Shanghai International Circuit
The Shanghai International Circuit is located in the Jiading district, about 35km to the north of downtown Shanghai, and an easy daily commute on the city’s public transport for visitors to the Grand Prix.
Shanghai is serviced by two major airports – Hong Qiao (SHA), which is largely for domestic flights and Shanghai Pudong (PVG), where most international visitors arrive.
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Walking around in the city centre is easy, but distances are vast and you will find yourself using public transport at some stage even if it’s just going back and forth from the circuit. The metro is convenient and comfortable with taxis being a good way to traverse the sections of the city not covered by the metro lines.
Pick up a Shanghai Jiaotong Card at a metro station or convenience store, top it up, and never bother waiting in line for a ticket or fumbling around for cash again during your stay. The card can be used on the metro, in buses and in taxis and when you leave you can hand in your card and get back whatever you didn’t spend.
Getting from the airport to your hotel in Shanghai is as easy as hopping on the metro, an airport shuttle bus or an affordable taxi. My advice though is to shun all that common, every day transport and enjoy the thrill of the high speed Maglev train.
One of the pricier options perhaps though still very affordable – the high speed train is an experience in itself and generally the fastest choice for getting into Shanghai. The Shanghai Maglev uses powerful magnets that allow the train to levitate, avoiding friction and making it the fastest passenger train in the world, hitting a top speed of 431 km/h (267 mph)
The Maglev station is located between terminals 1 and 2 at the airport, where tickets can be purchased for services departing every 15 minutes between 6:45am and 9:30pm. The cost of a one way ticket is 50RMB or 80RMB for a return.
After a 25 minute journey the train terminates at Longyang Road Station where you can continue on the metro (line 2, 7 or 16) or take a taxi.
Getting around on Shanghai’s Metro is as easy as mass transit comes. The system is modern, clean and by European standards, very cheap costing between 3 and 9 RMB depending on the length of your journey. Keep in mind if you’re using the metro a lot that the system only operates from 6.30am to 9pm.
Shanghai’s Metro line 11 stops at the Shanghai Circuit station – an easy walk to the entrance of the circuit. Trains on line 11 terminate at either Huaqiao or North Jiading so check before you board the train that it is destined for Huaqiao or change to the correct train at Jiading Xincheng.
Somewhat slower, generally more convenient and definitely cheaper, it’s also possible to take the metro all the way from the airport to central Shanghai. Metro line 2 (green line) crosses central Shanghai and continues on to Hong Qiao airport.
There may not be a great tradition of Chinese F1 drivers but most taxi drivers in Shanghai drive like they’re preparing for the audition.
Taxis in Shanghai are affordable and usually run on a meter. Always use an official, licensed taxi and be advised that most drivers you encounter won’t speak much English.
As always, only use a licensed taxi as they are the only ones allowed near the circuit. If you don’t speak Shanghainese or Mandarin, have someone at your hotel write down the destination for the driver.
Taxis are not expensive in Shanghai, though you will need to cough up a lot more dosh than taking the train. The trip will take about an hour in normal traffic and cost about 160RMB for a taxi, and a bit more between night time hours of 11pm to 5am.
Getting around central parts of Shanghai on your own two feet is easy. Other parts of the city falls somewhere between tedious and daunting as you negotiate obstructed pavements, busy roads and mindless driving. Be cautious crossing major roads where often there will be no pedestrian crossing, and even when there are don’t assume that having the right of way will mean that cars will actually stop for you.
I’m Danny, an incurable Formula 1 fan for over 30 years and founder of The F1 Spectator. My aim is to inform and inspire, arming you with helpful tips and advice for your next F1 trip.