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A great weekend - and now longer - in China

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Jake Humphrey | 12:07 UK time, Monday, 19 April 2010

Right about now, I should have been home for a couple of hours. My wife had taken the day off work and we were going to spend the time doing something together.

Well, as things stand I'm writing this in my hotel room in China and Harriet is (hopefully still) planning to make some choux buns for my eventual return - man, I love my wife!

It's such a strange experience here at the moment. I just spoke with Pedro de la Rosa, who is having a desperately unlucky season driving for Sauber, and his luck is out in this situation, too. He was downstairs in reception just moping about not sure how or when he'll make it home. And he isn't alone.

Many people have sent me Twitter messages saying that with Force India's Vijay Mallya, Lotus's Tony Fernandes, and Virgin's Richard Branson all owning airlines, surely there is a way out of this for the F1 community. Well, it seems the problem is that no matter who you are, how much money you have and whatever businesses you own, if airports are closed because a volcano is erupting, you're stuck!

Anyway, I have my camera and I will be doing a travelogue blog in a few days so you can see for yourselves how we made it out of this sorry mess... and as ever I'm sure there are people far worse off than us.

Back to the racing. What a fantastic weekend for Formula 1, hey? A highlight for me was some of the action around the racing.

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I love walking on to the grid pre-race. It is such a fantastic buzz; you can honestly feel the electricity and adrenalin on that asphalt with the eyes of the world homed in on 24 of the world's fastest machines.

The security are particularly officious here in China, so I popped to see the man guarding the gate before we went on air to warn him we'd be coming through.

If you watch the footage back on iPlayer, though, you can see he still looks for David Coulthard's accreditation. Seeing a driver on the grid minutes before the start makes you feel so nervous for them. They're brave guys.

Anyway, after being on the grid we handed the reins to Martin Brundle, who did his usual stuff on the grid walk, and we headed back to the paddock.

Now, thanks to the contacts that assistant editor Steve has developed, we were allowed to walk through the McLaren garage. As we arrived there at the same time as Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, David and I wished them luck. Button turned round and said to DC: "Your turn in a week, mate!"

Of course, David's return to racing (ash permitting!) in the DTM is in just a few days' time, but how impressive of 'JB' to remember that, just moments before his own afternoon under pressure. For the record, DC went as white as a sheet!

Hamilton was also in good spirits. We were chatting about his girlfriend, the pop singer Nicole Scherzinger, who is currently starring in Dancing with the Stars, the US version of Strictly Come Dancing. Lewis said she was working unbelievably hard to make it a success, but I imagine the moves he is pulling on the track at the moment put hers well in the shade.

McLaren have got two top-line world champions, both driving out of their skins and giving each other the ultimate benchmark. It's impressive to watch. How they'll both be wishing they could drive the MP4-25s back to the Europe right now!

Post-race, we decided to stay near the scrutineering bay for the first time, to give viewers a close-up look at a car post-race. We see them in the garages, all clean and perfect, but after 200 miles in the rain they look very different.

Nico Rosberg's Mercedes was caked in dirty rainwater, probably from fighting off the competition from the McLaren boys most of the time, but again he put in a truly stellar performance to put Michael Schumacher in the shade.

Rosberg joined us during the the F1 Forum on the red button, for which we were in the Mercedes area in the paddock. Their motorsport boss Norbert Haug loyally defended Schumacher to the hilt but what do you guys think? Will Michael re-find his form or spend the next three weeks questioning his decision to return to F1?

Anyway, as I glance out of the window at the rainy suburb of Shanghai that has been our home for the week, it occurs that once again it was a race made by this dodgy weather. The likes of Renault's Robert Kubica and Force India's Adrian Sutil rose to the occasion, congratulations to Vitaly Petrov for picking up points, and there was a Lotus in front of a Williams... that's a big worry for the Grove outfit, eh?

Right, I know this is a slightly shorter than usual blog, but I've just received a text saying: "UK airports still shut, Frankfurt also currently closed but we have a seat on a plane due to head there so we're off to the airport in 20 minutes - meet downstairs." Right, I need to pack on a time limit now and I'm not great when I've got a whole morning...

Final point - Eddie Jordan, we missed you this weekend!! It felt rather odd only doing one pre-show high five in the pit lane rather that two. But we weren't as frustrated as the man himself, stranded in London because of the volcano that is now keeping me in China.

I'm sure he won't mind me sharing this message exchange with you:

15 April, 4.09pm.
Jake - EJ... what news??
15 April, 4.17pm.
EJ - Trying everything Jake, Paris just closing. I just want to be with you two. I have mega shirts! EJ.

You've got to love the guy!

By the time you read this I'm not sure where I'll be. Fingers crossed it isn't the floor of Pudong Airport!

Jake

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    super

  • Comment number 2.

    Hey Jake, Great Blog.
    Feel a lot of sympathy about your situation, but home you get back soon.
    Heard on the news this morning that this weekends MotoGP has been postponed due the Ash, so no sport to watch this weekend now.
    Safe trip when you get the chance.
    Shame about EJ, sounded like he really was torn up at no being there in Shanghai

  • Comment number 3.

    I would have thought McLaren could have given you a go in the MP4-25 since they are presumably all stuck with you, but I suppose that would count as mid-season testing!

    Tough luck Jake, keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 4.

