The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai is, in several ways, a true daughter of its country.
The famous pollution is what first sticks with you – or in your throat, more accurately. A nagging chemical burn that appears after a while and stays thereafter.
Then there’s the sheer scale of the place. The track is built in a modern, monolithic style, everything with an imposing magnitude, especially the huge, sponsored bridge over the pit straight that houses the media centre.
The paddock is an empty expanse of grey, incongruously separating the pit garages from the rather attractive setting for the team buildings.
These are dotted pagoda-like around a lily-strewn lake, the only problem with the garden-style arrangement being the labyrinthine paths linking the buildings. It’s easy to get lost – and never find whoever you are looking for.
The track itself is standard modern F1, but the long, long straight and tight hairpin at its end tend to throw up interesting racing – in weather than can vary between spring chills and early summer heat.
It’s no-one’s favourite race, but it’s certainly one of a kind.
Andrew Benson, BBC Sport’s chief F1 writer
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