Formula One, a symbol of global capitalism and glamour if ever there was one, took China by storm for the first time during 2004, when the world’s most populous nation hosted a Grand Prix for the first time. Shanghai has planned for the moment for years, spending at least $325 million (US) on the most spectacular, ultra-modern circuit, which was designed as the race circuit of the new millennium. The modern and beautiful Shanghai International Circuit, with its stunning architecture, was planned as China’s gateway to the world of Formula One racing.
The Shanghai International Circuit is located about 30km outside the city of Shanghai, the most notorious of Chinese cities, once known as the Paris of the East, but now calls itself the Pearl of the Orient. No other city can better capture the urgency and excitement of China’s economic reform, understandably because Shanghai is at the center of it.


General information

The circuit was, as with many other new Formula One circuits, designed by German expert Hermann Tilke and features a giant “wing” building of 140 metres wide, which spans the main straight. Contrary to popular belief, the resemblance of the track layout with the Chinese character shang, which means ‘above’, was not intentional, but rather coincidental. Construction of the circuit commenced during 2002 and the construction crews had to overcome serious problems with the marshy ground at the site. More than 2 million cubic meters of earth were moved and 40,000 foundation piles were driven into the ground but quickly the facility rose up from the old paddy fields. The work involved several ground-breaking technologies in the construction industry.

The impressive Shanghai International circuit has an overall length of 5,451km and features 7 left and 7 righthand turns. The circuit was designed to maximise spectator viewing and racing excitement. The circuit is very wide and also features some very fast straights, which all makes the overtaking opportunities so much better. The Shanghai International Circuit is an impressive facility, with a combination of technically challenging corners without being too high speed. It was well designed and it has some features that are unique, especially the long corners. Turn 1 is so long that the cars almost complete an entire circle so the drivers need to be committed to stay on the limit all the way round without making a mistake.

What the drivers say

The circuit, with its two long straights and both very fast and slow corners; is demanding for brakes and engines. More than 70 percent of the almost 5.5km lap will be run under full throttle. At the end of the start-finish straight there is a very long right-hander and there is another one at the back end of the circuit. The main consequence of these two unique corners is that they put the emphasis on graining and wear on the front left tyre. At Turn 1 the cars will see to the highest loads on the steering system from the entire Formula 1 season mainly as a result of the combination of very high cornering and braking demands, which the cars are subjected to.

At the other end of the circuit, the exit from the second long right-hander is crucial for speed along the long straight. Good downforce is well rewarded, too much drag leaves cars vulnerable to be passed on the back straight. Accordingly, good power permits more wing. Similarly, the tight corners reward good mechanical grip through the turns whilst drivability is important to get away afterwards.


Although not yet finalized for 2020, we have included the previous year’s Formula 1 program, to give you an idea of what the event timetable should look like. We do not expect any other major changes from the below program.
So please take note that the following program and timetable could change for 2020.

11h00 – 12h00 Formula One GP First Free Practice Session
12h30 – 13h00 Formula BMW Asia Practice Session
14h00 – 15h00 Formula One GP Second Free Practice Sessions
15h30 – 16h00 Porsche Carrera Cup First Practice Session
16h30 – 17h00 Asia Formula Renault Practice Session
17h30 – 18h00 Porsche Carrera Cup Second Practice Session
11h00 – 12h00 Formula 1 Third Practice Session
12h25 – 13h10 Porsche Carrera Cup Qualifying Session
14h00 – 15h00 Formula 1 Qualifying Session
15h40 – 16h15 Formula BMW Asia Qualifying Session
17h00 – 17h30 Asia Formula Renault Qualifying Session
09h00 – 09h30 Asia Formula Renault Race
10h00 – 10h30 Formula BMW Asia Race
11h00 – 11h30 Porsche Carrera Cup Race
12h30 Formula 1 GP Drivers Parade
12h45 – 13h05 Formula One Grid Presentation
13h30 Formula One Pit Lane Open
13h45 Formula One Pit Lane Close
13h46 Formula One National Anthem
14h00 Formula 1 Formula 1 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix 2020 (56 laps)