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Published: October 12th 2014
Formula One Singapore 2014
My Walkabout Pass for Saturday.
From 19th until 21st September there was a Formula 1 event in Singapore. Of course there was the race on the 21st and the qualifying the day before. But there was a lot more going on here in Singapore and I enjoyed the Saturday afternoon on the event. You already know how the qualifying went and that eventually Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) won the race, closely followed by Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo (both Red Bull Racing-Renault). You also know that Jenson Button, Adrian Sutil, Esteban Gutierrez, and Nico Rosberg could not finish the race because of technical issues. For Nico Rosberg this was particularly bad because he had been in the overall lead so far. Team Mercedes won, followed by Team Red Bull Racing-Renault and Team Williams-Mercedes. The official results are here
. Anyway, you know all this from the media, therefore I would like to tell you about what it was like to spend the Saturday afternoon on the event.
I arrived at the race course at around 4 p.m. when there was a race going on already. Around the qualifying and race itself there are a few other races and there is also an extensive supporting programme including concerts
Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Qualifying
... on the Marina Bay Street Circuit.
and other shows. And as you would expect in Singapore, there is a lot of food as well. All races took place the Marina Bay Street Circuit in the city centre. The start was just below the Singapore Flyer and the course went along the Bay area, the historic part of Singapore, and the CBD. I had bought a one day walkabout pass. This meant that I was allowed to access one area, including a few spots along the race track and also a few stands without seats, but that I did not have access to any of the grand stands.
Anyway, when I arrived at the race course there was the Porsche Carrera Cup Asia Qualifying going on. The cars were racing past quickly and it was hard even to see which team they were part of. There was a big screen on which one could watch the race and listen to the commentators. However, whenever the cars raced past it was so loud that I could not understand what the commentators said. So it remained unclear who was in the lead and what was going on. But that did not matter much, it was just great to
Formula One Practice Race
... on the Marina Bay Street Circuit. View from the roof top of Esplanade Mall, with the Singapore Flyer in the background. Just below the Flyer was the start and finish of the race.
watch the cars race past, sometimes one by one, but sometimes also close to each other, with one chasing the other and trying to overtake.
The next race was a Masters Historic Racing. There were 20 historic Formula One race cars (built between 1966 and 1985) racing against each other. I have to say that this was the only part throughout the day where I wished I had brought earplugs with me. The cars were incredibly loud. But it was interesting to see the predecessors of today’s race cars.
From 6 to 7 p.m. there was a practice race and then from 9 to 10 p.m. finally the qualifying started. I watched the practice from the roof top of the mall at Esplanade and for the qualifying I went to the stall on Esplanade Bridge. Again, I have to say that when you really want to follow the race I think it is best to watch it from your home TV. This is what I did for the race itself. There you have different perspectives and you can even get a glimpse of what the race looks like from the drivers’ perspective. You have the comments and you
Formula One Race Officials
So important that they need to stand in the very first row, in everyone's view.
can even listen to the team radio. By contrast, I only watched cars race by, not knowing what was actually going on. When cars raced past, I could identify the teams, but only guess who was the driver. There was a big screen showing the race, along with comments, but of course it was impossible to hear them when the cars raced past. Of course the area in front of the fence was populated with very important people such as Track Marshals, Race Officials, Senior Race Officials, even a Communication Observer (whatever that might be). And of course, important as they were, they would usually stand in my view, particularly when I was trying to take a picture (which was almost impossible anyway, because of the fence that was in the way and of course because the cars were REALLY fast – needless to say).So in fact once the qualifying was over I had to read on the internet who had won and what had actually happened in other spots than the one I had been in. However, it was great to be so close, to watch the cars race past. They got close to the borders of
the race track when going around the corners on racing line, one car chasing another, trying to overtake. It was exciting!
There was also quite a good supporting programme. My personal highlights were “The Lady in the Moon” and – unbeatable – Robbie Williams. The Lady in the Moon was a performance that involved artistry, but it was unusual because for parts of the show the artists were suspended from a large assembly of helium-filled balloons. Also there was a huge rod puppet (I would say about three metres tall). Both the two artists suspended from the balloons and the rod puppet were not on stage, but right amongst the audience. They played a fable that is traditionally celebrated during Mid-Autumn Festival, a Chinese festival that takes place in mid-September. It is on the Moon Goddess of Immortality and her husband, a talented archer.
And Robbie Williams? What can I say. He was just awesome, as always. It is not the first time I saw him perform live, and I would always go again. I missed the first part of his show, unfortunately, because right after the qualifying it started pouring down with rain. So I sought shelter
Formula One Food and Decoration
Of course in Singapore there needs to be food at an event like the F1!
for a while, but once the rain was not quite as bad any more, I went to the centre stage. And there he was, soaking wet, out in the rain, but he did not care a bit. Instead, he gave a great show, played some of his own songs, but also a few others like “My Way” or “New York New York”. And although it was raining the square in front of the stage was packed and everyone was happy, dancing and singing and not caring about the rain. Wow, I can only say. What a great show, what a great artist!
The way home was a bit of a challenge. I could not go back the way I had come because security did not let us go that way. Apparently it was too crowded. So I had to go another way, which involved walking through a small pedestrian tunnel, which I found kind of scary with such a huge crowd. Getting a taxi from Raffles Place was the next challenge, but my taxi app worked just fine and I got one, even though it passed me in first place and I had to get running after it through
Formula One Stage
The main stage with the Swissotel in the background.
the pouring rain.
What a great afternoon and evening, awesome experience. But also good to watch the race itself on TV!
Tot: 2.594s; Tpl: 0.077s; cc: 8; qc: 33; dbt: 0.0324s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb