Chinese Grand Prix 2016 Preview
F1 makes its 1st visit of the season to east Asia this weekend for the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix.
This will be the 13th running of the event, 1st held in Y 2004, and the last long-distance Grand Prix til June.
Nico Rosberg won his 1st-ever GP at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2012, and he heads into the race with a 17-pt lead over MercedesAMG team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the drivers’ championship. Mr. Rosberg has won the last 5 races.
Mr. Hamilton goes into the race with a 5 place Grid penalty.
Mr. Hamilton, the reigning world champion, is the most successful driver in Chinese Grand Prix history, with 4 wins and 5 pole positions.
Normally he would look like the best bet to take victory in Y 2016 too, but a 5-place grid penalty for a gearbox change has left him with a major challenge.
Fernando Alonso is the only other driver in the field to post multiple Shanghai wins, and he will be back in the driver’s seat of the McLaren after missing the last race in Bahrain.
He has been provisionally passed fit by the FIA, but he has been told he will need additional medical checks immediately after 1st practice to assess whether he can take part in the rest of the weekend’s racing.
The battle between Mercedes and Ferrari will, of course, be complicated once more by tire choice.
For the 3rd race running Pirelli is bringing the medium, soft and supersoft compounds to Shanghai, and once again Messrs Hamilton, Rosberg and the Ferraris have gone for different allocations.
Mr. Hamilton has opted for 4 sets of mediums, 4 sets of softs and 5 sets of supersofts.
Mr. Rosberg’s choice is 3-5-5.
Messrs Vettel and Raikkonen have both gone for 3-4-6.
The 3 compounds selected have led to a number of different tactical permutations up to now, so expect a variety of strategies in China.
There will be many happy racing fans all over the world when qualifying starts Saturday.
After pressure from the teams and fans, the FIA has finally agreed to a switch back to the popular 2015-style qualifying format for this Saturday’s competition.
According to F1’s meteorological partners UBIMET, the weekend will kick off with dry weather before the showers roll in Saturday for the qualifying session.
“Saturday will see a wet start to the day with periods of rain, then clouds will break for a period, allowing for some glimpses of sky,” their forecast reads.
Click this link for a look at the Shanghai circut: https://www.formula1.com/content/fom-website/en/latest/features/2016/4/china-preview-can-ferrari-strike-back-in-shanghai-.html
FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX TV TIMES
Do not miss a moment of the 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix. FOX SPORTS has every Formula 1® practice session, qualifying and the race from Shanghai EXCLUSIVELY LIVE in HD.
You can also access exclusive extra video feeds online with FOX SPORTS Race Centre during Sunday’s race, where you can watch live timing, on-board cameras, a pit lane view with bonus team radio audio, as well as a driver tracker.
Below is the schedule for this weekend.
All times American EDT and on FOX SPORTS 505 unless indicated.
11:45a — Practice 1
1:50p — Legends of F1: Nigel Mansell
3:00p — Legends of F1: Mika Hakkinen
3:45p — Practice 2
6:30p — The F1 Show (FS506)
1:45p — Practice 3
3:15p — Legends of F1: Alain Prost
4:00p — Qualifying pre-Show
5:00p — Qualifying
2:30p — Pre-Race Show
4:00p — The 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix
Stay tuned for great racing…