2013 Qualifying - n/a, 2013 Race - n/a
"The last of the four early season flyaway races is Shanghai, a track I’ve always had good support on and one that’s a really good challenge technically. The last time I raced there in 2012 I qualified fourth, the highest qualifying position of my career and my team at that point. I actually started third after Lewis had an issue but then the car had a problem with the launch and I lost a lot of places off the line. While I know we won’t be starting that high this year, it would still be good to have a better race in 2014, and the whole team is working as hard as possible to help us do that.
"The main set up focus is how you balance the need for downforce in the high speed turns against the low drag you want for one of the longest straights of the year. We saw in Malaysia that we have good straight line speed so we’ll have to make sure that works in our favour, and with Renault we’ll be working on energy management so we can maximise the advantage we have in those parts of the track. It’s also a circuit where windspeed and direction can have a big influence on how the car handles, so that’ll be another area for us to focus on in the three practice sessions.
"We obviously want to head back to Europe in a good position so everyone’s working flat out to help us do that. I We have a couple of new parts coming in China before the bigger package everyone brings to Spain, but we also have to make sure we play to our strengths - we have a small advantage in pure pace over our direct rivals which put us in a strong position for most of the Bahrain race, right up until the final stint which ended with a disappointing result. We have to use that performance on Sunday to help us get back to where we want to be, and to build on that at every race."
2013 Qualifying - n/a, 2013 Race - n/a
"China’s another new track for me, so obviously what will really help is having another good Friday and Saturday, like we had in Bahrain. Step by step, with each race I’m learning more about how to manage a full race weekend and, apart from Canada, China’s the last track before we get to Europe that I haven’t raced on so it’s even more important to have maximum mileage in FP1 and FP2 so we can really work on optimising the settings. Something I will be working on is tyre management, especially over the long runs - for rookies in F1 tyre management is one of the key areas you have to work on and improving that area of performance will definitely help make me stronger over the full race distance.
"It might be my first visit to Shanghai but I raced in Macau in 2008 and 2009 so I have raced in China before. I was on pole there in 2009 and finished fourth, so I have good memories of racing in China, and I also spent the week between Australia and Malaysia this year in Macau because my trainer Alex was living there and working as an FMX rider in Macau before he joined me in F1. It’s an amazing country and it’ll be a privilege to race there as an F1 driver - hopefully we can repeat the sort of performance we had in Malaysia and finish these flyaways positively."
2013 Qualifying - 6th, 2013 Race - 9th
“Shanghai is not my favourite race of the year, but I will be spending my 28th birthday there so let’s make it good! It’s quite a particular circuit where it is not always easy to find the right setup and the temperature can also be cold. You never know what to expect, except that there will be a monster traffic jam to get to the circuit! I scored my first Formula One points at Shanghai in 2012 and scored points again last year when Kimi finished second for the team. So let’s hope that’s a good omen and we can add to the good memories next weekend. How will it suit the E22? I don’t know to be honest. It’ll be interesting and challenging for us but still the emphasis is on getting good track time so we can be as prepared as we can be for when our season really starts at Barcelona next month. There’s a very long back straight and some high-speed corners. There is a lot we need to do with the E22 and we certainly need some better power unit performance. Of course we’ll do our best to score our first points of the year. That is our goal, our target.”
2013 Qualifying - 14th, 2013 Race - 14th
“Shanghai is a very technical circuit with one of the longest straights of the season. It could be a bit tricky for us as we aren’t the quickest on long straights at the moment, so we will have to see how we can work on making gains in the corners. This will be the challenge for us. There is a mix of fast and medium speed corners where we need good downforce. It is a challenging track which I like so I’m looking forward to racing there. What will it be like to drive the latest generation F1 car at Shanghai? It will be like all the circuits we visit this year, it will be a new experience and we will learn and make improvements as the weekend progresses. Having finished the race in Bahrian, we have more experience and data to work with so we are better placed for a more progressive approach to the race weekend.”
