Contributor to F1PaddockPass.com, @F1StatMan, has delved into his archives and has taken a look at some of the facts surrounding the Chinese Grand Prix.
This is the 14th running of the Chinese Grand Prix. The race debuted in 2004 and has been held every year since. Every race has taken place at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver in China with four victories (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015). Other multiples winners are Fernando Alonso (2005, 2013) and Nico Rosberg (2012, 2016). Of the current field, Sebastian Vettel (2009) and Kimi Raikkonen (2007_ have won the race. The other winners in Shanghai are Rubens Barrichello (2004), Micheal Schumacher (2006) and Jenson Button (2010).
Ferrari (2004, 2006, 2007, 2013) and Mercedes (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016) are tied on wins apiece in China, one ahead of McLaren (2008, 2010, 2011). Renault won in 2005 and Red Bull Racing had its debut F1 victory at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2009.
Victory here in 2012 was the first of Nico Rosberg’s 23 career wins. Last season, Rosberg’s second victory at the Shanghai International Circuit was his 17th in F1 which at the time, made him custodian of the unwanted record of most F1 victories without a World Drivers Championship. Having clichéd the title in Abu Dhabi, Rosberg hands that record back to Stirling Moss and the 16 victories the British driver scored between 1955 and 1961 for Mercedes, Maserati, Vanwall, Cooper and Lotus.
Hamilton has the most pole positions in China with five (2007-8, 2013-15), followed by Vettel with three (2009-11), then Alonso (2005-06) and Rosberg (2012, 2016) with two apiece. The only other driver to have started from pole position is Rubens Barrichello (2004).
Pole position has proved advantageous here with the driver on pole winning eight of the 13 races held here. Schumacher’s win from P6 is the victory from furthest back on the grid and one of only two wins from the even-numbered grid slots on the inside line, the other being Raikkonen from P2.
Mark Webber was third in the 2011 race and 18th on the grid, the only driver to have finished on the podium in Shanghai having started outside the top ten.
Ferrari’s lead in the Constructors Championship is the first time Mercedes have been off the top spot since March 2014, when second and third places at the season opening Australian Grand Prix gave McLaren a slender advantage. Mercedes took the lead in the title race with a one-two finish in Malaysia on March 30th 2014 – and led consistently since then.
Despite being a permanent track, compared to Albert Park, the Shanghai International Circuit is statistically an inferior early-season indicator of Constructors Championship form. China became an early-season race in 2009: in the eight races that followed, the winning team here has only gone on to lift the Constructors Trophy three times. For the same 2009-2016 timeframe, the winner of the Australian Grand Prix has won the Championship five times.
Giovinazzi returns for Sauber, Wehrlein still out.
150th race for Mercedes.
The track has been resurfaced across the start line to remove the bump that had developed.
Additional tyres have been installed in parts of the barriers in Turns One and Eight.
Grass-crete has been laid around Turn Two between the track and the asphalt run off.
Additional ‘combination’ kerb elements have been installed behind the existing kerbs at Turns Two, Three and 12. These new elements are 50mm higher than the existing kerbs and are approximately 3m long and 1m wide.