Team and drivers report on the Chinese Grand Prix, Round 3 of the Formula 1 world championship, at Shanghai International Circuit.
Valtteri Bottas finished 13th ahead of Pastor Maldonado in 14th in this afternoon’s Chinese Grand Prix.
The team opted to split strategies with both cars running a three-stop race but with Pastor starting on the soft option tyre while Valtteri started on the prime, choosing to run the option for his final stint.
The soft tyres proved much quicker in the closing stages and Valtteri was able to move ahead of his teammate into the hairpin on the penultimate lap.
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director: We planned to do three stops with both cars today but decided to run one car on the option to start and one to finish, as our main race tyre was the prime medium tyre. We knew that both strategies, if the drivers weren’t caught in traffic, would be very similar as seen by ours cars finishing just 1.6 seconds apart at the end. The option tyres were much quicker at the end so Valtteri made a clean move to finish ahead. We got the maximum we could out of the FW35 today, but we know we still need to find more performance, and we will be focusing on this for the next few races.
Valtteri Bottas: The team did a good job with the strategy today and we made the most out of what we had. I think it was the best race I have done this season but we need to find more pace to get closer to the front. I knew it was going to be close with Pastor at the end, so I was pushing hard in my final stint on the medium tyres. I was then right behind him on the faster option tyres and so able to make a move on the penultimate lap. It was a nice end to the race but we still need to improve so we can race for points.
Pastor Maldonado: It was a difficult race from the beginning. We lost a lot of time on the option tyres in the first stint and we just didn’t have the pace. We didn’t have a chance to fight for any higher positions and we know we are still far away from where we want to be, but we will keep our focus on improving.
Laurent Debout, Renault Sport F1 team support leader: It’s clear we were not where we would like to be today. Bahrain is a different type of track with lots of different speed corners that should play to the strengths of the Renault RS27 engine so we will work with the guys in Grove to get back to full form as soon as we can.