Obviously the teams performance at the Chinese Grand Prix didn’t quite match up to the first two races, from your perspective, what do you think went wrong?
First of all it’s difficult because after two fantastic race results with podium finishes in both Australia and Malaysia for sure it’s disappointing when you don’t achieve what you expect but I think we should still be very happy with the car.
For me, it’s clear that things began to go wrong during qualifying. I don’t have the full details on exactly what happened to Petrov’s car but this combined with waiting late into the session to run meant that Heidfeld also qualified badly. On a positive performance related note, both drivers were fast in Q1 and Petrov’s first lap during Q2 where he came fourth demonstrated that the car is definitely quick.
Both drivers then had to try and recover from qualifying during the race and with hindsight perhaps a three-stop strategy would have favoured them better – but, as anyone will tell you, it’s easy to say that once the race is over!
As well as taking onboard some key learnings from the race I think it’s important to focus on the positives, the cars were fast in qualifying, they both finished the race and Petrov secured some valuable Championship points.
Vitaly did well to still bring in some points but neither drivers will be happy with the result, is it a good or a bad thing that we now have a break of nearly three weeks until the next race?
From a driver perspective, the break isn’t a good thing especially after three races in such quick succession, you just want to get straight back out there and prove you can do even better especially when you have such a good car underneath you. From a team perspective I think they’ll be keen to get to Turkey and make a solid return to form.
Generally speaking it was an action filled race, after three exciting events, what do you think is the impact of the new rule changes?
As I see it, the biggest impact this year is clearly the tyres, towards the end of the race, things get really intense and this is great from a fans perspective – it creates some very exciting and unpredictable racing. I’m not the biggest fan of the way DRS (Drag Reduction System) is working, in principal I think the idea is great but I’m not convinced about the implementation. And KERS doesn’t really work for me but let’s see what unfolds during the next few races. One thing is for sure, the racing is really entertaining this year!