The Chinese Grand Prix is one of the best value for the money grands prix on the calendar. It is amazing how much of the track you can see from most grandstand seats. The Shanghai International Circuit is easy to get to, has outstanding facilities and most grandstands boast views of several turns, over the catch fence.
It is also one of the best F1 weekends to get in touch with your favourite driver or team personnel. The Chinese round is well known by journalists for its red tape nightmare, even if it is getting better year-on-year. Access to Facebook and Twitter remains difficult too. As a result, a lot of the media doesn't even bother turning up to Shanghai for the Formula 1, giving the main actors of the show some reprieve, and the resourceful fan a chance of meeting some of their heroes.
View from Grandstand B5 - Image: MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team
This year's grand prix takes place from the 18th to the 20th April 2014 and it will be interesting to see if the growth in popularity from the last couple of editions is sustained despite the strong criticism of the noise, or lack of. The support race will once again be provided by the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia.
Shanghai is China's most accessible city for westerners and a modern metropolis offering some fascinating sightseeing opportunities, good bars and restaurants. It is also just five hours away by train from Beijing, via a high-speed rail link.
Who would have believed you could add the word 'ever' to the biggest change of F1 regulations? The first day of the Australian Grand Prix was a bit of an eye opener and offered a different team performances than that of the winter tests.
Trackside at the Albert Park - Image: Ferrari S.p.A
Let's tackle the biggest talking point first. The cars sound good. They are definitely quieter than last year but the 'power unit' noise is fantastic in braking and acceleration zones. The spectators who prefer to sit opposite the team garages on the main pit straight will probably be the most disappointed as the cars still get past very quickly but with a whooshing rather than a screaming sound.