Toro Rosso

Big country big track

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A total of 84 laps today for Scuderia Toro Rosso: 39 for Sébastien Buemi, 25 for Jaime Alguersuari and 20 for Daniel Ricciardo. Watching some of the day’s action from the media centre, high above the grandstands it was hard to spot the cars as fog was a feature of the Shanghai International Circuit, when the third round of the world championship got underway this morning. Nothing new here on the outskirts of Jiading, a suburb of the giant Chinese city, apart from some of the bumpiest sections of the track having been given a new smoother surface, which is always welcome for the drivers as they bounce around in the cockpit.

Four of today’s top five at the end of the second session are world champions, the exception being Nico Rosberg, fourth fastest for Mercedes. (His father Keke was a world champion, does that count?) Quickest, and we would have to add, as usual, was Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull Racing. Then came the McLaren duo of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button and fifth was Michael Schumacher in the other Mercedes, with Felipe Massa completing the top six.
Our Sébastien was 13th quickest, finishing slightly ahead of time with a minor technical glitch, while Jaime ended the first day in fifteenth place.

The difficulty of seeing the cars on track might have been eased if the enterprising salesmen who flocked to the outskirts of the track in the first years this Grand Prix was held, were still around. They seemed particularly keen on selling binoculars, which came in very useful at this huge circuit, as well as camping chairs and of course, some very nice watches; everything for about the same price as a fast food meal.
The media are beginning to get a bad case of culinary confusion regarding what country they are in, many of them having been on the road since before the first race of the season. Tending to frequent the same hotels, the confusion stems from the fact that in Australia they all have several meals in a Malaysian restaurant, in Malaysia most meals are taken in a Chinese establishment, and here in China, the only restaurant in their hotel near the track is Japanese! Go figure, as they say.
 


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