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GP Week : Issue 112
– Email us Something to say? Email us at email@example.com Rabbit beaten by tortoise? While it seems to have been some sort of miracle that the Rally of Jordan took place at all, and it certainly came to a spectacular conclusion, rallying has to do something about the 'false' practice of slowing down to ensure you are not first onb the road the following day, which seems to be crucial on modern gravel rallies. There is an obvious suggestion: why not reverse the top six positions from the day before to fix the running order? Surely that is a simple solution which would do away with the farce that ruins an otherwise brilliant spectacle. Most of the switch from the old to the new WRC format and formula appears to be a step in the right direction, so come on Jean (Todt), step in and tidy up this anomaly! Nigel Benton Sutherland, UK Hats off to Pirelli As the commentators confirmed at the end of the Chinese F1 Grand Prix, well done Pirelli. It would have been all too easy to pander to the corporate ego and fears of tyres that 'go off' but by delivering what F1 wanted, Pirelli has illustrated its ability to manufacture to design demand. They've got my vote (and support) – because THAT is what made the Chinese GP what it was – a cracker of a race. PS: Gee, Webber's not such a plonker after all, you knockers. What a charge. Go Aussie. Matt Penlington Brisbane, Australia The word is ... excellent The elevation of Martin Brundle to chief commentator, with DC as his side-kick is a gamble which has paid off for the BBC – and my pocket. No more do I find myself throwing things at the TV in frustration at the inane comments which used to pepper GP broadcasts. Well done Beeb, Martin and DC. Anthony J Curzon Kowloon, Hong Kong Shanghai has so much going for it: Jaw-dropping modern architecture, rich ancient history, sumptuous restaurants, clubs and hotels, and a clash of cultures that never ceases to surprise. Add to that serious commercial and industrial potential which remains largely untapped. But F1 just hasn’t gelled with it. Eight years into the life of the Chinese Grand Prix, will it ever? F1 people constantly complain, but there was more muttering than usual in Shanghai’s spread-out paddock. The great firewall of China has brought the communications of several teams to a standstill, with Twitter and Facebook banned. The other longstanding issue is language, and the quality of driving. Poor old Mike Gascoyne found himself being driven around the city for hours as his taxi driver struggled to find the hotel. In the end, Gazza only got three hours in bed before he had to leave for the circuit again. But these are just common gripes. The big issue lies in the apathy of the local community here. The grandstand that towers over the start/finish line was pretty packed, but elsewhere there was no-one to be seen. In town, you would expect huge billboards advertising the race; there were few. You would expect demo runs, as there were in Melbourne and KL; there were none. China is the most important market in the world for car manufacturers, but little link is made. As David Coulthard pointed out in the Telegraph last week, F1 and the world’s second largest economy should be a match made in heaven. But the only Chinese sponsor is Aigo. Martin Whitmarsh says too little effort has been made in establishing F1 in new territories: “We have fantastic worldwide TV audiences but we have to work harder at the circuits. You'd struggle to find much promotion in downtown Shanghai and we have to do more.” Next up, we’re in Turkey where opinion ADAM HAY- NICHOLLS GPWeek Editor China Crisis – and what F1 can learn from it Racing fans were heartened by last week’s news from the Ducati test programme. Both the top factory riders – Rossi and Hayden – had a good go, on separate days, on the Italian factory’s prototype for 2012, when a brave new world of 1000cc GP bikes will begin. And both of them said more or less the same thing. A 1000cc bike is more fun than one of 800cc ... because it has more torque, and can be made to spin and slide the rear wheel. Later, in an interview with America’s Cycle News, Hayden went further still: “ It definitely jumped off the corners a little more,” he said. “ You had a bit more throttle to play with, so I guess it wasn’t as important to round the corners off and make such a high corner speed. You could get in a little bit hotter, square the corner off.” This is music to the ears of racing MICHAEL SCOtt MotoGP Editor opinion New world not so brave after all 20