Formula One
Formula One - Chinese Grand Prix Preview

From The Sports Network

DATE: Sunday, April 15th
SITE: Shanghai International Circuit (2004) -- Shanghai, China
TRACK: 5.451 km (3.386 miles), 16-turn road course, Designed by Hermann Tilke
CAPACITY: 29,000 (Grandstand seating), 200,000 (overall)
TELEVISION: Speed Channel
START TIME: 3 a.m. (ET)
RUNNER-UP: Sebastian Vettel
POLE WINNER: Sebastian Vettel (Finished 2nd)
LAPS: 56
MILES: 189.568 (305.066 km)
QUALIFYING RECORD: Rubens Barrichello, 2004 (1 minute, 34.012 seconds)
RACE RECORD: Rubens Barrichello, 2004 (1 hour, 29 minutes, 12.420 seconds)
2011 Finish
1Lewis Hamilton36Felipe Massa6
2Sebastian Vettel17Fernando Alonso5
3Mark Webber188Michael Schumacher14
4Jenson Button29Vitaly Petrov10
5Nico Rosberg410Kamui Kobayashi13
2011 Chinese Grand Prix Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 188.758 k.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 1 hour, 36 minutes, 58.226 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 5.198 seconds
FASTEST LAP: Mark Webber, 1:38.993, lap 42
POLE WINNER: Sebastian Vettel (1:33.706)
Past Chinese Grand Prix Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Lewis Hamilton (3rd) - McLaren -- 188.758 m.p.h./1:36:58.226
2010 -- Jenson Button (5th) -- McLaren -- 171.541 k.p.h./1:46:42.163
2009 -- Sebastian Vettel (1st) -- Red Bull-Renault -- 155.447 kph/1:57:43.485
2008 -- Lewis Hamilton (1st) -- McLaren -- 199.049 k.p.h./1:31:57.403
2007 -- Kimi Raikkonen (2nd) -- Ferrari -- 186.826 k.p.h./1:37:58.395
2006 -- Michael Schumacher (6th) -- Ferrari -- 187.644 m.p.h./1:37:32.747
2005 -- Fernando Alonso (1st) -- Renault -- 183.234 k.p.h./1:36:53.618
2004 -- Rubens Barrichello (1st) -- Ferrari -- 205.313 k.p.h./1:29:12.420
Past Chinese Grand Prix Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Sebastian Vettel -- 2nd
2010 -- Sebastian Vettel -- 6th
2009 -- Sebastian Vettel -- 1st
2008 -- Lewis Hamilton -- 1st
2007 -- Lewis Hamilton -- 19th
2006 -- Fernando Alonso -- 2nd
2005 -- Fernando Alonso -- 1st
2004 -- Rubens Barrichello -- 1st
Last Race Results
RACE: Malaysian Grand Prix (March 25th)
SITE: Sepang International Circuit -- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
LAPS: 56
MILES: 192.887 (310.408 km)
WINNER: Fernando Alonso
RUNNER-UP: Sergio Perez
THIRD: Lewis Hamilton
FOURTH: Mark Webber
FIFTH: Kimi Raikkonen
POLE WINNER: Lewis Hamilton (Finished 3rd)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 44 minutes, 51.812 seconds (includes rain delay)
AVERAGE SPEED: 112.969 k.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 2.263 seconds
Chinese Grand Prix Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Sebastien Vettel (Heppenheim, Germ)Renault/Red Bull
2Mark Webber (Queanbeyan, Australia)Renault/Red Bull
3Jenson Button (Frome, England)Mercedes/McLaren Vodafone
4 *Lewis Hamilton (Stevenage, England)Mercedes/McLaren Vodafone
5Fernando Alonso (Oviedo, Spain)Ferrari/Scuderia
6Felipe Massa (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Ferrari/Scuderia
7Michael Schumacher (Germany)Mercedes/AMG Petronas
8Nico Rosberg (Wiesbaden, Germany)Mercedes/AMG Petronas
9Kimi Raikkonen (Espoo, Finland)Renault/Lotus
10Romain Grosjean (Geneva, Switzerland)Renault/Lotus
11Paul di Resta (Livingston, Scotland)Mercedes/Force India
12Nico Hulkenberg (Emmerich, Germany)Mercedes/Force India
14Kamui Kobayashi (Amagasaki, Japan)Ferrari/Sauber
15Sergio Perez (Guadalajara, Mexico)Ferrari/Sauber
16Daniel Ricciardo (Perth, Australia)Ferrari/Scuderia Toro Rosso
17Jean-Eric Vergne (Pontoise, France)Ferrari/Scuderia Toro Rosso
18Pastor Maldonado (Maracay, Venezuela)Renault/Williams
19Bruno Senna (Sao Paulo, Brazil)Renault/Williams
20Heikki Kovalainen (Suomussalmi, Fin.)Renault/Caterham
21Vitaly Petrov (Vyborg, Russia)Renault/Caterham
22Pedro de la Rosa (Barcelona, Spain)Cosworth/HRT
23Narain Karthikeyan (Chennai, India)Cosworth/HRT
24Timo Glock (Lindenfels, Germany)Cosworth/Marussia
25Charles Pic (Montelimar, France)Cosworth/Marussia
* - defending champion.
Leading Contenders (Finish the last eight years)
Lewis Hamilton---------19thWon6th2ndWon
Sebastian Vettel---------4th9thWon6th2nd
Mark Webber10th7th8th10th14th2nd8th3rd
Jenson Button2nd8th4th5th16th3rdWon4th
Nico Rosberg------11th16th15th15th3rd5th
Fernando Alonso4thWon2nd2nd4th9th4th7th
Michael Schumacher12th20thWon---------10th8th
Sergio Perez---------------------17th
Kimi Raikkonen3rd2nd21stWon3rd10th------
Mover of the Week
Jean-Eric Vergne - Started in the 18th position and finished 8th
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Lewis Hamilton
Darkhorse - Sergio Perez
Last Week's Pick to Win (Sebastian Vettel) - Finished 11th
Last Week's Darkhorse (Michael Schumacher) - Finished 10th
Last season, Lewis Hamilton became the first multiple winner of this race, as overcame a pre-race fueling issue and then passed Sebastian Vettel from Red Bull with less than five laps remaining to win the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton experienced a fuel leak prior to the start of the race. His team corrected the fuel-line problem by changing the engine air filter in his car. Hamilton was then able to make his warm-up lap in time to line up third on the starting grid.

