Being asked to be The F1 Spectator's guest blogger, I knew was never going to be an easy job. The first race since Jules Bianchi's accident was always going to be especially tough, his car still sat in the garage waiting for his return. I think I agree with Martin Brundle that the photo call with Bianchi's name in front of the drivers should have been done earlier and not five minutes before the start. This would have allowed the drivers to focus on the driving, to ensure their safety. That said, I respect the tribute to their colleague.
So the cars set up, ready to go, and what a start we were treated to! Cars were everywhere. At times they were three abreast in only a small space of track. Many cars left the track, overrunning corners and generally running out of space. It was such a shame to see Rosberg go too fast too soon, locking up heavily and wrecking his tyres. It would have been nice to see more of a fight between the two Mercedes drivers. Another exciting moment, through the opening laps, was when the two Red Bulls and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat had a brief fight, almost touching each other.
As the Grand Prix unfolded there were a few more bits of good racing, but to be fair this was not turning out to be the most exciting of races. Rosberg did well to move right up through the pack, only having to overtake a few cars, most of the overtaking being done through the pit stops. Massa appeared to be making progress through the field, however, like Ricciardo, he fell back down the order. The Mercedes radio transmissions were nice and calm, which makes a change from Hamilton moaning. There was a transmission from Rosberg saying his tyres were graining and Hamilton jumped in, just after, saying how good his tyres were. When asked if Rosberg could go to the end of the race with only one stop, he replied "yes all good", and proceeded to contradict the question by adding "well they are good at the moment". Sutil had a spin after touching Grosjean and only just managed to miss the wall. After the incidents of last weekend, I did wonder what was going through his mind?
The new track had very much an Indy car feel, maybe because it was quite narrow and enclosed. Interestingly, the track surface stayed very clean, with hardly any marbles to make the drive difficult. Congratulations must go to Mercedes on winning the Constructor's Championship. Despite their dominance being a little boring, at times, they have fully deserved their success this season. We just have to hope it stays close now, for the Driver's Championship.
Thank you to The F1 Spectator, for selecting me to write the blog this week. I look forward to reading the blog after the next race.