2024 Chinese Grand Prix: Fast Facts

2024 Chinese Grand Prix Fast Facts
2024 Chinese Grand Prix Fast Facts

After a five year hiatus, Formula 1 engines will once again roar to life in China, as the Shanghai International Circuit prepares to host the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix from April 19 to 21. The return of the Grand Prix to China marks a significant milestone, as the event was last held in 2019 before global health concerns led to a pause in the racing calendar in the region.

With anticipation building, teams and fans alike are gearing up for what promises to be a thrilling weekend of high-speed competition and a fresh chapter in the storied legacy of Formula 1 in China.

2024 Chinese Grand Prix Schedule

The Chinese Grand Prix is set to unfold over an action-packed three-day weekend, with the first Sprint Race of the 2024 F1 season, which is also the first time a Sprint Race will held in China.

The event kicks off on April 19 with the first practice session scheduled from 11:30 to 12:30, followed by a pivotal Sprint Qualifying from 15:30 to 16:14, setting the stage for Saturday’s events. April 20 begins with a buzz as the Sprint takes place from 11:00 to 12:00, a prelude to the afternoon’s Qualifying session from 15:00 to 16:00, which will determine the starting grid for the main event.

The weekend culminates on April 21 with the Grand Prix race at 15:00, where drivers will compete for the podium in what promises to be a memorable return to the Shanghai International Circuit. The inclusion of the Sprint format adds an extra layer of strategy and excitement, as teams and drivers navigate this new challenge on Chinese soil.

DateSessionTime
Apr 19Practice 111:30 – 12:30
Apr 19Sprint Qualifying15:30 – 16:14
Apr 20Sprint11:00 – 12:00
Apr 20Qualifying15:00 – 16:00
Apr 21Race15:00

Please note: All times are local track times in Shanghai.

How to Watch the 2024 Chinese Grand Prix

Formula 1 fans around the globe can catch all the action from the Chinese Grand Prix through various broadcasters and streaming services.

In the United Kingdom, viewers can watch every session live on Sky Sports F1, with comprehensive coverage of the practice sessions, Sprint Race, qualifying, and the race itself.

For fans in the United States, the Chinese Grand Prix will be available through ESPN and its associated channels. ESPN offers extensive coverage of F1, including live broadcasts and replays. Cord-cutters can also stream the race live through various over-the-top (OTT) services that carry ESPN channels.

Viewers in Australia can tune in to watch the Grand Prix weekend unfold live on Fox Sports, which offers complete coverage of F1 races. For online streaming, fans can subscribe to Kayo Sports, a streaming platform that includes all Fox Sports content.

Additionally, F1 TV Pro offers live streaming of every track session to viewers in many countries worldwide.

This subscription service provides access to onboard cameras, team radios, live timing, and more, for an immersive viewing experience.

Remember to check the local listings and services for the most up-to-date information regarding broadcast times and availability in your region.

China 1

First F1 Home Race For Zhou Guanyu

Zhou Guanyu is the first-ever Chinese driver to race in Formula 1, and after a long wait, will finally have the opportunity to race in front of his adoring fans.

“I couldn’t be more excited to finally race on home soil in Shanghai. To be the first Chinese driver ever to compete in Formula 1 in China means a lot to me – it fills me with immense joy, pride and responsibility. It isn’t just a race for me: after four years off the calendar, the championship finally returns, and with a Chinese driver on the grid, we will write history. It’s an opportunity to inspire and pave the path for future generations being interested in the sport: we saw the passion that awaits us when the tickets went on sale, and were fully sold out within hours – my country loves racing and has been waiting for this moment for years. For me, though, the focus remains on performance: once I get to the track, I will treat this as any other weekend, and work hard to extract the most out of the car. I can’t wait to give it my all, share the passion with our entire team trackside and at home, and start a new chapter of Chinese motorsport together with the crowd. Most importantly, though, I can’t wait to have a good race and get back to scoring points.”

Return To China An Important Moment For F1

2019 was a happier time for Toto Wolff, as his Mercedes team were the dominant force in F1. But looking at the bigger picture for the sport, Wolff sees the importance of the paddock heading back to Shanghai this weekend.

“Returning to China is an important moment for the sport. As the world’s largest automotive market and second biggest economy, China is crucial to the sport’s global footprint. The growth of F1 in recent years has been positive and China is a key market in which to continue this progress. We are looking forward to racing in Shanghai for the first time in five years and bringing F1 back to the Chinese fans. With a sell-out crowd expected, I am sure it will be a fantastic event.
 
