Red Bull Bahrain Test Day Three

April 17, 2014

 

 BAHRAIN TEST 1 – DAY THREE

Driver: Daniel Ricciardo

Car: RB10

Laps: 28

Best time: 1:40.781

Circuit length: 5.412km

 Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s third day of testing at the Bahrain International Circuit got off to a positive start this morning as Daniel Ricciardo took over at the wheel of the RB10. However, midway through today’s running the team discovered a mechanical problem and in anticipation of tomorrow’s final day, the decision was taken to suspend running this afternoon.

 “It was going OK,” said Daniel of his morning outing. “I did some good laps and those came off the back of the more than 50 laps Seb did yesterday, so we’re getting there. Obviously, I would have liked to do more this afternoon but we still have tomorrow ahead of us and it’s important to be ready for that. The car is definitely making progress though. It’s coming together bit by bit. We’d love a big chunk all at once but obviously that’s not the way these things work, so we have to be a bit patient for now. However, it is coming and we’re heading in the right direction. Tomorrow it would be nice to get more laps in and then roll on next week.”

 Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum said: “After yesterday’s good work we had another positive period overnight with the car build, which we’re getting quite good at, and it looked good this morning. We were focused on short runs for Daniel, as the car feels very different to the one we had in Jerez and we wanted to build things up gradually for him. We made more changes over lunch and in doing so we came across a mechanical issue that we hadn’t encountered before and because of its nature it means we have to take the car apart. As everyone in the pit lane is finding out this is a long process, so we decided to suspend running in the afternoon so that we can be ready for the final day. These issues are of course frustrating but this was unrelated to the others so it’s just a case of tackling each issue as it appears. A tough night in prospect but we hope to get a good day in tomorrow.”

Chinese GP 2014 – Ferrari closing the gap to the top teams

April 15, 2014

Maranello, 15 April – The Formula 1 season has been rushing along at a hectic pace since the curtain raiser in Melbourne, with no less than three Grands Prix taking place in the space of three weeks. The data base of information available to the Scuderia Ferrari engineers has grown since the first race of the year and the numbers generated have been poured over, picked at and used to drive simulation programmes back in Maranello.

However, despite the advances made in virtual car development, there is still no substitute for real track time and so Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen are looking forward to getting back on track at the Shanghai International Circuit for the fourth round of the world championship.

That’s particularly true given that the Bahrain Grand Prix proved to be the most difficult race so far for the Scuderia. It was no surprise given that the desert track was always going to highlight the weak points of the F14 T, without ever playing to its strengths. “Since the Bahrain race, it’s been a very busy time for us, as we examined all areas of car performance from the power unit to suspension configurations and aerodynamic improvements,” commented Ferrari’s Engineering Director Pat Fry.

All three races so far have been won by the same team and therefore Fry is realistic about the Scuderia’s short term goals. “We are naturally working as hard as we can on closing the gap to the top teams, with Mercedes having a reasonable lead over the rest of the field,” says the Englishman. “Currently, our first priority is to establish ourselves as the second best team. We are looking at all areas of the car – power unit, aero, suspension. We are trying to make as big a step as we can for each and every race.”

As for the challenge presented by 56 laps of the 5.451 kilometres of the Shanghai International Circuit, Fry sees it as typical of the modern breed of race circuit.

“China’s an interesting track with a good mix of corner types. It begins with the long slow speed corners early in the lap, then a mix of high speed ones in the middle sector, plus a very long straight, about 1.3 kilometres worth, where you need to tune the cars for maximum top speed. However, even with this straight, normally in Shanghai, you find yourself running more towards the top end of the downforce range and with that long straight providing the one real overtaking opportunity, I’m sure everyone will be looking to trade off speed to make sure you can both attack and defend.”

There are other challenges in China starting with the long straight, which will ask questions of the still relatively new power units. The brakes will have a much easier time than in previous races, however tyres, particularly the rears, need careful looking after because of the loads imposed by all the very long corners.

