It may lack the atmosphere of some other venues on the calendar, but where the Chinese Grand Prix excels is in offering top notch views of the circuit. Having previously only attended European circuits I was blown away when I first visited Shanghai track. I’m no fan of the Herman Tilke homogenization of F1’s venues, but I have to confess I did have an a-ha moment when I saw what kind of views a modern, purpose built circuit could deliver.
Best Grandstands at the Chinese Grand Prix
Main Straight – Grandstand A-High
Seats in the main grandstand at the Shanghai International Circuit offer better value than many other circuits. From these high seats you’ll see not only the start, the pitstops and podium celebrations but also about 80% of the circuit, which is easily visible from what is in fact the largest grandstand in the sport.
You can see over the pit and paddock buildings and can literally follow the cars around the track, offering an unusual perspective from which to watch the race. With Chinese Grand Prix tickets tending to be relatively inexpensive anyway, if you’re ever going to splurge on a main grandstand seat this could be the place to do it.
Hairpin – Grandstand K
A seat at the hairpin is another decent option provided you’re near the apex. From here you’ll see the cars breaking from one of F1’s longest straights and overtaking in the DRS zone. Get a seat in the stands nearest to the main grandstand to have a head on view of the cars. An excellent spot for photography as the drivers slow right down.
General Admission at the Chinese Grand Prix
General admission at the Shanghai circuit is divided into zones and fans can only enter a zone they hold a ticket for. These areas are grassy banks with no seating provided so it pays to turn up early in the day to reserve your favourite spot.
Grass Zone B, at turn 1 is the most favourable, offering views of the first sequence of turns and a view down the main straight where you can make out the cars on the grid, the final box in the pitlane and enjoy an elaborate grid ceremony. Conveniently, Zone B is close to the main entertainment and refreshments area. The only negative is that the area is subdivided with spectators being assigned an area randomly and track views can vary.
Situated at the hairpin Grass Zone J offers a good view of this corner and will likely be the scene of most overtaking moves, albeit under DRS.