“It will be an interesting weekend on track. With new cars, new tyres, and changes to the track surface since we last raced in China, there will be plenty of unknowns. We have the first Sprint weekend of the year too and that brings its own challenges. The changes to the format, including a second parc fermé, will be an improvement to the rhythm of the weekend – and the single hour of practice still puts pressure on to make correct decisions with imperfect information. We are looking forward to that test, though.
 
“The headline results didn’t necessarily show it, but we made solid progress with our car in Japan. We are looking forward to building on that this weekend.

Sprint Race Adds Extra Complexity

For Ferrari’s Sporting Director and Head of Vehicle Operations, Diego Ioverno, having a Sprint Race that includes a new format, at a track the drivers haven’t raced on in five years, adds an extra layer of complexity for teams to deal with.

“The main change from last year is in the order of the sessions. It’s been done to be more linear and understandable for the spectators. There’s just one free practice session followed by the Sprint portion of the weekend, with Sprint Shootout on Friday afternoon and the Sprint Race on Saturday morning.

“Then from Saturday afternoon, the format reverts to normal with qualifying, followed by the race the next day. The change to the order of the sessions also means that parc fermé conditions are applied in two separate blocks (SS + SR and Q + R) thus allowing teams to repair the cars and modify them if necessary.

“Obviously, one has to keep in mind that every action must be clearly thought out, given that at the start of the following session, we enter a parc fermé regime again. Another aspect of the Sprint weekend is that in the event that the chassis is damaged or has a serious reliability problem, one can now request to replace it between the Sprint Race and qualifying, even though these sessions are on the same day.

“However, in order to do this, one has to be ready for it in terms of the team’s preparedness and be sure to have the necessary components.” 

2024 Chinese Grand Prix Fast Facts

  • The Chinese Grand Prix returns to the calendar for the first time since 2019 this year, having first appeared on the F1 calendar in 2004.
  • That 2019 race was also F1000, the 1000th race since the inception of the sport in 1950.
  • The 5.451km layout features 16 turns (nine right, seven left). The racing lap record from the first race in 2004 still stands today, set by Michael Schumacher.
  • Shanghai International Circuit holds special memories for the Mercedes team too, having been the site of their first win since returning to the sport in 2010 when Nico Rosberg triumphed in 2012.
  • In 2005, the circuit hosted the season finale for the one and only time.
  • Having originally taken place towards the end of the F1 calendar, the race moved to a more permanent slot in the early stages of the season from 2009.
  • The first seven events were all won by different drivers.
  • Lewis Hamilton is the most successful driver at the track, triumphing six times to date between 2008 and 2019.
  • Shanghai will also host the first F1 Sprint weekend of 2024.
  • In a change from 2023, Friday will now consist of FP1 and Sprint qualifying. The F1 Sprint race will follow on Saturday morning, before Grand Prix qualifying on Saturday afternoon.
  • This is the first year that ground effect cars (introduced in 2022) will have raced at the Shanghai International Circuit.
  • As the circuit is built on swampland, the risk of earth movement below ground is increased, so steps have been taken to grind down and reseal areas of concern on the track to make it less bumpy.
  • Friday of the Chinese Grand Prix weekend marks the 15th anniversary of the first victory for Red Bull Racing, as it celebrates its 20th season in Formula One. Seb Vettel led home teammate Mark Webber in wet conditions to simultaneously score the Team’s first one-two finish.
  • The 2009 Chinese GP also saw Seb Vettel claim the Team’s first pole position. Coincidentally, Oracle Red Bull Racing has the chance to reach 100 poles here this weekend.
  • If Max Verstappen scores pole this weekend, it will make him the first driver in the 21st Century to take the first five poles of the season. The last driver to achieve it was Mika Hakkinen in 1999.
  • If Verstappen wins this weekend, he will have won 50% of all F1 races since the last Chinese GP in 2019. It will be his 53rd victory since then, which equals the number of wins by the rest of the grid combined in that time.
  • The average number of hours per day that a Giant Panda spends eating is 15! This symbol of China can weigh between 70 and 120 kg, and measures between 120 and 190 centimetres in height. In terms of size therefore it is essentially a bear, also having similar paws. However, when it comes to diet, it differs considerably from bears commonly found in America and Europe, being predominantly herbivorous. The other major difference is that the Panda does not hibernate, not needing to because of the more temperate climate in its habitat.

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