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2014 Formula One Chinese Grand Prix Preview

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Shanghai International Circuit, home of the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix

Shanghai International Circuit, home of the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix

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We’re now at the fourth race of the 2014 Formula One season, the Chinese Grand Prix, which once again is taking place at the Shanghai International Circuit. This year the race coincides with the Beijing Auto Show, so there will be a lot of focus on China this weekend for automotive fans.

Built in 2004, the 3.4-mile long Shanghai International Circuit features huge straights (from turn 12 to the hairpin is the longest on the 2014 calendar), wide run-off areas, a good mix of corners, and notoriously unpredictable weather. The current weather forecast is for mild temperatures and only a bit of cloud on Sunday, although we may see some of the wet stuff during Saturday’s qualifying session.

The surface of the Shanghai International Circuit is quite hard on tires, so that could prove a challenge for teams. Pirelli has nominated its P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tires, the same combination used for the last several races in Shanghai.

All eyes will be on Mercedes AMG duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who are expected to continue their good form. Fellow top teams Red Bull Racing and Ferrari have both suffered a bad start to the season, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo losing his appeal against the exclusion of his second place result at the Australian Grand Prix and Ferrari losing team principal Stefano Domenicali just this week.

Going into the weekend, Nico Rosberg maintains his lead in the Drivers’ Championship with 61 points, followed by Lewis Hamilton in second with 50 points and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg in third with 28 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG is the clear leader with 111 points versus the 44 points of Force India and the 43 points of McLaren.

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