The Shanghai International Circuit, which is situated in the Jiading District of Shanghai, was financed by a government-funded joint-venture company, consisting of the Shanghai Juss Corporation, Shanghai National Property Management Co Ltd, and Shanghai Jia'an Investment and Development Co Ltd. It is thought to have cost around £350m ($450m).
In common with many other new circuits, it was designed by Hermann Tilke, and features his trademark track feature: a long back straight followed by a hairpin turn.
At the time, the scale of the project, with its two nine-storey pit buildings, 29,000-seat main grandstand and ornate paddock pavilions, was bigger than anything previously seen in Formula 1; it was what circuit designer Hermann Tilke described as "a race circuit for the new millennium".
The track layout was inspired from the Chinese character 'shang' the first character in the name of the city Shanghai, meaning "above" or "ascend".
The circuit architectural and design experts began planning and visiting the site between April and May 2003, and the area was transformed from swampland to international racetrack within 18 months with a team of 3000 engineers working around the clock. On 26 September 2004, the circuit hosted its first formula One World Championship Grand Prix, which was won by Rubens Barrichello.
In ts inaugural year the Chinese Grand Prix attracted 260,000 spectators with a slight (10,000) increase in 2005, but attendance has since declined with 155,000 attending in 2010.
On Feb 18, 2011, it was claimed that organizers had extended the deal to host the Chinese Grand Prix to 2018 despite falling attendance. Yiping Chen, deputy director of the Shanghai Sports Bureau, suggested the situation can improve by lowering the ticket cost. It was also reported that the Shanghai City government will keep open a subway line to the race track to boost spectator numbers.
Partly due to location of the circuit, the areas around turns 1, 8 and 14 have been sinking, and therefore the circuit had to be inspected before the 2011 event took place.
Wen Zhao, vice-mayor of Shanghai, has said that F1 is good for the city's image and remains confident in the success of the event in the years ahead.
The circuit's technical demands are similar to those of Sepang, but the cooler ambient and track temperatures in China place greater emphasis on tyre wear.
Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA
2018 marked the 15th edition of the Chinese Grand Prix. The first event took place in 2004 and it has been held every year since at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Lewis Hamilton is by far the most successful driver at the Chinese Grand Prix. The Briton has won the event five times – in 2008 and 2011 for McLaren and in 2014, 2015 and last year with Mercedes. Next on the list are Fernando Alonso (2005 and 2013) and Nico Rosberg (2012 and 2016). The trio are the only multiple Chinese GP winners from the eight drivers to have won in at the SIC.
Two other current drivers have won in China: Kimi Raikkonen, in 2007, and Sebastian Vettel, in 2009. The other winners are Rubens Barrichello (2004), Michael Schumacher (2006), and Jenson Button (2010).
The victories scored by Hamilton and Rosberg make Mercedes the most successful constructor at this race, with five victories. Ferrari are next with four and McLaren have three wins here.
Hamilton again leads the way on podium appearances with eight. In addition to his five wins he has one second place (2010) and two third places (2012, 2013). Only four other current drivers have appeared on the podium in China: Raikkonen Alonso, Vettel have five apiece, while
the newest member of the club is Max Verstappen, who finished third last year.
Hamilton also holds the record for most pole positions in China: 2007, 2008, 2013-'15 and 2017. That's three more than nearest rival Vettel who started from the front of the grid in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
In the 14 events here the race has been won from pole position nine times and each of the last four races has been won from the front of the grid. Michael Schumacher holds the record for winning from furthest back on the grid. The German's sole win here was scored after starting from sixth place.
The Shanghai International Circuit was the scene of Red Bull Racing's first win in Formula 1, with Vettel winning from pole position. The team has since take 54 further victories, the most recent being Max Verstappen's 2017 Mexico Grand Prix win. The team's first 1-2 also came at the 2009 race here, with Mark Webber taking second place behind Vettel. Sixteen more have followed, with the most recent being at the 2016 Malaysian GP when Daniel Ricciardo won ahead of Max Verstappen.
This weekend Valtteri Bottas is set to make his 100th grand prix start. The Finn made his F1 race debut at the 2013 Australian Grand Prix for Williams. Since then he has scored three wins (Russia, Austria and Abu Dhabi 2017) and four pole positions (Bahrain, Austria, Brazil, Abu Dhabi 2017).
This weekend Hamilton could break Raikkonen's record of 27 consecutive finishes in the points. The Finn's record encompassed a stretch between the 2012 Bahrain GP and the 2013 Hungarian GP. Hamilton last failed to finish at the 2016 Malaysian GP, when an engine problem ended his race after 40 laps. Meanwhile, the double DNF suffered by Red Bull Racing in Bahrain brought to an end a run of 39 consecutive races in the points for the Milton Keynes team.