2020 Chinese Grand Prix
With the fears around the highly contagious outbreak of the coronavirus virus, the 2020 Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed to help protect the public against further contamination.
The 2020 Chinese Grand Prix, which had been scheduled for April 17-19, has been postponed as a result of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Although the initial announcement said the race would be postponed, given the ongoing spread of the virus, the cancellation of several other international sporting events, and the already full Formula 1 calendar, it is unlikely the race will be held in 2020.
The site for the Shanghai International Circuit was located in Shanghai in 2002 after the Chinese Government signed a seven year contract with Formula One Management. After eighteen months the luxurious circuit was completed in 2004, in time for its F1 season scheduled race at an estimated cost of 240 million US dollars.
It’s designer, Hermann Tilke is responsible for many of the current F1 racing track designs and worked hard to create a circuit embraced the Chinese culture. For this reason the circuit is more than just a race track, it’s designed in the shape of ‘shang’ the Chinese symbol for upwards.
At the time of completion in 2004, the luxurious track was the most expensive ever built, this was later eclipsed by the state of the art complex at Abu Dhabi in 2009.
The first race in China was in 2004. It was introduced to the Formula One calendar the same year as Bahrain.
This was an important first race for China who struggled to enter into the F1 World Championship in previous years. The first Chinese Grand Prix was originally scheduled in China in 1999, however, the purpose built track, located in Zhuhai, did not pass F1 checks and regulations and it took incredible effort and determination by the Chinese government to reapply and commission the current F1 track.
The track is 5.451 km long (3.387 miles) and features some of the trickiest corner combinations seen in Formula One, thanks to its unique ‘shang’ symbol design.
Drivers complete 56 laps, no mean feat as they carry significant speed into demanding corners for a total race length of 305 km (190 miles).
The Shanghai circuit has one of the longest straights on the current track line up at 1.2km, which gives drivers a chance to open up the throttle. The really fun part for drivers is the incredible G-force through turns 7 and 8. The true challenge for this circuit though is the opening part of the lap at turns 1 and 2, following into the next two turns as well. From the start line drivers are pulled into ever tightening corners with increasing radius and demanding degrees, making it the most demanding right hand corner combination on the F1 calendar.
The Shanghai experience is a lively one. Overtaking means that pole position is never a sure win. Currently China has the biggest crowd capacity of the F1 races, with 200,000 tickets available. Coupled with the state of the art facilities it makes for an incredible racing experience and buzzing atmosphere. The Pudong district offers an eclectic spread of modern bars and acclaimed restaurants, expanding in the new millennium to become one of the world’s most dynamic and energetic cities. That makes it a worthwhile stop for tourists for sure, with the Shanghai circuit an easy 60 minute metro ride away.
This is also a circuit where weather can play a big factor with rain a frequent visitor on race weekends, shaking up team strategies and keeping drivers and race managers on their toes.
This race is all about passing opportunities so for that reason we’re recommending Grandstand K, which covers the fight for place action at the Turn 14-15 hairpin, or Turn 6, where daredevil overtaking has led to race wins in previous years.
With the fears around the 2020 highly contiguous outbreak of coronavirus virus the race has been postponed to help protect the public against further contamination. When the infection will settle is unknown, however, everything will be done to open the race to the public and get the race into the 2020 season calendar. Public safety, as well as the health and wellbeing of staff, drivers and team members is of course the number one priority at any modern F1 event and the close proximity of spectators from all over the world does pose a threat that officials have taken very seriously.
The Shanghai race was under threat previously for not being about to recoup enough income to cover expenses, a complaint made by many nations in the 2008 season who felt the financial burden of hosting the events was too heavy. However, like many nations China held on through the loss period and extended its F1 contract. The current contract expires with the 2020 race with no suggestion there will be any difficulty extending again, even with the crowded race calendar.