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F1 strategy guru predicts VERY unpredictable Chinese GP due to 'massive unknown'

F1 strategy guru predicts VERY unpredictable Chinese GP due to 'massive unknown'

F1 strategy guru predicts VERY unpredictable Chinese GP due to 'massive unknown'

F1 strategy guru predicts VERY unpredictable Chinese GP due to 'massive unknown'

An F1 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 absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic injects a hefty dose of intrigue into the 2024 season.

READ MORE: Chinese GP session red flagged for FIRE on circuit

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.

Furthermore, 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.

This lack of data is further compounded by the threat of rain. The unpredictable Shanghai weather could throw a wrench into the works, leaving teams scrambling to adapt their strategies on the fly.

With limited practice time and the potential for a wet qualifying and race, this year's Chinese GP has the potential to be one of the most unpredictable races in 2024.

Bernie Collins predicts 'massive unknown" for teams

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

Asked on the Sky F1 Podcast if this could be the most unpredictable race, Collins said:

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

READ MORE: EXCLUSIVE: F1 race winner backs 'next level' driver to replace Stroll at Aston Martin

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