The location is one of the loveliest in Formula One since the track threads its way through lakes and parkland. It is a narrow, medium-fast, 4.4 km circuit with 13 corners. Some corners were eased for 1979, a new corner before the pits was added in 1991 and a chicane was added in 1994. And, it is possible to pass, as opposed to Monaco! With a well placed DRS, it will make passing even more probable.
However it does have a couple of corners with some very unforgiving walls at the edge of the bitumen, which a few champions have tried out for size, now christened the “Champions Wall”.
It will be interesting to see if McLaren have sent a rat up the fundamental orifices of the pit crew, or whether they have just fired the lot and hired a new bunch. It will also be interesting to see if the soft option tyres can last more than 10 laps.
I will be watching in front of the big screen at Jameson’s Irish Pub, Soi AR, next to Nova Park, come what may. Qualifying is at midnight on the Saturday (groan), but why don’t you join me on the Sunday at around midnight for the 1 a.m. start with a couple of drinks first. The real enthusiasts do enjoy this late night race, as we get the pub to ourselves. I promised Landlord Kim Fletcher we would make sure the fridge doors are closed and will turn off the lights and lock the front door on our way out!