Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro technical director, Ross Brawn, made his first visit to the Shanghai circuit today and, in the impressive team facility, set on stilts above water, he met the local and international press. For Ferrari and every other...
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro technical director, Ross Brawn, made his first visit to the Shanghai circuit today and, in the impressive team facility, set on stilts above water, he met the local and international press. For Ferrari and every other team, this is a brand new track and Brawn began by explaining how the engineers prepare for a new venue.
"We have a lot of good tools these days whereas ten or fifteen years ago, we had to look at the track map and use our judgement," said the Englishman. "Now we have excellent simulation tools, which allow us to plot the corners and work out cornering speeds. Also, the tyre companies come and look at new tracks a few months before the race and take measurements and evaluate the track surface."
Brawn seemed impressed with the Shanghai track layout. "This track is quite complex as you could describe it as three dimensional," he said. "Looking at turns 3 and 4 for example, it goes downhill and other corners have banking. It is good fun and at Ferrari we enjoy the technical challenge of a new circuit. Typically, for the first year at a new circuit, you can see quite a difference between the teams: those that get it right have an advantage over those that don't. This track is very technically challenging."
"But we have to wait for our first day driving on the track to get the full picture. It seems like a very exciting track, with decreasing radius corners and the combination of slow corners and long straights should provide opportunities for overtaking. There are several long corners where the tyres will be made to work hard."
As for his impressions on Shanghai, Brawn had to admit he did not have any."I only arrived on Wednesday night, so I have not yet seen Shanghai, but the circuit itself is of a completely new standard: the facilities for the team and the track. I hear that a full crowd is expected on Sunday and that should be a fantastic sight. This is the future of Formula 1."
On being told that red is the national colour of China, Brawn smiled and replied that: "Ferrari are going to make the national colour proud! This is an international event and very high profile, so it will raise China's profile outside the country and, for us in Formula 1, it is great to come and discover a new country and a new culture. It is very important for Formula 1 and I hope it is important for China."
And a final thought about Sunday's race. "We certainly never start a race weekend thinking we have an advantage, even if that is the case on Sunday night," commented the technical director. "However, we are confident that we can be competitive here. One interesting factor will be the tyres as we will not know until we start how well the tyre companies have done their homework. Bridgestone are experienced enough to get it right."