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Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix 2024

F1 drivers brace for chaotic Chinese GP with 'Turkey 2.0' prediction

The Chinese Grand Prix will return this weekend after an absence of five years, while the sprint format will also make its first appearance of the 2024 Formula 1 season.

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This weekend's Chinese Grand Prix will see the return of the F1 Sprint, as Shanghai hosts the first alternate weekend format event of the year.

Max Verstappen has already voiced his disapproval of the event being held in China as the location has been absent from the calendar for the last five years.

Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz have both also outlined their concerns, speaking to media including RacingNews365.

Red Bull's Perez, who has not finished higher than eighth around the Shanghai International Circuit, raised hope for a smooth weekend.

“I just hope that there are no issues with the track, with any drain holes, any issues like that,” he said. “That will just put us out of sync. But I think for the show, probably it's good.

“It's a good thing. But I think from the preparation side, it's going to be definitely one that is going to be really hard because, I mean, I've never raced there with Red Bull so it's going to be quite a lot to do in a single practice.”

'Turkey 2.0'

Carlos Sainz, whose best result in China came in 2017 when he crossed the line in seventh, sees the value of having the sprint weekend in Shanghai.

“I think there are two different topics,” he highlighted. “I think China as a race circuit is a great one.

“I think it's one of our favourite ones for everyone. It's just a great racing track and a track that offers a good possibility to overtake, so a Sprint makes sense to have it there.”

However, the Spaniard also expressed worry that F1's long absence from China could produce teething issues.

“At the same time, it's what we said in the drivers’ briefing, we say to FIA and Formula 1, with these kind of cars to go to a track with one hour of practice and straight into qualifying, with the regulations that they put us, with the plank wear and things like this, and how tricky one bump could make the car, I think it's not a good choice to choose to put the Sprint after four or five years absence,” he said.

Sainz added that the resurfacing job that has occurred at the circuit could produce a lack of grip in a scenario similar to Turkey's F1 return in 2020.

“We also heard there's been resurfacing going on, so Istanbul 2.0 maybe on the cards! Yeah, I hope not. So yeah, it just shows the uncertainty.

“Maybe for you guys at home it's exciting, but for engineers and drivers, it's something that for me, in my opinion, we shouldn't take the risk and have a normal weekend.”

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