    Awesome blog once again, Jake. It was a little strange not seeing EJ there with you but some things can't be helped! Hope you can get home soon, and look forward to seeing you again in 3 weeks!

  • Comment number 5.

    Good luck getting home Jake, really enjoyed the coverage this week, especially the extra effort that went into getting Eddie Jordan on air. Absolutely fantastic job as always.

    I have to ask, was Bernie Ecclestone just pulling your leg in the pre-race interview since he did seem quite abrupt?

  • Comment number 6.

    Great stuff Jake. Hope you get back ok! Looking forward to seeing this 'travel documentary'....

    Great to see Ant on the red button. Have often wondered if you could get him involved. Love the 5live commentry so makes a fantastic team when combining the too! Do get Ant's name right though in future.......

  • Comment number 7.

    Great blog as ever. I hope you get home soon (and safely!).

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 9.

    good luck getting home mate, hope the choux buns are good! top job again this weekend.

  • Comment number 10.

    Does anybody else think Michael Schumacher is guilty of a lack of respect for the younger generation in Formula One? For the multi times World Champion to come out of retirement is a strange decision, what did he have to prove? I really believe he thought he was better than the current crop of kids, however Rosberg has well and truly taught him a lesson. I loved watching Schumacher arrogantly wiping the floor with any rivals, he was head and shoulders above the rest, the only thing I ever regretted was not having the opportunity to see Senna and Schumacher banging wheels.
    I think Schumacher's return highlights just how good the current crop of drivers really are; Hamilton, Button, Massa, Alonso, Vettel and Rosberg are all fantastic drivers. Kubica, Sutil, Webber also give good support to the grid.
    We genuinely have a top quality grid full of great drivers and unfortunately Michael Schumacher looks like he has been left behind.

  • Comment number 11.

    All this time & still you pack last minute! Re Schumi, I think his defending of Lewis showed he still has his old form. I know people think it's an excise but I think Mercedes are right when they say the car doesn't suit him. He spent years having cars designed around him and this is the first tome that's not happened for a long time. If Merc can get the car to his liking I think he will be mixing it with the rest and beating Nico. Nico meanwhile has been impressive in & out of the car, keeping his head down & getting on with it. Lewis is more concerning he seems to have hot back the wildness that charcterised his first season with McLaren.

  • Comment number 12.

    Great weekend's racing and a great weekend's coverage as usual. Shame Eddie couldn't make it but was glad he still featured in some capacity. Was good to see Anthony Davison on the forum, perhaps we could hear from him and Crofty in the forum after every race? Love their work in the practice sessions but I'm sure the majority of race viewers never get to hear their commentary or their views on the race (as good as they are I'd miss Martin's race commentary). Seems a shame they get so little exposure.

  • Comment number 13.

    Great blog Jake. Another great weekend of racing. However - I am sad to see no love was given to the mighty Norwich City being promoted this weekend!

  • Comment number 14.

    why would you consider it a great weekend for F1? could it be because Button & Hamilton came first and second? I don't recall you showing such joy after Ferrari's one-two in Bahrain. In terms of competetive driving yesterdays race was a farce, completely disrupted by the intermittent rain which compelled drivers to gamble on which tyres to go with - of course it was entertaining to watch, but the overall result was simply down to luck

  • Comment number 15.

    i wonder if the removed posts are a reality check to that of his DC's, brundle's constant hamilton sniping and unfettered button bias! laughable!!!
    i'm just wondering who you think you are, taking lewis to task regarding comments to 'his' pit-crew (australia) which you have had a bee in your bonnet about since.
    just stick to reading autocue and leave the 'REAL' stars of the show to do what they do!! hence their multimillion dollar price tags!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 16.

    Fantastic race this weekend - well worth getting up for.

    Would love for Martin to have a real go at explaining in more detail how it is the Red Bulls are always fastest in quali but not in a race. Or, from a different angle, why the McLaren's can't seem to get it together for quali but are always up there in the races. And why have Ferrari been so anonymous so far? I've almost forgotten about them yet they were most people's favourites this year.

  • Comment number 17.

    Hi Jake, great race and we are in for a cracking season. The Schumacher problem is anoying and frustrating, but here is something that might help the guy! I am good friends with a world renound astrologer and what he said about MSC was a bit wierd and crazy but who am I to argue the guy helps Hollywood types! He said that we all have auras/colours that change as we get older, if we are surounded by these colours we attract what we want- bring us luck. To cut a long conversation short MSC is in his forties, his colours for this period is steel blue and the colours that surround it ie, greys, blacks, blue, the car is right, overalls right, helmet wrong!! According to him red totally not what he should be wearing right now but white including all the above mentioned colours- back to what he had when he started out? I dont know if this stuff works but this guy knows what he is talking about so if you have any pull with MSC let the guy know and hopfuly will bring him some luck for Barcelona. P.S. He said pale blue will rocket your career. bobster

  • Comment number 18.

    Great blog as always Jake!

    Any tips on where we can watch DC in the DTM?

  • Comment number 19.

    Good blog again Jake.

    It was a shame that the pass on Massa by Alonso wasn't discussed in the forum. I think that despite what has been said it is the start of the nd for their fragile relationship. It's a shame really as FA would like a teamate who he can beat.

    Would like to see Kubica there if Massa was to move on. He wouldn't stand for moves like that.

