2013 Chinese Grand Prix 12-14 April
After a two-week hiatus, Formula One fires up again as China and the Shanghai International Circuit play host to the third round of the 2013 FIA F1 World Championship.
The tenth year of the Chinese Grand Prix sees teams arriving at the expansive SIC paddock with as many questions as answers generated by the first two grands prix of 2013.
Uppermost in many minds is the perennial early-season issue of tyre degradation. In recent years race strategies here have been on the cusp between two and three stops, leading to out-of-sequence racing and grands prix that remain tense right up until the closing laps.
As was the case in 2012, Pirelli will bring the white-banded medium and yellow-banded soft compounds to Shanghai. While the medium tyre has been used already this year both in Malaysia and Australia, this weekend is the first time the new soft compound has been seen at a race. While this tyre was used extensively during testing, the differences of temperature, track configuration and surface construction render that data largely irrelevent: teams will need to develop their understanding over the weekend.
Even without that particular complication, SIC has the capacity to deliver captivating grands prix. Its long start-finish and back straights, in combination with the hairpin and tight ‘snail’ corner complexes, provide great overtaking opportunities, with or without the assistance of DRS.
The opening two rounds of the 2013 Championship have provided intrigue rather than a definitive form guide for the season ahead. Kimi Räikkönen’s win for Lotus in Australia was an assured performance but the much different conditions of track and temperature in Malaysia saw Red Bull return to dominance. The Shanghai International Circuit will be different again, equally capable of providing a strong indication of form or shuffling the pack further.
Length of lap:
1:32.238 (Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, 2004)
Start line/finish line offset
Total number of race laps
Total race distance
Pitlane speed limits
60km/h during practice and qualifying;
100km/h during race
Source – FIA