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F1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024 - Preview, Timings and Where to Watch

Written by Owen Bradley

Credit: Yin Liqin

Formula One returns to the Shanghai International Circuit in China for the first time since F1's 1000th Grand Prix, back in 2019.


A lot has changed since the 2019 season. Lando Norris, George Russell and Alexander Albon were in their debut season and since, all of them have stepped onto the podium at least once, with Russell even taking his maiden victory at the 2022 Brazilian Grand Prix with Mercedes. Max Verstappen was a five-time race winner back in 2019, and in just five years has added another 52 victories to his tally, with 57 career wins heading into the Chinese Grand Prix.


With the modern era cars being drastically different to the 2019-spec machinery, we are in store for a unique race weekend that finally redelivers a circuit that has produced a couple of great races.


The Circuit

Credit: Formula One Website


56 Laps of the Shanghai International Circuit, a track which certainly has a few corners which allow for great overtaking manoeuvres, such as Turn 1's long sweeping right-hander where multiple lines can be taken to get an overtake finalised before the sharp Turn 2 which cuts further over to the right, linking to Turn 3's opening downhill left-hander. With the cars being fundamentally different from the last time F1 raced at this circuit, other corners may also present themselves as a great opportunity for some racing action, but the famous long Turn 13 right-hander leading onto the massive back straight followed by the sharp braking zone of Turn 14, will likely be the favourite sequence for overtakes, with a DRS zone halfway down the straight before a the Turn 15 kink and Turn 16 fast left-hander to finish the lap. To summarise, the start and end of the lap will most likely be the sectors to look for, in terms of overtaking spots. However the technical Sector 2 will also present a massive challenge to drivers, as they will need to drive the current Formula One cars differently to how they did half a decade ago.


The Chinese GP Returns after half a decade!

Credit: Yin Liqin


F1's 1000th Grand Prix was held at the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, and with a huge milestone for F1, fans were expecting an exciting battle between Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari. Unfortunately at the time, it was a relatively uneventful race. When COVID-19 hit the world at the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020, it changed everything. With the COVID Virus originating from China, it meant that the Chinese Grand Prix was certainly cancelled for the 2020 season. 2021 would present an identical problem for the Chinese GP with many more cancellations on the way.


Unfortunately, despite the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix delivering a thrilling battle which saw Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen fight the Mercedes' of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton whilst also duelling with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, 2019's underwhelming race in Shanghai had already left a bittersweet feeling for many F1 fans, who were calling for other fan favourite circuits to make their return in place of the Chinese Grand Prix, most notably the Turkish Grand Prix at Istanbul Park. Whilst F1 moved forwards, work was consistently being done to the Shanghai International Circuit, with the track being resurfaced and commercial plans to turn the race weekend into a Sprint Weekend as well.


A glorious return after half a decade, a track resurfacement, a sprint weekend - a lot is in store to kickstart the long-awaited return of the Chinese Grand Prix. A thrilling weekend ahead for many fans.


2024's First Sprint Weekend

Credit: Formula One


The Chinese Grand Prix will host 2024's first Sprint Weekend. A circuit which the drivers haven't driven at in half a decade or even longer in Fernando Alonso's case, who hasn't driven the track since 2018. Some drivers have never even driven this track in a Formula One car. Therefore, with many unknowns coming into the weekend, and with a number of drivers not having even driven around the track, there may just be a few collisions and chaotic moments in both the Sprint race and Grand Prix. There are also changes to the Sprint weekend format. Sprint Shootout will now take place on a Friday, with a busy Saturday featuring the Sprint Race and then Qualifying later on in the day. The drivers will likely be exhausted from the busy Saturday, and with everyone needing to familiarise themselves with the circuit again, we are going to see a lot of running from the cars this weekend.


Limited Data - One Practice Session


With just a singular practice session and the track being resurfaced, drivers are going to be operating on extremely limited data. One practice session to re-familiarise themselves with the track, or for some drivers to even get around the track for the very first time in Formula One. With the track having been resurfaced and the new Sprint Weekend format, mixed with these fundamentally different cars since 2022, so much data and knowledge coming into this weekend has been rendered obsolete. Just one opportunity to fine-tune the car before the Sprint Shootout, who can find that magic Formula?


