Chinese Grand Prix Layout
Shanghai is the typical Herman Tilke designed circuit. Much like Bahrain and Sepang it stretches out over a vast baron expanse and is made up of many varied technical corners that really test an engineer. The first turn spirals into itself, and from there drivers snake around a mix of fast and slow sections before reaching the1200 metre back straight. Like Sepang, the circuit has been built on a swamp and there are fears that some of the track will sink and will cause bumps on the surface. Strangely, drainage grates around the track edges have caused problems for race organisers because they were not originally secured very well. It would only take a car to run over them for a large piece of metal to stick upright from the ground, and in 2005 Juan Pablo Montoya retired when he hit one. The same thing happened during a touring car race and the driver was lucky to survive because the drain cut a hole right through the chassis and past his seat. The track does not rise or fall much, and is shaped like the Chinese character Shang which means 'ascend'. A mammoth grandstand flanks the main straight and offers the best view because there are no places where the fans can get close to the action. The pits and paddock area of the track is the largest and most impressive in the world, and the teams reside in bungalows rather than motorhomes.