Sanya Haitang Bay Circuit

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Circuit Overview

The Haitang Bay Circuit, sometimes known as the Sanya Street Circuit, was the home of the Sanya E-Prix, the second Formula E venue in 'mainland' China (and the third including Hong Kong).

A temporary street circuit, it was located as its name suggests in Haitang Bay, around 15 miles from the city of Sanya on Hainan Island. 

Set to be a fixture on the Formula E calendar for a number of years, the coronavirus pandemic called a halt to events in 2020 and 2021 and it remains to be seen if it returns in future years.

Circuit History

The race sprang seemingly from nowhere to be included on the 2018/19 FIA Formula E season calendar, sitting as the sixth round of the season and following on from another waterfront venue, Hong Kong.

Relatively simple by the championship's normal standards, the temporary street course featured just 11 corners, with two long straights separated by a hairpin in the final two thirds of the lap. Both straights actually passed over a bridge, while the pit and paddock area was constructed on a car park between two resort hotels, with the South China Sea as a backdrop.

The lap, which ran anti-clockwise began with a 90° left hand corner, with a short straight taking the cars to Turn 2, a much more open left-hander. Past the pit exit, cars headed down a short straight before braking for Turn 3, a 90° left-hander, which featured the Attack Mode activation point on the outside of the corner. A double-apex right-hander then took the field out onto the true street course section, along Haitang North Road.

At Turn 5 the cars were met by a hairpin bend, which immediately opened into Turn 6, leading out onto the main straight (Fengtang Road), across a bridge and into the flat out curving left of Turn 7, before hitting the heavy braking zone of the Turn 8 hairpin.

After turning through 180 degrees, the cars headed back along Fengtang Road, mirroring the previous section with a sweeping curve leading to the starting straight. Another heavy braking zone brought the cars to the right-handed chicane at Turn 10, then along a short straight to the final turn, a hairpin left on which the pit entry was located.  There then followed a kink onto the finishing straight to complete the lap.

The first and only edition so far of the Sanya E-Prix took place on 23 March 2019, as round three of the 2018/19 season.  Hot temperatures were expected and, following issues at a previous round in Santiago where the track surface broke up, officials treated the Sanyo road surface with a resin and sand solution to try and ward off any problems.

After an eventful race which featured a red flag stoppage to clean up crash debris, the DS Techeetah of Jean-Eric Vergne wound up the winner.

While it had been expected that Sanya would feature in subsequent years, the travel restrictions brought by the pandemic meant that the popular event had to be pulled from the calendar in 2020 and 2021.  With China's round on the 2021/22 season calendar posted as a 'TBC' for the venue, it remains to be seen if the Sanya E-Prix will remain a one off.

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