    Good luck getting back home, looking forward to the back to back in three weeks.

  • Comment number 20.

    you've just sent me an email saying you've not posted my comments because they're 'off topic' I notice that post number 10, 11 and 12 have completely nothing to do with the topic, unlike my comments that are in direct reference to Mr Humphrey's article - obviously i don't agree with his sentiments of the weekend, however there's nothing in the rules to say i have to agree

    if you have house rules, then stick to them and stop wasting my time

  • Comment number 21.

    It was great coverage, I'm stranded in Spain and listen to both the Uk and Spanish coverage during the race - they didn't pick up on the rule which meant there was no problem with Hamilton overtaking Webber after the SC restart, so it was good to know what was going on. They're up in arms that Lewis got off lightly after the Vettel Pitlane incident - though it would have been worse if Alonso hadn't done half of the same thing a few laps later!

  • Comment number 22.

    Excellent coverage as always. Well done to everyone involved. I thoroughly enjoy all the pre race build up, the reports and interviews are always top notch.
    Picked up a comment last week about you not using an autocue Jake and have become more conscious of this and couldn't help but notice how effortless you make it appear!! The interview with Bernie seemed a tad awkward so well done for persevering and navigating through Mr Ecclestone's one word answers.
    Other notable observations were DC questioning Force India test driver Paul di Resta's about his laps around the circuit. Is DC looking for a Team Principal position? Very probing. The guy had a good answer for all his questions though. Also when the BBC cameraman backed into a wall in the Red Bull garage and a disgruntled mechanic caught on shot looking at the culprit. Made me titter.
    Excellent blog as always Jake, keep up the good work and hope that you are able to hot foot it out of China very soon.

  • Comment number 23.

    Another great show from the BBC. Shame that this whole volcano situation is making life difficult, but I'm sure there are more ways to travel around the world than aeroplanes, and you'll find a way soon enough.

    If I had one major criticism though it would be the commentating style of Johnathan Leggard. I'm sure he's very well informed and knows the sport well enough, but he seems to constantly make mistakes, and always shouts over the top of Martin. I guess coming from a radio background he naturally feels he must describe exactly what he sees all of the time, but seems to forget sometimes that us viewers can see it well enough for ourselves.

    I'd switch to the 5live commentary but I just can't imagine watching F1 without Martin Brundle. He's the voice of F1 these days. If they could just pair him up with Crofty or Maurice Hamilton, or dare I say it, even bring back James Allen. Anything would be preferabble to Leggard.

    Otherwise though, top stuff as always.

  • Comment number 24.

    Jake

    If you think Hamilton’s performance outshone his girlfriends; you didn't watch her performance last week mate, She was phenomenal!

  • Comment number 25.

    why would you consider it a great weekend for F1? could it be because Button & Hamilton came first and second? I don't recall you showing such joy after Ferrari's one-two in Bahrain.

    ------------------------------------

    Well considering Jake is also British and Bahrain was one of the most boring races in F1 history...

    What a boring place the world would be if we all shared the same views on life.

  • Comment number 26.

    Jake you going to have to get on a slow boat FROM China to get back.

    Race was brilliant, predicted before the race that JB was going to win.

  • Comment number 27.

    Jake! Great blog as always, of course!

    I'm stuck in Shanghai with the F1 circus too having come for my 21st birthday!

    Any chance of a pint tomorrow if you're still stuck here? :P :)

  • Comment number 28.

    By and large I am a very big fan of the BBC's coverage but after watching the build up to yesterday's race I feel compelled to comment.

    I am of course referring to the interview with Bernie Ecclestone. Jake, you need to be authoritative with him rather than accepting his banal, one word answers. It came across that you were frightened of him and he definitely exploits this. After reading EJ's autobiography it may be worth asking your mate for some advice on how to do this without getting chucked out of the paddock.

    Go on, you can do it!

  • Comment number 29.

    I wish I was stuck in china for a week. I loved it when I went travelling around there end of last year.
    If you are stuck in china for a while jake, I recommend heading to guangxi province, if the weather is good the scenery is breathtaking.

    Good race again and good result too. It was weird not seeing Eddie with you and DC, you should of put a framed photo on a chair and every time he spoke the camera could of panned to the picture, just for a bit of comedy!

    Keep up the good work. Hopefully be watching you all in spain, ash permitting.

  • Comment number 30.

    @Bobster - #17:

    I'm sure that stuff works, which is why all the teams spend so much money making sure their cars are the right colours for their drivers, and totally ignore all that aerodynamics mumbo-jumbo...

  • Comment number 31.

    I hope you get home soon Jake and Great news about NCFC! Secure the title this weekend! Good times.

    About Schumacher, I think it has surprised everyone that he does not have the speed but after watching this weekend I am thinking that it is not so much his speed thats at fault but his ability so set the car up. Everytime he exited a corner he couldn't get the power on and when he did put what power he could the car looked very hard to drive. This must have cost him big time. I think they need to look at how the car delivers the power on his car because it doesn't look like it suites him at the moment. Hopefully they can sort it out and we will see him higher up the grid.

    Oh and I am not a Schumacher fan I just want to see Lewis & Jenson beat him when he racing up the front.

    Jenson or Lewis for the title, don't mind which as long as it British and keeps the F1 title here for 3rd year in a row! Has that ever happened before with any country?

