To label China’s Shanghai International Circuit boring is an understatement, according to Daniel Ricciardo.
The track is so long and technical, the Australian Formula One star reckons he could read a book and skol a can down its back straight.
At 1.17km, it’s the equivalent of 11 rugby league fields laid end-to-end.
“You could drink a can of Red Bull driving down it!” Ricciardo said in an unusually entertaining Chinese Grand Prix preview.
“I’ve heard quite a few drivers saying it’s pretty boring. Ha! If they think it’s boring in a Formula One car, they should have tried coming here in Formula BMW.
“I drove here as a kid, all massive afro and enthusiasm and, trust me, it was the sort of straight where I’d definitely have been reaching for a book, if I’d had one.”
After rough rides in Australia and Malaysia, where he finished sixth and 10th respectively, the 25-year-old faces a new challenge this weekend.
The mix of fast, sweeping corners and tight low-speed turns is set to wreak havoc on the tyres, even though cool temperatures are forecast.
“Turns one, two and three are all very long and technical – I don’t think there’s any other corner like it on the calendar – and it’s very, very aggressive on the front tyres,” he said.
“[Tyre wear] is pretty extreme, but I’d still prefer it to the scenario with a tyre that takes three laps to come in. The fact it comes in straight away is awesome.
“In qualifying, you drive the out-lap like your grandma, desperately trying to not kill it before the flying lap starts.”
Ricciardo sits eighth on the driver’s championship, which is led by Mercedes’ defending champion Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and fellow German Nico Rosberg.
Practice for the Chinese GP begins on Friday.