It’s proving hard to make predictions this year – at least when it comes to who can challenge the current leaders – so the Scuderia Ferrari crew will approach the Shanghai weekend in its usual methodical way in the hope that lessons learned so far will see the F14 T run more competitively.

In his usual blunt way, Kimi Raikkonen sums up perfectly what lies ahead for the Prancing Horse. “We know what we have to do. The people are pushing 100 per cent, but it takes time.”

Williams Preview Chinese Grand Prix 2014

April 15, 2014

CHINESE GRAND PRIX RACE PREVIEW 

  
FRIDAY 18 – SUNDAY 20 APRIL
SHANGHAI, CHINA
RACE 4 OF 19

 

Rob Smedley: 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. 

Felipe Massa: 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. 

Valtteri Bottas: 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.

 

Williams F1 Team

Sauber Preview Chinese Grand Prix 2014

April 15, 2014

Sauber F1 Team – Preview – 2014 UBS Chinese Grand Prix

4th Round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, 18th to 20th April 2014

Hinwil, 11th April 2014 – Next week, the Sauber F1 Team will travel to the fourth round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, taking place from 18th to 20th April at the Shanghai International Circuit in China.

During the two test days in Bahrain, the Swiss team was able to gather valuable data and optimised the electronical systems. Both C33s will be on track at the Shanghai International Circuit with minor updates. Esteban Gutiérrez will receive another chassis after the accident in Bahrain. In the meantime, the monocoque from the accident is being repaired. As in Bahrain, test and reserve driver Giedo van der Garde will be behind the wheel of the C33 during FP1 on Friday. Regular driver Adrian Sutil will take over the car from FP2 onwards.

News on our Social Media platforms: Did you always want to know what the many buttons on an F1 steering wheel are for? If so, please visit our YouTube channel and watch our interesting video to get some more information about the Sauber F1 Team’s steering wheel: http://youtube/3k0l1f9An34  –  Furthermore, you can download a pdf version of our steering wheel infographic in different languages. More information can be found at the end of this press release.

Esteban Gutiérrez (car number 21):
“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.”

Adrian Sutil (car number 99):
“I am positive about the next race in China. The Shnaghai 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”

Giampaolo Dall’Ara, 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.”

Circuit

Shanghai International Circuit / 5.451 km

Race distance

56 Laps / 305.066 km

Schedule

Qualifying 14:00 hrs (8:00 CET), Race 15:00 hrs (9:00 Uhr CET)

 

Driver

Esteban Gutiérrez

Adrian Sutil

Born

05.08.1991 Monterrey (MX)

11.01.1983 Starnberg (DE)

Marital status

Single

In a relationship

Height / Weight

1.80 m / 63 kg

1.83 m / 75 kg

First GP

Melbourne 2013

Melbourne 2007

GP started

22

112

Best race result

7th Japan (2013)

4th Monza (2009)

Best qualifying

9th Korea (2013)

2nd Monza (2009)

Points 2014

0 (currently 17th)

0 (currently 16th) 

Points in total

6

124

The Sauber F1 Team has 0 points to its tally and currently holds 9th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

Button and Magnussen Preview Chinese Grand Prix 2014

April 14, 2014

Jenson Button

Age                                         34 (January 19 1980)

GPs                                         250

Wins                                       15

Poles                                      8

FLs                                        

 “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.”

 Kevin Magnussen

Age                                         21 (October 5 1992)

GPs                                         3

Wins                                       0

Poles                                      0

FLs                                        

 “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

Racing director, McLaren Mercedes

“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.”

McLaren Preview Chinese Grand Prix 2014

April 14, 2014

2014 Chinese Grand Prix – preview

 #ChineseGP

#McLarenLIVE

 Formula 1 returns to the Far East for round four of the 2014 world championship, the Chinese Grand Prix. The race takes place just outside Shanghai, China’s industrial and financial capital, and the on-track action is always frenetic thanks to the Shanghai International Circuit’s huge straights, wide run-off areas and notoriously unpredictable weather.

