Red Bull and Aston Martin eye Ferrari threat ahead of F1 Chinese GP Sprint weekend

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team
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As the Formula 1 season continues in Asia, anticipation builds for the fifth race of the season, the Chinese Grand Prix. With the Sprint weekend ahead, teams are gearing up for an exhilarating challenge on the Shanghai International Circuit.

When asked about expectations for the Shanghai circuit, Red Bull’s Team Principal Christian Horner highlighted the demanding nature of the track.

“It’s a good circuit,” he remarked, emphasizing the endurance required for the first corner, notorious for its toll on the front left tyre.

Photo Credit: Red Bull Racing

“High speed corners onto the back straight as well. It’s always been very punishing on the front left tyre but we’ve got a Sprint race as well, first Sprint race of the year so that’s another challenge, a lot of points available,” he noted.

Reflecting on the lessons learned from Melbourne, where Ferrari showcased proper competitiveness in qualifying against Max Verstappen on a front-limited circuit and took a 1-2 following the Dutchman’s DNF, Horner acknowledged the Italian team’s strength as F1 heads to a similar kind of track this weekend.

“Ferrari was definitely competitive on that circuit,” he conceded, recognizing their strong race pace and anticipating them to be formidable competitors in Shanghai.

“It’ll be interesting to see how that goes,” Horner concluded.

On the other side of the paddock, drawing on his wealth of experience, Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso expressed optimism despite potential challenges. The Spaniard has won twice in China, and he has made the most starts at the Shanghai International Circuit. He was on the grid for the inaugural race in 2004, too.

“Always thinking of it as a bit of an opportunity,” he remarked, highlighting the variability inherent in Sprint weekends.

Acknowledging the evolving dynamics of the sport, Alonso emphasised the need for adaptability amidst changing conditions.

Photo Credit: Aston Martin Aramco F1 Team

With a focus on the unique characteristics of the Shanghai circuit, Alonso anticipated strong performances from both Ferrari and Red Bull.

“China with its long corners, front-limited circuit, maybe like Australia, I expect Ferrari to be very fast but also Red Bull,” he stated, acknowledging the strengths of his competitors.

However, he remained hopeful of another solid result to maintain his points scoring streak, saying that, “We have a very powerful DRS and maybe that helps on the long straight.”