Vettel made just two pit stops compared to three for Hamilton in the 56-lap affair at Shanghai International Circuit. Hamilton, with fresher tires in the late-stages of the race, chased down Vettel and then overtook him on lap 52.

Hamilton crossed the finish line 5.2 seconds ahead of Vettel for his 15th career F1 win. Hamilton added two additional titles last year to place fifth in the final standings.

So far in 2012, Hamilton has started on the pole in both races and placed third at the finish line in each. He ranks second on the points list, five behind Fernando Alonso.

In 2010 Jenson Button overcame treacherous rain conditions on the Shanghai road course and benefited from making just two pit stops for tires, while most drivers pitted four times or more. He passed Nico Rosberg for the lead on lap 19 when the Mercedes GP driver ran off the course heading into turn 14.

The safety car was deployed for the second time on lap 22 for track cleanup from Jaime Alguersuari's damaged car. Button quickly pulled ahead of Rosberg after the restart, and then ran in front for the remainder of the 56-lap race for his second win of the season and the ninth of his F1 career.

Sebastian Vettel emerged as a championship contender in 2009 when he won the Chinese Grand Prix. The young German overcame torrential rain conditions and put on a dominating performance in Shanghai to give Red Bull its first-ever F1 victory. Vettel went on to win three more grand prix and finished runner-up to champion Jenson Button in that year's points race.

Lewis Hamilton raced to victory in 2008, defeating Felipe Massa by a whopping 14.925 seconds for his ninth career F1 title. The win was the fifth of that season, propelling him to the Formula One World championship.

In 2007, Kimi Raikkonen raced to victory, as he defeated Fernando Alonso by 9.806 seconds for the fifth of six 2007 wins and the 14th of his F1 career. Hamilton, who started on the pole, failed to finish due to a spin, completing only 30 laps and placing 19th. Raikkonen's win total now stands at 18.

Michael Schumacher posted his 91st and last Formula One title in 2006, as he edged Fernando Alonso by 3.1 seconds. The wet weather failed to slow Schumacher down, as he took his seventh checkered flag of that season.

The Shanghai International Circuit was designed as the race circuit for the new millennium. The modern track, with its stunning architecture, has been planned as China's gateway to the world of Formula One racing. Not only is the course remarkable for its change of acceleration and deceleration in different winding turns, but also for its high-speed straights making high demands on the driver as well as the car. This should offer many opportunities for overtaking and give an intense and exciting motorsports experience to the spectators. The Main Grandstand with 29,000 seats provides a spectacular view of almost 80 percent of the circuit - one of the new features in race track design realized in Shanghai. The track, which sits on what was swampland, was designed by Hermann Tilke and hosted its first Grand Prix in September of 2004.

In 2005, Fernando Alonso crossed the finish line 4.015 seconds ahead of runner-up Kimi Raikkonen, as he won for the eighth time in his career. Alonso, started on the pole and increased his lead to 11.2 seconds just 10 laps into the race. Alonso pitted on lap 19 with a whopping 19.2-second lead, but with the safety car on the track due to debris on the track, he returned to the track even with the field. Alonso again increased his lead and with just 15 laps remaining, was 10.5 seconds ahead of Raikkonen. Although Raikkonen closed the gap, the race was never in doubt, as Alonso won for the seventh time that year. Alonso's victory total now stands at 28.

The pole sitter has had sensational success in Shanghai, winning four of the previous eight races. In fact, the winner has come from the top-3 starting positions in every race but two.

The Chinese Grand Prix will continue to run at Shanghai through 2017, as officials signed a new deal back in February, 2011.

Formula One heads next to Sakhir, Bahrain for the April 22 Bahrain Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso won the most recent race there in 2009.

04/10 16:33:27 ET

As of April 10, 2012, at 04:33 PM ET

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