Technical battles heat up ahead of Shanghai Grand Prix

Posted on April 14, 2010


The Shanghai Grand Prix is finally upon us after what feels like months since Red Bull dominated proceedings in Malaysia.

There has been lots of talk in the past few days about technical innovations which are helping certain teams. McLaren has said it dropped its work on ride height in the wake of last week’s rule clarification by the FIA but few are any the wiser as to magic trick on the Red Bull.

It seems Adrian Newey has come up with something quite remarkable – McLaren in particular seem convinced the ride height of his car is changing somehow – and Red Bull have managed quite a coup to be arriving at the fourth race of the year with the secret still under wraps. It will be fascinating to see if Christian Horner’s squad keep their qualifying pace or if they have quietly removed a device.

McLaren’s f-duct continues to get much attention. Felipe Massa has been quoted raising concerns about the raw straight line pace of the British team and several teams are working on their own versions.

Red Bull are being much quieter about their developments but clearly they will remain the team to beat this weekend. McLaren might have a straight line advantage but assuming reliability holds, the all round pace of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber will be tough for the others to hold onto.

After this race, there’s a three week break until the European season gets underway in Spain. The May 7-9 weekend should be hugely exciting on the technical front with all of the teams set to bring upgrades to the grid. Everything could change.

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