The Force India Formula One Team makes the short hop over the East China Sea from the environs of Mount Fuji, Japan, to the heart of Shanghai, China, for the penultimate round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Chinese Grand Prix.
The event, which takes place from 17 - 19 October, is held at the ultra-modern Shanghai International Circuit, a track designed by F1 circuit designer du jour, Hermann Tilke, on an area of reclaimed marshland some 40km from the centre of China's most densely populated city.
China made its F1 debut in 2004, and quickly impressed with its generous facilities, state of the art equipment and challenging circuit lay out. The 5.4km circuit comprises a long pit straight into a tight hairpin, with seven left and seven right hand turns in total. From the air it resembles the Chinese character for 'high' or 'above' - Shang.
The Force India Formula One Team will go to this event with renewed confidence following an improved weekend performance at the Japanese Grand Prix just days ago. Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella both fought their way through the field and, despite both retiring in separate incidents, demonstrated the step forward in performance the team has taken since the Singapore Grand Prix.
Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and managing director: With just one week between the Japanese and Chinese Grands Prix it's a very quick turn around for the team, but it does not leave any opportunity for our momentum to slip. Although the ultimate result of Japan was disappointing, we could see that the level of performance we demonstrated in Monza, which allowed us to go through to Q2, had returned.
We need to keep this motivation and improved pace until the end of the season and not let our heads go down, there is so much to still keep working for. I think everyone would be disappointed if we got to the end of the year in effectively the same position we started, without any points on the board. It's a matter of personal pride for everyone.
Colin Kolles, team principal: I think our race pace was good in Japan and despite the fact the race result was ultimately disappointing, we showed that the Singapore performance was just a bit of a blip. I think we are competitive with the very close group at the rear of the field now and if we start a bit higher up the grid, we stand every chance of finishing well. Opportunities are running out now and we need to start making the most of all of our chances.
Mike Gascoyne, chief technical officer: China is a typical modern track with some quite long straights followed by hairpins and very challenging corners. We will use a very similar set-up to Japan over there to maximise performance, with a lower downforce setting to optimise the speed down the straights without compromising the grip levels in the corners. In contrast to Japan, the Shanghai circuit is perhaps a little bumpier now it is several years old and has greater extremes of climate.
Japan showed an improvement in performance for us from Singapore, which was not the highest point of the year! Although both drivers had their problems, we are pretty certain that they won't occur again. Giancarlo lost drive in 7th gear which is not something we have seen before, but we are currently looking into the reasons for the failure. Adrian's accident was somewhat of a strange accident, he'd been running well and then had a puncture that exploded on the main straight. Thankfully he could pull off safely and no further damage was caused, but it was a one-off and should not occur again.
We will be going to China fully motivated to do well. We're back racing the rest of the field, we just need to get two cars to the finish now.
Adrian Sutil: The Shanghai circuit is a very interesting one for the drivers. It's a very modern lay-out so very wide with big run off areas but, like Istanbul Park in Turkey, there are some tricky corners that you need to concentrate through. The actual city is fantastic too, so it's an event I really enjoy.
Last year the race was not so good for us as we just got caught out in the weather conditions, but at least I have one Chinese race under my belt now and we can build on our performance in Japan. We were running in 10th position and I felt confident I could have got higher, but then I had the puncture.
I'm really looking forward to China as I now really just want to have a clean race. We've been so unlucky in the last two races and a good result would really lift everyone.
Giancarlo Fisichella: Shanghai is a great circuit and I have had some good results there. I've competed in every race since it came onto the calendar in 2004 and actually finished in all of them, so I will want to keep up this record. My best result was a podium in 2006 and in 2005 the points I got from 4th position secured Renault the manufacturers' title, so I've got good memories there.
I think now we have to keep pushing until the end of the year. I've gone too long without points now and I don't want to get to the end of the year without any on the board. It would just mean so much to everyone at the track and at the factory.