Williams are targeting big points finishes in Shanghai next weekend after disappointingly collecting only one point in Malaysia.
Technical Director Sam Michael wants both cars to make it through to Q3 next Saturday and says that the team need to improve their starts to maximise the chance of scoring points. “After the issues we faced in Malaysia, we're heading to China with a clear target of improving our performance. There are several key areas which we obviously need to concentrate on. Firstly, we need to ensure that both drivers make it into the top ten again in qualifying in order to give them the best possible chance of scoring some needed points in the race.
“We also need to work on our starts. We have resolved the problem that Rubens had on the grid, and we will be carrying out a series of starts practices during the Friday sessions. In terms of car developments, we have been working hard on producing some aero improvements for the front and rear wings for Shanghai.”
Rubens Barrichello won the inaugural race in China and says that the circuit provides many challenges. “Shanghai is a really interesting circuit. It has a good combination of corners and that really long straight at the end of the lap which is perfect for overtaking. To hook up a quick lap, the car requires more aero strength, rather than mechanical, but an exact blend of the two which is always quite difficult to achieve. Together with the fact that the lap is also quite long with lots of different variables, setting up the car perfectly is hard work.
“I won the first race at Shanghai which is very special for me. I will always remember that win as it makes me think I can always do it again.”
Nico Hulkenberg, who picked up his first ever F1 point in Sepang, isn’t particularly excited about the circuit in Shanghai, but says it does provide overtaking opportunities. “Like Malaysia, I've previously raced in China; two seasons ago in A1 GP. It's good to go to a Grand Prix with experience of the track. You can do as much training in the simulator as you want, but it doesn't beat real, on track experience.
“The circuit isn't one of my favourites, it's very impersonal, but it does have a very long back straight which will be a good place for overtaking. Keep an eye out for that during the race as there should be some good action round that part of the lap. I am flying out to China on Monday, there's no need to go out to this race early to acclimatise, but I do want to check out some of the sights as the city is quite cool. I'll definitely be taking a trip to the Bund and the Oriental Pearl tower in nearby Pudong Park.”
Photo credit: Photo:Steven Tee /LAT Photographic