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Paddock Postcard from Shanghai 14 Apr 2013

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel with writer and chef Tzu-i Chuang Mullinax Adrian Sutil (GER) Force India F1 signs autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 11 April 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 signs autographs for the fans.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Preparations, Shanghai, China, Thursday, 11 April 2013 Grid girls.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 13 April 2013

The teams love coming to China and this year’s race weekend started with a definite local flavour courtesy of Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel, who was taken out for an expedition around old Shanghai by Chinese food writer and chef, Tzu-i Chuang Mullinax.

The best-selling author took time out from her busy schedule to teach Vettel the fine art of Chinese cooking. The world champion tackled Lucky Soup and after trawling the market for the correct ingredients, he even went on to make his own tofu pastry.

On track, the Chinese fans had a local hero to cheer in the form of Ma Qing Hua, who made history by taking to the Shanghai International Circuit in Practice One for Caterham in place of Charles Pic.

“It was a very proud moment for me to be the first Chinese driver to take part in an F1 session in my home country, but to be honest I was focusing on doing my job and I’m pleased with how it went,” he said. “I want to thank Caterham for this chance and for helping make me so comfortable in the car and all weekend.”

British royalty graced the Shanghai paddock, as HRH Prince Andrew paid a visit while on duties in the country on behalf of UK trade and investment and spent a lot of time in the McLaren pit.

On the racing side, familiar faces in the pit lane included former McLaren, Brabham and Williams racer Mark Blundell as driver steward, and former RAM team owner John Macdonald.

For more pictures, check out our Paddock Postcard gallery.

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