After starting the season with back-to-back 1-2 finishes, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will try their fortune at the Shanghai International Circuit in a milestone event — the 1,000th Formula One World Championship race.
“1,000 races over almost 70 years is testament to the fantastic tradition and heritage of this sport,” Team Principal Toto Wolff said. “We’re proud to represent one of the world’s biggest brands in the series and we will do our very best to put on a good show on this historic occasion.”
The first two events of the 2019 season delivered plenty of excitement. Valtteri Bottas started the year off with a dominant win in the Australian Grand Prix before Lewis Hamlton captured victory in Bahrain.
“Two races into the 2019 season, it may seem like we’re in a strong position,” Wolff said. “We have 87 points, just one below the maximum score. But the constructors’ standings do not tell the full story.
“The truth is that we weren’t as quick as our direct competitors throughout qualifying and the race in Bahrain. The Ferrari was considerably faster on the straights and this added up to several tenths around one lap. Nevertheless, the saying goes that ‘in order to finish first, first you have to finish’ and the combination of solid performances from the team, reliability of our systems and a strong drive from our drivers secured us the one-two.”
“The challenge we are facing doesn’t daunt us — it’s uplifting”Toto Wolff
With five victories — in 2008, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2017 — at the Chinese Grand Prix, Hamilton has the most wins in the event’s history. Bottas reached his first Shanghai podium in last year’s race, finishing second.
“The challenge we are facing doesn’t daunt us — it’s uplifting,” Wolff said. “We will keep pushing to extract the maximum performance from our package to deliver the best race we can. We will try and exert pressure, maximize our opportunities and keep working hard to develop our overall package. We’ve seen exciting races so far this season and we’re looking forward to the next fight in Shanghai.”