2015 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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The 2015 Formula One World Championship continues this weekend with round three, the Chinese Grand Prix. The event is once again being held at the Shanghai International Circuit, a 3.4-mile track known for its fast corners, smooth surface, and plenty of overtaking opportunities.

Aerodynamic performance is crucial due to the track’s long back straight and combination of sweeping turns. Around 80 percent of a lap is spent cornering, which means that energy is nearly always going into the tires. Pirelli has nominated its medium and soft compounds for the race, the same combination used for the last several races in China.

Compared to the previous Malaysian Grand Prix, the cooler temperatures in China are much kinder on both the cars and the crew, although the weather can be quite changeable and rain is often a feature. The current forecast for Sunday’s race is partly cloudy skies, a peak temperature of 69 degrees F (21 degrees C) and just a 10 percent chance of rain.

Last year’s winner was Mercedes AMG’s Lewis Hamilton. He’ll be out to repeat that performance this year though Ferrari, fresh from its win at the previous Malaysian race, will be a major factor.

After the first two rounds, Hamilton remains on top of the 2015 Drivers’ Championship standings with 43 points, though thanks to his win in Malaysia, Ferrari’s first since the 2013 Spanish Grand Prix, Sebastian Vettel sits in second just three points behind. Mercedes AMG’s other driver Nico Rosberg sits in third with 33 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes has a clear lead with 76 points, followed by Ferrari on 52 points and Williams on 30 points.

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