THE CHALLENGES THAT LAY AHEAD
Renault F1 Team previews the third race weekend of the 2019 FIA Formula 1 World Championship, the Heineken Chinese Grand Prix, which is also the 1,000th race in Formula 1 history.
Drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo share their thoughts on the challenges of the Shanghai International Circuit, while Cyril Abiteboul and Chassis Technical Director Nick Chester give the latest on the team and on the 2019 package.
Cyril Abiteboul, Team Principal: "We move onto China with caution, but also with a resolution to really get the season going. It’s a significant race for the team, for the wider Groupe Renault, given the importance of the Chinese market, and also for Formula 1 for its incredible 1000th Grand Prix. There are a number of very important touchpoints for us over the course of the week. Our young Chinese Development Driver, Guanyu Zhou, will take centre stage in town and on track. We look forward to seeing the passionate Chinese fans in Shanghai, and, on-track, we aim for an improved effort and results from both cars, which demonstrates our true ability across both car and driver pairing."
Nick Chester, Chassis Technical Director: "Shanghai is an interesting track. It can be a tricky place for striking the right downforce level as there are some high-speed corners and hairpins matched with two long straights. It can also be interesting for variable weather and there have been a few very wet races there in the past. Shanghai brings a different set-up to Bahrain because we go from a circuit, which is difficult for the rear end to a circuit difficult for the front end. Some corners in Shanghai – like the long Turns 1-2 combination, are very hard on the front tyres. Getting the car to turn in, without understeer or wearing the front tyres, is quite a challenge."
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. "