What the drivers say on the run up to the Chinese GP

Nico Hülkenberg: “China is a busier one away from track as Formula 1 continues to grow in popularity there. It’s the 1000th Formula 1 Grand Prix and that’s quite special to be a part in. The fans are usually very excited in Shanghai, which is awesome to see and makes it even more important for us to put on a show. Renault is a big market in China and there will be a lot of activities going on to harness that.”

Daniel Ricciardo: “Up until last year, China was a circuit I always seemed to go really well at but without taking a podium. I knew I was due a podium in China and last season that came alive. It was a really good win, coming from sixth on the grid. I probably made one of the overtakes of the year on Valtteri [Bottas] into the tight Turn 6, so that made it even sweeter! In terms of the track layout, it’s actually quite unique. There are long straights, a really tricky Turn 1 and lots of overtaking opportunities. You can pass at Turns 6, 9 and 14 too; there are some decent places to outdo people on the brakes, which is cool. ”

Lance Stroll: “I not sure what to expect from this weekend in China. I hope we can be more competitive than we were in Bahrain because it’s a different sort of track. There’s a nice flow with some quick corners and it’s fun to drive. It’s a very wide track in places with one of the longest straights of the year. We often see some drag races down to the final hairpin and it is probably the best overtaking opportunity of the lap.”

Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll - Racing Point

Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll – Racing Point

Sergio Perez: “I enjoy every visit to Asia and Shanghai is a really cool city. We see some really enthusiastic fans and that gives me great energy for the weekend. I don’t get enough time to really explore the city, but I always try the local food.

“The track itself is a challenge. When I think of China, I think of turn one. It’s a tricky corner: very long and it is difficult to be precise, so even the smallest mistake through there is costly and frustrating. It’s a front limited track, so you need to find a balance to get the front tyres working through the long and quick corners. It’s a very technical track generally.”

Robert Kubica: “We have a number of very different circuits at the beginning of the year with varying characteristics, which allows the teams to discover a great deal about their car. China can be very changeable and challenging. It has a lot of long tight corners, such as the first three turns, combined with low speed hairpins, high-speed corners, and very long straights ending with heavy braking. These conditions along with the changeable weather means it can be a challenge to set-up the car. We will have to wait and see what the weather does, but I am looking forward to driving in China once again. Finally, it will be a privilege to drive in the 1000th Grand Prix in Formula One; it is a big achievement for all the F1 world and for the fans. It will make me very happy and proud to have the opportunity to participate.”

George Russell: “I am really looking forward to China as it is a circuit I have never raced at before. It is always a great experience driving on a new track. It is the 1000th Grand Prix for Formula One so it is great to be one of the 20 drivers that are a part of that. There is so much history in the sport and this will be a historic race, so I am extremely proud to be lining up on the grid in Shanghai.”

Pierre Gasly: “I’m really excited to go racing again for the third round of the season. Red Bull took its first victory in China and this year’s race is also F1’s 1000th Grand Prix so it will be a special weekend. China is not actually a place I really know well and last year was my first race there but I’m looking forward to going back.

Shanghai is a really special track with the long back straight and the technical part at the beginning. We just need to keep the improvements we’ve made from one race to another and hopefully we’ll be able to find some more performance and fight for even better points.”

Pierre Gasly - Red Bull Racing

Pierre Gasly – Red Bull Racing

Max Verstappen: “The Chinese Grand Prix is always a good one for racing because the track gives you a lot of opportunities for overtaking, so I’m looking forward to hopefully having an exciting race there. This year in Shanghai is also the tenth anniversary of the Team’s first race win, so hopefully we can put on a good show, especially for the passionate fans there who always turn out.

The first sector is really nice because you can take a lot of different lines through the long right-hander so it can be quite interesting during the race in terms of trying to stay out of the dirty air. And yes, the track can also be quite hard on the left front tyre so in the race you’re always looking at how you can use the least amount of energy in that corner.”

First seen on Formula 1