  • Comment number 32.

    Great Blog Jake...Ash cloud meant I was stuck in Shanghai and made it to the GP...Had great seats by last set of corners, awesome watching the drivers come down there at full pelt then break like made.Wet race made it even more exciting...Looking at similar Shanghai suburb now...Good luck getting home

  • Comment number 33.

    Great blog Jake.

    You will be pleased to know our local team Norwich City gained promotion to cheer you up!!

    Never ever right Schumi off...........

  • Comment number 34.

    Hopfully the German airports will be open as they think they can beat the ash. Great blog and can't wait for the photos

  • Comment number 35.

    Jake, read the blog and can only think it is mainly an unecessary pain caused by dim governments that you cant travel back at least to somewhere closer.
    Yes it was a great race with plenty going on. Great drives by Jenson and Lewis and Nico is being Mr Consistent - a loss for Williams I think.
    I think the interview with Norbert Haug was interesting - I think he is right - Schuey will get there. The car had a fault in setup because it had no traction in qualifying and no changes were able to be made before the race, so its unlikely the car healed itself in parc ferme.

    When can we expect a report on Williams - I am getting ticked off with so little news about them - surely there is a story there even if its a what is going on with this once great team article?

    Hope you get back soon.

  • Comment number 36.

    It was a great race, who cares if the weather played a part? If it hadn't we'd probably have been left with another Bahrain snoozefest.

    Good luck getting back Jake.

    PS you can see DC in DTM at Brands Hatch in Kent!

  • Comment number 37.

    Hi Jake,

    Great coverage this weekend - but I have to admit I missed EJ. Not something I though I would say (especially at the start of last season). I thought DC did a really good job of interviewing on his own (with MW and others). Very impressed with his approach and attitude and would love to see him given more features. Although obviously he isn't quite up to your standards considering the little hints you were giving him on the grid to put his mic closer to his mouth.

    That is one thing that I think could be improved on - through no fault of yours - the sound quality is sometimes poor due to noisy F1 engines and poor signal. Not sure what you could do but there must be something.

    Good luck getting home for China - there are worse places to be stuck, but I guess after a busy few weeks at the start of the season you were looking forward to some time with the wife!

  • Comment number 38.

    As ever great (but short) blog.

    Your poor wife, I hope her work allows her another day off when ever you manage to get home.

    Brilliant race, brilliant result. For Hamilton who loves driving through the pack, a great result and for the guy who loves controlling the pack, an outstanding result. And to be leading the WDC again - get in there! And not to forget Mclaren who are now leading the Constructors as well.
    I would love for the last 20 years of stats saying, all but 4 WDC were won with the man in 1st by the 4th race to be true this year but with the new points system, I can see this could be very hard to maintain (but you can only hope)!

    See you in Spain (even if that means a road trip out there)
    Amanda

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi Jake, another excellent blog. Coverage once again was excellent dispite EJ not being there. Question: why didn't EJ catch the same flight as yourself and David? Anyway, the race was truly awesome. Fantactic result for McLaren, both drivers drove brilliantly. One other question, how long will be until Massa and Alonso remain 'team mates' answer: not very long. Alonso is an excellent driver but why does he never play the team mate now and again? Lets hope everyone gets to Spain!

  • Comment number 40.

    Jake great blog and show as ever. Can I ask how you and DC made it too Shanghai yet EJ didnt. I thought you flew together.

  • Comment number 41.

    Love your blog so much Jake. Nice to meet BBC team here. I went to the circuit to see the race and missed your coverage this time. It must be a good one because I saw you walking through the pitlane and grid on the main grandstand. The security here are always officious, those guys know nothing about Formula 1, their tasks were checking whether your pass match the correct patterns of entry passes. Hope you can go back to UK asap to taste your wife's buns. And it was really a good weekend for me to witness Mclaren got 1-2 finish here for the first time. My friends and I enjoyed the race and awaiting for your coverage in Spain

  • Comment number 42.

    Great show over the weekend Jake - you went well against Bernie in your interview- its quite obvious he isnt the easiest person to talk to! Im glad you showed us the texts from EJ- shows how much he is still enjoying the sport after all these years. Just a minor point- perhaps DC could show him alittle bit more respect. Yes its funny taking the p#ss out of EJ the odd time- but not the whole time.

  • Comment number 43.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 44.

    I didn't notice a Button bias or anti-Hamilton sentiment as others seemed to but do agree that the interview with Bernie was a little odd, although I always remember Bernie like that - he's not one to elaborate if there's nothing to elaborate on.

    Otherwise I loved this weekend's coverage. The EJ phone call was fanastic, especially Sat's when he called them a couple of muppets. Good old EJ!

    Nice clipboard this week Jake! ;)

  • Comment number 45.

    Jake, was at my first Grand Prix in Shanghai. Went with low expectations and was blown away. Sat opposite the pits and saw Hamilton and Empty Vessel have a dog fight exiting after tyre change nearly taking out the poor Williams boys. Even though Button won the sheer brilliance of Hamilton on a wet track had to be seen to be believed. I am a convert.
    PS if you are still stuck let me know and I will take you out for a hot pot.

