Gil de Ferran says the Chinese Grand Prix weekend will pose new challenges to the McLaren F1 Team, with the Shanghai International Circuit having different characteristics to what was seen in either of the first two races of 2019.
McLaren secured their first points of the season two weeks ago in the Bahrain Grand Prix when Lando Norris finished an excellent sixth despite pressure from behind from Alfa Romeo Racing’s Kimi Räikkönen, although team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr. suffered a second consecutive retirement despite running as high as sixth in the early laps as he fought with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.
Heading into round three, McLaren’s Sporting Director de Ferran says the team will be working hard across the weekend, which he hopes will show the team has made a jump in performance in order to secure a top ten result for both drivers.
“The Chinese Grand Prix will again pose a new challenge to our MCL34,” said de Ferran. “The nature of the street circuit in Australia and night race in Bahrain have worked well for us, however the Shanghai International Circuit has very different characteristics to these previous tracks, which could again shift the competitive balance between the teams.
“Regardless, there is no shift in our focus for China, which will be maximising each day of the weekend, hopefully making a step forward in performance and ensuring that we perform well on Saturday to give ourselves the best chance for Sunday.”
Formula 1 will host it’s one-thousandth Grand Prix this weekend, and de Ferran says the team is proud to have entered as many races as they have, with the Chinese Grand Prix being the eight-hundred and forty-ninth even where the McLaren team have been present, the first coming in the 1966 Monaco Grand Prix.
“We will also celebrate the 1,000th F1 race in Shanghai, a fantastic achievement that proves the longevity of our sport,” said de Ferran. “McLaren is proud to have entered almost 85 per cent of those races and be a part of this history.
“Here’s to the next 1,000.”