Columns Motorsport Trentham Sleaves

2014 Russian GP preview

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F1 journalist and world’s smuggest man TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race


There’s something wonderful about arriving at a brand new track on the F1 calendar and savouring the paddock atmosphere for the first time, as I did yesterday. Though the air is tinged with sadness following the awful, awful accident that befell my dear friend Jules Bianchi, it is also full of hope and the excitement of the new.

I said as much to my old mate Ron Dennis as we walked together down the pit lane this morning. ‘Please terminate your parallel perambulatory course and cease forthwith this unrequested conversational gambit,’ he quipped! As those who know him well, and I do of course, Ron has always had a marvelous sense of humour!

A new track means new experiences outside of the paddock and I certainly enjoyed one of those as I dined alone at a charming little Italian place I had been recommended by a certain ex-driver and 1996 World Champion who shall remain nameless! The food was revolting and the service appalling but the view was something else. It was of a human waste processing facility! Dear old Damo always did have the most wonderfully mischievous sense of humour to those who know him well, which of course I do!

As to who will take victory on this freshly minted hallowed turf of motorsport, I think the newness of this venue makes any speculation utterly foolish. Suffice to say, I think the Mercedes will have it but Red Bull could be in with a shout and you could never discount Williams or Ferrari though don’t be surprised if the McLarens have a point to prove as well. Whatever happens, rest assured I will have an excellent trackside view of all the action.

Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.