The Shanghai International Circuit (SIC) is one of the most exuberant tracks visited on the calendar. This Hermann Tilke designed track features an impressive main grandstand that is so tall, it makes the pit building look minuscule. The venue is easy to get to, it has outstanding facilities and most of all, tickets are very cheap.
Shanghai is China's most accessible city for westerners and a modern metropolis offering some fascinating sightseeing opportunities, good bars and restaurants. It is also just five hours away by train from Beijing, via a high-speed rail link.
Pit building, main straight and Grandstand A - Image: Toyota Motor Europe S.A./N.V.
India is still very much a new destination as far as motorsport is concerned, let alone Formula 1. However, the enthusiasm of the locals, the culture and the organised chaos make this F1 round rather unique.
The Buddh International Circuit has hosted a couple of grands prix so far, both of which were won by Sebastian Vettel. The inaugural event was a resounding success with a huge spectator turnout despite the predictable teething problems. Attendance in 2012 was down on the previous year, eventhough most issues were ironed out. Sales figures for 2013 are slowly picking up; and the picnic and natural stands are nearly sold out.
Don't expect a European atmosphere in this land where cricket is king. This is one for the curious, the Vettel supporters, or simply the travellers spending some time in this vibrant country, and who will be attending the F1 weekend as part of their itinerary.
Grandstand A - PHOTO : FRANÇOIS FLAMAND / DPPI for Renault Sport F1