Chinese GP: Ho-Pin Tung Friday report

A weekend at home for Ho-Pin This weekend's Chinese Grand Prix is a homecoming for our third driver, Ho-Pin Tung. So it's a good chance for him to meet the Chinese fans and talk with the media about F1 and his role in the team. As you'd expect,...

A weekend at home for Ho-Pin

This weekend's Chinese Grand Prix is a homecoming for our third driver, Ho-Pin Tung. So it's a good chance for him to meet the Chinese fans and talk with the media about F1 and his role in the team. As you'd expect, he's been in big demand and took part in an autograph session yesterday along with Vitaly. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the fans all clutching their race programmes in the hope of obtaining a precious autograph.

Ho-Pin's day continued with a busy media programme as he talked to the local press at the circuit. Then, in the evening, he went along to a Renault event in downtown Shanghai where he officially launched the Renault Koleos Challenge -- a nationwide campaign to promote the car in China. The event was packed out with around a hundred journalists there to see the launch and get a soundbite from Ho-Pin.

"It was a very long day," smiled Ho-Pin yesterday evening. "However, it was a lot of fun to take part in so many events that were organised for me. It's still important to promote F1 in China and I'm pleased that I was able to help do that a little bit. When we had the first Grand Prix here, the sport was not very well known, but it's now much more popular. I'm sure this is just the beginning..."

Back to this morning and there was a pleasant change to the weather with the appearance of sunshine as we arrived at the track. I'd say that it was around 10o.C hotter than it was yesterday -- that's not a massive amount, but it was a big relief to the engineers down the pit lane who were concerned about the performance of the tyres in cool temperatures.

"The soft tyre is quicker over a single lap and the hard tyre takes a bit more time to warm up," explained Chief Engineer Alan Permane at the end of free practice. "In the end the situation with the temperatures is not as much of an issue as we thought it would be. Still, the track was pretty green today, although it improved throughout the sessions."

Practice may be over, but there is still a lot of work to be done this evening. The engineers are going through the data to try and solve Vitaly's understeer and the lack of grip that affected Robert's car. The mechanics will work on the cars late into the evening so that we're ready to hit the track for final practice tomorrow morning at 11:00 local time.

-source: ho-pin tung

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Ho-Pin Tung