Wednesday 21 March 2018

F1: Massa fears McLarens

Tom Cary

FERRARI'S Felipe Massa has tipped McLaren to shine in this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

The Brazilian fears that Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button may prove unbeatable at the Shanghai International Circuit thanks to the controversial 'F-Duct' system on their MP4-25 machines, which allows the drivers to control air flow through to the rear wing.

The innovative device, which is being copied up and down the pit-lane, 'stalls' the wing at high speed, giving McLaren a straight-line advantage of roughly 6mph over the rest of the field.

Given the fact that Shanghai features one of the longest straights on the calendar between turns 13 and 14, with top speeds in excess of 186mph, Massa believes other teams may have to compromise their set-ups in an effort to contain the McLarens.

"It's a nice circuit to drive and the long straight leading into a tight corner means there is a real possibility to overtake," he said. "However, we will need to be careful, because the McLaren has a high top speed."

Hamilton acknowledged that the length of the straight was a boon for his chances. "Overtaking is possible at this circuit, particularly at the end of the long back straight, so I'm pretty confident we'll have another competitive weekend," he said.

Irish Independent

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