Track Review: Formula One Heads to China

Adam PooleAnalyst IOctober 15, 2008

As Formula One jets off to Shanghai for this years penultimate race of the season, we have a look at what China has to offer.

The race is 303.475km (189.672mi) long and is made up of 56 5.419km (3.387mi) long laps.

The circuit was opened in 2004 after China had struggled for nine years to get onto the F1 calendar, when the track was complete and running it was a dream come true for Bernie Ecclestone and FIA boss Max Mosely.

Based on an old 300m deep swamp, the designer, Hermann Tilke, faced some gueling challenges to get Shanghai its track which today consists of long straights, plenty of overtaking opertunities and fast corners.

The foundations of this track are completely made up of polystyrene and built on 40,000 piles, all 40m to 80m deep.

When the track first opened in 2004, Michael Schumacher couldn't master it and he made several schoolboy errors, the same happened in 2005, but, by 2006, normal service had been resumed and Schumacher went on to win the Grand-Prix.

China made the F1 headlines in last year's title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen when Lewis made an error in the pit-lane which lead the way for Kimi to claim the championship title two weeks later at Interlagos.

Will China play a bit part in this year's championship?  Will Lewis be able to master the track this year or will he struggle to hold on to his five point lead?

Only time will tell, don't miss the race this weekend.