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GP Week : Issue 78
F1 NEWS >> WHEN the flag falls on race day, team personnel usually scramble to make it to the airport and get the last flight out on a Sunday. But not this weekend, for the ash cloud that hangs over Europe has left almost everyone marooned in Shanghai. The closure of airports from Thursday also meant that some teams were short on parts in China. Lotus Racing will all fly to Kuala Lumpur courtesy of Tony Fernandes' airline AirAsia and then organize a charter to Spain. McLaren too have arranged a charter direct to Spain on Wednesday and will then drive personnel home to the UK by coach. Others are taking the opportunity to holiday in Asia while they await news from airlines. For teams, the next two weeks should be spent busily finishing upgrades for Barcelona: "I haven't got the schedule in front of me, but I know everyone is very worried about it," said Virgin technical chief Nick Wirth. "Itisgoingtobeabigpushtogetit done." "We haven't had any word yet from the freight," said a concerned Martin Whitmarsh. "If we lose three or four days we can live with it. If we lose it for a week or beyond then it becomes challenging." "We've been rotating chassis' but the cars and equipment have been away for some time and we're looking forward to getting them back in the factories as quickly as possible and servicing the cars properly. We have a range of upgrades that we hope to put on for Barca that could be chaotic if we don't get the freight back. As for the people, they are incredibly resourceful and we'll find a way back, it just might be more tortuous than usual." For more on this travel trauma, turn to Adam Hay-Nicholls' column (page 20). Briatore and Symonds get sentences reduced Flav could be back in F1 in 2013 Former Renault boss maintains he has no personal guilt over race- x scandal Both men free to act as consultants to F1 • • • Ali Malek QC, Lawyer, with Flavio Briatore 7