WEC Shanghai: Porsche won't adopt conservative stance to win titles
|By Jamie Klein, Frankie Mao||Saturday, November 4th 2017, 11:43 GMT|
Porsche LMP1 boss Andreas Seidl says his squad will not be conservative during this weekend's World Endurance Championship race at Shanghai, despite being on the cusp of securing both titles.
Thanks to a double-points victory in the Le Mans 24 Hours and a subsequent hat-trick of wins at the Nurburgring, Mexico City and Austin, Porsche trio Timo Bernhard, Earl Bamber and Brendon Hartley hold a comfortable 39-point lead in the drivers' standings.
With only 51 points still up for grabs in Shanghai and the Bahrain season finale, it means the #2 Porsche only needs to finish third in China to wrap up the drivers' title with a round to spare.
Porsche, which leads Toyota by 58.5 points, can also claim the manufacturers' title this weekend if at least one of its two 919 Hybrids finishes second or higher.
When asked whether the race would be a simple case of following the Toyotas home, Seidl replied: "First we try to go to the front with two cars, then we have to see.
"For the manufacturers we need to beat at least one Toyota - there's no way to be conservative, we have to attack from the beginning.
"You don't know what happens [with] penalties, issues, pitstops - [it's] no time to go conservative."
Seidl also joked the that was no priority regarding the drivers' or the manufacturers' crowns: "Ideally, both!" he said.
"I would love to go to Bahrain without this pressure, like the last two years.
"But the main thing is to get the cars through. We still have a solid points lead, we will not try anything stupid."
Seidl added that splitting strategies between the two Porsches wouldn't make sense, as any mechanical problems or on-track incidents could cost it the chance to wrap up the titles early.
"The focus is to go for optimum race time with both cars at the beginning, because you don't know which car ends up at the front in the end," he said.
"If one car drops out you need the other car to win.
"We'll try to go for the victory with both cars - optimum race time - and we have to see how the race pans out."