 Shanghai International Circuit facts & stats

Even now, 10 years after the Shanghai International Circuit first hosted a grand prix, the sheer scale of the venue is breathtaking. Its two nine-storey pit buildings, the 29,000-seat main grandstand and the ornate team pavilions in the paddock give the track a dimension that sets it apart from other circuits around the world.

 The 5.451km track was built on marshland deemed unsuitable for housing in 2003. To shore up the wallowing wasteland more than 40,000 concrete pillars were inserted into the ground – something that the track’s designers, Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl, described as “a huge undertaking”. Construction work was completed in time for the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in September 2004.

 The clockwise layout contains an eclectic mix of corners, from the 270-degree ever-tightening Turn One to the fast esses in sector two. The final sector incorporates the longest straight on the F1 calendar, at the end of which lies the best overtaking point on the lap, a second-gear hairpin.

 Temperatures are expected to be much cooler than at the last couple of races, and there’s always the chance of rain on China’s eastern fringes in April. Four Chinese GPs have been affected by wet weather, and the 2009 edition was one of only eight races in F1 history to be started behind the Safety Car due to poor weather.

 Pirelli will take their Medium and Soft tyre compounds to China, as they did in Australia and Bahrain. The Soft tyre is expected to give better performance over one lap, with the Medium compound, which performs well on cooler track surfaces, expected to be the better race tyre.

 McLaren has won the Chinese Grand Prix three times, Jenson magnificently leading home a one-two at a deluged event in 2010. The Shanghai International Circuit is another new racetrack for Kevin Magnussen, but he’s already proved this year that he’s a very fast learner.

 Shanghai International Circuit – the stats you need

Race distance                       56 laps (305.066km/189.559 miles)

Start time                               15:00 (local)/07:00 (GMT)

Circuit length                        5.451km/3.387 miles

2013 winner                           Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F138) 56 laps in 1hr36m26.945s (189.778km/h)

2013 pole                               Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W04) 1m 34.484s (207.692km/h)

Lap record                             Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m32.238s (212.749km/h)

 First race                                2004

What makes it special          The mighty architecture, the longest straight in F1, and the passing into the Turn 14 hairpin

Wins from pole position      5

Track abrasiveness              Medium. The track is relatively smooth, but the long corners make it demanding on tyres – particularly the front-left

Pirelli tyre choice                  Soft (Option)/Medium (Prime)

2013 winning strategy         3

Fuel consumption                Medium. The flowing nature of the racetrack makes fuel less of a strategic factor than in Bahrain, for example

Brakewear                              Medium. There are a couple of big stops, particularly into Turn 14, but the brakes have plenty of time to recover

Weather                                  Mixed. Nearly half of the Chinese GPs to date have been affected by wet weather. It is often chilly in China during April

DRS zones                             2 – one on the start-finish straight, the other on the approach to Turn 14

Turbo Effect                          Low, due to not much acceleration from low speeds

Safety Car likelihood            43 per cent – there have been two Safety Car periods in a couple of Chinese GPs

Grid Advantage                    The left side of the grid holds a slight advantage.

Pitlane time                           21s

 McLaren at the Chinese Grand Prix

Wins                                       3 (2008, ’10, ’11)

Poles                                      2 (2007, ’08)

Fastest laps                           3 (2005, ’08, ’10)

 2014 drivers’ championship

1 Nico Rosberg                     61

2 Lewis Hamilton                   50

3 Nico Hulkenberg                28

4 Fernando Alonso               26

5 Jenson Button                   23

6 Sebastian Vettel                  23

7 Kevin Magnussen              20

8 Valtteri Bottas                      18

9 Sergio Perez                       16

10 Daniel Ricciardo              12

11 Felipe Massa                    12