Even though the last race was a bit disappointing from my perspective in terms of the result, it’s been great to see all the positive comments that came afterwards. We’ve demonstrated already that we’re pushing harder than ever to stay ahead of the pack. It will only get more difficult as the season goes on but I’ve got confidence in the team. Every day and in every area you can see that determination to win. This gives you a big boost as a driver: to know the people around you want it just as badly as you do. I’ve got good memories from China after taking my first pole position and race win in Formula One at this circuit in 2012. The layout seems to suit my driving style, it’s a track I enjoy racing at and I want to be back on that top step of the podium this weekend. The Chinese fans are great too: really enthusiastic. It's nice to see how much they like our sport and how they cheer us on during the race weekend. It's a very different culture and getting to know it is always fun, so hopefully we can keep them as entertained on track as they do off it!
China: In the Cockpit with Nico
The Chinese Grand Prix is one of my favourite races. Having secured my first Grand Prix victory in China in 2012, I naturally associate many great memories with this circuit. But that's not my only reason for liking the track: driving at the Shanghai International Circuit is a real challenge. The track layout makes for enormous fun, even if it is a fair bit cooler in Shanghai compared to the venues we’ve visited so far this season.
Of course, aside from the temperatures many other challenges await us in China. At the first few races of the season in Melbourne, Sepang and in Sakhir, it was mainly the rear tyres that were subjected to high stresses. But in Shanghai, it's now the turn of the front tyres and we have to adapt accordingly. Throughout the season you need to be careful when setting up the car and adjust it to suit each track. The Shanghai International Circuit is a good example of that.
There are a number of long, drawn-out corners that are among the circuit's key points. The very first turn is a prime example. It is one of several unique corners to Shanghai that puts huge stresses on the tyres. Turn 13, the corner before the long back straight, is another. There is nothing like it anywhere else. Handling these corners is great fun but they put such enormous stresses on tyres so as a driver you must be mindful of that.
The Shanghai International Circuit also has one of the longest straights of the season. We'll be super fast there this year with our new hybrid turbo power units. I can't wait to see the top speeds for the weekend.