Championship leader Nico Rosberg shows full of confidents and says targeting season third victory, teammate Lewis Hamilton and Ferrari looking to hit back quickly before the German establishes a more comfortable cushion.
Since being introduced onto the F1 calendar in 2004, the circuit in Jiading, Shanghai has played host to some of the most iconic moments in modern Formula 1. Here are six of the best.
2006: Schumacher’s 91st and last win
Michael Schumacher’s relationship with the Chinese Grand Prix was a bit rocky to begin with. During the first race there, in 2004, he span off in qualifying and started from the pit-lane, and a year later he had to do the same when he got crashed into the back of by Christijan Albers when making his way to the starting grid for the race.
In 2006 though it all came together for the German, beating his rival Fernando Alonso in a thrilling tactical race in wet conditions. Schumacher’s 91st career win put him level on points with Alonso with two rounds to go in that year’s championship, giving him a real shot of an eighth world title. Sadly for Schumacher, a retirement in the next race in Japan put an end to his title hopes and that win in China would prove to be his last in Formula One.
2007: Hamilton gets beached
Formula One headed to Shanghai in 2007 with Lewis Hamilton looking all but certain to become the first ever rookie to win the world championship. The Brit needed just a handful of points to secure the title with just two races to go, but during another wet/dry race in Shanghai McLaren made a questionable call to keep Hamilton out on tyres so worn that you could see the canvas.
When Hamilton was eventually pitted for tyres, he failed to get around the sharp left-hand turn into the pitlane and got beached in the gravel – the first retirement of his career. Kimi Räikkönen went on to take Ferrari’s 200th Grand Prix victory and an important step towards his first world title, which he clinched at the next round in Interlagos, Brazil.
2009: Red Bull Racing’s maiden win
Red Bull Racing have 50 victories and four constructors’ titles to their name but it took until the 2009 Chinese Grand Prix for the team to score their maiden win, and they did it in style with a one-two finish.
Sebastian Vettel, who was 21-years-old at the time, dominated the race in appalling conditions to take his second career win, and the first of many he’d achieve with the Milton Keynes squad. The German led home his team-mate Mark Webber, while Jenson Button was a full 44 seconds down the road to take the final spot on the podium.
2010: Buemi’s bizarre failure
It’s not often a moment from Free Practice makes the headlines, but a bizarre car failure on Sébastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso during FP1 will be replayed for years to come.
Heading down the 1170m long back-straight, the Swiss driver hit the brakes at 320kph only to have both of his front wheels shatter off the car. Buemi, now a passenger, went off into the barrier but was thankfully unscathed.
2011: Button visits Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing are well known as the best in the business when it comes to pit stops, regularly pulling off tyre changes in a mere two seconds. Perhaps Jenson Button was trying to take advantage of that when the McLaren driver pulled into the Red Bull Racing pit box, before he was waved on so that the team could service Sebastian Vettel.
The 2011 race was truly action packed, with the top five positions changing constantly throughout the race as drivers struggled to manage the then-newly introduced Pirelli tyres. Lewis Hamilton won the race, Sebastian Vettel was second and Mark Webber completed the podium after starting 18th.
2012: Rosberg’s maiden win
Victories for Nico Rosberg and Mercedes are commonplace in Formula One these days, but back in 2012, the German’s victory in China came as somewhat of a surprise. Rosberg took the first pole position of his career and followed it up with a lights-to-flag maiden victory in his 111th race.
It was the first win for Mercedes-Benz since the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, and that year’s season would see Rosberg become one of seven different winners from the first seven races.
Article Originally appeared at Redbull.com