- Feb 3, 2014
The Shanghai International Circuit is home to the third race of the 2015 season, and is holding its 11th F1 race. Ferrari's performance will be the biggest watch this weekend as the team come off their first win since Spain 2013.
Last year saw Lewis Hamilton take pole and win the race ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg in the beginnings of their domination. Rosberg took the fastest lap with 1:40.402 seconds.
After Ferrari's outstanding performance in Malaysia with Vettel grabbing the win from previously dominant Mercedes, it has thrown a spanner in the works. Will Ferrari be Mercedes only competition for the season or was their win just because of good strategy and a mistake from Mercedes?
China often shows the natural pecking order for the rest of the season as the nature of the track separates the strong from the weak.
Unlike Malaysia, China's climate is much cooler, but is still unpredictable. Despite this tyres are still stressed from the demands of the track. One lap around Shanghai International Circuit is around 80% braking; with a mixture of low, medium and high-speed corners and the longest straight in Formula One at 1,170 meters, the track is a battle for tyres. Pirelli have chosen medium and soft tyres for this race, the same has Australia, and predict a two stop strategy; this strategy is deemed to be crucial in gaining the best performance for the race.
The long straight is optimal for teams that have a strong straight line speed, such as Williams and Ferrari, and will allow them to pull off passing manoeuvres over other teams who do not have strong straight line speed.
The biggest questions coming into this race are the conditions of Ferrari and if they can keep their strong performance over Mercedes? How Red Bull will compete against junior team Toro Rosso who have out performed the seniors? What have, or will, Mercedes do in order to beat rivals Ferrari?
Comment with your predictions for the Grand Prix and if you think Ferrari are Mercedes' main competition or will Mercedes be victorious?