Many talking points as F1 gears up in cold China
(GMM) There were plenty of talking points as the formula one world gathered at a chilly Shanghai circuit on Thursday, on the eve of the official action for the Chinese grand prix.
It emerged that while BMW's Robert Kubica will trial a KERS system for the first time this season in Friday practice, neither Ferrari will feature the energy re-use technology in China following problems in Australia and Malaysia.
It was believed that the Swiss based team had been working on reducing the weight of the F1.09, so that the tall Kubica could enjoy the same power boost as his diminutive teammate Nick Heidfeld.
Renault, meanwhile, will have an early prototype of a 'double diffuser' fitted to Fernando Alonso's car in Friday practice. A second example is currently not available for his teammate Nelson Piquet.
The French team is counting on a lap-time benefit of between three and five tenths.
But Alonso warned: "There is no one magic detail that makes a car faster. In order for the diffuser to work right, the car has to be changed completely.
"We are at the start of a long development," the Spaniard is quoted as saying by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport.
McLaren also has a new diffuser in China, but it is merely a development of its conventional design. "There has not been enough time for a double-decker diffuser," said team boss Martin Whitmarsh.
He said he is hoping an early double-diffuser for the MP4-24 will be ready for Bahrain next weekend.
BMW's double-diffuser won't be ready until Barcelona next month. "There we will have a new aero package, and I hope the diffuser," said Nick Heidfeld.
Toro Rosso is hoping to gain a four-tenths lap time advantage in China thanks to a raft of parts that bring the STR4 closer to the specification of parent team Red Bull.
In the paddock this weekend will be former Force India technical boss Mike Gascoyne, who is filling in for the unavailable regular BBC expert pundit Eddie Jordan.