Lance Stroll props up the timesheets in both practice sessions as Williams' struggles look set to continue.
Pierre Gasly: "Today was my first time driving around Shanghai and it was a good day overall. It was nice to discover the track and drive on the real thing rather than the simulator or PlayStation! I think it was positive overall, the midfield is super tight and we are kind of in the middle at the moment. There are a couple of teams who seem to be quite fast here so we need to work hard tonight to improve for tomorrow, also for myself because I think I can improve a bit. I will work hard and study the data tonight, hopefully we can find some extra pace tomorrow to be more in the fight with the other midfield teams."
Brendon Hartley: "It was a reasonable clean day, we had a broken floor this morning so we lost some time in the first practice session which is never ideal, but other than that it was quite clean. Like the previous races we are in a very tight midfield battle, so getting everything 100% together will be key tomorrow to move as high up the grid as possible because it is extremely tight, so we have some work to do overnight. Although we missed a little bit of track time this morning, I'm feeling quite comfortable in the car, the balance feels good so if we can improve on certain areas overnight we could be fighting at the sharp end of the midfield battle again."
Sergey Sirotkin: It’s tough, but we didn’t expect it to be easy. We know where we are and we know there’s a lot of work to be done. So far, it’s looking quite good. We are not the fastest car, but the way we work is good. We tried a couple of interesting things in the morning and in FP2. The long runs were a bit messy with traffic and rain, so it was not the most productive afternoon. Personally, I’m quite happy. I can point out the progress. Tomorrow and the race can be different, but I’m happy with my progress and with the team.
Lance Stroll: We had a tough FP2. In FP1 we were on the medium tyres for the session, but in FP2 I made a mistake on my first run and ran off the track. I was on a good lap on my second run and lost the car, and that was it as I never really set a laptime. Then we went into the race simulation which seemed half decent. The car seems a little bit better on ultrasofts, like in Australia, but we are still towards the back. I think it is going to be difficult again to get out of Q1.
Marcus Ericsson: “It has been a productive day for us. We completed the planned programme for both practice sessions, and tested all three tyre compounds, in addition to doing set-up work. The characteristics of the Shanghai International Circuit are quite different compared to the tracks in Melbourne and Bahrain. Therefore, we explored how our new car behaves on this track, and focused on finding the ideal set-up for the race. We gathered some interesting data and will work overnight to make sure we move in the right direction and have a positive qualifying tomorrow.”
Charles Leclerc: “It was a productive day for us. It was the first time I had driven on this circuit, which is always an interesting experience. Learning a new track is a great way to continue developing as a driver and becoming more familiar with different challenges – such as the long straights and variety of corner combinations here in Shanghai. We were quite competitive on the soft and medium compounds this morning. We also completed some laps on the ultrasoft compound in the afternoon, and will be looking at our data to understand how to optimise our performance in tomorrow’s qualifying. I look forward to being back in the car tomorrow.”