Nick Chester, Lotus technical director
“China should be better than Bahrain (for Lotus). Bahrain was an obvious power circuit, as you could see from the way the cars lined up on the grid. China’s got a long back straight, however there are more slow and medium speed corners than Bahrain, so that gives us the chance to try and get closer to the front.”
2013 Qualifying - 13th, 2013 Race - DNF
"I am positive about the next race in China. The Shanghai International Circuit is interesting. It is not my favourite track, but I still like driving there. The layout is special in comparison to the other ones. It consists of some fast corners, which get tighter towards the end of the corner. Besides that, the track has a long straight which is the longest on the race calendar. On this track a good balance for the car and a lot of grip on the front axle is needed. I believe the layout should be a good fit for the C33. I am positive about the weekend. We have to look forward, and every future race will move us furthermore up to the front. Shanghai is an interesting city, which is very modern and growing all the time. The city has a lot to offer, such as restaurants and also some spectacular buildings. I would like to visit the Great Wall of China, but so far I have not had the time.
2013 Qualifying - 17th, 2013 Race - DNF
"I have nice memories of Shanghai from last year. It was probably one of the best race starts in my Formula 1 career. I had a tough qualifying, but after the start and during the opening laps, I was able to overtake a lot of cars. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish the race. Regarding the track, I really like it, especially the entry into Turn 1. Looking back to the last three races, my performance will help me to get the maximum out of the car, in both, qualifying and the race. With the updates on the car, I hope we can increase our level of competition so we can achieve better results. Talking about China, it is an interesting place to visit. I will travel to Shanghai early to adapt to the time difference and climate, and I will use this time to learn about the Chinese culture."
Giampaolo Dall’Ara, Sauber head of track engineering
"The team keeps working relentlessly to get on top of the performance limitations that so far have not allowed us to race where we want to. We look forward to the Chinese Grand Prix as the next step, thanks to a number of updates we’ll be introducing and more track experience we gathered during the Bahrain test. The circuit at Shanghai is another modern facility featuring a good combination of different kinds of corners. It also has one of the longest straights of the season where we aim to witness improvements. Pirelli has allocated the medium and the soft compounds for the race. Even if the tarmac is rather smooth and the temperatures usually mild, the choice seems appropriate considering the amount of load the tyres get from combined acceleration in the long corners."
2013 Qualifying - 9th, 2013 Race - 4th
"The Grand Prix in China is still something special for me, because I won my first race there with Red Bull Racing in 2009. Due to its size, the circuit is unique. The wide stretches mean there are many possible places and opportunities to overtake. Also, the large run-off areas ensure the highest standard of safety. Even the usually narrow pit complex offers plenty of space in Shanghai. As far as the city of Shanghai goes, if I have time to go into the city I like to go to the Bund."
2013 Qualifying - 7th, 2013 Race - 7th
"Shanghai is a very open, very wide circuit but it does flow nicely and the middle sector is a lot of fun. The back straight provides a good overtaking opportunity into the hairpin but it is quite long; I always think back to when I came here as a kid in Formula BMW – massive hair and lots of enthusiasm – and trust me, then, it was the sort of straight where I’d have definitely been reaching for a book if I’d had one! It’s a bit different driving it in an F1 car. The circuit has a decent mix of low- and high-speed corners and one of the key things is to have a set-up that gives you good traction out of the two tight ‘snail’ corners."
2013 Qualifying - 10th, 2013 Race - 10th
"We’ve shown we have a good package and we have the hunger to keep fighting at the front. We’ve performed well at all the tracks so far and they all had very different characteristics. So we can feel positive that the car will perform quite well in China. We are going there after the test in Bahrain and hopefully we can bring some more performance too. So I think we can aim for another competitive weekend and come away with some more points."
2013 Qualifying - 12th, 2013 Race - 11th
"To get the podium in Bahrain was great - it’s a great result for this team and a big boost of confidence for me. The target is to move on, keep improving and target more podiums. Bahrain was the first real opportunity I had to develop the car through the weekend without any issues so it felt like my season really started there. Now we need to think about how we can do better in China. At the same time we must not get carried away because we know how competitive Formula One is and how things can change very quickly."
Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India team principal
"I think we’ve shown in the first few races that we have produced a competitive car. Bahrain was not just a one-off and we’ve been improving with each race. In Australia we were sixth, in Malaysia fifth and then third and fifth in Bahrain. As I’ve said, it’s our best ever start to a season, which always gives me a great sense of satisfaction, but we won’t sit back; we are always trying to improve. The aim is to repeat the podium, but each race is different and the field is so competitive that it’s impossible to predict. Some tracks will suit us more than others but I want to see us up there fighting towards the front."
2013 Qualifying - 15th, 2013 Race - 12th
"A very interesting circuit with a wide variety of corners and a really long straight that provides great opportunities for overtaking. Doing a qualifying lap here is great fun, dealing with challenges like turn 1, which you approach flat, before the corner just goes on and on. It means it is also demanding on tyres and from a driver’s point of view, it is one of the better ones to drive. However, it’s a shame the circuit is so far away from the city, because we never really get any time to visit what is a fascinating place. So it’s a case of just getting to the track, doing the race and going home."
2013 Qualifying - n/a, 2013 Race - n/a
"I’ve never been to China, so I am interested to discover something about this country and also the circuit. I’ve watched lots of Shanghai Formula One races on TV to get an idea of the track and after Bahrain I was also able to drive it on the simulator. I was disappointed to finish just outside the points at the last race and, after learning a lot about the car at the post-Bahrain test, I hope we can aim for another top ten finish this weekend, on what looks like a really challenging track. Away from the circuit, I’ve heard the Chinese fans are very welcoming. I will be interested to try Chinese food too!"
Paul Hembery, Pirelli motorsport director
“With this being the third race featuring the combination of medium and soft this year, coming shortly after the Bahrain test, the teams are beginning to accumulate more knowledge of how our tyres work with the complex 2014-specification cars. As a result, tyre strategy is starting to become a bigger factor in the races. China is a circuit that has showcased the effectiveness of a good tyre strategy in the past, so the teams will be hoping to put their data from the first part of the season to good use and explore some of the strategy options available with our latest-generation P Zero tyres. We’ve seen changeable weather at Shanghai before, so as always the ability to assimilate information quickly according to changing circumstances will be the key to getting the most out of them.”
2013 Qualifying - 5th, 2013 Race - 6th
"There is a very long straight in China which will be good for overtaking, especially for our car as we have a good top speed. There are also low speed corners where good downforce is needed, so we hope we can make improvements on these sections. We hope to have a few new parts which should help with grip and other areas that we need to improve. We still need to improve the car in the wet, so we are hoping the weekend will be dry, I also prefer the dry, but there is hard work going on to improve the car."
2013 Qualifying - 16th, 2013 Race - 13th
"So far the season has been positive and we are looking forward to China. We still need to make a step forward in performance, especially as this track is quite different to Bahrain. The long straight will be our strong point as we can overtake, but we need to be good through the corners to be close enough to take advantage. We are hoping to improve our downforce for the slower sections of the track. Once we improve this, it should improve our overall running in all conditions so it is an area we are focusing on. The weather can be variable in China but at this point we are looking for a dry race."
Rob Smedley, Williams head of vehicle performance
"Shanghai is one of the very modern circuits with a good mix of high speed and low speed corners. It is a very particular track in that it has two corners which are very hard on the front left tyre. Turn 1 is a righthander that has a very fast entry but slows down a lot for the apex. Turn 12 is similar in that the car is loaded onto the front left as you exit onto the back straight. Both corners can give you issues with tyre management, especially front graining. The straight from Turn 12 to the hairpin is the longest straight on the 2014 calendar so we have to make sure we are set up for that, whilst still focusing on other areas of the track. The track is very bumpy and tends to change year on year, so the mechanical set-up has to circumnavigate any issues that the surface may hold."
