The first of this season’s back-to-back races sees the Chinese Grand Prix, Round Three of the 2011 Formula One World Championship, take place at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday 17 April, just seven days after this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.
The 5.451km Hermann Tilke-designed circuit hosted its first Grand Prix in September 2004. The back straight of nearly 1.2km is the longest of the entire year and sees the engines at full throttle for 17s. Straights account for 53% of the lap distance, with three braking events from over 275kph to under 100kph.
“I am, of course, looking forward to racing in Shanghai as challenges fire me up as much as everybody else in our team. We know that we have little time to build after the race in Malaysia but we are learning with every lap that we race, so we are heading there with an open mind and full of ambition to do better than in the opening races. We know that our fans in China are very enthusiastic and really get behind us, so we will definitely try to put on a good show for them.”
“The Shanghai International Circuit is an enjoyable challenge and I have good memories from the race last year when I finished on the podium in third place. Our start to the season this year has been tougher but I’m looking forward to turning the wheel in a more positive direction this weekend. I like driving this track and have been pretty quick here in the past. We could have qualified higher in Malaysia so we know that more performance is there, when every system is operating correctly on the car. Hopefully we can improve further and make that happen in China. We are working on it very hard.”
Ross Brawn, Team Principal
“With the back-to-back races taking place in Malaysia and China on consecutive weekends, there is little time to make significant changes to the car ahead of our visit to Shanghai. However, we are using the few days available to undertake a thorough review of our first two race weekends and identify those areas where we can make improvements for the Chinese Grand Prix. The hard work will continue at the factory while we are in Shanghai to ensure that we are in a stronger position for the start of the European season. Looking ahead to this weekend, the Shanghai circuit is an extremely impressive facility and one of those tracks which produces exciting races year after year. China is a very important market for both Formula One and Mercedes-Benz, and we are very much looking forward to our visit.”
Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
“This weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix is the second race in eight days and a logistical challenge for all of the teams, who must transfer their equipment from Malaysia to China in a very short space of time. The circuit characteristics in Shanghai are different to Sepang. Whereas both tracks include a similar proportion of straights, there were more fast corners in Sepang; Shanghai features only two of them, and requires good braking stability, traction and straight-line speed. Temperatures are expected to be below 20 degrees, roughly half the level we experienced last weekend in Malaysia, and it has been the general experience so far with the Pirelli tyres that higher temperatures have helped to achieve more consistent lap times. We are expecting a difficult and challenging weekend for our team, like we had in Malaysia, where a finish in the lower part of the points rankings was the best that was achievable with our current technical package. However, o ur lap times in the later part of the race looked better relative to the competition than they had on Friday and Saturday. In China, we wish to continue to improve before we can make further necessary steps with our technical package during the three weeks before the start of the European season.”
Source: Mercedes GP