Shanghai International Circuit

Shanghai Circuit is located in the northeast of Anting Town, Jiading District, 18.6 miles (30 kilometers) from the city center, 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) from Hongqiao Airport and 34.2 miles (55 kilometers) from Pudong Airport. It is where the Formula 1 Grand Prix in China is held. Covering an area of 1,310 acres (5.3 square kilometers), it comprises the circuit area itself, a business exhibition area with shopping mall and racing car exhibition hall, leisure zone including fitness facilities, cinema, pub, and hotel, and an area reserved for future development.

The circuit area mainly includes track, grandstand, pits area, commanders’ tower, press center, restaurant, living zone and administration building.

 Track: The track is 5,961 yards (5,451 meters) long, consisting of Formula 1 track and other types of tracks. It altogether has seven left turns and nine right turns with the longest straight track measuring 1285 yards (1175 meters) and located between Turn 13 and Turn 14. The average width is 14-16 yards (13-15 meters) and the largest width is 22 yards (20 meters) at Turn 14 and 15. The average speed allowance is 127 miles (205 kilometers)/hour while the highest speed allowance is 203 miles (327 kilometers)/hour. The Formula 1 Grand Prix in China is held right on the track. First held in 1950, the Formula 1 (FIA Formula 1 World Championship) has developed into the world’s highest-level motor racing competition and one of the world’s top three sporting events together with the Olympic Games and the World Cup. It is usually held annually from mid-March to end-October with 16 to 17 races. The champion driver and racing team of the year are those who get the highest accumulated points in that year. Famous drivers include Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna while the most famous racing teams are Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus, Mercedes AMG, Sauber, and Williams.

 Grandstand: It is divided into main grandstand and secondary grandstand.

The main grandstand consists of upper floor, lower floor, VIP zone, commentary booths and a square. The upper floor is about 437 yards (400 meters) wide with a height of 51 feet (15 meters) to 89 feet (27 meters). This is the only site from where to enjoy the panorama of the circuit. Here, viewers can see great starts at a close distance, exciting turns, live broadcast on six giant screens, situations in the pits area, sprints at the finish and winners spraying champagne on the podium. The lower floor is also 437 yards wide with a height of 9 feet (2.7 meters) to 40 feet (12 meters). Its straight-line distance to the track is less than 11 yards (10 meters); hence viewers in this area can see preparation works of speed drivers and the great moment when the cars shoot away from the starting lineat close range. Made of 24 different-sized rooms, the VIP zone can host 1,120 viewers. All the rooms are equipped with balconies and have great views. The 40 commentary booths are located on the upper part of the stand. The square is situated in front of the main grandstand. Covering an area of 5 acres (20,000 square meters), it can be used for cultural events, exhibitions, business activities and entertainment.

The secondary grandstand is the most distinguished architecture of the whole grandstand, roofed by 26 lotus-shaped umbrellas made from a unique membrane. It is divided into several zones that can hold 20,000 spectators at the same time. Zone H and K are located at the end of the longest straight track, facing Turn 14, the narrowest and most dangerous turn. Here, spectators can see how racers suddenly reduce the speed from 203 miles (327 kilometers) /hour to 55 miles (88 kilometers) /hour while taking the turn. Besides, it is also a great overtaking point. However, any tiny mistake could result in the car coming off the track. Zone B covers Turns 1-4. With a radius decreased to 35 (32 meters) from 103 yards (94 meters), and a land drop of 37 feet (11 meters), it is one of the most challenging sections of the track. Zone C and D are facing Turns 5 and 6. With an angle of approximately 180 degree, Turn 6 is also a great overtaking spot. Zone E is opposite a succession of spiral turns, where spectators will appreciate how drivers brake hard at Turn 11, smoothly pass Turn 12, and skillfully speed up to travel through Turn 13, an exciting stretch. Zone G faces the longest straight track. It is a good choice for those who love high speed. The zone also covers Turns 9 and 10, and the repair zone. Grassland F also faces the longest straight, where cars whirr by at a speed of nearly 186 miles (300 kilometers/hour). Grassland J faces Turn 14 and Grassland N Turn 6 where exciting and skillful turns can be watched.

 Pits area: It is opposite the main grandstand. The lower part has 36 garages, where racing cars are parked, repaired and checked. The upper part has VIP rooms, where spectators can observe the grid.

 Commanders’ Tower: on the first floor is the commanding room, where commanding officers direct the race according to signals from 44 cameras set along the track. On the second floor is the calculating room where the equipment can calculate the time as precisely as 1/10,000 second.

 Press Center and Restaurant: This symmetrical building runs across the track, like a pair of spreading wings. The eastern part is a press center, which can host 500 journalists while the western part has a restaurant, which can serve 700 guests at the same time.

 Living Zone: It has 26 villas standing by a clear lake, each with an area of about 239 square yards (200 square meters). During the race, that’s where drivers rest and dine. Outside racing times, they can be used for meetings and holidays.

 Administration Building: Symmetrical to the Commanders’ Tower, it is the staff workplace on normal days.

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