Maranello, 18 April – Shanghai is a modern circuit and is very popular within the drivers, because of its fast straights but most of all because it boasts a wide range of corner types which offer the chance to try different racing lines, highlighting the talent of the men behind the wheel.
Let’s go on a virtual lap of the track with Scuderia Ferrari test driver, Pedro de la Rosa. “After the start-finish straight comes the first turn which is very long going through a curve or around 240 degrees. Here you feather the brakes a lot and so the demand on the discs is not great. In fact the whole Shanghai track is not very demanding on the braking system because many of the corners are taken flat out and you make a lot of use of engine braking.
“Turn 14 is the heaviest braking point” – continues De la Rosa – “You go down the box from eighth to second gear and at this point the whole system is under load”. The Chinese track is also difficult in terms of tyre management. Graining is very common because the tyres have to withstand heavy loading because of the aero downforce in the fast corners. “Managing them correctly can be the key to winning this race.”
Sunday’s race is not particularly demanding physically. “Fortunately, the weather is not a problem because it’s still reasonably cool in April” – concludes De La Rosa – “However, wind can be a problem, especially on the straights, as depending whether it’s blowing down the way or against you can definitely affect how you apply the brakes”.