2013 Qualifying - 8th, 2013 Race - 5th
“After a disappointing race in Bahrain, I think we head to China with a bit of a point to prove - we need to get some points on the board, and get another race under our belts that demonstrates the pace that we feel this year’s car has.
“That won’t necessarily be straightforward - Bahrain showed that, the top two cars aside, the racing this year is fast, fraught and very evenly matched. The margins are so slim that it’ll require us to get everything right: a focused practice, problem-free qualifying sessions and a clean race to try and establish ourselves at the forefront of that chasing pack.
“But I’ve always enjoyed racing in China - I won here in 2010, and I’ve always had good results here for McLaren. While it’s not necessarily a track that perfectly suits our package, I think we can pull everything together and have a stronger weekend.”
2013 Qualifying - n/a, 2013 Race - n/a
“I came away from the last race feeling like I didn’t get the maximum from either myself or the car, so the couple of days’ testing in Bahrain, and my preparations for this race, will hopefully allow me to rediscover my comfort zone with MP4-29.
“I’m looking forward to this race - it’s a track I’ve only seen on the TV, but it looks to have a real variety of corners. The first turn looks like a real challenge, but, most interestingly, I think we’ve going to see some spectacular speeds, and a lot of overtaking along the back straight, which is one of the longest in Formula 1.
“The first three races have seen different cars and drivers emerge as the closest challengers to the Mercedes drivers. I still think it’s a bit early to be able to see a competitive order emerge among all the teams battling for points, but our aim this weekend will be to try and consolidate our position at the forefront of that chasing pack.”
Eric Boullier, McLaren racing director
“It’s never easy to come away from a grand prix with two retirements, so it’ll be important to get some further points on the board in China this weekend.
"I think there are reasons to be encouraged by our general performance: the chasing pack in Bahrain was extremely closely matched, but we were in the thick of it, and see the potential to hopefully edge clear.
“We’re aggressively developing MP4-29: we know we have a good baseline, but it’s a concept that requires development. We have some useful steps in the pipeline, and the key to success this year will be, firstly, the quick translation of those concepts into useful components; and, secondly, getting those steps to work successfully at the track.
“I think we’ve got good correlation between the windtunnel and the track, and our designers are encouraged by what’s already been brought to the track. We’ll have another little step for China, and will hopefully be bringing more key updates to every race.
“The Bahrain race was rightly acclaimed as a thriller, and I think we have all the ingredients in place for another exciting contest in China this weekend.”
2013 Qualifying - 4th, 2013 Race - DNF
“Even though the last race was a bit disappointing from my perspective in terms of the result, it's been great to see all the positive comments that came afterwards. We've demonstrated already that we're pushing harder than ever to stay ahead of the pack. It will only get more difficult as the season goes on but I've got confidence in the team. Every day and in every area you can see that determination to win. This gives you a big boost as a driver: to know the people around you want it just as badly as you do. I've got good memories from China after taking my first pole position and race win in Formula One at this circuit in 2012. The layout seems to suit my driving style, it's a track I enjoy racing at and I want to be back on that top step of the podium this weekend. The Chinese fans are great too: really enthusiastic. It's nice to see how much they like our sport and how they cheer us on during the race weekend. It's a very different culture and getting to know it is always fun, so hopefully we can keep them as entertained on track as they do off it!”
2013 Qualifying - 1st, 2013 Race - 3rd
“It's been good to have a bit of a break after such a long stint away but I'm already looking forward to getting back in the car. The last race in Bahrain was fantastic: not just for us as a team but for the sport and I'm sure it won't be the last time we see a great show this year. I'm in a really good place at the moment and walking around the garage too, you can see the positive energy within the team right now. Everyone is focused on getting the maximum from these early races and continuing to build beyond the strong start we've made to the season. I've had some ups and downs in China. On one side I've only finished outside of the podium places twice at this circuit. On the other, in my first season in Formula One I threw away a championship lead here by going into the gravel coming into the pits. Generally, though, I'm getting stronger every time I come to this track and it suits my driving style quite well. The aim, as always, is to win and if I could make it three in a row this weekend that would be incredible.”
