The aftermath of Shanghai and the race to get back home

April 20, 2010

Mark Webber (pictured with my co-author Richard West) has found a way back to Scotland, but losing his passport won't have helped!

One of the most interesting things about the blog and twitter traffic from the F1 fraternity at Shanghai was how the main focus was really about ‘how the hell do we get out of Shanghai, to be ready for Barcelona?’ rather than the race itself. I’m sure we’ll hear more on this subject as (or if!) everyone gets back – Mark Webber had recently tweeted that he was flying into Scotland with (team boss) Christian Horner and had also managed to lose his passport – so he should have an interesting experience getting into the UK.

But what about the race in China? Well the rain provided the drama yet again, and it was certainly an entertaining event, with a few moments that are likely to run for a while. First the tension between McLaren and Red Bull Racing (over McLaren’s assertions that Red Bull had an illegal suspension system) appears to be growing with a pitstop incident that led to both Hamilton and Vettel being reprimanded. Second an incident between Ferrari drivers Alonso and Massa, when Alonso overtook Massa in the pit lane and thereby managed to both pass him and make him wait to have his tyres changed, has led to much speculation from the Italian press that this was Alonso asserting his number one status on the team. It certainly looked reminiscent of the old Alonso vs Hamilton battle, and Ferrari, as ever, have kept their dirty washing safely locked behind closed doors, but it doesn’t look like the speculation will die down, particularly as everyone in Ferrari from Chairman Luca di Montezemolo down is having to make statements to say everything is fine between the drivers – let’s hope they don’t have to sit next to each other when travelling economy class back to Rome (as reported by Joe Saward at http://joesaward.wordpress.com/)!

The other interesting development is that Jenson Button is building up his stock at McLaren, with another well executed victory. Lewis has certainly been keeping everyone entertained, but now seems to recognize that all his swashbuckling efforts do not appear to have delivered much in the way of points> He is saying he is now going to try and follow the ‘easy’ route – it will be interesting to see how easy he finds it.

So for Spain we will have plenty of stories about how people got back from Shanghai and the logistical challenges faced by the teams to get their equipment back. Let’s not forget that most of them are planning some significant upgrades for Spain, so it will be all hands on deck and burning the midnight oil as usual.

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