to the engine revs at the entry to Turn 1, a 270-degree right-hander. If a driver is pushing hard, he’ll turn into the corner flat-out in eighth gear, at more than 300km/h (186mph).

Trickiest bits for the driver

Slowing the car through Turn 1. Corner entry is taken at 300km/h (186mph) and the cars are doing just 50km/h (31mph) at the apex. To scrub off speed, the drivers are balancing the car with approximately 20 bar of brake pressure and 20 percent throttle.

Car set-up

In previous years this has been a high downforce track, but this year’s regulations will encourage teams to run less downforce in order to maximise straight-line speed along the long 1.17km back straight.

Grip levels

Low. The asphalt is smooth and it’s also relatively cool, due to localised smog reducing its exposure to sunlight.

Tyre choice

Red Supersoft, yellow Soft and white Medium compounds.

Brake wear

Medium. There are eight braking zones around the lap, but the long straights cool the brakes. 

Cooling

Medium. The cars spend long periods at maximum revs, but the relatively cool ambient temperatures help to keep temperatures under control. 

Tips if you're a gamer

As was the case in Melbourne last time out, maximising the performance of the front axle is crucial to lap time. It’s difficult to keep the tyres in their operating window because they are cooled along the long straights and the two 270-degree right-hand corners on the lap only work the left-hand tyres. Graining is a high possibility as a result.