2010 Chinese Grand Prix Preview


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Round 4 - Shanghai International Circuit

This year sees the seventh running of the Chinese Grand Prix at the circuit on the outskirts of Shanghai.

The track is another constructed by Hermann Tilke and may be arguably his most impressive and dramatic engineering project to date, with the immense twin plane hospitality and media suites dominating the start/finish area. The jury remains out on whether it has been a success as a racing circuit, however.

Like Sepang, the early races held at Shanghai were scheduled towards the end of the season, but in 2009 the Grand Prix was moved to April, where it remains. It has often been affected by rain, not least last season when Sebastian Vettel took victory in torrential conditions from his team-mate Mark Webber.

Perhaps the most dramatic Chinese race to date was held in 2006, when Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and Renault's Fernando Alonso fought for the world championship. A damp qualifying session revealed weaknesses in the Bridgestone tyres and Schumacher could only qualify sixth - the next-best Bridgestone runner down in 14th. Mixed weather conditions in the race allowed him to stage a dramatic fightback, however, passing both Renaults and taking a superb against-the-odds win.

The overall finishing rate at Shanghai is slightly higher than the average for most circuits.
The likelihood of a driver-related retirement is about average.
Mechnical failures in China are also consistent with the mean for all tracks on the calendar.
Finally, no first lap retirements have been recorded in the last five years, one of four circuits to hold this distinction.

The Last Five Years
200520162209 - Christian Klien (Red Bull)
200622173207 - Christijan Albers (Midland)
2007221723013 - Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso)
200820172105 - Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) & Timo Glock (Toyota) & David Coulthard (Red Bull) & Kazuki Nakajima (Williams)
2009201722012 - Timo Glock (Toyota)
[td]Year[/td][td]Starters[/td][td]Finishers[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Lap 1 retirements[/td][td]Most places gained[/td]

Circuit Ranking (of all 18 circuits)
Finishing Rate
5th Istanbul 83%
6th= Shanghai 81%
6th= Silverstone 81%
8th Sakhir 80%

Mechanical Failures
9th Spa 11%
10th= Interlagos 11%
10th= Shanghai 11%
12th Yas Marina 10%

Driver-related Retirements
9th Silverstone 12%
10th Shanghai 10%
11th Hungaroring 9%

First lap Retirements
14th Monza 1.0%
15th= Monte Carlo 0.0%
15th= Shanghai 0.0%
15th= Singapore 0.0%
15th= Yas Marina 0.0%

Five previous winners of the Chinese Grand Prix line up this weekend: Rubens Barrichello (2004), Fernando Alonso (2005), Michael Schumacher (2006), Lewis Hamilton (2008) and Sebastian Vettel (2009). Kimi Räikkönen was the victor in 2007 to keep his championship hopes alive, following Hamilton's tyre problems and eventual slide into the pit entry gravel trap. Perhaps surprisingly, both Jarno Trulli and Nico Rosberg are both still looking for their first points in Shanghai at the sixth, and fifth attempt respectively. Jenson Button, meanwhile, can boast fifth, fourth, third and second place finishes at the venue.

Ferrari have won half of the races held in China but their overall scoring record has not been as strong as at many other tracks. Similarly McLaren's drivers have suffered at the hands of fate at the circuit in the past. The most consistent performers have been the Renault team, with all twelve cars it has started successfully completing the Grand Prix. Toro Rosso also have a good finishing record, and have scored points on three separate occasions, including an eighth place finish for Sebastien Buemi last season.

Current Drivers' Records at Shanghai
Fernando Alonso661st (1)36003
Jenson Button662nd (1)24007.33
Rubens Barrichello661st (1)18007.5
Felipe Massa642nd (1)18119
Sebastian Vettel331st (1)15008
Lewis Hamilton321st (1)13013.67
Mark Webber662nd (1)110010.17
Michael Schumacher321st (1)100110.67
Heikki Kovalainen325th (1)41010
Pedro de la Rosa115th (1)4007
Timo Glock337th (2)40015.67
Robert Kubica436th (1)31011.5
Vitantonio Liuzzi226th (1)30012
Sebastien Buemi118th (1)10010
Nico Rosberg4411th (1)00012.75
Jarno Trulli5213th (1)01210.8
Adrian Sutil3117th (1)01219.33
Jaime Alguersuari0------
Karun Chandhok0------
Lucas di Grassi0------
Nico Hulkenberg0------
Kamui Kobayashi0------
Vitaly Petrov0------
Bruno Senna0------
[td]Driver[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]

Chassis Records at Shanghai
Ferrari1291st (3)50127.67
McLaren1281st (1)43315.25
Renault12121st (1)40007.25
Mercedes GP12112nd (1)35109.58
Red Bull12111st (1)23019.67
BMW Sauber12115th (1)171010
Toro Rosso12114th (1)92013.75
Williams12105th (1)73012.75
Force India12811th (1)01418.67
[td]Chassis[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Mercedes GP include BAR, Honda and Brawn
Results for BMW Sauber include Sauber
Results for Red Bull include Jaguar
Results for Force India include Jordan, Midland and Spyker
Results for Toro Rosso include Minardi

Engine Records at Shanghai
Ferrari28231st (3)652310.75
Renault18181st (2)59007.44
Mercedes-Benz16121st (1)54326.88
Cosworth14125th (1)52114.57
[td]Engine[/td][td]Starts[/td][td]Finishes[/td][td]Best result[/td][td]Points[/td][td]Retirements - Mech[/td][td]Retirements - Acc[/td][td]Average grid pos.[/td]
Results for Ferrari include Petronas
Results for Cosworth include Ford

All ranking figures are expressed as a % of total starts.
"Retirements-Acc" are retirements where the reason has been listed as Collision, Accident or Spun Off.
FB said:
I am pleased/not pleased (please delete as appropriate) to learn that the weather on Sunday is now forecast as light rain.

Hopefully the former, At least a race in the rain virtually guarantees a bit of action.
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