Sunday, April 12, 2015

Shanghai International Circuit

Isometric view
Topdown view of the circuit.

Start-finish straight. Massive grandstand just to your left, pit lane to the right. I believe they've also replaced the grass on the outside line here with astroturf.

Turns 1, 2, 3. Very little braking through this turn. Track is headed downhill, but the car is slowed down through sequential gear shifts. Exit of turn 3 is very difficult as you're still turning as you try to get on the throttle. Easy to spin on upshifts (see: Vettel in practice).

Kink into turn 5. Flat out through here

Turn 6. Tight right hander. Need to pick up traction quickly as there's a lot of time to gain out of this corner.

Turn 7 - long left hander. Car is always sliding right through here, keeping it stable is important for the next turn.

Turn 8. Slightly tighter than 7, a right hander this time. Sacrifice exit speed for this.

Turns 9 and 10. Double left hander in sequence. Little traction through 10, but a good exit is the key to a good lap time with a decent little straight following this.

Turn 11. 80km/h left hander. This is also the last point you're not accelerating for a mile.

This complex is very tricky. Especially through the first half, it's easy to spin your wheels up. Camber is increasing right the way through the corner which helps with grip. Aim to be in 8th before the DRS line.

The long straight. Those grandstands are over 1km away.

Approaching the braking zone. Brake around the 90m point.

The track opens up a lot on exit allowing you to accelerate out of the corner.

Final turn is a 90 degree left. Run straight on for the pit lane.

There used to be a gravel trap on the outside of the pit entry. Thanks to Pastor Maldonado beaching himself here last year, this has been replaced with tarmac. Congratulations must go out to Maldonado, though, on once overshooting the pit entry and needing a push from the marshalls, and on once trundling down the pitlane because his brakes gave out. Seems the tarmac was for nothing.

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