Sunday, 27 May 2012

Rosberg shines after my Shanghai shenanigans

I've just achieved a minor miracle here at Shanghai airport - managing to get changed in the tiniest toilet cubicle imaginable before checking in for my flight to Abu Dhabi, and ultimately Bahrain.

The reason it was so tough is that I had my two-weeks-away-from-home suitcase and my laptop bag and I was also trying not to drop my new maroon velvet jacket onto the toilet floor. I wouldn't want to get such a beautiful piece of clothing soiled now, would I?

If you don't know what I'm talking about, take a look at the video below and you can see our 'Sex and the City' opener from Sunday's first live race show of 2012.

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It was a fun morning's filming actually, the low point being Eddie Jordan's well-intentioned but rather unconventional offer of breakfast. You see, we filmed most of that opening skit on Friday morning and it required an early start.

I stay with the production team at most races while Eddie and David Coulthard often stay somewhere else (usually with softer beds and more powerful showers).

So at half six on Friday morning, the crew and I set off in the minibus from our hotel near the track and headed for the Shanghai rush-hour: four-lane highways criss-crossing the city, all of them busy, most of them full of stationary traffic.

Eventually we arrived at EJ and DC's place and they came down to join us. Eddie turned up, dumped his bag and immediately disappeared back into the hotel.

As we were wondering where he was and what he was doing, he returned with a small brown bag and proceeded to dish out a pilfered breakfast.

I am afraid to say I rejected the small piece of brown bread with a single limp rasher of bacon, squished in Eddie's grip and thrust in my face. But fair play to the crew and DC for accepting his offer.

I also blame our exhaustion for the fact we ended up going down the 'Sex and the City' route as it was suggested by Ian the cameraman on the bus as a joke, and suddenly Dave the incredibly creative VT producer had seized on it.

The shoot itself was fun. One of the things I've missed in the first two races is the time spent with EJ and DC. There just isn't the time on a highlights show to transmit long, involved opening pieces and so I relished being back with the guys doing what we enjoy.

It was fantastic to be back in the old routine, prowling the pit-lane hoovering up the stories. I particularly enjoyed showing Ross Brawn the footage of the 1957 Mercedes win in Monza, and sharing with you at home the story of the first pole position for Nico Rosberg's father Keke.

I think it's these kinds of things that add depth to our coverage, put the events in perspective, and also inject a human element into such a technical sport.

And what a race it was by Nico in the Mercedes. It was a real shame for team-mate Michael Schumacher, but while he and Jenson Button shared pit-lane problems, and the rest of the field indulged in some classic racing, Nico simply drove the perfect race.

Maybe a late overtake such as Jenson's in Canada in 2011, or defensive brilliance such as Sebastian Vettel's in Spain last year is a more exciting way to win a race. But the manner in which Nico did it demonstrated complete dominance by car and driver. That is what the F1 community strive to achieve every week.

I'm not sure what was in DC's mid-race cuppa, but remarkably on the F1 Forum, he was the one diving in to grab Nico, in true EJ style. Before we know it he'll be wearing mad shirts and getting members of the Beatles muddled up!

I'm now in the airport and our flight leaves in about 45 minutes so I'd better sign off. Incidentally every time a plane takes off the roof of this place rattles rather violently. I'm hoping it's just a design issue.

I don't know what has happened to the rest of our team, but on the bus, nine out of 11 people were fast asleep - so don't be in any doubt that they've been doing their bit for you today.

Before I sign off, a word on Bahrain.

There has been much said about the next grand prix on the 2012 schedule, including significant coverage of the issue across the BBC's news outlets.

We felt it was important in our show that we put the relevant questions to F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone not just on the decision to race but also the motivation behind it.

Whether it is the right decision to stage the race is not for me to answer. I've had many
people ask whether I am happy to go. Of course I have safety concerns personally - but we are journalists. The BBC's role, as part of a free media, is to chronicle the big stories and events and we take great pride in transmitting the most significant moments in F1 to your living rooms.

Next weekend is arguably one of the most important in the history of F1. All eyes will be on Bahrain so it's essential we are there too, to accurately and honestly reflect the events both on track and off.

Thanks for tuning in this weekend and for making us the number one trending topic on Twitter in the UK on Sunday morning.

But the real story was Nico Rosberg. After 111 races, the wait is finally over.

See you in the desert.


Roberto Bonomi Juan Manuel Bordeu Slim Borgudd Luki Botha JeanChristophe Boullion Sebastien Bourdais

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