These are special days for me, because 30 years ago, exactly on April 7th 1985, began Minardi team’s adventure in Formula 1, in Brazil, ending after 340 Grand Prix in China, the scene of the next round of the World Championship. For many years China has been the arbiter of the world championship, especially when it was held at the end of the season.
It’s a Tilke’s circuit, with very similar characteristics to Sepang, where even the weather conditions play an important role on the final result. In recent years, we have experienced tests and races with variable weather. In 2014, for example, the Qualifying were under the rain, while race with dry conditions. Ferrari, in that circumstance, it was very good at exploiting this variable conquering the podium with Fernando Alonso.
It consists of 16 corners and 3 straights with an asphalt that does not solicit the tyres too. For this reason, Pirelli brings Soft and Medium. Two types of compounds that could favor the ST-15T, which does not exploit the tyres. The strategies will be played on two or three pit stops. Last year most of the team opted for two stops.
We come from a ten days “hangover” thanks to the victory of Seb, where it is rightly praised this imported result, but I loved the statements of Maurizio Arrivabene at the end of GP: “...feet on the ground and drive”. I do not think that Mercedes will give other gifts, but Shanghai will be a good test for Maranello, that will try to confirm itself as second force of the World Championship, ahead of Williams. The W06 has shown, however, to have still a considerable technical advantage.
To date, the surprise is Toro Rosso, at the fifth position among the Constructors, a few points behind Sauber and Red Bull, which is in chaos. The two young drivers in Malaysia have managed to get behind Ricciardo and Kvyat, bringing home two important results despite a PU Renault (the same of elder cousins) did not live. This means that problems of RB11 do not comes only from the engine. We hope that they stop arguing and start working in the same direction.
Gian Carlo Minardi