Formula 1 2013 circuit guide: Chinese Grand Prix

Innovative design and impressive gimmicks make for a futuristic affair at the $450 million dollar Shanghai International Circuit.

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Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai International Circuit

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14 April 2013, 8am GMT

Live on BBC and Sky Sports 1

First Grand Prix: 2004

Track length: 5.451 km

Number of laps: 56

Lap record: 1:32.238, Michael Schumacher, 2004

As F1 has unfurled its tentacles into new territories in recent years, there has been no shortage of controversy.

The Shanghai International Circuit – built at an estimated cost of $450 million dollars – attracted its fair share when it was revealed in 2007 that former track manager Yu Zhifei had been convicted in a corruption scandal, which struck right to the very heart of the ruling Communist Party itself.

But, as we’ve seen in Bahrain in recent years, the race must go on and it will take more than a dose of embezzlement and financial impropriety to stop this most global of roadshows.

The track itself is yet another brainchild of the famed F1 architect Hermann Tilkke, and features his trademark long straight followed by a tight hairpin.  

It’s shaped like the Chinese character Shang, which means ‘high’ or ‘above’. Ironic, perhaps, given its now murky connections, but forget all that for a second and consider this: the team HQ’s here are stationed in the middle of a lake. On stilts.

2012 memory: Nico Rosberg crossing the line to seal his first win in 111 outings, a full 20 seconds ahead of closest rivals Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

Previous winners

2012: Nico Rosberg

2011: Lewis Hamilton

2010: Jenson Button

2009: Sebastian Vettel

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2008: Lewis Hamilton