Force India preview the Chinese Grand Prix

Force India drivers and team preview Chinese Grand Prix weekend, Round 3 of the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship, at Shanghai International Circuit.

Team Principal, Vijay Mallya: “It was bittersweet coming away from Bahrain with just a point. Yes, it was good to get on the scoreboard, but the potential for more was there. Apart from the race result, it was an important weekend of testing and learning about the car. There’s more to come this weekend too as the development race continues. The grid was very tight in Bahrain and we expect the same in China. With such small margins, it’s about maximising every session. A small mistake is the difference between making Q3 or dropping out in Q1. We will continue working hard this weekend to reclaim out position at the front of the midfield.”

Sergio Perez: “I have mixed feelings after the Bahrain weekend. I think we had the potential for a great result, but everything changed after being hit on lap one. It’s disappointing to miss out on points, but I still enjoyed the race trying to recover from the back of the field. We made some progress over the weekend and we’re definitely in the midfield battle. We have more updates to test in China and we just need to keep working in the same direction, as we did in Bahrain.

“The Chinese fans are some of the best anywhere in the world. You see their passion and feel their enthusiasm. They are always waiting at the airport when we arrive and they also wait at our hotel in the evening when we get back from the track. It makes you realise how much they love our sport.

“As for the circuit, my favourite part is turn one because there is nothing else like it on any other track. China is also a race where you are not sure what the weather will do. It can be cold in the morning and warm up quickly when the sun comes out. There’s usually a good chance of rain showers at this time of year too.”

Esteban Ocon: “A point in Bahrain was a nice reward after a really intense weekend. We learned a huge amount and we’ve taken a step forward with the car. I enjoyed the race because I had some good battles and I couldn’t relax for a moment. It always feels great when you overtake somebody in the final laps, especially when it moves you back into the points.

“I’ve only raced at Shanghai once so far, but last year was a good experience. The fans are great and they show support for all the drivers. Last year I received lots of gifts so your bags are always a bit heavier on the return flight!

“It’s a tough circuit, as I found out last year, with some unusual corners and it’s not easy to hook up the perfect lap. You have to really attack the lap, rather than being smooth, and use the kerbs. Overtaking is possible, but it’s still difficult. You can sometimes find opportunities in turn six and also at the end of the back straight.

“The secret to being quick in Shanghai is the same as anywhere. It’s about building your confidence with the car through all the sessions. The balance was pretty good in Bahrain and I’m feeling comfortable in the car. If we can just find a bit more speed we can consistently be up there in Q3 and racing for points. There are more updates coming to the car so it’s going to be another busy Friday.”