China GP: An interesting and challenging track Maranello, - Following hot on the heels of the Japanese Grand Prix, comes the penultimate round of this year's Formula 1 World Championship, the Chinese Grand Prix. The race at Fuji was something of...
China GP: An interesting and challenging track
Maranello, - Following hot on the heels of the Japanese Grand Prix, comes the penultimate round of this year's Formula 1 World Championship, the Chinese Grand Prix. The race at Fuji was something of a rollercoaster ride for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, but in terms of the championships, it eventually produced a reasonably good result for the team, which brought home eight points, enough to retake the lead in the Constructors' classification and for Felipe Massa to slightly reduce the gap to the leader in the Drivers' championship, on a day when our closest rivals failed to score.
The Chinese circuit has traditionally been a good one for Ferrari, with three wins from three different drivers, out of the four races held there to date: victories have come courtesy of Rubens Barrichello, Michael Schumacher and last year, Kimi Raikkonen. Shanghai International Circuit is an interesting and challenging track from a technical point of view, while offering some genuine overtaking opportunities. It can be hard on tyres, with severe degradation a possibility, which could be a positive factor for us this weekend, as the F2008 has shown itself to be kinder to its tyres than some of its rivals. Fifty percent of the lap is run at full throttle and this weekend the engines on both cars will be embarking on their second race.
Since the Fuji weekend, both Felipe and Kimi have been in Tokyo for a couple of days relaxation and Wednesday, they will arrive in Shanghai. This Friday will be a special day for our Finnish driver, as the reigning world champion turns twenty nine. The day before, the Mint Club in Shanghai hosts the Chinese launch of the new California road car and for the third of these events, after those in Singapore and Tokyo, both drivers will again be in attendance. The Chinese Market is growing very fast as the entire Asia-Pacific market is becoming very important for Ferrari, although the Japanese sector has traditionally always been a strong sales area for Prancing Horse cars.
The majority of the Scuderia personnel travelled from Fuji to Shanghai on Monday and in the afternoon, mechanics were at the track preparing the garage, with part of Tuesday providing some time off, before the normal weekend preparation gets fully underway today. With an interesting track providing some fascinating races over the past four years, the Shanghai weekend is one of the highlights on the calendar, however the downside is the traffic nightmare, which makes for the longest journey of the year from hotel to track and back, with the Scuderia all based out in Pudong, requiring the earliest wake-up call of the year!