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Preview GP China 2015: Will Mercedes stumble over Ferrari again?

Wilhelm
Preview GP China 2015
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M it his victory in Malaysia, Sebastian Vettel won the competition from Mercedes thrown down the gauntlet. The first defeat after a winning streak of eight races hurt Mercedes in particular. Because nobody expected them after the overwhelming dominance in Australia.

Accordingly, the world championship team is looking for revenge. China could be the place for it. The third route in the 2015 calendar tastes good to the Silver Arrows. In 2012 Nico Rosberg celebrated his first pole and his first win in Shanghai. It was also the first triumph in modern times for Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton is also on the Chinese course. The double world champion has already celebrated three victories in China. Rival Vettel has a success in Shanghai on the account. The four-time champion and his Ferrari racing team are really spurred on after their Malaysia coup. And want to trip up the Mercedes again.

The route - Shanghai International Circuit

The 5,451 kilometer long The course was planted in 2004 by the German route architect Hermann Tilke in a swamp area at the gates of Shanghai. In the meantime, numerous residential areas have sprung up like mushrooms in the vicinity of the Grand Prix circuit.

In terms of layout, the wide circuit with its 16 corners offers a lot of variety. There are fast corners, but also very slow corners. The first three passages, which resemble a 'snail' in shape, are particularly well-known. At the end of the home straight, the drivers brake deep into the first bend and allow themselves to be carried out in order to perfectly hit the apex of the second bend Left bend onto a slightly longer straight.

As always, there will be most attacks on the straight between turns 13 and 14. At more than one kilometer, it is the longest straight stretch on the calendar Curves 1, 6 and 11.

A good 80 percent of a lap consists of cornering. The many long hairpin bends - some of which are driven through at high speed - place unusual stress on the tires In Shanghai, the front rubbers are the limiting factor - especially the left one, which is heavily used in curves 1, 2 and 12, 13 miss when acceleratingwithstand slow corners.

Pirelli brings the 'Soft' and 'Medium' tire types. How well they work also depends on the weather. Initial forecasts assume moderate temperatures.

Fast facts about the GP China 2015

  • Distance: 5.451 kilometers
  • Number of laps: 56
  • Race distance: 305.066 kilometers
  • Number of corners: 16 (9 right, 7 left)
  • Track record: 1: 32,239 minutes (Michael Schumacher)
  • Distance from starting position 1 to the apex of curve 1: 380 meters
  • Length of the speed limit in the pit lane: 351 meters
  • Safety car probability: 33 percent

The setup for Shanghai

Because of the two long straights, the teams are forced to do a little less downforce than desired to drive. Both the front and rear wings are flattened a little to increase top speed and improve the chances of a duel. In general, a medium downforce level is required in Shanghai.

Since the asphalt on the permanent racetrack in Shanghai is very even and the curbs are not major obstacles, the ground clearance in China is traditionally lowered a lot. Only in the braking zone in front of turn one are there minor bumps on which the car gets restless.

No particular loads are to be expected with the brakes and engines. The full throttle share is 55% in the lower range. Temperatures in Shanghai are also traditionally moderate. The asphalt is not relatively smooth, but the left front tire is particularly challenged in the long corners.

Because of the mostly cooler temperatures and the fast passages, the phenomenon of graining is often threatened in Shanghai, i.e. the grains of the tire surface. In this case, the rollers on the front axle are particularly affected. Graining increases abrasion and wear, which poses problems for drivers. Pirelli expects a two-stop race for 2015, just like last year.

The tire supplier estimates the difference between the two compounds 'Soft' and 'Medium' to be 1.2 to 1.4 seconds. In one round - pro soft mix.

Technology updates

After the first defeat since the Belgian GP In 2014 Mercedes wants to make the Malaysia weekend forget. The technology department is upgrading the Silver Arrow for this purpose. 'For Shanghai we have a number of new aerodynamic developments with which we are aiming for an improved performance compared to Malaysia,' says Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe.

We are particularly curious to see whether Mercedes will unpack its new front wing that the team already had in their luggage for Malaysia, but not used.

Williams has also announced a few new developments for the third race of the year. The traditional racing team wants the one torn open in MalaysiaClose the gap on Mercedes and Ferrari as soon as possible. Ferrari itself and also Red Bull cover the cloak of silence about their updates.

Favorites for the GP China 2015

The first two races of the season have defined the order in the field: Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams. Mercedes has the fastest car on a lap. Over the distance, the lead over the red cars shrinks. And when it gets particularly hot and the tires are used hard, Ferrari can even turn the picture around. See Malaysia.

Since the temperatures in China should be more moderate, the victory will probably only go to Mercedes. However, should the Silver Arrows stumble, the Scuderia should be the first contender for victory. Williams is expected to have Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa closer to the top. A similar deficit as in Malaysia would be a surprise.

After the first two races failed with just eleven points, Red Bull has to get around the corner in Shanghai. Otherwise, the A-Team is threatened with another duel with Toro Rosso's brother.

On a smooth weekend, Sauber and Lotus should fight for the last points. McLaren-Honda and Force India have to hope for mistakes of the competitors. And manor? The racing team will once again fight the 107 percent rule in qualifying and take the last places in the race. Provided that both pilots can start this time.

This is how the race went last year - GP China 2014

Im Last year Lewis Hamilton confidently secured victory in China. It was the third in a row after his successes in Malaysia and Bahrain. The eventual world champion won a rainy qualifying and controlled the race over 56 laps from the start. Hamilton headed for a tire change twice in the pits.

Nico Rosberg made the Mercedes one-two perfect. The election Monegasse experienced a difficult weekend in Shanghai. In qualifying, he ruined the third section. The result: fourth place on the grid. Telemetry then went on strike during the race, whereupon Rosberg had to transmit all data, such as fuel consumption, from the cockpit to the command center. After a slow start - including a collision with Valtteri Bottas - the Mercedes driver fought his way to second place. Fernando Alonso completed the podium in the Ferrari.

There was a stink on the funk at Red Bull after the team asked Sebastian Vettel to avoid Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian had the fresher tires after the first stint and drove the faster times. However, Vettel initially refused to go out of the way for his team mate.

In the 26th lap, Ricciardo snapped and passed Vettel. Because the four-time champion when braking for theThe snail curve left the door open.

The race management took care of a curiosity: As the black-and-white checkered flag was waved one lap too early, the race was stopped according to paragraph 42.2 of the sporting regulations at the end of the 54th Laps counted.

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