Chinese Grand Prix Preview

The three and a half mile track at Shanghai in one of the newest F1 circuits, known for it’s pollution and its changing surfaces. [Photo by]

Before the Formula One grid returns for the first race of the season in Europe, the Grand Prix of China will be raced this weekend with even more questions than answers about how the cars will perform on the Shanghai International Circuit.

So far, the Mercedes works team of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton lie first and second respectively in the championship, and if any other alterations made to the rest of the grid still might not be improved until the next few rounds, as predicted, the team could take another victory and extend their points in the standings.

The race itself is set in the modern city area of Shanghai, with the total of laps finishing up at 56, which averages the track out to a lap distance of nearly three and a half miles per lap itself. The start/finish line begins right after a slow corner, which could put the problem on such power units as Renault and Ferrari, which could be very good in the corners themselves, but could suffer elsewhere if they are tested on the straights.

There has only been one driver that has won more than once in this event, and that has been Fernando Alonso, who won the inaugural event and last year’s grand prix. This track has also included the time in 2007, when Hamilton ran into the kitty litter near the main straightaway and ruined his first chance of winning the world driving championship in his rookie season. Another factor in this race is the weather. The air is always full of fog, but there might even be a possibility of some rain, which could jeopardize the victory for Mercedes if this type of pattern could happen.

The track itself is not only an area for just fog and precipitation, but smog as the circuit is situated near some industrial factories, which produces many particles of dust and especially coming from concrete, could very well produce very bad track conditions and tire wear rates.

Whether or not any of this makes sense still does not mean that this event remains on the world stage and probably will continue as one of the races in Asia that generates plenty of revenue that makes the fans there continuing to attend year after year.

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