Not since 1983 have four different teams won the first four races of an F1 season.
But that could happen at Shanghai this weekend if the likes of Nico Rosberg or Robert Kubica can keep Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull off the top step of the podium.
Consistent scoring in the first three races of 2010 has put Felipe Massa in the lead of the drivers’ championship.
But he faces stiff opposition if he’s to extend his advantage in Shanghai this weekend, and not just from team mate Fernando Alonso.
The Red Bulls have been the cars to beat so far in 2010 and McLaren believe their potential has been masked by poor qualifying performances.
One of the most compelling questions heading into the fourth race weekend of 2010 is whether the FIA’s clarification on how teams can (and, more importantly, cannot) adjust their ride heights will disrupt the status quo. If Red Bull’s string of consecutive pole positions comes to an end in Shanghai, you can be sure tongues will be wagging.
We’re also waiting to see if any of the teams can successfully emulate McLaren’s F-duct. Shanghai’s 1.175km back straight – one of the longest flat-out sections in Formula 1 – should be a very happy hunting ground for the MP4/25s.
At Sepang two weeks ago the team ran less wing on Friday, setting much faster times through the speed traps than their rivals, but increased their wing angles on Saturday, getting them through the twisty middle part of the lap more quickly. However Hamilton was still able to pick off car after car on the straights come race day.
The Shanghai circuit may sit in the shadow of some of the most impressive constructions ever built around a Grand Prix circuit but the track itself isn’t much to write home about. The twisty infield section keeps speeds down with the drivers only using full throttle 55% of the time – less than any circuit bar Monte-Carlo and Singapore.
But what it does have going for it is the local climate, which often produces rain. Indeed three of the last four Chinese Grands Prix have been run in damp or wet conditions, and a chance of light rain is forecast for Sunday.
Drivers to watch
Four driver to keep an eye on this weekend. Name your top picks in the comments.
Mark Webber – Team mate Vettel has been ahead of him in all three races so far this year. Webber needs to stop the rot.
Nico Rosberg – Rosberg, on the other hand, has surprised by being consistently ahead of his team mate, and earned a podium for it in Sepang. But Shanghai could be more a case of holding back the advancing Renaults and Force Indias.
Vitaly Petrov – In the unenviable position of trying to make a name for himself while his team mate commits giant-killing acts in the other car. Simply getting to the finish would help his cause.
Jaime Alguersuari – Put on a fine show with some excellent passes in Sepang and thoroughly deserved his first points. Can he produce more of the same in China?
The Chinese Grand Prix on F1 Fanatic
Join us to follow the action live throughout the Chinese Grand Prix weekend including the race, qualifying and all three practice sessions. Times here: Chinese Grand Prix live TV times
Before the race weekend starts look out for our unofficial race programme with quick links to all the important information.
We’ll have analysis of the times during Friday practice and extensive coverage of qualifying and the race.
Remember to keep an eye out for our “rate the race” feature after every Grand Prix and don’t forget to enter our predictions competition to win great prizes including F1 tickets, DVDs, paintings and books.
Don’t miss any of our Chinese Grand Prix coverage. Get the latest articles from F1 Fanatic for free via Twitter, RSS or our email subscription service. Click here for more information.
Are you going to the Chinese Grand Prix?
You can also upload pictures and video to the F1 Fanatic drop.io.
2010 Chinese Grand Prix
- 2010 Chinese Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic review
- Ferrari deny Alonso-Massa rift
- Points for Petrov and first McLaren 1-2 since 2007 (Chinese GP stats and facts)
- Safety car spares Hamilton and Alonso’s blushes (Chinese Grand Prix analysis)
- Chinese Grand Prix fastest laps
- Chinese Grand Prix in pictures
- Webber loses out in safety car incident
- Button leads McLaren to one-two in wet race
- Hamilton’s pit lane dice with Vettel could cost him second (Update: no penalty)
- Button takes lead in title race – full points standings after China
Browse all 2010 Chinese Grand Prix articles
Promoted content from around the web | Become an F1 Fanatic Supporter to hide this ad and others