Following the crushing disappointment of seeing his stellar qualifying efforts come to nought in the Japanese Grand Prix, Jenson Button is keen to make amends in Shanghai this coming weekend, on a circuit he describes as 'unique'.

After lining up an impressive sixth on the grid and running in fourth position courtesy of both Ferraris having to change over from intermediate rubber to full wets under the initial safety car at Fuji, the Briton's race was ruined no sooner had the action got underway, when he collided with BMW-Sauber's Nick Heidfeld under braking for the first corner and lost his front wing in the process. From what had looked like being comfortably his best chance of the year to score a podium finish, the 27-year-old was ultimately classified eleventh after stopping on the final lap in his Honda team's home grand prix.

"The Shanghai circuit is a demanding one for the drivers and quite technical but it is also fun to drive," he said, determined to look forwards rather than back. "The length of the corners - particularly turn one which is tough on the neck - is quite something and you have to remember to breathe as you go round the lap.

"In turns seven, eight and nine the g-forces are so high you are unable to breathe. There are a few good overtaking opportunities, particularly going into turn one and then at the banked entry onto the back straight, which is very unique to this circuit and presents the ability to take a number of lines onto the straight itself."

Team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who finished one spot higher than Button at in Japan despite starting all the way down in 17th position on the grid, has happy memories of racing in the Chinese city after claiming victory in the inaugural race held there back in 2004. The 35-year-old also finished sixth last year after the two Hondas had locked out the second row of the grid.

"Shanghai is a fantastic race venue with impressive facilities and an exciting modern track layout," enthused the Brazilian, who next year is due to become the most experienced driver in Formula 1 history. "I won the very first grand prix there in 2004, so it holds some good memories for me.

"The combination of long straights and low-medium speed corners makes for a challenging technical layout, with the main feature being the length of some of the corners. The complex including turn one is fairly tricky, with a combination of hard braking and lateral acceleration."

"After such a strong qualifying performance at Fuji on Saturday, we were extremely disappointed that we were unable to convert this into a points-scoring position in the race," added senior technical director Shuhei Nakamoto. "We move to China now and hope for better things at the Shanghai International Circuit. This is a very technical track which places great emphasis on driver skill and car stability.

"Our drivers are looking forward to the challenge. We have some new developments from our recent test in Jerez, and hope we will be able to end the season on a stronger note and with a point or two."

 

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