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GP Week : Issue 180
FROM THE COCKPIT 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.” JULES BIANCHI “I am very happy to finish in 15th place today, but it was a tough race and to be honest I was happy to see the chequered flag after quite a difficult final stint holding onto the tyres. I got a good start and held position for quite a while before Pic was able to get ahead when we ran a slightly longer first stint. I spent the next two stints making up the time before retaking track position at the third round of pitstops. After that I was running with Maldonado and it was encouraging that I was able to maintain the gap to him for quite some time. Towards the end of the race though I had to focus on the tyre management more while ensuring that I kept the gap to Pic behind me. Those final laps seemed to last for an eternity but we got the right result in the end. Overall it was an enjoyable race - certainly my most challenging yet - and I think we have all learned even more about the tyres today. I think we have made another good step and it will be important to maintain this in Bahrain before we can then switch focus to what we will bring for Europe.” CHARLES PIC “For me that was a good race, almost as good as we could have hoped for with our current performance levels and run to a good race strategy. The car felt good right from the start – the setup we went for worked well and I had a decent start on the soft tyres and came in just as they were starting to degrade heavily, came out ahead of Bianchi and for two thirds of the race I was pretty comfortably holding 15th place. Unfortunately on my third stop I came out in 16th and didn’t quite have enough pace to fight so I finished in 16th, but the fact we were able to keep pace with the Marussia for the whole race and at some points be just out of reach of a Williams is very encouraging for the future. Now we go straight to Bahrain where we hope things will become interesting.” MAX CHILTON “Again, I think we have good reason to focus on the positives today as the race went well for me and the car felt good. I’m pleased that we end our time in China on a stronger note after a few challenges along the way. I didn’t get the best start but things improved through the race and that was reflected in my lap time relative to Van Der Garde. So looking at what has been a good race and also the signs from Free Practice earlier in the weekend, it’s all starting to come together I think. Importantly, we brought home another good combined result for the Team and demonstrated that we can understand and respond to issues quickly to achieve the right outcome. I hope that we will have an easier time of it in Bahrain so I can make another positive start to the weekend and then have the opportunity to maintain that momentum.” GIEDO VAN DER GARDE “That really wasn’t a good race for me. I had another very strong start, passing three cars, but almost from the moment the first set of softs started going off I couldn’t find any real pace and was struggling for the whole race. After a good Friday it’s been a pretty tough weekend for me, but I’m a very positive person and this is all part of the learning curve I knew I’d have for the early season races and I know I have the team on my side to help me progress. We have the chance straight away to get back to the sort of performance we want in Bahrain so we’ll look at what we can learn from here and move on to the next race where I’m sure things will improve.” F1 >>> CHINA 20 GPWEEK.com // 20 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: