mobile app bar

Chinese GP Track Cost: How Much Money Was Spent to Build Shanghai International Circuit

Nischay Rathore

Chinese GP Track Cost: How Much Money Was Spent to Build Shanghai International Circuit

After a long wait of five years, the Chinese GP is back on the F1 calendar. The comeback race at the Shanghai International Circuit will mark the fifth Grand Prix of the 2024 season. While the absence will cause the drivers to take some time to adapt to the track, the race is no stranger to the championship. Chinese GP joined the F1 calendar back in 2004 and has been a regular since then (barring the recent hiatus due to COVID restrictions).

The Shanghai International Circuit, as per F1 photojournalist Kym Illman, was built at a cost of $240 million. It was the costliest F1 track until Abu Dhabi joined the calendar with a whopping $6 billion worth Yas Marina circuit.

Hermann Tilke, the legendary race track architect, designed the circuit which is 3.4 miles long. With 56 laps, the Chinese GP runs a distance of 189.9 miles.

Chinese GP is one of the most challenging races of the year. That is because of the complexity of the turns the track features. The first and the second turn together make up for a unique 270-degree corner.

The turn is a physically demanding right-hander with a decreasing radius as the turn progresses. With two long straights with as many DRS zones, cars have good opportunities to reach their top speed.

With a 1.32.238 timing, Michael Schumacher set the fastest lap in the inaugural year of the race. That record stands to this day. Chinese GP also marked the 91st and final win for Schumacher during the 2006 edition.

The 2005 race was not a memorable one for the seven-time champion, though. Schumacher crashed into Minardi’s Christijan Albers before the start of the race.

Similarly, the 2007 edition was a forgettable one for Lewis Hamilton. The rookie made a mistake and beached his car into the gravel, thereby resulting in a DNF. That retirement ended his hopes of winning the championship he ultimately lost by just one point to Kimi Raikkonen.

The challenges awaiting F1 teams and drivers at the 2024 Chinese GP

China was among the worst affected nations by the COVID-19 pandemic. Owing to the difficulties in containing the spread of the virus, the government imposed strict restrictions. Those included suspension of Formula 1 races for five years.

In those five years, the championship has added new drivers who have no experience of racing on the Shanghai track. Things don’t look too rosy for the experienced drivers either. That is because the track was resurfaced, which throws them a curveball as well.

However, the biggest challenge would be to adapt to the track as quickly as possible. Teams too will have little time to decide what tweaks they need to make in their car’s setup. That is because the Chinese GP marks the first sprint race weekend of the year, which gives drivers and teams just one practice session.

Given the nature of the track, Red Bull with its well-balanced car are undoubtedly the favorite for the win. McLaren, despite its slow straight-line speed, should focus on extracting the best from their cornering speeds. If they are able to achieve that, Ferrari might face a tough battle to retain the second spot.

Post Edited By:Vidit Dhawan

About the author

Nischay Rathore

Nischay Rathore


Nischay Rathore is an F1 journalist at The SportsRush with over a thousand articles under his belt. An avid Ayrton Senna admirer, Nischay embarked on his sports journalism journey despite completing graduation in Law. When not covering the high-speed thrills of the pinnacle of motorsport, he can be seen enjoying crime thrillers and 90s gangster movies with a hearty bowl of buttery popcorn.

Read more from Nischay Rathore

Share this article