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F1 pundit claims Chinese GP ‘most UNPREDICTABLE’ race in years

F1 pundit claims Chinese GP ‘most UNPREDICTABLE’ race in years

F1 pundit claims Chinese GP ‘most UNPREDICTABLE’ race in years

F1 pundit claims Chinese GP ‘most UNPREDICTABLE’ race in years

A Formula 1 pundit believes the unique circumstances surrounding the Chinese Grand Prix could make it one of the most unpredictable races.

The return of China to the F1 calendar after a five-year, COVID-19-enforced absence injects a hefty dose of intrigue into the 2024 season.

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While the grand prix first appeared on the calendar in 2004, this year's race will feel entirely different.

The significant regulation changes, coupled with the absence of recent data, mean teams are approaching the Shanghai International Circuit almost like a brand-new track.

The addition of the sprint race format to the weekend adds another layer of complexity.

Practice sessions allow teams to gather data and fine-tune their car setups for qualifying and the race. However, with only one practice session before Friday's sprint qualifying, the opportunity to gather crucial data is limited.

The unpredictable Shanghai weather could throw a spanner in the works, leaving teams scrambling to adapt their strategies on the fly.

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The Chinese GP was last raced in 2019
China will host the first Sprint of 2024

Bernie Collins predicts 'massive unknown' for teams

F1 pundit and Sky Sports F1's strategy expert Bernie Collins has weighed in on the unique challenges teams will face in Shanghai.

"The big thing is if we get rain for Saturday morning's Sprint, teams will go into the race with no long-run data," he told the Sky F1 Podcast.

"So it'll be like what happened last week in Japan, except you don't have last year to go back on either. So it would make those long runs a massive unknown going into the race.

"China in the past has been close between a one and a two-stop strategy, so it's back again to like what we had in Japan where it is going to be about reaction, about the driver feedback to what's happening, the driver feedback to tyres.

"Getting the car setup nailed in P1 is going to be really crucial. The simulator runs probably won't be good enough coming into it, so it is going to be about how you react to the issues you find in the car on P1."

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