Spare car for Fernando in China
The penultimate race of the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship takes place this coming weekend at the Shanghai International Circuit. This year will mark the fourth running of the Chinese Grand Prix, which due to its positioning towards the end of the season, has often seen exciting racing as Championship battles are drawn to a close.
Following this weekend’s race, Formula 1 will travel to Interlagos for the final race of the season. The Brazilian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 21st October.
As fans will remember, Fernando Alonso’s McLaren was extensively damaged when he aquaplaned during the Japanese grand prix, so with just a few days turn around before China, where will the repairs take place to the Spaniard’s car?
“As the Japanese and Chinese Grands Prix are back to back races, a replacement chassis (MP4-22 01) was dispatched from the McLaren Technology Centre on Sunday 30th September for China,” the team explained. “This chassis will become the spare, with Fernando using the spare chassis from Japan as his race car (MP4-22 03). Fernando’s damaged car was sent back due to significant damage to the chassis, which is not reparable at the track.”
The Shanghai International Circuit was purpose developed for the first Chinese Grand Prix in 2004, taking 18 months to build. Located to the northeast of Shanghai, it is located near Anting Town in the Jiading district. The venue covers an area of just over 2.5 square kilometers and was designed to create dramatic racing and to provide first class facilities for the teams and spectators. The track was modeled on the Chinese symbol ‘Shang’, which represents ‘above’ or ‘high’. Prior to the opening of the track International racing in the People’s Republic of China was focused on street circuits. The most recent example was the first international race in Shanghai itself in July of 2004, when the DTM series took to the streets of the city centre.
So why is the Chinese Grand Prix important for Mercedes-Benz?
“Not only is China one of the most important markets for automobiles worldwide; the Grand Prix in Shanghai is also of great importance as DaimlerChrysler has been manufacturing models of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in China since December 2005. In addition, DaimlerChrysler opened a new plant there one year ago, which is able to produce up to 25,000 Mercedes-Benz E- and C-Class cars per year.”