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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W10, leads Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG W10, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF90, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB15, and the rest of the field at the start
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Opinion

What the Chinese GP's highlights reveal about its first F1 race for five years

This weekend marks the return of the Chinese Grand Prix after a lengthy COVID-induced hiatus. A look back at its past races gives some hints of what to expect as the latest generation of cars tackle the Shanghai International Circuit for the first time

It's been five years since the Chinese Grand Prix last graced the Formula 1 calendar, and it's probably the biggest understatement of the century to suggest that quite a lot has unfolded in that time. Since this is supposed to be a light-hearted but ultimately informative column about motorsport, we won't plunder the depths of everything that's gone on in that quintet of revolutions around the sun, but COVID is the important event of note.

Minimising the spread of coronavirus has been the reason why China has been away from F1 for so long, as its government implemented a 'zero-COVID' approach following the discovery of a new strain in late 2019. That didn't stop it getting out of the country and around the world, but restricting travel into the country ultimately necessitated the Shanghai circuit's hiatus for a few years. Even though those measures were rescinded in late 2022, it was ultimately too late to get a race pencilled in for last season.

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