Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix – Practice – Friday
Weather: FP1: cloudy and dry, 19°C air, 19-21°C track; FP2: cloudy and dry/rainy, 17-18°C air, 19-21°C track
After a successful race weekend in Bahrain, the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team had another positive start to the third race weekend of the season at the Shanghai International Circuit. Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc completed two productive free practice sessions ahead of the 2018 FIA Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix.
The team focused on tyre and set-up work, testing the medium and soft compounds during FP1, and the ultrasoft compound in FP2. With the rain starting to fall in the last ten minutes of the afternoon session, Marcus Ericsson completed his last lap on a set of intermediate tyres, in preparation for the possibility of rain during tomorrow’s qualifying. Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc feel confident, having shown consistent performance and a good pace on the medium and soft compounds. The team will now analyse the data, placing a focus on preparations for qualifying.
Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
C37 (Chassis 03/Ferrari)
1st practice: 19th / 1:36.909 min (21 laps) / 2nd practice: 17th / 1:35.624 min (29 laps)
“It has been a productive day for us. We completed the planned programme for both practice sessions, and tested all three tyre compounds, in addition to doing set-up work. The characteristics of the Shanghai International Circuit are quite different compared to the tracks in Melbourne and Bahrain. Therefore, we explored how our new car behaves on this track, and focused on finding the ideal set-up for the race. We gathered some interesting data and will work overnight to make sure we move in the right direction and have a positive qualifying tomorrow.”
Charles Leclerc (car number 16):
C37 (Chassis 02/Ferrari)
1st practice: 17th / 1:36.723 min (23 laps) / 2nd practice: 18th / 1:35.916 min (26 laps)
“It was a productive day for us. It was the first time I had driven on this circuit, which is always an interesting experience. Learning a new track is a great way to continue developing as a driver and becoming more familiar with different challenges – such as the long straights and variety of corner combinations here in Shanghai. We were quite competitive on the soft and medium compounds this morning. We also completed some laps on the ultrasoft compound in the afternoon, and will be looking at our data to understand how to optimise our performance in tomorrow’s qualifying. I look forward to being back in the car tomorrow.”