So far so good for McLaren

McLaren-Mercedes got its Chinese Grand Prix campaign off to a solid start on Friday with drivers Kimi Raikkonen and David Coulthard setting the third and fourth quickest times respectively in the first two practice sessions of the weekend

So far so good for McLaren

The team have reverted to the old-style low and narrow nose on the MP4-19B this weekend to suit the medium- to high-downforce Shanghai circuit. Also of benefit have been the Michelin tyres, which have proved to be up to speed on the 'green' circuit already. The Bridgestone tyres have traditionally fared better on the new asphalt while the Michelins tend to improve as more rubber is laid down.

"We did what we meant to do today and the car's performance is good, so I'm pretty satisfied," Raikkonen said. "Our tyres seemed to be working well, which is crucial. Obviously we had an idea of set-up before we arrived and whilst we did make a few changes we should be in a good shape.

"The circuit is interesting and the first two corners are particularly challenging. The first corner was a little bit slippery but the more we ran the less of a problem that became. We will see in the race where the real overtaking opportunities are, and I'm already looking forward to it."

Coulthard refused to get carried away with the day's times, but he had no problem enthusing about the new circuit.

"It was a good day today," the Scot said. "We completed our tyre evaluation and the pre-planned programme, but as always we shouldn't read too much into the times. This is quite a challenging and interesting circuit especially the first section with the tightening of corner one which despite being slow is very technically demanding.

"You have to be careful with your rear tyres here because you generate a lot of mechanical grip coming out of the slow corners. All in all it's an impressive facility and I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend."

Raikkonen and Coulthard covered just 41 laps between them, but team boss Ron Dennis said the squad's simulation programme had worked extremely accurately so the drivers had no need to notch up the miles.

Team boss Ron Dennis added: "A wonderful facility with a challenging circuit. We are particularly pleased with the simulation work done by the engineers which has allowed us to come to grips with the circuit after only a few laps. Clearly the lap times will drop as the track develops grip. However so far so good and we look forward to the rest of the weekend."

shares
comments
Sato to lose 10 grid positions

Previous article

Sato to lose 10 grid positions

Next article

Friday team by team: Part 2

Friday team by team: Part 2
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021