Built at a cost of US$450 million the Shanghai F1 Circuit is no ordinary sporting stadium in the second largest city of the Chinese Republic. Occupying pride of place in Jiading this racing track is in fact Asia’ s finest Formula One race track and the host venue of the iconic Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix as of 2004. The motor sporting icon which was constructed as a collaborative effort by the and Shanghai Jia’an Investment and Development Co Ltd, Shanghai Juss Corporation as well as the Shanghai National Property Management Co Ltd took a whopping 18 months to complete with an impressive 3000 engineers working night and day to execute the breathtaking design of this larger than life sporting complex.
Boasting the capacity to host 260,000 spectators simultaneously the venue is also one of the country’s largest sporting arenas to date. Having hosted red letter events such in the likes of the 2005 Australian-based V8 Supercar Championships and the MotoGP World Championships, the Shanghai Circuit also famously hosted the A1 Grand Prix in both 2006 and 2007.
Designed by Herman Tilke and declared open to the public in 2004, the Shanghai F1 Circuit is 5.4km in length and encompasses 16 turns in all. The lap record at the venue is held by none other than Michael Schumacher who completed a lap in a record 1:32.238 in the locale’s inaugural race back in 2004 for Ferrari. The track’s trademark feature is of course a classic Tilke twist which is a hairpin turn after long back straight run. With its layout resembling the Chinese character “Shang” which is the first letter of the track’s home city’s name, the entire circuit occupies an impressive 5.3km2 area that was once a paddy field.
Its layout maximises hair-raising views of the track which makes the racing experience all the more immediate for audiences. With a fantastic mix of left hand and right hand turns that are nearly equal in number a drive cross the F1 track is littered with long sweeps, a variety of corners and spacious straights. Allowing a number of overtaking opportunities the technically difficult track is a Grade 1 FIA facility worthy of its status as a globally revered F1 circuit.
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