McLaren duo fear tough time in China

By on Tuesday, April 7, 2015
McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

McLaren pair Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button reckon the relatively cool conditions in China, allied to the characteristics of the Shanghai International Circuit, will present the squad with a tough challenge this weekend.

Neither driver progressed through to Q2 in Malaysia and both Alonso and Button retired from the race due to technical problems with the MP4-30.

But despite being upbeat over the potential of the package, the duo are expecting a difficult time in China this weekend.

"I have lots of positive memories of racing in China – I’ve won there twice, and I really enjoy the track," said Alonso.

"Like Sepang, it’s got a real mix of corners and some interesting fast stuff around the back of the circuit. Despite those similarities, however, I don’t think our car package will be as well suited here as it was in Malaysia, especially if the weather is as cold and windy as it usually is in early spring time in Shanghai.

"Nonetheless, the steps we took between Australia and Malaysia were extremely impressive: it was a great feeling to be able to mix it with other cars and drivers, and I hope we can do more of the same in China this weekend."

Button claimed a victory at the track in 2010 but is expecting a more difficult time at the third round of this year's championship.

"It’s a pity we didn’t finish the race in Malaysia," he said. "We’d made solid progress up until that point in the weekend, and it would have been a fantastic boost to get a car home in amongst some of the cars in the midfield pack.

"Still, it’s a target to aim for in China, and I hope we can build upon our pace and performance in Malaysia.

"However, China’s two long straights – each preceded by slow- to medium-speed corners – will place extra emphasis on the power-unit. And there is a feeling that the expected cooler weather will make it harder to generate tyre temperature – which could mean that any progress we make doesn’t necessarily translate to a lap time benefit.

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