Chinese GP: Preview - McLaren


The race has been a permanent fixture on the F1 calendar since 2004. The track layout has remained unchanged during that time, but the asphalt has been re-laid in three places to smooth out some bumps. The SIC was built on marshland and despite 40,000 concrete pillars being inserted into the soil during the construction phase to firm up the land, bumps have become one of its major characteristics.

Carlos Sainz: "I head to China recharged and ready to fight again. Our pace was strong in Bahrain, both in qualifying and especially at the start of the race. Unfortunately, I got hit and later on had to retire the car due to the gearbox, but I prefer to take the positives to China where the varied layout of the Shanghai circuit will give us an even better idea of the MCL34's performance. Turn One is a challenging but fun corner and the long straight heading into Turn 14 should offer up some exciting racing opportunities.

"It's also a huge honour to be competing in the 1,000th Formula 1 race. This sport has been my passion since I was very young, so to be part of such an important milestone is a proud moment for me."

Lando Norris: "Another race and another new circuit! I'm looking forward to trying out the Shanghai track for the first time, I've done plenty of practice in the sim so now I'm excited to drive it for real. Last weekend went well for us in Bahrain, I'm going to try and carry that momentum forward to the Chinese Grand Prix. From what I've seen this looks to be a fun track, so hopefully we will see some more racing and overtaking.

"I have a one-off helmet design for China to celebrate the 1,000th grand prix race. It's really exciting to be taking part in this special occasion on only my third F1 entry."

Gil de Ferran, Sporting Director: "The Chinese Grand Prix will again pose a new challenge to our MCL34. The nature of the street circuit in Australia and night race in Bahrain have worked well for us, however the Shanghai International Circuit has very different characteristics to these previous tracks, which could again shift the competitive balance between the teams. Regardless, there is no shift in our focus for China, which will be maximising each day of the weekend, hopefully making a step forward in performance and ensuring that we perform well on Saturday to give ourselves the best chance for Sunday.

"We will also celebrate the 1,000th F1 race in Shanghai, a fantastic achievement that proves the longevity of our sport. McLaren is proud to have entered almost 85 per cent of those races and be a part of this history. Here's to the next 1,000."

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Published: 08/04/2019
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