Platzhalter Motorsport

Panasonic Toyota Racing

Chinese Grand Prix - Preview

Date: Sunday, 19 April, 9am CET
Round: 3 of 17
Venue: Shanghai International Circuit
Distance: 5.451km (56 laps)
Lap record: 1min 32.238 (2004)
History: The first Chinese Grand Prix was held in 2004 at the Shanghai International Circuit, where it has been held ever since. A Chinese Grand Prix at Zhuhai International Circuit was provisionally included on the 1999 World Championship calendar but did not take place.

Panasonic Toyota Racing continues the 2009 Formula 1 season with another trip eastwards, this time to Shanghai for the Chinese Grand Prix, which comes much earlier in the season than its usual autumn spot. Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli finished third and fourth respectively in the Malaysian Grand Prix last time out, reversing the result in Australia and taking the team's Formula 1 podium tally to 10. After the race the team briefly returned home to its technical centre in Cologne, Germany before making the trip to China, although the cars and equipment went directly from Sepang to Shanghai. Last year Timo Glock finished seventh in China to score more points in his debut season while Jarno Trulli was eliminated in an early accident. Toyota has finished on the podium before in China, in 2005 with Ralf Schumacher, and that will be the target again this weekend.

Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "I am really optimistic about the Chinese Grand Prix because we have started the season very strongly. It shows how much progress we have made since last season that in Malaysia I was a little disappointed with fourth because I wanted to finish on the podium and fight for the win. Last year in Malaysia I finished fourth and that was more than we expected. We are second in the Constructors' Championship so it's clear we are one of the top teams and both Timo and I have consistently been fighting at the front which is great. So the goal for me in China is to fight for the podium again and I think we have a really good chance. China is one of those circuits where I have never had much luck and it was the same last year when I was hit from behind at the first corner, so I'm determined to have a better weekend this time."

Timo Glock (Car 10): "Malaysia was a crazy race but it was a great result for the team and it gives us a lot of confidence for the Chinese Grand Prix. We were really competitive in all conditions which is a good sign because it confirms we were right to be optimistic before the season started. We have had both cars finish in the top four in both races so far this season so we are definitely aiming to challenge for the podium again, but of course it's pretty close so we will have to do another good weekend. It seems strange to be going to China in April because it has always been later in the season; the weather looks like it could be a bit cooler than usual. I quite enjoy racing at Shanghai because it's an interesting track. Last year I went well there and scored points, but I'm hoping to get more than seventh place this weekend, that's for sure."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "Shanghai is a track which offers a very wide range of cornering speeds so you cannot optimise the car just for high-speed or low-speed corners; you have to find a good balance. The unique aspect to the Shanghai track is its very long corners; turn one and turn 13. It is extremely important to get the balance of the car right in turn 13 because it comes out on to the main straight and you want to exit at the highest possible speed. These two corners and the specific lay-out in general are also demanding on tyres so overall Shanghai is quite severe in terms of tyre wear. If you have a compound which is too soft it is likely to have graining issue. So it will be interesting to see how the super soft and medium compound tyres behave this weekend."