Shanghai: The Formula 1 circuit enters China this weekend as the city of Shanghai gets set to host the third race of the season. Red Bull driver Sebastian Vettel comes into the race as the runaway leader with a 100 percent record in the 2011 season so far.
The corners in Shanghai are all heavily loaded on entry, particularly Turn 1 which normally requires a strong front end for the driver to place the car accurately. Traction is also important because of the presence of four slow speed corner exits around the lap. Track temperatures in Shanghai are cool, much like they were during the Australian GP.
Williams' driver Rubens Barrichello who had won the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in 2004 expressed his liking for the circuit, "I like Shanghai a lot. I like the layout of the circuit and I have good memories here.
"We have an upgrade to the car this weekend which I hope will improve our speed and overall performance. It hasn't been a good start to the season for us as we are yet to finish a race where we belong, but I'm hoping the upgrade will help us to move forward."
Turns 2, 3 and 4 of the Shanghai track are very slow, which emphasises low speed pick-up. With increased rear-tyre degradation, the emphasis on the engine to provide a smooth, consistent torque delivery has increased.
Last year, ambient conditions were such that raw engine power output was the highest of the season. A high ambient pressure of 1026 mbar, and a rather chilly air temperature of 12°C at the start of P1, meant that the conditions in 2010 worked in the engine manufacturers' favour.
Tyre producer Pirelli stated that the Shanghai track surface is less aggressive and temperatures should be lower which means that there would be less degradation.
There is a reasonably high chance of rain, which might finally give the wet and intermediate tyres their debut.