Bharath finishes on podium at Shanghai

Shanghai: After completing a solid debut weekend at Zhuhai, Indian youngster Raj Bharath continued his charge in the Formula Masters championship as he clinched second place today at round two of the series at Shanghai International Circuit.

Driving for Meco Motorsport, Raj had qualified fourth on the grid and finished race one in the same position before following it up with a second place in race two.

The weekend had started on a difficult note the team worked to find the right setup to suit the 4.6-kilometre layout.

The venue, which also hosts the F1 Chinese Grand Prix is a unique challenge on the setup front, as sectors 1 and 2 consist of high-speed corners, while sector 3 has long straights ? the longest being over 1.1-kilometre long.

"Even though the chassis is same as last year, the car feels completely different right now," said Raj, comparing his last year`s outing at the same venue where he scored his first international victory.

"The new tyres and engine package makes it a new car altogether, so we spent a lot of time chasing a good setup in the practice sessions. We knew that low-downforce was the way to go, even though it makes the car slightly more on the limit," he elaborated.

Although Raj was able to muscle his way to the sharp-end of the grid in qualifying, he was unable to get close to pole position ? a feat that he had achieved in Zhuhai two weeks back. As a result he had to settle for fourth on the grid but there were other contributing factors as well.