The Chinese GP boasts F1’s longest straight, a paddock so wide you could probably land all the teams’ air freight directly in front of the garages and oh yeah, one of the world’s most vibrant, futuristic cities on your doorstep. All in all, it’s a pretty remarkable race, as Daniel and Dany explain…
It has to be one of the toughest circuits on the front left tyre.
A lap of Shanghai is pretty uncompromising, but it's the pit straight and opening complex that set the tone isn't it?
DR: The straight at the Shanghai International Circuit is super long which makes it pretty different compared to other tracks. Coming off that straight, you then have to brake for one of the tightest corners on the calendar – you go from one of the highest speeds to the lowest. Turns 1, 2 and 3 are like one big corner, really long and uphill, and this makes it really tough on the front left tyre, it's one of the toughest circuits for that which can be interesting.
It's a pretty amazing city. Do you get a chance to take it all in during the weekend?
DR: As a city, Shanghai is cool, but it's hard for us to get to because the track is quite far away and the traffic can be pretty bad. We usually get one night to go into the city to eat out and get a view of the skyline.
Are you a fan of Shanghai cuisine – any memorable meals in the city?
DR: I remember one year I was at a traditional Chinese restaurant with my mechanics and everything had spice in it, and I love my spice. The pork ribs were amazing! But then you would get something simple like soup or vegetables and it's covered in chilli so you really need to like your spicy food to enjoy the local cuisine.
Key Chinese Grand Prix stats:
- Shanghai was the scene of our first win in Formula One, coming in 2009 courtesy of Sebastian Vettel
- Out of four Chinese Grand Prix starts, Daniel has amounted 20 points, finishing 7th for Toro Rosso in 2013 and 4th (2014) and 9th (2015) with The Team
- Dany has two Chinese Grand Prix starts to his name, a 10th place for Toro Rosso in 2014, before a power unit issue cut his 2015 race short.
Shanghai is actually a really interesting and technical track.
Just how tricky are those corners after the main straight, the so-called 'Snail'?
DK: Shanghai is actually a really interesting and technical track. Turn One is a unique corner but the fast changes of direction in the middle of the lap are also challenging.
What about Shanghai itself? The race has steadily built a fan base there and the crowd is now pretty big each year.
DK: I used to live in Moscow which is big but it doesn't compare to the size of Shanghai. I think it's quite an international city, with many things going on and some nice food. The river that runs through the city is so massive it actually looks like an ocean. As for the crowd, the fans in China are also very passionate; we have a great group of fans there. I even saw some of them in Australia and they gave me some nice presents. It's very cool to get this kind of support.