Terrible F1 journalist TRENTHAM SLEAVES looks forward to this weekend’s race
There’s a fantastic magic in the air here in wonderful China which you can’t truly appreciate unless you are here in the fabulous paddock, allowing it to flood your nostrils and give you another marvellous asthma attack.
F1 may be a relatively new sport here in Shanghai but my goodness, to be here feels like coming home. I said as much to my old friend Ron Dennis, whom I bumped into after following him back to his hotel. ‘Please take appropriate measures to disengage yourself from this social interaction with immediate effect,’ he quipped. That’s dear old Ronnie for you. Such a terrific sense of humour!
Last night I dined alone in a charming little backstreet restaurant which modesty prevents me from naming. Ordering food in China can be daunting for some but I speak a little Cantonese of course and found no such problems. As I tucked into my photocopier instruction manual covered in hot water and raw owl, I had time to reflect on something my old mate Jenson Button once said when I asked him about China. ‘Yea, it’s alright,’ he mused. ‘But how did you get into my motorhome again? I’m calling security.’ Jens has always been a real wag!
Later, while wandering the bright, modern streets of the city I saw my old chum Damon Hill across the street. Sadly Damo ran away before we could chat, but as I continued my stroll I was reminded first hand of something I’ve considered for some while: The crisp, high tech world of Shanghai is a perfect fit for F1 in 2015 and so much more appropriate than the crusty old world circuits such as Monza, Silverstone and Spa, as indeed I said in my letter to Formula 1 management, begging them to renew my press accreditation.
Of course, the most important thing here in China is who will take the chequered flag on Sunday. In my view, the answer is pretty obvious: It will be Mercedes, unless Ferrari pull something special out of the bag again, and you can never discount a Williams, though Red Bull could still surprise. That’s my view, and I’m sticking to it!
Of course, whatever happens this weekend, you can rest assured that I’ll have a superb vantage point from which to watch the action. Because remember, I’m here and you’re not.