F1: Five Classic Chinese Grand Prix Moments

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Lewis Hamilton leads the way at the start of the 2013 Chinese Grand Prix. Image Copyright Clive Mason/Getty Images.

Since its introduction to the F1 calendar in 2004, the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit has created some memorable moments.

And with the country having the honour of hosting F1’s 1000th Grand Prix, here are some classic Chinese GP moments.

 

5: 2006 Chinese Grand Prix – Michael Schumacher’s final win

The 2006 Chinese Grand Prix was the host for Michael Schumacher’s final win; his last appearance on the podium before his comeback with Mercedes in the 2012 European Grand Prix.

The seven-time champion started sixth and used the superior Bridgestone tyres as the track dried up, to catch the two Renaults of Fernando Alonso and Giancarlo Fisichella.

The Red Baron passed Alonso on Lap 35 and then took the lead from Fisichella six laps later, as the Italian went wide at Turn 1 on cold tyres.

Alonso found some pace late on, but was unable to chase down the Ferrari and finished just three seconds behind Schumacher.

4: 2016 Chinese Grand Prix – The birth of the Torpedo

The 2016 Chinese Grand Prix is not only remembered for an incredible 128 overtakes, the most in a Grand Prix since records began.

Alongside, the race was also the birthplace of Daniil Kvyat’s infamous ‘Torpedo’ nickname.

Driving for Red Bull, the Russian picked up the nickname after an aggressive move on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari at Turn 1.

Surprised by Kvyat’s move to the inside, Vettel moved wide in avoidance and inadvertently collected teammate Kimi Raikkonen in the process.

Despite this, both drivers managed finished on the podium behind the Mercedes of race winner Nico Rosberg.

This led to a memorable argument in the cool-down room where Vettel branded the Russian driver as a torpedo.

The name would become more ironic, as he collided with Vettel again in the next race in Russia and Kvyat was demoted to Toro Rosso in favour of Max Verstappen.

3: 2009 Chinese Grand Prix – Red Bull’s first of many

The third round of the 2009 season was a memorable one for Red Bull Racing, to say the least.

In Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel claimed Red Bull’s first pole position, despite struggling with driveshaft issues.

On the Sunday, Vettel was able to convert is pole into victory in wet conditions and took his second career victory; the first for Red Bull.

The second Red Bull of Mark Webber made it a day to remember as well by finishing second, to give them their first 1-2 finish and proved to be the first of many.

2: 2012 – Mercedes return to the top

Just like with Red Bull three years prior, China hosted another maiden win and a return to glory for one of the sports most iconic manufacturers.

Mercedes had been building up since their return to F1 in 2010, and in 2012, the Silver Arrows looked to have found a bit more speed from the package.

In Qualifying, Nico Rosberg hooked up an incredible lap to take pole position for the first time at the 111th attempt.

His teammate Michael Schumacher made it a front row lockout for Mercedes, after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton took a five place grid penalty for a gearbox change.

Rosberg went win his first Formula 1 race in dominant fashion, and was 20 seconds clear over Jenson Button and Hamilton at the chequered flag.

The win was the first for Mercedes in F1 since 1955; a gap of almost 57 years.

1: 2007 Chinese Grand Prix – Hamilton’s title left in the gravel

2007 saw the debut of Lewis Hamilton, who came close to winning the title in his debut season.

However, a infamous error during the penultimate race in China proved to be costly.

Hamilton led the race away in wet conditions, ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa, and McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso.

However, as the track started to dry, Hamilton started to suffer from tyre wear.

McLaren made the call to leave him out, which led to devastating consequences.

On Lap 31, Raikkonen passed Hamilton for the race lead, as the Brit went wide struggling with rear tyres that were worn to the canvas.

Hamilton had to pit, but as the Brit did this, a mix of excessive corner speed and worn tyres sent him wide.

Hamilton beached his McLaren in the gravel trap and was forced to retire from the race.

As a result, Hamilton would go on to lose the championship in Brazil to Raikkonen by a single point.

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