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Thursday, April 12, 2012


The FIA has confirmed a single DRS zone for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai circuit. The DRS (Drag Reduction System) will be allowed on the back straight, with the activation zone located before the halfway point of the straight, after Turn 13, just like in 2011. Like in the previous race in Malaysia, there will only be one DRS zone this weekend.

Lewis Hamilton's chances of fighting for victory in the Chinese Grand Prix have taken a hit as he will be given a grid penalty. The McLaren driver confirmed on Thursday that he will need a new gearbox for the weekend, meaning he will get a five-place grid penalty for the change. Lewis Hamilton is still gunning for a victory in the Chinese Grand Prix despite a five-place grid penalty guaranteeing that he will start the race no higher than sixth. But while he insists that he will be satisfied with a finish on the podium, he has not given up on a win.

The Lotus team has filed a protest against Mercedes's rear wing ahead of this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix. Although the FIA had deemed the DRS wing legal twice in the previous two races, Lotus has decided to officially protest its legality ahead of the Shanghai race, the third round of the championship. As expected Lotus's protest has been rejected by the FIA, Formula 1's ruling body. Lotus has elected not to appeal against the FIA stewards' decision that the Mercedes DRS system is legal.

Fernando Alonso insists he is expecting a tough weekend in China despite having won the last race in Malaysia. The Ferrari driver took advantage of the tricky conditions at Sepang to take his first victory of the season, moving to the top of the championship standings. Alonso has however made it clear that Ferrari is still far from the top teams and is keeping his feet on the ground for this weekend's race.

Mark Webber believes that Formula 1 drivers have no choice but to trust the FIA to make the right decision on whether the Bahrain Grand Prix will be safe. The Australian described it as a "waste of time" for the drivers to discuss the issue because there are so many different agendas and perspectives and that the FIA is in the position to make a call on whether the race should go ahead.

Sebastian Vettel believes that Red Bull Racing must get on top of the balance problems that have afflicted it during the first two races of the season to reveal the car's true potential. Vettel admitted that he is not comfortable with the balance of the RB8 and could not point to any specific area of the car that needs to be improved. Vettel has no doubts that the RB8 is a car that can challenge for race wins, but is not sure how long it will take to find the right balance. But he insists that the team does have a handle on the direction that it needs to go in and once it has understood the car fully, Red Bull will be back on form.

Nico Rosberg says his Mercedes team is not yet fully on top of the tyres issues that have hindered the outfit in the first two races of the season. The German squad has shown promising pace in qualifying but has then struggled with tyre degradation in the races, where its pace has dropped significantly. Although Rosberg says the team has a better understanding of the issues, he concedes there is still work to do.