Paddy Lowe, executive director (technical)
“After two consecutive one-two finishes, there's a good atmosphere within the team. We were pleased to put on a good show in Bahrain and our confidence in the performance of the car continues to grow. We also have two highly competitive drivers in Lewis and Nico which is exactly how racing drivers should be and exactly what the fans want to see. The fans in China are always very enthusiastic, so hopefully we can give them some more entertainment this weekend. The Shanghai International Circuit has traditionally been one of contrasting fortunes for the team. 2012 marked the first win for the Silver Arrows since returning to Formula One two years earlier, while 2013 produced a podium finish. However, both also saw retirements for one of our cars and the latter arguably should have yielded a better result after a strong qualifying performance. It's a challenging circuit from both a driver's perspective and on the technical side. The layout itself is different to that of the previous three venues this season, with more duty put through the front tyres. Strong engine performance is essential for the long straight but equally there are some tight corners requiring good traction. Despite the challenges, we're optimistic about the overall strength of our package and looking forward to another good weekend.”
Toto Wolff, Mercedes team executive director
“We head to the next race in China with good momentum behind us and motivation is extremely high. The team is now at a level where success is not a bonus but an expectation. After three races we find ourselves in a strong position in both Championships but we are under no illusions that our position is a given. We must take the good moments and use them as inspiration in the on-going push to achieve our goals. The race in Bahrain was quite simply brilliant to watch: one of the best in recent memory, in fact. This is what we go racing for and it was a strong advert for the sport: in particular under these new regulations. I think that in itself proves that we are moving in the right direction. Though we have enjoyed a positive start to the season, with time the balance of the field will start to even out and it's a credit to the people within the sport that we can see such significant advancements throughout the grid already. If we are to sustain any sort of advantage that we may currently have, it's up to us to keep raising the bar in every area.”
2013 Qualifying - 19th, 2013 Race - 17th
“There has literally been no let-up over the past couple of months and here we are again, heading off to the next race in China, just a few days after returning from Bahrain. I really enjoyed my first taste of the Shanghai International Circuit last year; it’s a nice challenge and the weather often throws up a few opportunities, particularly in the race. I left Bahrain on a real high and I hope we can enjoy a similarly strong race this weekend and maintain what feels like a bit of an advantage over our nearest competitors at the moment.”
2013 Qualifying - 18th, 2013 Race - 15th
“I am hoping all my bad luck is behind me now and that China will mark a turning point for a better rest of the season. If we look at the positives, there have been good signs that we have been able to raise our performance level and have a few interesting battles in the races; I hope we can enjoy a few more in Shanghai this weekend. The test ran smoothly in Bahrain last week and I think this will help us with our preparations this week as we are finding out lots of new things about the package and getting strong all the time. I like the track and I am looking forward to the final long haul race before we get back to Europe.”
John Booth, Marussia team principal
“It has, quite literally, been a very long haul since the start of the 2014 season. It’s hard to believe that almost ten weeks have passed since the cars first left the factory for the pre-season tests in Bahrain and they haven’t returned since. It has been a similarly tough start for our team members, who had just a couple of days at home after last week’s test before heading straight out again to China. All in all though, I think we’ve responded well to the challenge and, though the first few races have not entirely been plain sailing, we have enjoyed a few positives, including our result in Bahrain, which put us back into contention for 10th place in the constructors’ championship. Although we are focusing our development efforts on the start of the European season, we hope that the progress we made at the recent test will provide us with the momentum to keep us moving forward this weekend in China, where we hope for more strong progress for Max and a little more luck for Jules.”
Mattia Binotto, Scuderia Ferrari engine & electronics deputy director
“This first part of the season has been particularly difficult given the magnitude of the challenge posed by the introduction of the new power unit combined with working with a new partner. The learning curve in these first months has been very steep, but now, thanks also to two very useful days of tests carried out at the Sakhir circuit after the Grand Prix, we can say that we have established a good level of functionality and reliability of the overall system. This will improve our ability to exploit the potential available, in order to raise the performance level of the team.”