You can almost smell burning rubber wafting through the air.
Heading into this weekend’s F1 Shanghai Grand Prix with McLaren-Mercedes ‘s Lewis Hamilton leading the way from Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Poland’s Robert Kubica, Formula One is getting ready to crown its 30th world champion. Details on teams and drivers here.
According to the F1 GP previews, we’re set for one of the closest finishes to a Formula One campaign in years between Hamilton and Massa. Shanghai is the second last stop in the F1 GP, with the final leg to be raced in Brazil.
For those armed with tickets, the ever-trusty SmartShanghai provides details on how to get to the Shanghai International Circuit, located an hour out of the city.
Here are some F1 statistics for the Shanghai Grand Prix to tide you to Friday’s qualifying heats.
•Ferrari have won three of the four Chinese Grands Prix to date. McLaren have never won in Shanghai. Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, Raikkonen and Alonso are the only active drivers to have triumphed there.
•The driver on pole position has failed to win the last two races in China.
•Three of the four winners have started on the front row (Michael Schumacher for Ferrari in 2006 was the exception).
•Alonso and Honda’s Jenson Button are the only current drivers to have scored points in every Chinese Grand Prix. Alonso has been on the podium three times and never finished lower than fourth.
•Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen can set a record in Shanghai for the fastest laps in a single season. His fastest lap in Singapore last month was his 10th of the year, equalling the record held jointly with now-retired Michael Schumacher.
•Formula One has had seven different winners in 16 races so far this season.
•McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton has a five point lead in the championship and will become Formula One’s youngest champion at the age of 23 if he scores six points more than Ferrari’s Felipe Massa on Sunday. Otherwise the title battle will go to the last race in Brazil, Massa’s home grand prix. Poland’s Robert Kubica needs to score three points more than Hamilton while not allowing Massa to beat him by more than two points to stay in the reckoning.