China

Track: Shainghai International Circuit
No. of Laps: 56 Length: 5.451km
Distance: 305.066km
Lap Record: 1:32.238 – M Schumacher (2004)
2011 Winner: Lewis Hamilton

 

History

Costing approximately $450 million (USD), the circuit was financed by a government-funded joint-venture company, consisting of the Shanghai Juss Corporation, Shanghai National Property Management Co Ltd, and Shanghai Jia’an Investment and Development Co Ltd. Architectural and design experts began planning and visiting the site between April and May 2003, and the area was transformed from swampland to international racetrack within 18 months with a team of 3000 engineers working around the clock.

Other events held at the circuit include a round of the MotoGP world championship, the Australian-based V8 Supercar championship in 2005, attracting crowds of over 250,000 spectators, and also the final round of the A1 Grand Prix in 2006/2007.

The 2008 MotoGP race was the last one on this circuit, as the FIM didn’t select the racetrack for the provisional calendar of 2009. This is due to overcrowding problems in the circuit.

In September 2007, former manager of the circuit Yu Zhifei  was convicted of embezzlement as part of a corruption scandal in Shanghai which resulted in the dismissal of several senior Chinese Communist Party officials.

The Chinese Grand Prix attracted 260,000 spectators in its inaugural year in 2004 with a slight 10,000 increase in 2005, but attendance has since declined with 155,000 attending in 2010. On Feb 18, 2011, Reuters reported words from the Chinese Grand Prix organizers said Shanghai has extended the deal to host the Chinese Grand Prix to 2018 despite falling attendance. Reuters reported words from Yiping Chen, deputy director of the Shanghai Sports Bureau, suggested the situation can improve in the following years by lowering the ticket cost. Reuters reported prices for prime seats range would decrease from 3,580-3,980 yuan in 2010 to 1,980-3,280 yuan in 2011. On the same day, AFP reported that the Shanghai City government will keep open a subway line to the race track to boost spectator numbers from April 15-17, 2011.

The Feb 18, 2011 Reuters news also reported words from Wen Zhao, vice-mayor of Shanghai, suggested F1 is a calling card for Shanghai and he is confident that the success of the event in the years ahead.

 

Layout

In common with many other new Formula One circuits, it was designed by Hermann Tilke, and also features his trademark track feature: a long back straight followed by a hairpin turn. Current-generation F1 cars can easily surpass 300 km/h (186 mph) on the long straight between corners 13 and 14. The track layout was inspired from the Chinese character shang, the first character in the name of the city Shanghai, meaning “above” or “ascend”. One lap lasts 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles). The whole circuit plus seating areas and other areas for spectators, covers a total area of 5.3 km².

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