  • Comment number 46.

    great race but who agrees with me when i say that hamilton is a better driver than button. hamilton obliterated him on track in china and in all the other races, but button has made expert tire calls. however, hamilton is the better driver.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think Schumacher's return was always going to be beset with high expectations (he is the 7 time championship winner). Schumacher has come back to a sport that has moved on leaps and bounds since his last F1 season in 2006. I would have loved Schumacher to come back and win every race but at the same time I'm not surprised that he isn't.

    The biggest question for me is when is the pole position sitter going to win the race???

    Good luck with the journey home, hope it isn't too much of an ordeal.

  • Comment number 48.

    Hi Jake, good luck on getting home!

    I know Bahrain was boring/processional/monotonous etc., and understandably it recieved a fair amount of criticism. However, I think the 3 races since have been suerb from a spectator's point of view, and all the pre-season hype is now starting to become justifiable. I think this season could well be an absolute cracker and one of the best ever.

    Last word for Jenson- what a sensational driver. Never really got a chance at Renault/BAR/Honda, but the last couple of years he has been dominant. There is no reason why he cannot defend his title this year.

  • Comment number 49.

    Jake good blog but improve on presenting with david don`t be bias to jenson

  • Comment number 50.

    And he's off, lewishamiltonforever managing to get his posts moderated immediately, are you accusing all and sundry of racism again?
    Reading your posts is similar to watching John Sergeant on Come Dancing, but without the endearing personality!

    Good blogs this week guys, but as you mentioned, the rain again seems to have provided us with the exciting racing we want, here's for a rainy summer!

  • Comment number 51.

    I have a huge question that I was unable to ask Mr Walker on his blog so I will ask here and hopefully someone will be able to provide me with an answer.
    Chandhok had to start from the pit lane when he needed to do some work on his car, I believe it had to do with hydrolics. Anyway, the work he needed to do meant he needed to start from the pit lane. In interests of fairness, Vettel needed to rebuild the clutch system for his car and this is mechanical is it not? How come it is then that he was permitted to start from pole and not have to start from the pit lane?

    Thanks in advance for the correct answer.

  • Comment number 52.

    A great weekend's coverage once again Jake- not the same without EJ being there in person but at least I didn't get a migraine from looking at his shirt!!

    Regarding Schumacher, for me the most telling moment was Ross Brawn's answer when he was asked why he wasn't on the pace. Ross just replied, "Good question". No defence of his driver, no explanations about tyres or set-up, just that. It sounded as though even Ross is beginning to wonder whether Schumacher still has what it takes.

    I was always a massive fan of his, and I hope he hasn't made a mistake by returning to the sport, but if he doesn't improve pretty quickly, then I wonder how long he'll stick at it.

    Hope you make it home soon, keep us informed of your progress when you get a moment!!

  • Comment number 53.

    Great blog as usual, Jake

    I was nervous wreck for last 20 laps and want so bad for Jenson to win. Hey, he did! Lol!

    It will echo into my memory for life!!

    One favor - Next time could you plan to ask Brundle to explain what grains on tyre and what effect on car?

    I am bit vague with it and will love to learn more about it.

    Doc

  • Comment number 54.

    Hi Jake - fantastic race weekend, well done to you all for the spetacular coverage as usual. Yes I too missed EJ but my disappointment was totally forgotten by Jenson winning. Yippee! Please can I make a suggestion/plea for your highlights show please? Could we see some more of the other driver interviews after the race? Hope you get home safe soon.

  • Comment number 55.

    JAKE IN THE NEXT F1 RACE COULD YOU PLEASE GET COULTHARD TO CLARIFY WHETHER HE IS COMING BACK INTO THE SPORT NEXT YEAR PLEASE I'D REALLY LIKE TO KNOW AS THEN THERE COULD BE 3 BRITISH DRIVERS AND COULD AIM FOR A 1-2-3 FINISH!!!!
    CAN'T W8 AND HOPE YOU LET ME KNTHANKS
    BEN WILLIAMS(leicester)

  • Comment number 56.

    Hamilton is a better driver than Button. If you put them in the same car on the same track in the same conditions, Hamilton would put in a better lap than Button. Button has more experience than Hamilton and it has shown in the first 4 races. But one thing that really bugs me is people saying Hamilton can't manage his tyres. In Hungary last year he wasn't in the fastest car but still won easily because he managed his tyres to better than anyone else. He can be aggressive but also conservative too.

  • Comment number 57.

    Great blog. Hope you guys make it out of China. At least your blog is not as polarising as Andres Benson's. Keep up the good work, giving all views from different perspectives.

  • Comment number 58.

    Haved loved this year so far and everything the BBC has brought to F1 since they came back to where they should be, keep up the great work. I can't believe I'm going to say this after watching the first couple of shows when you first returned, but I really missed EJ this weekend, you all make a up great presenting team, with one exception maybe (you know who you are!). My only disappiontment came this weekend when I couldn't get to watch the race live due to my sister being down with her three kids all under the age of five. I managed to avoid all news and radio till she left at around midday, turned on the web and longed into the BBC website. On the banner 'watch race re-run', thought lovely, onle one click away from catching the race. Click and then faced with the next big banner 'Button pips H...'. How ************* was I! The raced made up for it though, tip top, lets hope the rain continues in Europe this summer!! Go JB, love to see you keep the number one for next season, long over due to a great driver.

  • Comment number 59.

