En route to Oz
Well, this is a first for me. Just a couple of weeks after writing my first blog, I'm composing this one at 35,000 feet somewhere above China as I join the bulk of our production team who are all on-board as we head to Melbourne for race one.
I just glanced out of the window at China at night - twinkling lights following a river that seemed to be impossibly curvy and above me the thinnest slither of moon with what was probably a satellite glimmering inside the crescent. Quite something.
As ever my timing is perfection. Ledgy - as everyone calls commentator Jonathan Legard - is sitting next to me and clearly he's got the right idea. He prepared for his first TV F1 commentary by sleeping like a baby for five hours. I need to get my globetrotting skills as well polished as his.
I drunk too much bottled water, needed the loo, clambering over a dozy commentator in the dark cabin, returned and repeated the whole process about another five times.
And the timing? Well I'd decided if sleeping was going to remain elusive, I'd better be productive. I got out the table, struggled to extract my Mac from the overhead cabin, and, having got this far, breakfast has just arrived. I'm paranoid that as I peel back the foil on the plastic OJ carton it'll cover the keyboard... the food can wait.
Anyway, sorry I've been slack on the blog for a few days. The past week just flew by!
It included a trip to Stuttgart to meet Mercedes Motorsport. And what a treat it was.
Mark Wilkin our F1 editor, Jonathan, David Coulthard and I met up with Norbert Haug, who heads up their division and is clearly concerned about McLaren's current predicament. But he made it clear that until the moment the red lights go out at Albert Park they will be working on developments to push up the grid and try to put what seems like a very disappointing winter test programme behind them.
We also got a chance to look at some of Mercedes's most precious cars, which are kept in a low-key, non-descript white building in a residential area of the city.
We got the chance to see Mercedes race cars from across the generations, including Fangio's title winning W196 from the 1954 season, the car with which Lewis Hamilton snatched the title last year and, just for the record, DC even recognised his 1999 race car even though it was covered by a protective cloth!
It was a good day. Mercedes were very open, honest and seem to want to have a close working relationship with us during the coming season - bodes well.
The week was also dominated by the announcement that "the winner takes all" this season, which was then swiftly delayed until 2010. I enjoyed reading all your comments and thoughts on how you think it would have affected the racing had it been implemented immediately.
Eddie Jordan seemed to think it would improve the spectacle for the drivers at the front, and give the smaller teams the chance to scrap for points. Whereas DC told me that no driver just settles for second place anyway. He reckons "we settled for second spot" basically means "we weren't quick enough"!
Well, the above argument can wait for the next 12 months, anyway. I'm more interested in how you feel that the most fundamental rules and regulations are being chopped and changed just a few days before this wonderful sport begins a season that is promising more than ever before.
A few of you seemed really disappointed with the decision, I just hope that it didn't burst your "pre-season bubble" and that you can see past those headlines and remember all the things we should be positive about as Melbourne approaches.
And after all, it means F1 has been all over the front and back pages once again - is there such a thing as bad publicity?
Anyway, time for Slumdog Millionaire and on with the flight. I really can't wait to arrive and soak up the atmosphere of my first Australian GP. I feel so lucky to be on my way and look forward to sharing the build up with you.
Have a good week,