Below you will find the F1 Manager forecast for the Formula 1 Grand Prix in China, a race to be held on the Shanghai F1 circuit, on Sunday. We start, as usual, with the technical characteristics of the circuit and single seaters, continue with the evaluation of teams, and finally we will analyze the fight between two pilots of a team.
|Length of lap||5411m|
|Number of laps||56|
|1st place on the grid||leaves from the left side of the circuit|
|Fastest lap in the race||1’32.238 Michael Schumacher in 2004|
|DRS zones||First and third straight line|
|Distance from the start to the first turn||380m|
|Single seater requirements|
|Maximum acceleration||on 65% of the circuit length|
|The longest period of acceleration||1397|
|Speed changes per lap||57|
|Fuel used per lap||2.5kg|
|Gain per lap by fuel consumption||0.1s|
Most wins: Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso – two each
Available tires: medium and soft
What could the outcome be?
The Shanghai circuit is the toughest Formula 1 circuit in terms of brakes, reaching a pressure force 4.3 times greater than the gravitational acceleration. Although it has longest straight line in the season, on the Chinese circuit pilots spend 80% of its length turning, meaning that tires feel the side pressure effect on 80% of the circuit.
It has two long straight lines, of which one is very long. Mercedes will certainly be in front and next to them, or rather further back, but still next, we see the McLaren team neck and neck with Force India. We see Williams as only the fourth power, and this because the British team’s tires wear more significantly, not because of speed.
However, we will not rule out the Red Bull team: if during these two weeks the Renault team manages to optimize the engine even by only 3%, they will come in second, behind Mercedes. Anyhow, this circuit has fast corners where the Red Bull single seaters excel, which will benefit them in the first two thirds of the circuit.
Ferrari. What more can be said about the Ferrari team, other than even non-fans are disappointed and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel for them. And frankly, we don’t see a person capable of changing this situation even by next year, whomever that person may be.
We consider teams powered by Ferrari the same, meaning weak and dying, and, by the time we reach Spain, we estimate they will drop to the last places, after Lotus and Toro Rosso. It seems optimistic to say Lotus will get any points, but a race on rainy weather can bring many surprises, including this one.
Victory for Mercedes by Nico Rosberg if the circuit will be dry; if it rains, the surprise could be anyone: Vettel and Hulkenberg and why not Button?
On a dry circuit, we might be able to see another podium for Force India, McLaren and Red Bull by pilots Hulkenberg, Button and Ricciardo. Vettel is an extremely good pilot in an extremely good car, but, if the single seater does not run as the German likes, things get more complicated for him.
For Williams we forecast a fourth race in which Massa will defeat his Finnish colleague, and one in which Vergne should take his revenge on Kvyat. Adrian Sutil is better than the young Mexican teammate, Grosjean bests Maldonado, and the same goes for Caterham where the Japanese will defeat the Swede.
Chilton might make a habit of losing qualifications in front of Bianchi, but defeating him in the race.
F1 Manager prediction for qualifications: Rosberg, Hamilton, Vettel, Massa, Button.*
F1 Manager prediction for the race: Rosberg, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Vettel, Button, Alonso.*
* this is not necessarily the order