Valtteri Bottas, Williams, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

Rain may return on race day in Shanghai

2017 Chinese Grand Prix weather

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Practice for the Chinese Grand Prix is expected to open on a damp circuit tomorrow and rain may return for the second race of the 2017 season.

With the first session of the weekend less than 24 hours away forecasters increasingly expect a wet start tomorrow. Drizzle is expected throughout the morning and cars are due on track at 10am.

The afternoon session, which begins four hours later, may also be affected. Low air temperatures and little support race action (the track will remain empty between Friday’s two F1 sessions) will do little to dry the surface.

However by Friday afternoon the first band of rain should have passed through the area leaving a good chance of dry conditions for Saturday practice and qualifying. By the afternoon the cloud cover may even begin to lift, but only temporarily.

More intense rain is expected on Sunday morning which should make life difficult for the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia drivers in the day’s only support race at 11:20am. By the time the F1 cars head out for their formation lap over two-and-a-half hours later the rain should have eased or even stopped, but the track will have been well doused.

China’s round of the world championship is no stranger to cool and rainy conditions. The two days of build-up before the race will see air temperatures struggling to get above 18C. Race day temperatures could be as low as 13C.

At a track like Shanghai this would previously have meant a high risk of tyre graining. How Pirelli’s new rubber responds to these conditions will play an important role in shaping the upcoming weekend if the rain stays away.

For more updates on the track conditions during each session keep an eye on F1 Fanatic Live and the F1 Fanatic Twitter account.

Location of Shanghai International Circuit

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2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Rain may return on race day in Shanghai”

  1. I wish rain gods help Alonso to score a podium in that mowing truck

    1. Not with the incredibly bad driveability that the engine currently has. Driving that thing in the rain must feel suicidal.

      1. Bulls need biblical rain and then some!!

  2. Good

    Would be great to see how they get on in the rain.

  3. Looks like the F1 God just likes to keep us waiting. With a damp or wet track on Sunday, we wouldn’t be able to conclusively say how hard overtaking is on these new cars.

  4. Are the Pirelli wet tyres ready or even up to the job?

  5. this could be bad,,,,i mean we could see delays and safety car starts.

    1. this could be bad,,,,i mean we could see Max at the front.

      1. …….this could be terrible…….Sauber could win……..
        ( now there’s a thought…….! )

  6. Shaun Robinson (@)
    6th April 2017, 9:33

    WHOOO BABY! Love me a wet race! BRING THE CARNAGE!

  7. Shaun Robinson (@)
    6th April 2017, 9:33

    WHOOO BABY! Love me a wet race! BRING THE CARNAGE!

    1. Love it so much you have to say it twice ;)

  8. Tony Mansell
    6th April 2017, 11:39

    Will we start under safety if it is raining? Will the pensioners running the sport rinse the last drops of risk out of f1? Im sure we all remember the James Hunt quote on Senna driving in the wet at Monaco ‘theres no dispassionate reason to stop the race’ Well, to paraphrase him, theres no passionate reason to love f1 at the moment. A sad shadow of its former self.

  9. And then we remember Jules Bianchi, then the staggering near misses on
    the start/finishing straight last year at Interlagos. If you were a senior
    F1 official you’d have to decide if the colossal risks F1 drivers take when
    they’re racing in torrential rain were worth the risk to anyone’s life.

    We came pretty damned close to disaster at least four times in last
    year’s Brazilian race, but we also saw Max Verstappen do amazing things
    in the same race. Would you like to stand in Charlie’s box and decide
    which way to play it ? And live with the consequences of your decision ?

    1. Tony Mansell
      6th April 2017, 16:31

      Colossal risks? 1 death in 20 years. Yeh more people die cycling to work every week than that

      Give over. Jules didn’t die because it rained, he died because their were flaws in the running pace allowed under waved flags and because they also then allowed tractors on track.

      Finger waggers like you dont help, anyone mentions its being sanatised and theres an element who jump up and down crying foul. You may as well stop them driving flat out. After all, Senna died going flat out.

      Ask most f1 fans and they’ll tell you the British GP start last season was a symbol of all that is wrong in the sport.

      1. Only one death in F1 in twenty years eh…..?
        That really is a bad sign isn’t it ?
        I mean, it takes all the thrills away doesn’t it ?
        And did we, the fans, gain from Senna dying flat out, as you put it ?
        Oddly enough, I and many others actually wish Ayrton Senna were
        still around. Along with the other great drivers we’ve lost.
        But quite clearly we don’t get the message that drivers risking
        death or serious injury is exciting to watch. And, just as clearly,
        you really do believe that F1 is far better off when it contains
        spectacular driver deaths.

        It’s a very interesting perspective you have there.

        I’m very glad that I don’t share it.

        1. Tony Mansell
          7th April 2017, 10:55

          Well I have no idea what your point is so whether you share mine or not is immaterial if you cant share yours with any clarity

      2. +Tony Mansell ”Give over. Jules didn’t die because it rained, he died because their were flaws in the running pace allowed under waved flags and because they also then allowed tractors on track.”
        – You forgot perhaps the most crucial part: He didn’t slow down sufficiently under the double yellows. I know finger-pointing regarding this incident isn’t really necessary anymore, but that’s also a fact about the incident.

  10. Robert McKay
    6th April 2017, 20:39

    I’m not overly fussed on the Shanghai circuit, but it does throw up a lot of wet weekends, so it’s worth having it on the calendar for that alone.

    Although we’ve had a reasonable amount of wet races recently, I don’t remember many that started dry and then had a mid-race downpour, which is always much more interesting than a race that starts wet. Hopefully we get something like that this weekend.

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