We’re now looking towards China for round three of the championship, in a place where over the years we’ve seen some crazy moments featuring wheels coming off, pre-race crashes, pit lane struggles and gravel mishaps.
Its a place were big crowds gather round and cars go through many twists, high demands and intense, exciting racing as they go 54% of the lap at full speed. Among more intriguing figures, drives change gears a total 48 times per lap, and suffer a maximum 4.3 G-force on track - precisely at Turn 7.
The Shanghai track features a combined 16 turns and is famous for having the longest straight on the F1 calendar, which is over one kilometre long.
Shanghai is also a place of good (mostly) memories for the Mercedes guys, as Nico Rosberg claimed his 1st win there back in 2012, and Lewis Hamilton has been in the podium a record 7 times, four of which he’s won. But can he make it five on Sunday?
The Mercedes guys predict some 'extreme' strategies happening this weekend, and expect Ferrari to keep the pressure on, as Toto Wolff believes we’ve not yet seen the Italian’s full potential. It’s a given the Prancing Horse will be looking to fight off reliability issues.
Meanwhile, Haas and McLaren. Can Haas deliver again? Romain Grosjean and company are enjoying a strong debut and surely will welcome another top five finish. And uncertainty surrounds the woking team as it’s still not clear where in the field they actually are. Add to that Fernando Alonso’s return is still a bit of a mystery, and Stoffel Vandoorne made a great race back in Bahrain.
Finally, quali. Yes, we’re thrilled it’s back, the old and beloved format. Although, you have to admit the much controversial and short-lived new quali format did achieve uncertainty - Q1 anyway - and did manage to get everybody talking about it. There’s no such thing as bad publicity?