    Fantastic read as ever Jake. Looking forward to your Travelogue Blog. If you can do your own laundry you could try and simply land in Spain and just stay there until the grand prix unless you have filming commitments.

  • Comment number 60.

    Great so this blog's on pre-mod now ... can I guess which clown is responsible for bringing this about?

    Good luck getting back home Jake.

  • Comment number 61.

    Iain

    I beleive (but could be proved wrong) that Chandok choose to start from the pit lane so he could change the set up of his car (to a wet set up) as that is allowed if you start from the pit lane. But as I said I could be completly wrong on Chandok

  • Comment number 62.

    I can't remember which team mate of Schumacher's it was, possibly Eddie Irvine, but one of them really struggled with a car that was designed for Schumacher's style, with a really sharp turn in. He's not got that now, as you could see from the much tighter line Hamilton took when he finally overtook him on the straight, so it's little wonder he's a bit off the pace at the moment. The car wasn't designed for him, so I doubt he'll close the gap significantly for a while and if the team would want to focus on him to the exclusion of a very promising team mate, as they have in the past. I'd be surprised if they can adapt the car to his style easily.

    I thought the BBC's presentation of the weekend was superb and the interview with Nico Rosberg for the forum was funny. Something tells me EJ wasn't prepared to ask a question.

    UK airports are opening tomorrow Jake, so safe journey home and I hope you enjoy your wife's buns when you get there.

  • Comment number 63.

    Enjoyed the coverage again, despite Jordan being grounded. I think you, him and DC work very well together, but I have to agree with mazdachris about Legard.

    If I was Martin Brundle, I'd find the constant interruptions infuriating. Say what you will about James Allen, he worked much better with Martin and at least let him speak.

    His style might work for radio, but I really don't think he's adapted to TV very well.

    As for Schumacher's struggles - it's probably the first time since about 1993 that he's not driven a car designed solely for him (with the possible exception of 1996). I've got no doubt he'll get up to speed, though.

  • Comment number 64.

    Another fantastic blog, Jake, I love reading them after every race. Sorry you're stuck in China, good luck getting home... whenever that finally happens!

    Another brilliant grand prix, proving that Formula 1 isn't boring in the slighest. It keeps coming back bigger and more sensational than ever.

    So here is to another exciting grand prix in Spain, and the welcome return of Eddie Jordan's next shirt!

  • Comment number 65.

    Jake. The race is on.
    Who gets back to the u.k. first?.
    You from Shanghi or Unclemunckle from Austin?

  • Comment number 66.

    Norwich promoted.
    Posh demoted.
    They pass like ships in the night.
    just like Jason and Lewis did to Schumacher.

  • Comment number 67.

    Jake

    A huge thank you to you and the BBC team; as an F1 fan I feel totally spoilt by the excellent coverage. All the build up, the F1 Forum, the blogs, the tweets - it's nearly enough to see me through the gaps between races!

    The last three races have been brilliant although as a Hamilton fan I'd love to see his amazing drives convert to wins. I agree with others that Schumacher is not to be written off but I have to admit I am enjoying watching him struggle...

    Hope you get home soon and enjoy that day off with Harriet!

  • Comment number 68.

    Enjoyed the race coverage again this weekend Jake. Tonights news is of improving conditions above the UK, so you may not have too much longer to wait.

    I would agree with Posts #22 and #28 regarding the Bernie interview. He is never an easy interviewee, and I feel his evasive one word answers didn't make a great interview. I also think that the EJ shirt references can be put on the back burner for a while. It is good to have the banter and the occasional low blows between you all, however it should be the action first and foremost as the main point of discussion.

    I thought DC was excellent this weekend especially his interview with the Red Bull team manager. His presentation skills are coming really well, and to me seems to be a safe pair of hands flying solo. Great contributions from Martin Brundle and Ted Kravitz as always.

    Amongst the main news of the day here is that Adrian Chiles is transfering to ITV. Are you in the running for Match of the Day 2 next season? I think you would be good for that show, however it would be a shame to loose you from F1. I think Grand Prix programme would be poorer without you. Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 69.

    Hi Jake,

    any chance of giving Ian Carter from BBC Golf blogging tips. Good effort.

  • Comment number 70.

    Hi Jake

    Just like to echo the sentiments of people above in thanking the BBC team in the job they have done in presenting the sport, far surpasses the junk I had known with ITV coverage, thank god for no adverts!

    Personally, I couldn't really enjoy the race on Sunday, I mean I could appreciate that it was entertaining and captivitating, but not enjoyable.

    As a massive Schumacher fan, I found it extremely painful watching a man who at his peak was the best bar none (in history as well as his contemparories in my opinion)getting overtaken relativly easily by the likes of Sutil and Petrov. Such a shame to see a man who was so good in his prime reduced to not even a pale shadow of that. If Schumacher doesn't improve in the European season, is there any chance of Merecedes being cruel to be kind and promoting Nick Heidfeld or even recruiting Mr Raikonnen?

    Good luck on getting back though Jake, talk of European airports being partially reopened tomorrow, so here's hoping!

  • Comment number 71.

    Jake, why no Schumacher in the Forum? You had the main players from Mercedes - Rosberg, Haug and Clear - but not Schuey. It would have been interesting to hear in more detail from the man himself why he thinks he is struggling.

  • Comment number 72.

    Good luck Jake. Hope you get home soon.

