Renault are targeting for their first points finish of the season without any incident in next Chinese GP, having claimed back-to-back eleventh finish in Australia and Bahrain respectively.
Q: What’s your outlook heading to the third race of the season?
I’m really excited and I really want to get those first points on the board. Give me a normal race with no puncture and no penalty and I think we can do that!
Q: What are your previous memories of racing in the Chinese Grand Prix?
My race in 2014 wasn’t the best, I struggled with the car I had, meaning I finished in thirteenth position. Certainly I’m hoping for a better result on my second visit.
Q: You’ve pushed very hard in the first two races with very promising race pace but it’s been ‘close but no cigar’in terms of points. Is that frustrating?
It is pretty frustrating! That’s how it is in racing sometimes, but we are very close so that does give motivation. The car feels really good. Of course, we want more downforce and more power, but show me a race driver who doesn’t ask for that! Naturally I’m enjoying being back behind the wheel, pushing hard and overtaking, but you have so much work to do from the back that you can have a very strong race yet still finish in eleventh. If we start further up the order and don’t have a first lap incident good things can happen.
Q: What are your thoughts on the layout of the Shanghai International Circuit?
The layout is interesting but it is a very wide circuit and there’s so much run-off area, it doesn’t feel as spectacular as it could be. It does have some really good fast corners; the entry to turn one is special in particular, you enter it from the fastest part of the track and by the end of what is a pretty long corner you’re at about 60kph!
Q: Where’s the overtaking potential?
There are two DRS straights so that’s obviously where you look first for overtaking opportunities. The biggest chance is into the first turn as the DRS zone starts very late on the start-finish straight so you can get close to the car in front. That said, I’m always going to go for any opportunity no matter where it presents itself on a lap!
Q: What’s the target this time?
We know our weaknesses and perhaps Shanghai’s not going to be the friendliest track for us in terms of these but I still think that if we have a good race we can challenge for points. I’m really pumped and excited.