F1 China Grand Prix 2023
2023 looks set to be an exciting year in Formula One motor racing that will surely be full of thrills and spills as drivers and constructors battle it out to see who will come out on top.
And no doubt, much of the focus will be on the top drivers. After all, we have great expectations around Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who’s shown some of the best form of his entire career all throughout the 2022 season. And then there’s that other youngster from Ferrari, Charles LeClerc, who’s eager to step up and stake his claim as one of the best in the industry.
Then we also have Lewis Hamilton, who will be looking to put the disappointment of 2022 behind him and do everything in his power to make history by becoming the first driver in F1 history to win 8 Drivers’ Championships.
But beyond the ups and downs of drive battles, the 2023 season is also exciting because it’s the year when, all being well, F1 returns to China.
F1 China Grand Prix Information, Predictions
F1 China Returns
The F1 China Grand Prix first took place in 2004 and has been held 16 times. It was last held here in 2019, after which it was put on hold due to China’s Zero-Covid policy.
Taking place on the Shanghai International Circuit, 2023 will be the first time the event has been held here since 2019.
It is scheduled to take place on April 14-16, with the main event scheduled for Sunday, April 16, and is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the F1 calendar for 2023.
About the Shanghai International Circuit
The Shanghai International Circuit cost $450 million to complete and, at the time, was the world’s most expensive circuit. In 2009 however, Abu Dhabi shattered this record when it constructed the Yas Marina Circuit, which cost a staggering $1.132 Billion.
As for the Shanghai track itself, this is a hugely popular track with sprint race fans as it provides excellent opportunities for drivers to overtake. The race length is 189.599 miles (305.066 km), with a circuit length of 3.387 miles (5.451 km).
Lewis Hamilton has enjoyed great success here over the years, having won the event six times for Mercedes.
F1 China Grand Prix Conditions
Assuming the 2023 F1 China Grand Prix does indeed go ahead (more on that shortly), what can fans and drivers expect in terms of conditions?
As we always say, we can’t predict the weather and see into the future, so we can’t know for sure what the weather will be like on the day of the F1 China Grand Prix. We can, however, take an educated guess.
Unlike many of the other early F1 events taking place early in the season, the weather for this event could be much more unpredictable.
At this time of year, Shanghai is prone to fog, mist, and rain, so there is always a chance of disruption. Despite this, conditions are generally dry and settled, though it will likely be cloudy and overcast.
Temperatures can vary, though, and the maximum temperature during qualifying and the race itself will likely be between 18c and 21c.
Who to watch
These are the drivers worth keeping an eye on for the F1 China Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have both enjoyed great success in China, and the circuit most certainly suits his cars and driving style.
The last time the event was held in China, Hamilton picked up the win. He has also won this Grand Prix more times than any other driver (6) and will be eager to make it 7, and pick up the points to nudge him closer to a place in the record books.
Zhou Guanyu is the first Chinese F1 driver in the sport’s history. He now wants to make history by returning home to become the first Chinese F1 driver to compete at the F1 China Grand Prix.
While the Alfa Romeo driver will likely not be expected to challenge for pole position and a podium finish, it will be nice to see the reception he gets when he returns home. Having the hometown advantage will also likely spur him on.
Another Alfa Romeo driver to keep an eye on here will be Valterri Bottas.
In 2019, Bottas finished in 2nd place behind Hamilton, and despite it being several years ago, he will still be going into the event full of confidence and looking to pick up the points for himself and his team.
Will the F1 China Grand Prix Be Cancelled Again?
At the moment, the 2023 Chinese F1 Grand Prix is full steam ahead. But China’s Zero-Covid policy constantly threatens to derail those plans if an outbreak takes place ahead of the race.
While much of the world has opened up, China continues to take Covid-19 very seriously, and any outbreaks, no matter how small, still result in complete lockdowns and quarantining.
Shanghai has been in and out of lockdown numerous times, and if an outbreak of Covid-19 is recorded, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Chinese Grand Prix was suspended for yet another year.
Needless to say, as he is looking to make history and prove a point, Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly the driver most eyes will be on in the F1 China Grand Prix. Hamilton thrives on this circuit, and he’ll know that going into the event, as will his competitors.
While you can’t count out Verstappen, his experiences here in the past have been very up and down, so we don’t expect him to challenge for 1st place. Is a podium finish off the table? Of course not, so we have him in 3rd.
We also believe one name that will push Hamilton for the top spot here will be Valterri Bottas of Alfa Romeo, despite his sub-par 2022 season.
As far as constructors go, Mercedes looks the best bet, though Alfa Romeo will certainly have all eyes on them.
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