    I did think after seeing Schumacher's post race interview that he may not turn up at Barcelona. He just does not look like the same guy that loved to destroy his opponents (and team mates) whilst winning titles. Something is missing and perhaps age has caught up with him - not in terms of fitness, but the willingness to put your life on the line. I guess we forget in the modern era how at risk these guys are as they fly around the race track at 200 mph in the wet on tyres with no grip! There have been two serious accidents at the start of the races this year (and that does not take into account Buemi's double tyre blow out) and in the past they would have been fatal. At 41 with a family is he really prepared to risk it all for a title compared to young guys with neither of those responsibilities?

  • Comment number 73.

    Great Blog Jake.
    But as its been discussed on Twitter, 3 weeks before the next race!
    Great Weekend and I nearly missed it, but just woke up from sleep just as the Cameras cut from you and DC and the Offical F1 Malrky came up.
    Great win for JB, spurring him on and I didnt want Lewis to win!
    I have to think, I thought "What am I doing ?" I was shotuing at the TV going C'MON JENSON and then saying SLOW DOWN HAMILTON DONT PASS HIM!
    Ive never thought I'd be saying that!
    But a great weekend and a great win for Button in what became serious and dreadful conditions and oh and Jake, please do something about DC, he was so annoying when Red Bull dont do well, I thought the BBC had to be impartial...DC certainly isnt!

  • Comment number 74.

    James Allen was appalling... it was such a relief that he didn't come with Martin Brundle to the BBC. Legard does make some errors, but a problem is that most people love Brundle, so others are going to pale compared somewhat. If James Allen had been on, I'm not sure I could listen to him, even if it meant missing out on Martin Brundle.

    Keke Rosberg

  • Comment number 75.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 76.

    every one wants to knock schuey but give the guy a break

  • Comment number 77.

    alonso beat schumacher fair and square when ferrari was the best car on the grid. something that jenson and lewis will never be able to do..

  • Comment number 78.

    it was a decent race in china but yes most of it was luck

  • Comment number 79.

    Hi Jake,

    Great blog as always.

    I am also stuck (in the USA) because of the volcano and missed the race as a result. Any chance the Beeb could see in its heart to open up the iPlayer to the rest of the world so those that are stuck can watch the race under these exceptional circumstances?

    Cheers

  • Comment number 80.

    Tom Hicks of comment #30 - Priceless :-)

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm surprised the blog police didn't catch the last sentence of #62

    Great "double entendre"!!

  • Comment number 82.

    Why is the f1 forum never available to download on iplayer? please can we have it to download as well as stream!

  • Comment number 83.

    Hi Jake,brilliant G.P.Enjoyed watching you and D.C.Did miss E.J.Watched race under duvet eating Weetabix with a mug of tea,lovely.Hope you get home to Harriet soon.

  • Comment number 84.

    What an exciting race. A first for China!

    Re - Schumacher: Post 31 (tj) has it spot on.

    During the onboard stuff you could see Schuey needed 2 or 3 prods of the throttle before he could get traction. Thats why he was a sitting duck as he ran onto the back straight and also when he tried to exit the hairpin. He was fine on the brakes, and was the only one who kept Hamilton at bay for a couple of laps, despite knowing that he didn't have any exit speed. How many people out-brake Hamilton? Not many.

    People also forget that when Schuey was at his peak, he was with a Team that would design a car around him, his Driving style was taken into consideration. Now, he is basically driving a car 'out of the box', and although he can influence this with set up changes, there may be aspects of the car which don't agree with his style. Add to that the changes in tyres since he last drove (as Brundle points out, the Intermediates are totally different nowadays compared to what the 'Rain Meister' is used to), then he's not doing too bad.

    Further to the above, Schuey only ever really had one or two other quick Drivers racing back in his 'first' time in F1. His main Rival was Hill, then Vilneuve, then Hakkinen, then Alonso, with people like Coulthard and Montoya also mixing it up a bit. Nowadays, he doesn't have one outstandingly quick Driver to beat, he has 6 or 7, all on the same grid. And he's only in the 4th fastest car. True, Nico is getting the job done, but Schuey has taken all the bad luck for the team so far this season.

    Ironically, if he can last this season, he'll stand a better chance next season when he can have a say in the characterisitcs of the car at the design stage. For example, this car may be based on the design principles that led to a famously smooth Driver as Button winning the Championship last season, and not the sort of over-steering style of Car that Scheuy historically prefers.

    Don't give up yet Schuey. Some of us still keep the faith. Roll on Europe!

  • Comment number 85.

    Great post Jake.

    I've yet to see the BBC coverage, as I'm stuck in Europe, but I watched the GP on German TV and I have to say that their anchorman leaves EJ in the shade when it comes to shirts. In fact, it looked almost as though his had been pre-soaked. You should get him to give Eddie some lessons in dressing for TV.

    Also interesting to watch the German gridwalk: they seem to get a lot more interviews on the grid than you guys, but only with the German-speaking drivers.

  • Comment number 86.

