5 curiosities about the Chinese F1 Grand Prix


 The Formula 1 season moves into its fifth event, staying in Asia.

By popular demand from the local audience, Formula 1 returns to China after its absence since 2019. It once again takes place on the circuit designed by architects Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl, whose layout reflects the Chinese character "shang," meaning "upwards." The circuit was constructed on a marshy area in the Jiading district of Shanghai in just 18 months from the start of construction, with an investment of 450 million dollars. 

The GP data

According to Brembo technicians, the Shanghai International Circuit, measuring 5,451 meters in length, falls into the category of circuits that are moderately demanding on brakes. On a scale from 1 to 5, it earned a difficulty index of 3, despite the braking at turn 14, at the end of one of the longest straights in the entire Formula 1 World Championship, approximately 1.2 km long. Drivers apply the brakes for 16.6 seconds per lap, which is equivalent to 18% of the GP.


Brembo's achievement 

Entering China in 2001, Brembo has expanded its presence in China market for more than 20 years. It has about 2400 employees among 5 production sites and 1 trading company in China. The company is specialized in the design, development and production of brake systems and related components for automobile and motorbike OEMs and aftermarket. Its main production premises are Brembo (Nanjing) Brake Systems Co., Ltd. (Nanjing Jiangning Economic Development Zone), Brembo (Nanjing) Automobile Components Co., Ltd. (Nanjing Lishui Economic Development Zone), Brembo Huilian (Langfang) Brake Systems Co., Ltd. (Langfang, Hebei Province), Shandong BRGP Friction Technology Co., Ltd. (Jinan, Shandong Province), and Jiangxing CIJU Control Systems Co., Ltd. (Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province). Their principal brake products include automotive brake discs, aluminum calipers, brake pads and motorbike brakes. In addition, Qingdao Brembo Trading Co., Ltd. is registered in the West Coast New Area of the Qingdao Area of China (Shandong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, primarily practicing the wholesale of automotive aftermarket parts and accessories and serving numerous aftermarket customers in China and the Asia Pacific region. 

China is accelerating towards a new era of future mobility characterized by electrification, digitization, connectivity, and autonomous driving. The commitment of Brembo goes beyond expanding our business scale and brand awareness in China, it also involves continuous innovation and introduction of cutting-edge braking solutions to Chinese consumers, opening a new chapter in future mobility together with OEM customers and local partners. Brembo, guided by the strategic vision of "Turning Energy into Inspiration", keeps providing multi-functional, high-performance, and low-emission intelligent solutions to the automotive industry, opening a greener, more efficient, intelligent and digital future.


The toughest turn 

The most challenging turn at the Shanghai International Circuit in terms of braking is turn 14, where the cars decelerate from 318 km/h to 72 km/h in 2.66 seconds, covering a distance of 113 meters. The drivers also face considerable effort: they experience a maximum deceleration of 4.7 g and exert a pedal load of 174 kg on the brake. The braking power amounts to 2,450 kW.


Barrichello's Chinese dragon 

This year, the Chinese Grand Prix celebrates its 20th anniversary. The first edition in 2004 was won by Ferrari, thanks to Rubens Barrichello who secured pole position, while his teammate Michael Schumacher started from the back of the grid after failing to set a time due to a spin at the first corner. The Brazilian emerged victorious, with Schumacher finishing 12th and being lapped, marking one of the darkest weekends of his career. However, two years later, Schumacher claimed his revenge in China, winning his 91st and final GP, all achieved with Brembo brakes. 

Chinese presence in F1 

Guanyu Zhou is the only Chinese driver to have competed in a Formula 1 Grand Prix. The 24-year-old from Shanghai has started in 48 GPs, with two fastest laps, in 2022 in Japan and in 2023 in Bahrain. His best qualifying result is 5th place at the 2023 Hungarian GP, while his best race finish is 8th place at the 2022 Canadian GP. However, the first Chinese to participate in a race weekend was Ma Qing Hua, at the 2012 Italian GP when he took part in free practice with HRT. In the 2014 Abu Dhabi GP, Fong Adderly participated in free practice with Sauber.