Unforgettable Moments Of The Chinese Grand Prix 

Chinese Grand Prix
Chinese Grand Prix

The Chinese Grand Prix, held in the buzzing metropolis of Shanghai, has been present on the Formula 1 calendar since its first debut in 2004. However, newer fans may be unaware of this unique track, as the last race there was all the way back in 2019. Then the global pandemic struck and as of China’s strict rules regarding it, the Grand Prix could not take place — even though it was originally on the 2023 schedule.

This year, from 19th to 21st of April, we finally return to the Shanghai International Circuit, and what more, in the form of a Sprint weekend. It’s certain we can look forward to a lot of on-track action — and, as many fans think, also a lot of chaos.

On this occasion, let’s take a trip through time and revisit some memorable and special moments the Chinese Grand Prix blessed us with.

Schumacher’s Last Win (2006)

Despite starting sixth amidst pouring rain, the legendary German driver claimed his 91st victory in Formula 1 at the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix, setting a record for most wins that would last another fifteen years. Schumacher’s fight for the podium was mainly with the Renaults of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella and the McLaren of Kimi Räikkönen, who then retired with a mechanical issue.

Driving for Ferrari, this marked Michael Schumacher’s last first-place trophy. After that season, he retired and then briefly came back in 2010 to do his final two years with Mercedes.

Red Bull’s First Triumph (2009)

We might know the Austrian team as the superior winners of many races nowadays, but the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix witnessed their maiden victory in Formula 1 as a constructor. The race itself started behind the safety car, and because of the heavy rain, it stayed out until lap 8. Regardless of the poor conditions and some fighting, Sebastian Vettel secured first place starting from pole, leading his teammate Mark Webber to the checkered flag and a one-two finish.

And so the first of many Red Bull’s perfect weekends happened, the team leaving the third round of the 2009 FIA Formula One World Championship with both drivers on the podium — the first and second place, — and also Vettel’s pole-position. The only thing they missed was perhaps the fastest lap, claimed by Rubens Barrichello in Brawn-Mercedes.

Wheels Falling Off (2010)

Sebastien Buemi was driving in a free practice session of the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix, when suddenly the wheels of his Toro Rosso literally blew off. The wheels flew over the safety barrier of the circuit and the impact of the seemingly spontaneous burst caused Buemi’s car to helplessly go off the track into the gravel, where it came to rest just next to the barrier.

Although this crash didn’t affect the race itself, it certainly remained one of the unfortunate highlights of the weekend. The young Swiss driver was okay, but the same probably can’t be said about his car.

Hamilton’s Championship Charge (2008)

The 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship was a close battle between McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa. On the Shanghai International Circuit, Hamilton delivered a masterclass of driving and not only won the race, but also secured pole position and dominated all free sessions.

After the previous Grand Prix in Japan, the Brit saw his championship lead cut by two points and theoretically, two other drivers could still take the crown before the Chinese Grand Prix. This became an important victory for Hamilton and helped him steal the 2008 championship for himself in the final race in Brazil.

Pre-Race Crash (2005)

Michael Schumacher was heading onto the grid at a particularly slow pace, warming up his tires. Then Christijan Albers from Minardi F1 Team followed him out at an almost race-like speed. Because of the difference in their tempo, Albers crashed into the back of the Ferrari and almost flew over it, sending both cars into a pile of debris.

This unusual crash happened merely thirty minutes before the start of the 2005 race in China and damaged both vehicles. In the end, both drivers managed to go racing — however, they had to use spare cars, and so they were demoted to start from the pit-lane because of the last-minute changes.

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