The Shanghai International Circuit was designed as the race circuit for the new millennium and has been the benchmark against which all modern tracks are judged since it debuted on the Formula One calendar in 2004.
Designed by Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl, the 5.451-kilometre layout is shaped like the Chinese character 'shang', which stands for 'high' or 'above'. Other symbols represented in the architecture originate from Chinese history, such as the team buildings. These take the form of pavilions suspended above a lake, built to resemble the ancient Yuyan-Garden in Shanghai.
The course is remarkable for its change of acceleration and deceleration within different winding turns, making high demands on the driver as well as the car. It also features high-speed straights which offer crucial overtaking opportunities. The main grandstand, featuring 29,000 seats, provides views over almost 80 percent of the circuit.