Christian Horner Reveals Two Biggest Challenges Every F1 Team Will Fight Against at the Chinese GP

Christian Horner Reveals Two Biggest Challenges Every F1 Team Will Fight Against at the Chinese GP
Credits: IMAGO / HochZwei and IMAGO / DeFodi

Formula 1 returns to China for the first time since 2019, and for the latest generation of cars, it will be their first visit to the country as well. Since the new cars are untested at this very circuit, Christian Horner has warned teams and raised two issues that they may have to face at the Chinese GP.

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Horner explained how the front left tires of the cars will go under extreme pressure and have more degradation at the Shanghai track. The track has high-speed corners and hard braking zones in multiple sections such as Turns 11 to 13. Besides this, the Grand Prix weekend will also see the first Sprint race of the season, that too at a track where the drivers have not driven for over four years.

There with the high speed corners onto the back straights as well, it’s always been very punishing on the front left tire, but we’ve got a sprint race as well..,” said the Red Bull boss to PitDebrief as per Junaid Samodien on X, formerly Twitter.

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About the sprint race, Horner is seeing the double-edged nature of the weekend with both opportunities and threats. He said, “[The] first sprint race of the year so that’s another challenge, a lot of points available, so it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.” Notably, coming into China, the drivers will have only one Free Practice session before jumping in for the Sprint shootout, unlike three FPs under normal race weekends.

This could prove to be costly, given how the track was not present on the F1 calendar for so long. Thus, drivers are unaware of how the new generation cars which are heavier than their predecessors, would behave in high-speed corners and the hard, tight braking zones of the Shanghai track.

The upcoming Chinese GP is no less than a test!

Formula 1 hasn’t been to China since 2019 after the country canceled the race for four years owing to COVID-19 restrictions. As the circuit comes back with such a long hiatus, and with a Sprint weekend, this can prove to be daunting for a few new drivers.

Yuki Tsunoda, Oscar Piastri, Zhou Guanyu, and Logan Sargeant have all made their F1 debut after 2019 and will be racing in Shanghai in F1 machinery for the first time.

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Notably, the decision by the FIA to put the first Sprint race of the season in China faced immense criticism from the drivers. Citing the same, Max Verstappen said that putting the Sprint race in China was “not great”, and the upcoming race weekend is going to be “quite hectic.”

His teammate Sergio Perez, also synced with Verstappen as he said that the drivers will face hardships in terms of preparation. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, speaking about it, revealed to AP, “I think it’s not a good choice to put the sprint (there) after a four or five years absence. We also heard there is resurfacing going on.”

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