Can Ferrari Re-Ignite the Momentum?


Just a couple of rounds ago, Max Verstappen was forced to retire from the Australian Grand Prix. Ferrari capitalised on the very rare Red Bull mistake with a 1-2 finish down under. With so much of this weekend being unknown and largely down to who will be able to find the best setup for the track on limited running time - can Ferrari potentially re-ignite their momentum which was seemingly neutralised during the Japanese Grand Prix? As previously mentioned, if there is a potential collision or poor qualifying result for the Red Bull drivers, it could leave the entire field in a unique position that they would absolutely want to try and capitalise on, like earlier in the year.


Will Mercedes Recover?

Credit: LIU JIN


With the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix being Mercedes' first Grand Prix win in Formula One since 1955, it will be a special weekend for the team, who will have incredibly fond memories of this circuit. However, with the recent dip in form and struggle to make much progress against their opposition, could the Chinese Grand Prix give Mercedes a much-needed adrenaline boost to kickstart their 2024 campaign? It seriously could be a weekend where a few drivers, given a good setup and qualifying position, could mount a serious challenge to the usual domination by the Red Bull drivers. With Ferrari the most likely candidate, could it be the other dark horse of Mercedes that gives Verstappen and Perez a real challenge? It's likely to be a difficult weekend ahead for each driver and team, and likely those with the coolest heads will end up with champagne on their heads by the end of the weekend.


Owen's Predictions!


I'm predicting, and certainly hoping, that the Chinese Grand Prix will deliver a completely unexpected result. I'm prepared to really throw all the cards on the table with this prediction. I'm predicting that it will be a thoroughly chaotic weekend, and with a combination of crashes and safety cars, I think Oscar Piastri could pull off an understated race and be rewarded with a phenomenal maiden victory. Lando Norris may also be a strong candidate for this position as well. A very bold prediction, however I think that the Red Bull drivers could either collide with other cars, or potentially have a poorly timed Safety Car during periods of the race. Certainly a hero or zero prediction!


Chinese Grand Prix - Global Timings

Credit: @divebombmotorsport and Ame Snyman


Where to Watch?

COUNTRY

CHANNEL

AFRICA

ALBANIA

ARMENIA

FastSports

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRIA

AZERBAIJAN

AzTV


Idman Azerbaijan

BELGIUM

BOSNIA

BRAZIL

BULGARIA

CAMBODIA

CANADA

CARIBBEAN

CHINA

CCTV


Shanghai TV


Guangdong Television Channel


Tencent

CHINESE TAIPEI

CROATIA

CYPRUS

CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAKIA

Nova

DENMARK

ESTONIA

EURASIA

FINLAND

Viaplay


V Sport 1

FRANCE

GERMANY

GREECE

HONG KONG

beIN SPORTS


Now Sports 1 & 2

HUNGARY

ICELAND

INDIA

INDONESIA

IN-SHIP & IN-FLIGHT

ISRAEL

ITALY

JAPAN

KOSOVO

LAOS

LATIN AMERICA

LATVIA

LITHUANIA

LUXEMBOURG

MACEDONIA

MALAYSIA AND BRUNEI

MALTA

MEXICO

Fox Sports Mexico

MONTENEGRO

MYANMAR

NETHERLANDS

Viaplay

NEW ZEALAND

Sky NZ

NORWAY

PAPUA NEW GUINEA & PACIFIC ISLANDS

PHILIPPINES

POLAND

PORTUGAL

ROMANIA

SERBIA

SINGAPORE

SLOVENIA

SOUTH KOREA

Coupang Play

SPAIN AND ANDORRA

SWEDEN

SWITZERLAND

THAILAND

TURKEY

UKRAINE

UNITED KINGDOM

USA

VIETNAM

Credit: Formula One Website - F1 Broadcast Information


But what do you think? Who will win the Chinese Grand Prix? let us know in the comments below!






1 Comment


Guest
Apr 19

A weekend that has the potential to blow things wide open... variable weather, a circuit not on the calendar for a while, back to back fly away races blocking upgrades and exhausting teams. It will be an interesting Sprint and GP. It would not be a shock if the older more experienced teams/drivers got a good handle on the races. It's an honest random pick but occasionally Perez can put together brilliant performances, could be this GP.

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