From Sakhir to Shanghai, the second leg of our first back-to-back race duo begins with our official race preview.
Find out what makes Shanghai so exciting to Fernando, and hear more on Stoffel's hopes to continue the team's good momentum.
This is the fifteenth Chinese Grand Prix, meaning the Shanghai International Circuit has now staged more grands prix than historic F1 venues like Brands Hatch, Paul Ricard, Estoril and Adelaide.
The weather is normally one to keep an eye on at this Grand Prix, with last year's FP1 session being aborted due to poor conditions, plus it being particularly difficult to keep the Pirelli tyres in their correct temperatures.
|Where||Shanghai International Circuit|
|When||13 - 15 April 2018|
|Start time||14:10hrs local, 07:10hrs BST, 08:10hrs CET|
|How many laps||56|
|Tyre choice||White Medium, yellow Soft, purple Ultrasoft|
|Tea or coffee||Coffee - one for the night owls if you're in Europe|
Fernando Alonso, McLaren Driver
“After a couple of positive results, I’m excited to go to China. Turn One in Shanghai is one of the best corners of the calendar and it’s a great track to race on for a driver.
“For us, consistency has to be the key. We’ve been able to pull everything together on a Sunday so far – a combination of both hard work and good fortune – but we haven’t given ourselves the best chances on Saturday, so it’s important we pull the whole package together.
“It won’t happen overnight, but we know where our issues lie and we know that we need to work hard to overcome them as soon as possible. In the meantime, we’ll be pushing hard in China, as always, and continue our fight to the front of the midfield pack.”
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Driver
“Last year was my first experience of the Chinese Grand Prix, and, although the race was short-lived for both of us, I did enjoy racing there.
“As we saw last year, the weather in Shanghai can be unpredictable. If we can continue our good momentum in terms of putting together a good strategy and taking every opportunity where we can, rain could be a fun addition to our race weekend.
“But, we know it’s a tough circuit for our package and we need to maximise every session, every day, to give ourselves the best chance of a good result. We can’t be on the back foot on Sunday and it’s important we do as much learning as we can on Friday to enable us to fight for representative positions on the grid on Saturday afternoon.”
Eric Boullier, Racing Director
“We now head to Shanghai after a hard-fought couple of races for McLaren. Our results are solid but haven’t come easily, and we are by no means satisfied with our progress so far.
“We know there’s a lot of work to do and we’re working hard, day and night, to bring more performance to the car each time we hit the track. Our biggest deficit is our qualifying performance and addressing this is our priority.
“The Shanghai International Circuit is a very different challenge again to Melbourne and Bahrain. The long straight, high top speeds and the low and medium-speed corners mean it has a bit of everything, so our objective is to get on top of the circuit’s characteristics from Friday onwards.”