Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

China 2012 - Race information - Everything you need to know about the Chinese Grand Prix

Published by Christine

A slightly bizarre three week break after just two races of the 2012 season put a halt on the great momentum we were building up, however that is about to be put right. This weekend sees Formula One return to action at the Chinese Grand Prix, with the entire F1 paddock upping sticks to Shanghai for the weekend. A lot of the attention in the sport is focused on the activities in Bahrain, but for now, it is to China that we must turn our focus.

Event schedule

Fernando Alonso took the lead of the championship after two events, with the McLaren drivers following behind him. It's still close at the top, which is a good sign - particularly after last year's experiences! There's still plenty of racing to be had though, and another stash of 101 points available at Shanghai.

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionTime (GMT +0100)Time (Local)
13 AprilFridayFree Practice 103:0010:00
Free Practice 207:0014:00
14 AprilSaturdayFree Practice 304:0011:00
15 AprilSundayGrand Prix08:0015:00

Support racing for this event includes Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.

The weather

Looking at the weather from a couple of day's distance, it appears as though there are showers on the horizon. Friday looks set to be a rainy day, and Sunday also could hold some moisture in the air. Saturday may escape from the rain, but the sun might still be hiding away behind those clouds.


Shanghai, Friday


  • Low 9℃
  • Humidity 90%

Chance of showers


Shanghai, Saturday


  • Low 11℃
  • Humidity 70%

Cloudy weather


Shanghai, Sunday


  • Low 12℃
  • Humidity 89%

Rainy days

Circuit map

Sidepodcast image
DRS Zones
DRS detectionOn turn 12
DRS activation 1752m before turn 14

We're continuing on with single DRS here in China, with the detection coming on the twisting turn 12. The activation will be halfway down the long straight, which will give any passers plenty of time to make their position stick before reaching the tight turn 14.

The zones are in the same place as this time last year, and there were plenty of overtaking moves to behold there - 67, according to That made it the third highest of the year, although the weather may have played a part!

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameShanghai International
TimezoneGMT +0800
First Race2004
Length5.451 km
Distance305.066 km
Start / Finish Offset0.000 km

China brings to the table some of the longest straights on the calendar and some of the more complex corner combinations. The first sector can prove particularly challenging, with the initial corner turning in on itself to almost become a complete circle. The high speeds and tight turns provide high g forces for the drivers to deal with, so new or out of practice drivers could struggle.

We're looking at a high downforce circuit, where the strategies will fall somewhere in the 2 to 3 stop range. Look for Sauber to be one-stopping! The track can be tough on brakes, so keep an eye on the drivers who are still getting to grips with their cars or aren't happy with the setup when Sunday comes rolling around.

2011 Results
Free Practice 1Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:38.739Live / Results
Free Practice 2Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:37.688Live / Results
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelRed Bull1:34.968Live / Results
QualifyingSebastian VettelRed Bull1:33.706Live / Results
Grand PrixLewis HamiltonMcLaren1:36:58.226Live / Results
Fastest LapMark WebberRed Bull1:38.993

Tyre compounds

Soft and medium compounds
Soft and medium compounds

It's back to the medium and soft compounds like we had at the start of the season, with the white and yellow sidewalls making a reappearance. Motorsport boss Paul Hembery is intrigued to find out how the rubber will work around the circuit, as he quite enjoyed last year's eventful race!

“China proved to be one of the most fascinating races in our first year, with tyre strategy at the heart of it, so we have a tough act to follow. However, the philosophy we have adopted this year actually extends the window of peak performance on the slick tyres, which means that the drivers should be able to race harder and closer. Although ambient temperatures can be quite low in China, tyre degradation is traditionally high due to the unique track layout.”

- Paul Hembery

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayTime (Local)AttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Fernando AlonsoFerrari
Paul di RestaForce India
Narain KarthikeyanHRT
Vitaly PetrovCaterham
Sergio PérezSauber
Bruno SennaWilliams
Friday18:30James AllisonLotus
Antonio CuquerellaHRT
Pat FryFerrari
Dave GreenwoodMarussia
Paddy LoweMcLaren
Matt MorrisSauber
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
Garry ConnellyExecutive Committee Member of the FIA Institute and Director of Australian Institute of Motor Sport Safety
Emanuele PirroFormer F1 driver and five times Le Mans winner
Vincenzo SpanoPresident of the Sporting Commission of the Automobile and Touring Club of Venezuela

All content in the series China 2012