    The coverage this year and last is great,way above itv's.Just wanted to make a few points:
    1:Did anyone else think the safety car came out unnecessarily?IMO it was a disgrace and stupid decisions like that could decide the championships.A tiny piece of debri that is so light that it could even be blowing away by the wind caused the safety to come out for 4 laps.4 whole laps!If Alonso goes on to win the championship by say 10 points,I will look back at this naive decision and think is he a worthy champion this year.After looking like scoring very few if any points Alonso scored 16 points.Kubica would be right in the mix for the championship lead also.What a story that would be.
    2.My second point is why is Martin Brundles column about stewards being too soft is pathetic.There was no danger what so ever in the Hamilton Vettel incident.Formula 1 has suffered from comments like Martins.Drivers are no longer punished for their mistakes due to massive run-off areas and more grip in and out of corners aswell as paddle gear shifting.
    Anyways I think Martin Brundel is in too much of a comfort zone atm.Well done Anthony Davidson,talks alot of sense.Anthony to replace brundel!

  • Comment number 87.


    Did any notice : Alonso passed massia when they all went in to the pits
    ( during the release of the safety car )
    So did he not then pass a car while under the safety car ?

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    jonny Post#87

    I beleive that the green flag zone (in which it is ok for a driver to overtake after a safety car deployment) begins at the final corner in Shanghi. As the pit lane entry point, at which Alonso overtook, is beyond the start point of this zone then no penalty is applied.

    It is a similar situation for Lewis Hamilton who bumped into Mark Webber whilst overtaking him at the exit of the final corner, also after the begining of the green flag zone.

  • Comment number 90.

    sam collins post86
    i partially agree with your final point. Anthony Davidson is really easy to listen to, he sounds at home on 5live. as a young chap who's still racing at a high level i find he is more able to communicate the action on screen than others who often say the opposite of what they mean to say. YES i watch the coverage with the sound off and the radio on (no digibox). are there many others out there who feel the same?
    though, Jake, i really do enjoy your style of presentation, your passion shines through.

  • Comment number 91.

    56. At 6:33pm on 19 Apr 2010, Luke McKenna wrote:

    Hamilton is a better driver than Button. If you put them in the same car on the same track in the same conditions, Hamilton would put in a better lap than Button.

    ----------------------------

    Er?

  • Comment number 92.

    Hi Jake,

    Can you clear something up for me please? Martin has mentioned that a car has to "stay" on the track and all 4 tyres cannot cross the white lines to gain a racing advantage. So how is it that Alonso was able to "overtake" Massa on a 90 degree bend where white lines have been painted to identify the entry route to the pits?

    Any thoughts?

  • Comment number 93.

    I am not British but am able to view BBC 1 for the F1 coverage, thankfully with no ads and have to say my F1 weekend experience starts with pre coverage from you guys. LOVE it.. Hated coverage on ITV mainly due to the ad breaks which are annoying.

    As for this race, not a Mclaren fan but I was at the edge of my seat for the race, so much happening and totally enjoyed it.. Loving this season. My money is on Schumacher to definitely improve over next few race and I have everything crossed for Vettel to win outright..

    Glad to see you are home and that the wonderful Eddie Jordan (a fellow countryman) will be able to join you for the next race.. it just wasn't the same without him.

  • Comment number 94.

    Glad to hear you've made it back Jake- hope the wife's buns were up to scratch!

  • Comment number 95.

    Fantastic job again guys... the BBC coverage of F1 is absolutely bang on and makes for great (and informative) viewing.

    Missed EJ terribly and look forward to seeing him back again in three weeks. In the meantime, I hope you're all home safe and sound.

    Thanks again!!!

  • Comment number 96.

    Fantastic blog again Jake! Thanks for that and looking forward to the epic jouney home blog! Glad you are home safe!

  • Comment number 97.

    Mmmm Choux Buns, give some to Eddie then you might finaly get that "one word", i love Eddie he's mad as a hatter.
    Feeling the Ferrari love from certain posters that's for sure!
    Keep up the good work Jake :)

  • Comment number 98.

    I know this has been mentioned before but it is worth repeating.

    a) As #87 said, Alonso passed Massa in the entrance to the pits after the safety car had been announced.

    #89 This was the lap that the safety car came out. The green flag zone only applies when the safety car is returning to the pit. When the car is coming out you can't overtake at all (yellow flags everywhere) I think.

    b) Also as #92 said, the film of Alonso overtaking Massa shows quite clearly that he put all 4 wheels outside of the white lines that define the track (or in this case the entrance to the pit lane). See: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8628304.stm

    Can someone clarify the rules and explain why Alonso was not penalized on either count?
    a) do safety car rules not apply in the entrance to the pit lane or does the no-overtaking rule apply only from when the safety car is actually on track. If so this is crazy given the hazard has been identified plus I am sure that the minute a safety car is announced the whoel track is under waved yellows
    b) do the white lines in the pit lane entrance not count as the track limits as they do everywhere else on the circuit? If not, why not.

  • Comment number 99.

    Take it back, was fooled by the line in the article: "Alonso barged in front of Massa at the entrance to the pit lane when the safety car came out on lap 22 of an incident-packed race in Shanghai." This is factually wrong, Alonso took Massa when they pitted for inters on lap 20, two laps before the safety car came out. Replay of incident was shown during Lap 22 which is where the report may have made its mistake.

    Question about all 4 wheels over the white line still stands.

  • Comment number 100.

    Jake, great job as usual, I'm surprised you guys are not wearing BBC corporate shirts, especially Eddie!. Love to see the timing info available during the race. You obviously got back ok as didn't I see you on match of the day?

 

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