United Autosports could have won in Shanghai – Phil Hanson
Phil Hanson took his second podium of the FIA WEC season in Shanghai last weekend, finishing second for United Autosports alongside Filipe Albuquerque and Paul di Resta. Despite the result, Hanson believed the Anglo-American outfit could have achieved more in China.
The #22 ORECA 07-Gibson spent the first part of the race on the back foot. Filipe Albuquerque had to pit after just sixteen minutes after a piece of debris (likely his own windscreen banner) blocked the air intake and significantly hampered car performance.
Albuquerque, Hanson and Di Resta then performed a strong recovery drive to finish third, with Di Resta coming close to taking second in a strong stint that saw the ex-F1 star lapping quicker than the LMP1 front runners. The Scotsman then dropped down to fourth after the race's only Full Course Yellow, but retook third place when Thomas Laurent spun in the #36 Signatech Alpine A470-Gibson.
“Fantastic to get another podium but also feeling disappointed as we could have won here," Hanson commented. "I got in the car and we were nowhere because of the issue at the beginning.
My first stint was good and we opted to change just one tyre for my second, the tyre degradation was massive and I really struggled. In the end a great recovery and we’ll come back stronger again for Bahrain.”
The race marked the third race in a row where United's strong pace was hampered by issues. In Silverstone, Paul di Resta was forced to retire after less than a handful of laps and the team had to deal with electronical gremlins multiple times in Fuji.
“My stints at the end were decent," added Paul di Resta. "We were on the back foot after losing so much time at the start and with no Safety Car periods, to bunch up the field, we’d little chance to claw back all of the lost time.
With a little bit more luck it would have been a bit better outcome but our pace was strong and it’s good to get on the podium. We can head to Bahrain knowing we’ll be right in the ballpark.”