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2014 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix - Race Preview

EVENT COUNTDOWN

ALBERT PARK

12-15 MARCH 2015

What?

The 2014 FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX
Round 4 of 19

Where?

Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai

When?

April 18 - 20
Qualifying • Saturday April 19 16:00
Race start • Sunday April 20 17:00

Laps?

56

Track records:

Best record:

Ferrari: 4 victories in 10 races here (Barrichello ’04, Schumacher ’06, Raikkonen ’07, Alonso ’13)
Alonso: 2 victories (’05, ’13) & Hamilton: 2 victories (’08, ’11)

Lap record:
1:32.238 = 212.749 km/h • M. Schumacher (Ferrari) 2004

2013 pole:
Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:34.484 = 207.692 km/h

2013 results:
1 Alonso (Ferrari) 1:36.26.945 = 189.778 km/h
2 Raikkonen (Lotus F1 Renault)
3 Hamilton (Mercedes)

Best Moments

2006: Michael Schumacher’s Ferrari comes home three seconds ahead of the Renault driven by Fernando Alonso in the year they scrapped for the title. It is Michael’s 91st Grand Prix victory – and his last.

2009: it’s the Vettel and Webber show, Part 1 – the first 1-2 finish for Red Bull Racing, with the drivers in that order. So far Red Bull have amassed 16 1-2 results.

2011: Webber features prominently, this time qualifying down in 18th but producing a thrilling comeback through the field, using his tyres to maximum advantage – and selling Schuey’s Mercedes a superb dummy – on his way to the podium in third place.

Man of the Moment

For the wrong reason, it’s Danny Ric – that’s Daniel Ricciardo to you and me. The FIA has just rejected Red Bull’s appeal against their driver’s exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix results, so Dan will be doubly keen to make up lost ground in China and go for that first podium finish taken from him in Melbourne.

Big issues

The above-mentioned Red Bull squabble has occupied the media in recent times, with Mercedes – currently lording it over everyone in the new engine era – keen to have them brought into line with a more stringent punishment, which the FIA decided against.

Who’s boss at Ferrari? The writing was on the wall for Stefano Domenicali when Scuderia overlord Luca di Montezemolo stormed out of the red garage during a low-key Bahrain Grand Prix for his team. In comes Marco Mattiacci, whose rise through the ranks has seen him increase Ferrari’s North American market share dramatically. But does he know anything about F1?

Quote of the week

“The race in Bahrain was quite simply brilliant to watch: one of the best in recent memory, in fact. This is what we go racing for and it was a strong advert for the sport: in particular under these new regulations. I think that in itself proves that we are moving in the right direction. Though we have enjoyed a positive start to the season, with time the balance of the field will start to even out and it's a credit to the people within the sport that we can see such significant advancements throughout the grid already. If we are to sustain any sort of advantage that we may currently have, it's up to us to keep raising the bar in every area.”

Toto Wolff, Head of Motorsport, Mercedes-Benz

Off the record

Another Rosberg-Hamilton duel? Probably, this time with Nico gaining the upper hand at the track where he scored his first Grand Prix victory in 2012. Watch out for another strong showing from Force India, this time with the other Nico – Hulkenberg – getting his own back on teammate Perez. And keep an eye on Valtteri Bottas…

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