Christian Horner is happy about the start of this season as well as Red Bull Racing Team. Results are helping the team and now the Chinese GP is ready to test Tag-Heuer power-unit on the longest straight of this championship (1.170 meters):
We are in a better position than 12 months ago. Our power-unit has all chances to perform pretty well. In the last 6 months, we started to make some progress but now we act resolutely to get good results
Shanghai 2016 and RB12
5.451 meters of Shanghai are made by a first turn closing on itself before a slow turn on the left, called turn 4. Ricciardo explains what is the best way to drive along this turn:
This straight line is very long and it makes this track very different from the others. Finally, we have to brake and get in one of the most strict turn of this season. We go through at a very slow speed. Turn 1, 2 and 3 are like a single big turn, very long and uphill. This is really complicate for the left front tire. It is the only track doing this to one single tire so it is making everything more interesting
Taking into account what kind of compound was selected by every team, this week-end will be done with following tires selection: medium, soft, super-soft. Some plans might turn upside down if it is true there will be a constant change about the weather. Forecast says, it could rain during Saturday, Friday will be dry but overcast while Sunday will be sunny and with a temperature of 19 C. Stress on tires will be bigger than in Australia and Bahrain, mainly due to cold conditions which can create some graining.
Paul Hember manager of Pirelli
Level of grip and abrasion of concrete are considered by Pirelli of a medium value while stress is on a high value. Of course, the most stressed tire is the left on front side. Long turn 1, as well as turn 2 and 3 are giving no mercy to this tire. What about the rear tires ? It would be the restart to create some troubles where pilots will look for maximum traction avoiding to skid out of turn 3,5 and 13. Pirelli’s manager, Paul Hembery, comments in this way such a particular race:
This race in China is on a circuit quite different from the last two ones but the tires are not very different. This is a clear indication our product is very adaptable on a wide amount of situations. It is possible the race of Shanghai is going to be pretty cold, even if the place can generate any weather situation, so all teams must be very reactive to decide their strategy after practice session and relate any data collected to look-for a good set-up
Following on this subject, Pirelli is still waiting to sign a new supply contract to cover next three years. Tires manufacturer decided to help the teams, giving all tires necessary to perform some evaluation in the wind-tunnel for 2017. About the new rules, they will be created after next 30th of April and main change will be a switch to larger tires hence creating a radical different reaction over aerodynamic drag.