The Shanghai circuit was constructed in 2003 on the outskirts of the Chinese city and is one of the world’s most advanced. The track is a winning blend of excitement and technology. The excitement comes from the fact that the 5300-metre layout is a thrilling lap for drivers and fans alike (even if curves 5, 6 and 7 will be skipped in the Trofeo, reducing the length to 4602 metres); an example of the cutting-edge technology is the polystyrene used to combat the marshy terrain the track is built on.
To provide shelter from the rain, German Hermann Tilke (the brains behind the Sepang circuit in Malaysia and the Manama circuit of Sakhir in Bahrain) designed the stands situated at the end of the straight following turn 13 to resemble giant lotus leaves. The majestic stands that border the start-finish line are just as impressive, as is the press room positioned on the walkway that connects the ninth floor of the towers and the stand.
The track itself is as stunning as the facilities with its fast curves, straights and sharp braking points. The circuit takes its cue from the Chinese character shàng (上), that means ‘above’ or ‘go uphill’, from where the city gets its name.
Since 2004, Shanghai has played host to the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix and the MotoGP was run here for the first time in 2005.
While this will be the Maserati Trofeo’s debut on this circuit, Maserati has a history in China as the Maserati MC12 competed at Zhuhai in 2004, 2005 and 2007.