Scuderia Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen talks through his 2007 victory at the Shanghai circuit in his maiden and championship year with the Scuderia.
“There were tricky conditions, it was wet to start with and then the track was drying up, so obviously there was a point to change the Intermediates tires and then we got a ride. Obviously not the easiest race to anybody, but we came out quite easily.” The track has changed little over all these years, but remains pretty interesting. “The circuit is quite challenging. First of all, you must mind the start with first few corners where you can get a lot of lap time, if you can get it right though. It’s not an easy circuit, but it’s fun.”
Scuderia Ferrari Race Engineer Riccardo Adami previews the 3rd Round of the Formula One World Championship coming from Shanghai. Commenting on the unpredictable weather seen at the venue and the impact it has on how the team approach vehicle set up. Also reflecting on the possible impact of Pirelli brining the supersoft compound to the circuit for the first time.
“It will be a challenge in setting up the car because we have a very long straight and also slow speed and high speed corners, so we should try to find the trade-off between those particular aspects of the track with the set-up of the car. Shanghai is a circuit with a particular shape. Turn 1 is a corner with longitudinal and lateral load transfers. So, we’ll try to find the right compromise between braking, but also the stability of the car in the corner.” And the challenges don’t end there: “The weather usually is very unpredictable. Over the last few years we have challenged ourselves with cold and rainy conditions. So, especially when it is cold, the front tackle becomes weaker, so then we need to tackle the set-up in this regard in order to find the good balance of the car”
This kind of track can make an engineer’s life hard, but luckily there are moments of relief: “China is not a big issue with the braking because there is not a high energy under braking circuit, even if it can be tricky with the balance of the car as I said for Turn 1, but also the other braking places on the track. So, we need anyways to raise our attention on this topic.” Finally, a word on the new challenges brought in by the 2016 regulations: “This year we will also have a third compound available, the Supersoft tire, while last year we had only Mediums and Softs, therefore it will be a very important item to understand the behavior of this compound in performance and degradation. So, we need to address a proper programme in order to find the right strategy for Sunday.”