2009 CHINESE GRAND PRIX PREVIEW



Brawn GP

Ros Brawn:
Whilst there have been no developments to the car, we have taken the opportunity to address a few small issues which arose over the first two races and we are in good shape for the next race in China. We are expecting temperatures will be cooler and less humid this year with the race taking place six months earlier. Therefore as was the case in Malaysia, we will need to be prepared for the unexpected as rain has played its part in recent races at the Shanghai International Circuit."

Jenson Button:
"After the excitement of the first two races, it has been great to have the chance to relax and reflect for a few days since the dramatic race in Malaysia. I am understandably delighted with how our season has begun. However we are only two races in and everyone at the team is aware that our competitors will not stand still. We fully expect a tough fight from here if we want to continue our early successes. The Shanghai International Circuit is an enjoyable one for the drivers and a good technical challenge to find the right set-up. I particularly enjoy the high-speed sections and the overtaking opportunities going into the tight right-hander at turn five and at the end of the back straight."

Toyota

Jarno Trulli:
"I am really optimistic about the Chinese Grand Prix because we have started the season very strongly. It shows how much progress we have made since last season that in Malaysia I was a little disappointed with fourth because I wanted to finish on the podium and fight for the win. Last year in Malaysia I finished fourth and that was more than we expected. We are second in the Constructors` Championship so it's clear we are one of the top teams and both Timo and I have consistently been fighting at the front which is great. So the goal for me in China is to fight for the podium again and I think we have a really good chance. China is one of those circuits where I have never had much luck and it was the same last year when I was hit from behind at the first corner, so I'm determined to have a better weekend this time."

Timo Glock:
"Malaysia was a crazy race but it was a great result for the team and it gives us a lot of confidence for the Chinese Grand Prix. We were really competitive in all conditions which is a good sign because it confirms we were right to be optimistic before the season started. We have had both cars finish in the top four in both races so far this season so we are definitely aiming to challenge for the podium again, but of course it's pretty close so we will have to do another good weekend. It seems strange to be going to China in April because it has always been later in the season; the weather looks like it could be a bit cooler than usual. I quite enjoy racing at Shanghai because it's an interesting track. Last year I went well there and scored points, but I'm hoping to get more than seventh place this weekend, that's for sure."

Ferrari

Stefano Domenicali:
"The aim for Shanghai is to take home the maximum that we can in this condition. We know that it is very difficult from a performance point of view to be able to win, but we need to do the maximum that we can."

Felipe Massa:
"For sure it won't be easy.We need to work very hard, we have some teams which have a different car. It won't be so easy to catch them but I think it can be possible. I hope it won't be so late. I hope it will be in good time to fight for the championship still or to win some races. But anyway we will not give up. We work very hard and I believe we can improve the car a lot."

McLaren

Lewis Hamilton:
"I really enjoy racing in Shanghai - the track is a good blend of fast and slow stuff and it throws up a few nice challenges for the drivers. Finding the right set-up is important, you need speed and balance through the high-speed corners but decent mechanical grip for the hairpins.
We got it spot-on last year, and while I don't expect us to enjoy that sort of performance advantage this season, I think we're all looking forward to a good showing. Hopefully, some of the upgrades we've added to MP4-24 for this race will have a benefit: it would be very encouraging if we could qualify a little further up the grid and be regularly challenging for points."

Heikki Kovalainen:
"The best corners on the Shanghai International Circuit are Turns Six and Seven – the fast, sweeping left- and right-handers. The left is almost flat in sixth before you shift down a gear and change direction at very high speed. It's difficult to find the ideal set-up because of the variety of different corners: there's some heavy braking, fast esses and high-speed changes of direction, which require a good aero package, and some slower corners where mechanical grip is important.
It's all about compromise – it's a real challenge for the drivers and the engineers. But at least you can overtake – mainly into Turns Four, 10 and 13 – so I hope we'll see some great racing this weekend."

Martin Whitmarsh:
"We have reasons to be both disappointed and optimistic about our performance in the opening races of the 2009 season: disappointed because we do not yet possess the necessary technical package to enable us to fight with the leaders, but optimistic that our rate of progress is sufficiently rapid that we should be able to fight for points finishes on a regular basis.
This weekend's race will see a number of new components introduced to MP4-24, and while we do not expect them to radically transform the car's potential, they should move us a little closer to the front than we saw in the opening two races."

Bridgestone

Hirohide Hamashima - Bridgestone Director

What are the challenges of Shanghai?

"Shanghai International Circuit is severe on tyres. There are very high lateral forces and we expect to see graining on the front left tyres, especially caused by the increasing radius turn two and the banked turn thirteen. We could also see graining on the rear tyres here too. The circuit layout means that a medium downforce set-up will be used, as there are two long straights, but a large percentage of the track is also very twisty and technical. For the teams and drivers, finding the correct set-up to make the best use of their tyres will be a big challenge."

We will see the super soft compound in use again, how difficult will tyre management be?

"In Australia there was a particular challenge of graining on the super soft tyre, however this graining varied across the teams between the front and the rear, which means that the correct compromise set-up for these new cars is still being found. For this reason we would expect less graining in China as the teams now have better understanding of their cars than at the first race. Also, Shanghai is a permanent race track so the track surface should be better."


Williams

Nico Rosberg:
"We may not have finished where we would've like, but it was another strong weekend for us. We qualified well and then taking the lead at the start was great. It was just a shame circumstances didn't go our way as I was looking good for another podium. Shanghai's a driver's track. There's a great mix of corners and then there are those two long straights so plenty of overtaking opportunities around the lap which will be good for the racing. Sepang showed that the team seem to have fixed the problem we had last year on these types of circuits so it's now looking like we have consistency. I'm confident that we'll have another competitive weekend in China. Top eight for sure. I enjoy visiting Shanghai. Experiencing a different culture is always very interesting and there are some great places to go, like the malls for shopping or the restaurants and bars in the evenings. The fans are also very enthusiastic which is nice!"

BMW

Robert Kubica:
"It's the first time we're going to Shanghai at this time of year, when there is a high chance of rain. That can have a major impact on the whole weekend, of course. The circuit is very challenging with long straights and hard braking. Plus there are several high-speed corners, for example the slightly banked right-hander you take at almost full throttle and that leads onto the back straight. It's one of the longest straights on the whole race calendar. And, of course, the combination of turn one and two with the blind apex and the long braking is a real challenge. So far Shanghai hasn't brought me any luck, but I'm hoping that will change this time round."