2019’s drivers have recorded only ten DNFs between them at the Shanghai International Circuit, eight drivers have a 100% finish rate in China but no one has a 100% Q3 appearance rate at the track. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Chinese Grand Prix!
?? Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has won the Chinese Grand Prix five times, and has appeared on the podium a further three times at the track. The only time Hamilton has failed to score at the track was on his first appearance in Shanghai, when he retired from the race after running wide at the pit entry, beaching his McLaren in the gravel. The five-time champion has taken six pole positions at the track, and also qualified on the front row in 2012 – but took a five place grid drop for a change of gearbox. Hamilton’s recent history at the track hasn’t been as successful, as he’s only finished on the podium once in the last three seasons in Shanghai. His 2016 Chinese Grand Prix weekend was hampered by car issues – with him failing to set a time in qualifying as a result. Last season marked one of only three times where the Brit has been beaten by a team-mate on pace in qualifying at the circuit. Hamilton has led the race on seven of his twelve Chinese Grand Prix appearances, while 2013 is the only time he has finished a race at the track in a position lower than where he started it.
?? Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas has finished the Chinese Grand Prix on all of his six appearances so far, with his first appearance – in which he finished thirteenth – being the only time the Finn has failed to score at the circuit. Bottas scored his best result at the track so far last year, with second place. Bottas is yet to qualify on the front row in Shanghai, but has qualified in third in each of the last two seasons. 2018 marked one of only two times where Bottas has beaten his team-mate in qualifying at the track, the other being in 2016. Bottas led the Chinese Grand Prix for the first time in his career last season and could have won, if not for a late-race Safety Car.
?? Sebastian Vettel
While Sebastian Vettel has a 100% finish rate from his twelve appearances at the Chinese Grand Prix, he’s only won here once in his career. That was in 2009, when he scored the Red Bull team’s first victory. Since then, he’s taken a further four podium finishes at the track. 2008, when he finished ninth for Toro Rosso, is the only time Vettel has failed to score points on a visit to Shanghai. Despite only winning once, Vettel has taken four pole positions at the track, most recently in 2018. He’s qualified in the top four here in all of the last five seasons. The German has led the Chinese Grand Prix in four seasons, and led twenty laps of last year’s race – but his race was curtailed after Max Verstappen collided with him at the hairpin.
?? Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc qualified and finished in nineteenth place at last year’s Chinese Grand Prix. The Sauber cars were largely uncompetitive over the weekend, with Leclerc out-qualifying team-mate Marcus Ericsson, who lined up last on the grid.
?? Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen’s best finish so far at the Chinese Grand Prix is a third place in the 2017 race. Verstappen has scored points in all of the last three Shanghai races, and is yet to finish the race in a position lower than where he started it. His first appearance here, in 2015, is the only time the Dutch driver has failed to finish the race. Verstappen has recorded two Q3 appearances so far in Shanghai, with a best grid position of fifth last season. He’s yet to lead a lap of the Chinese Grand Prix.
?? Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly finished only eighteenth in last year’s Chinese Grand Prix following a collision with his team-mate Brendon Hartley at the hairpin. He qualified seventeenth, being eliminated in Q1 and failing to beat Hartley.
?? Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo won last year’s Chinese Grand Prix, following a series of impressive overtakes. Ricciardo is currently on a streak of six points-scoring races at the Shanghai track, and though he only finished seventeenth on his first visit here back in 2012, he’s yet to record a non-finish at the circuit. The Australian has qualified on the front row here twice, in 2014 and 2016. He’s reached the final of qualifying on every appearance so far at the circuit, aside from in 2012 when he was eliminated in Q2. Last season marked the first time Ricciardo was out-qualified by a team-mate at the Shanghai circuit.
?? Nico Hulkenberg
Last season, Nico Hulkenberg scored points at the Chinese Grand Prix for the first time since 2014. He finished sixth in the race, equalling his best finish at the track – also from 2014. His tenth place in 2013 is the only other time he’s picked up a point at the circuit from his eight appearances. Despite his relatively low points rate, Hulkenberg has recorded only one non-finish at the track, in 2015. Hulkenberg has reached the final part of qualifying in China in all but one of the last six seasons – that was in 2015, when he was eliminated in Q1. The German’s best qualifying position at the track is seventh, which he’s recorded in each of the last two seasons.
?? Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean hasn’t scored a point at the Chinese Grand Prix since 2015. He’s yet to better the sixth place which he scored on his debut appearance in 2012. The Frenchman has recorded only one non-finish at the track, in 2014. Grosjean has failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the Shanghai circuit only twice, having being eliminated in Q2 in 2016, and in Q1 in 2017. His best qualifying position at the track is sixth, which he recorded in 2013.
?? Kevin Magnussen
From his four appearances at the Chinese Grand Prix, Kevin Magnussen is yet to record a non-finish at the track. He has scored points on each of his last two visits to the track, with a best finish of eight place in 2017. Magnussen is yet to reach the final part of qualifying in Shanghai, recording three Q2 exits and one Q1 elimination, in 2016. Magnussen is yet to finish the Chinese Grand Prix in a position lower than where he started it from.
?? Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz has a 100% finish rate at the Chinese Grand Prix, and he’s scored on three of his four appearances at the track. Sainz’s best finish here came in 2017, when he finished seventh, while his worst finish – and only non-points scoring visit – was in 2015, where he finished thirteenth. The Spaniard has reached Q3 in both 2016 and 2018 in Shanghai, with 2016 being the only time he has beaten a team-mate in qualifying at the circuit. 2016 was also the season in which he scored his best qualifying result, with eighth on the grid.
?? Lando Norris
Lando Norris has never raced at the Shanghai International Circuit before.
?? Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has scored points only twice from his eight Chinese Grand Prix appearances, finishing ninth in both 2014 and 2017. He’s also finished eleventh at the circuit four times, and has never failed to finish the race. Perez has beaten his team-mate in qualifying at the circuit in all of the last four seasons, and has also reached Q3 four times in Shanghai. The Mexican’s best qualifying position at the circuit is seventh, though he has qualified in eighth three times – including in each of the last two seasons.
?? Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll failed to finish his first race at the Shanghai International Circuit in 2017, before finishing fourteenth at last year’s event. Stroll qualified in the top ten here in 2017, but failed to progress past Q1 last season. He is yet to beat a team-mate in qualifying at the circuit.
?? Kimi Raikkonen
While others faltered, Kimi Raikkonen won the Chinese Grand Prix in 2007 on a highly important day for his championship charge. Aside from that season, Raikkonen has taken a further five podium finishes at the track, most recently last season when he finished in third. The Finn has recorded only one DNF at the track, in 2006, while 2009 and 2014 are his only other appearances at the track where he’s failed to score. Raikkonen has never taken pole here, but has qualified on the front row on five occasions. 2014 marks the only time that Raikkonen has failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the circuit. Ahead of the 2019 Chinese Grand Prix, Raikkonen is one point away from having scored a century of points at the circuit.
?? Antonio Giovinazzi
Until the start of this season, the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix was Antonio Giovinazzi’s most recent Grand Prix appearance. After reaching Q2, the Italian crashed on Saturday, before crashing out on the same part of the track in the race. Giovinazzi also raced here in the 6 Hours of Shanghai in November 2016, where his team finished second in the LMP2 class.
?? Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat earned his ‘torpedo’ nickname at the Shanghai track back in 2016, with his daredevil moves on Sebastian Vettel in the opening corners. The 2016 race brought him his most recent podium to date, with a third place finish for Red Bull. 2014 is the only other time Kvyat has finished a race here, with him taking home a point for tenth place. Kvyat has never been eliminated in Q1 here, and recorded a Q3 appearance in both of his most recent appearances, with a best grid position of sixth in 2016. 2017 is the only time Kvyat has beaten his team-mate in qualifying at the circuit.
?? Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon has no past experience at the Shanghai International Circuit.
?? Robert Kubica
In his five previous races at the Shanghai International Circuit, Robert Kubica scored points twice, with a best finish of fifth place for Renault in 2010. 2010 was also the first time the Pole beat his team-mate in qualifying here. Kubica has reached the final part of qualifying on three occasions at the Chinese Grand Prix, and has also suffered Q2 and Q1 eliminations in 2008 and 2009 respectively. Kubica is one of only two drivers, the other being Ralf Schumacher, to have led a single lap of the Chinese Grand Prix during their careers.
?? George Russell
George Russell hasn’t raced at the Shanghai International Circuit before.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. The blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics.
Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.