2019 Chinese Grand Prix Preview
Lance, Checo and Otmar look ahead to the Chinese Grand Prix!
Quotes from our drivers and Team Principal previewing the Chinese Grand Prix for the 1000th Formula One race.
“I enjoy every visit to Asia and Shanghai is a really cool city. We see some really enthusiastic fans and that gives me great energy for the weekend. I don’t get enough time to really explore the city, but I always try the local food.
“The track itself is a challenge. When I think of China, I think of turn one. It’s a tricky corner: very long and it is difficult to be precise, so even the smallest mistake through there is costly and frustrating. It’s a front limited track, so you need to find a balance to get the front tyres working through the long and quick corners. It’s a very technical track generally.
“As it’s the 1000th race, I’ve been thinking about some of the races I remember watching when I was younger. The first race I attended as a fan was Indianapolis in 2002 when I was twelve years old. It was the prize after winning a karting race in Miami organised by Juan Pablo Montoya.
“As a driver, the most memorable F1 race for me was probably Malaysia 2012. It was my second year in F1 and I finished on the podium in second place after a fantastic battle with Fernando Alonso. I watched a video of that race a few weeks ago and it’s still just as exciting today. The weather changed all the strategies and I was catching the Ferrari in the final laps. I think it was a great race for the fans.”
“I not sure what to expect from this weekend in China. I hope we can be more competitive than we were in Bahrain because it’s a different sort of track. There’s a nice flow with some quick corners and it’s fun to drive. It’s a very wide track in places with one of the longest straights of the year. We often see some drag races down to the final hairpin and it is probably the best overtaking opportunity of the lap.
“We struggled with the balance of the car in Bahrain and it’s something we worked to improve during the test last week. We are still learning how to maximise the current aero package, but it feels as though we are moving in the right direction. I think we can unlock more potential from the car this weekend in China.
“I’m proud to be on the grid for the 1000th F1 race. I’ve been watching this sport all of my life and I must have seen well over 250 races. When I was very young and living in Canada I would wake up early to watch the races in Europe at breakfast time. I remember supporting Michael Schumacher and I would always go to the Canadian race with my Dad each year. I think the battles between Schumacher and Alonso in 2006 are the races I remember the most.
“Of the races I’ve driven in, there’s no doubt that Baku 2017 is my favourite. It was a race with so much drama and I think it was exciting for the fans. It was just as thrilling from inside the cockpit and is definitely my Formula One highlight so far.”
Otmar Szafnauer, CEO & Team Principal
“The Chinese Grand Prix – the 1000th Formula One race – is a milestone for the sport and one we will celebrate by carrying special stickers on our cars this weekend. This team, through its various guises, has played its part in about half of those races, and enjoyed plenty of special days over the last 29 years.
“On a personal level I still remember vividly the first Formula One race I attended in Detroit in 1984. I was living in the United States and working my way through college when I decided to go and watch the race with a couple of friends. I already liked motorsport but the F1 cars really captured my imagination – the speed, the sound and the braking performance. I think it was then that I really caught the bug for racing.
“Back to this weekend and we head to China aiming to continue our run of points finishes. The Bahrain weekend was pretty challenging but I think we can be more competitive Shanghai. The work at the test last week was valuable and we will put that learning to good use this weekend. We feel there is more to come from this current package and I hope we can show that in China.”