Stuttgart/Brackley, Germany/United Kingdom, Apr 09, 2010
LOOKING AHEAD TO SHANGHAI
The 2010 Formula One World Championship continues next weekend with the fourth round, the Chinese Grand Prix, taking place at the Shanghai International Circuit on Sunday 18 April.
“Shanghai is a good track which is an enjoyable challenge for the drivers. The two long straights provide some decent overtaking opportunities and there’s a great mix of corners, particularly the high-speed sections. The weather will be colder in Shanghai than at the previous three races and can be quite unpredictable so it should be an interesting weekend. The fans in China are so enthusiastic and Shanghai itself is a great city so I always enjoy our annual visit. Achieving my first podium with the team in Malaysia at the last race was fantastic and I’m looking forward to continuing our consistent run of good results in China next weekend.”
“The enthusiasm for Mercedes-Benz and the support of the fans is very big in China so we have an attractive race ahead of us in Shanghai next weekend. I am confident that the fans will not leave the race disappointed. We looked quite reasonable in Malaysia at the last race and maybe things will play into our hands again in Shanghai. I am looking forward to the race and fully enjoying the competition again. Admittedly the last two races have not been very fortunate for me but I am very much aware of the reasons for it. I know how things go in F1 and if you look into the detail of the two races, I think everything is still going according to plan. You can only improve step-by-step and I am confident that we are achieving this.”
“Achieving our first podium of the season with Nico was very rewarding in Malaysia at the home race of our title partner PETRONAS and a timely boost for the team. Michael also had a strong weekend and is getting more up to speed with every race although circumstances beyond his control limited his race performance in Melbourne and Sepang. We hope to continue these signs of improvement in China and it would be particularly good for Michael to be able to have a clean race and show the progress that he has made since the start of the season. On an operational level, the team has performed very well over the three races and did a good job during Nico’s race in Malaysia to record one of the quickest pit stops of the season. Our car has been reliable, with the exception of the wheel nut problem in Malaysia, and I am very pleased with the performance of our drivers. We’ve achieved a reasonable set of results which are in line with the car’s current pace but we have to be realistic and acknowledge that we are not quick enough to compete right at the front at the moment. This is obviously not a situation that we are happy with and we are working as hard as possible to close the gap.”
“The Chinese Grand Prix has taken place since 2004 and is one of the most recognised events on the Formula One calendar. China is a very important market for Mercedes-Benz as, for example, we sell more S-class cars there than in any other country of the world. The circuit located outside of Shanghai features lots of challenges for the car, drivers and team. There are fast curves as well as tight corners and two hairpins, one close to the start and finish of the lap. For Shanghai, the long-term weather forecast doesn’t predict a probability of rain as was the case for the last race in Malaysia. But one way or the other, we will try to achieve a good result and in addition to improve our technical package step by step for the next races.”