Formula 1: rain again at the Chinese GP?

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Formula 1: Preview of the Grand Prix China 2010
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N after the somewhat bland start to the season in Bahrain the Formula 1 season was really in full swing recently. Already in Melbourne one climax followed the next. In Malaysia, rain caused a stir again. The Formula 1 breakfast program from China could bring a lot of action into German living rooms again. According to the latest forecasts, the weekend weather should be changeable. Ironically, on race Sunday there is a threat of rain.

A damp track in Shanghai would not be the first time to cause a stir. In 2006 Michael Schumacher showed his rain class shortly before his retirement. His 91st victory is also his last to this day. The chaos race of 2008 will also remain unforgettable, when Lewis Hamilton slipped into the gravel bed of the pit entrance on worn rain tires and ultimately ruined the world title. And last year Sebastian Vettel won in constant rain in Shanghai and thus caused Jenson Button's only defeat in the first seven races.

The route:

The Shanghai International Circuit is spectacular enough even without rain. The curves are varied in terms of their radii and should tempt the pilots to make mistakes. There are also some quick turns, in which the car has to be ideally set up. However, the two long straights on which the cars are accelerated to over 300 km /h are characteristic. Especially at the end of the back straight, braking onto the hairpin offers a very good opportunity for overtaking maneuvers.

The set-up:

Due to the changing corners and the long ones The engineers have to try to find a good compromise when it comes to downforce. The wings tend to be set a little steeper because the time is gained mainly in the slow corners. If you drive too much downforce, you could be punished with a lack of top speed on the straights. Overtaking is then no longer possible in the race. The two McLaren have here with their Wing trick by the way, a real ace up your sleeve. You reach a good top speed even with high downforce.

The 5.451 kilometer course is otherwise very fluid. The full throttle partis 51 percent below average. The fuel consumption is still relatively high, which could again cause problems for Virgin. The F1 newcomer had designed his tank too small and can only be retrofitted at the next race in Spain. Otherwise, China is not a major challenge for the engineers. The cool temperatures, which are well below the 20 ° C mark, ensure good working conditions for brakes and motors. The grippy asphalt also means that the pilots can still find some grip on wet slopes.

The favorites:

As in Malaysia, Red Bull favorite in China under all conditions. The high level of downforce and the aerodynamic efficiency of the car are also the decisive trump cards in Shanghai. Sebastian Vettel already showed in his victory last year that he can hardly be beaten in the rain. However, the competition will not make life as easy for him as it was in Malaysia. McLaren and Ferrari have learned from their mistakes and will attack Red Bull.

Behind the three-way battle at the top, Mercedes GP orientate backwards again. Especially the strong Renault by Robert Kubica Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg recently moved very close to the skin. Force India also wants to try to expand the series of points and annoy the top teams. The weather forecast gives all teams from the broad midfield hope for a surprise. Especially for the Swiss Sauber team it would be important to finally score points in the fourth race of the season. The perfectly flat track could help the hard-tuned car.

Expert assessment: James Key (Clean Technology Manager)

'The track will have a similar downforce driven like the courses of the first three Grands Prix. The Shanghai Circuit is one of the modern tracks with some interesting passages. The long straight requires a compromise in terms of downforce. The fact that the surface offers good grip could play into our hands To drive with a little less wings. Braking stability and traction are very important. The two snail-like corners are tricky for the drivers. We have to see how the cars and the tires handle them. We hope for the best and will try to score points. '

That's how the race went inPrevious year:

In 2009 the Chinese Grand Prix was already the third race on the program. Continuous rain on race Sunday turned the Grand Prix into a high-speed regatta. Sebastian Vettel coped best with the adverse conditions. From pole position, the German dominated the entire race that started behind the Safey Car. Mark Webber made the Red Bull one-two perfect with second place. The previously superior Brawn pilots had to be content with third and fourth places. The tragic hero was Adrian Sutil, who threw away three possible World Championship points with a crash shortly before the end.

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