China 2014 - GP Preview - Red Bull Renault
The Grand Prix in China is still something special for me, because I won my first race there with Red Bull Racing in 2009. Due to its size, the circuit is unique. The wide stretches mean there are many possible places and opportunities to overtake. Also, the large run-off areas ensure the highest standard of safety. Even the usually narrow pit complex offers plenty of space in Shanghai. As far as the city of Shanghai goes, if I have time to go into the city I like to go to the Bund.
Shanghai is a very open, very wide circuit but it does flow nicely and the middle sector is a lot of fun. The back straight provides a good overtaking opportunity into the hairpin but it is quite long; I always think back to when I came here as a kid in Formula BMW – massive hair and lots of enthusiasm – and trust me, then, it was the sort of straight where I’d have definitely been reaching for a book if I’d had one! It’s a bit different driving it in an F1 car. The circuit has a decent mix of low- and high-speed corners and one of the key things is to have a set-up that gives you good traction out of the two tight ‘snail’ corners.