China GP: Special challenge for teams / Formula 1

China GP: Special challenge for teams / Formula 1

A special challenge awaits Formula 1 teams and their stars in China. The Premier class last raced at the Shanghai race in 2019. Now the first race weekend is coming up there.

The stars of Formula 1 not only have to compete in 24 Grands Prix this year, but there are also six races on the program, which will take place in Shanghai, Miami, Spielberg, Austin, Interlagos and Doha.

Those responsible for Formula 1 have decided to change the format again GP drivers will now have the first free practice session and qualifying for the race on Friday. The next day there is a sprint, before GP qualifying on Sunday takes place in the afternoon.

The reason for the new change in the process is quickly explained: According to the 2023 regulations, it was no longer allowed to change the car order from Friday afternoon. Anyone who got it wrong with the setup had to live with it for the rest of the weekend or break the parc fermé rules, which resulted in a painful penalty.

Even the latest revisions have not changed the opinion of many drivers and paddock riders about the sprint design. The fact that the first race of the year is taking place in the same way that the Premier class last raced in 2019 is causing further criticism.

“If you haven’t been on the track for a while, you don’t know what you’re going to go through. Maybe it would be better to have a normal race weekend there,” explained champion Max Verstappen, who is not a fan of the race format.

Mercedes chief engineer Andrew Shovlin also warns: “It will be a big challenge, because not only have we not been to Shanghai for a while, we are also holding a race weekend there in a new format.” He revealed that data from previous races in China will be scrutinized, but he also stressed: “We are not yet in Shanghai with the current generation of cars, and the tires are also different. The aerodynamics are very different and a lot of work will be needed.”

Teams should rely primarily on simulation. “But we’ll only have one hour of free practice and then we’ll go straight into qualifying, so it’s going to be very easy. But we’re really looking forward to this challenge, and whoever does it well has the best chance, because someone will be wrong on the race weekend ,” adds the 50-year-old Brit.

World Championship Standings (after 4 out of 24 Grands Prix)

the driver
01. Verstappen 77 points
02. Perez 64
03. Leclerc 59
04. Sainz 55
05. Norris 37
06. Plate 32
07. Russell 24
08. Alonso 24
09. Hamilton 10
10. Walk 7
11. Tsunoda 7
12. Oliver Bearman (GB) 6
13. Hulkenberg 3
14. Magnussen 1
15. Alboni 0
16. Zhou 0
17. Ricciardo 0
18. Okon 0
19. 0 gas
20. Bota 0
21. Sergeant 0

Builders Cup
01. Red Bull Racing 141 Punkte
02. Ferrari 120
03. McLaren 69
04. Mercedes 34
05. Aston Martin 33
06. Running Bull 7
07. Especially 4
08. Williams 0
09. Sauber 0
10. Alpine 0