Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Well I had to write about it eventually.
I've been keeping my experience of the Singapore F1 locked up for a while now and I've had numerous friends calling me and writing me for my thoughts. The truth is, I don't quite know how I feel about the race weekend.
Did I enjoy it or not? I can't quite say. It's weird, I know, but that's exactly how I feel. I can't put my finger on it. I got to do just about the same things I did last year. Actually a bit more even. But yet I feel a sense of emptiness.
One thing I have to apologies for is the failure to take more photos. I use a very normal camera and it has been letting me down a bit lately. I ought to have had it fixed proper before the race but I thought it will make do. Still I don't regret it cos there were many moments I could have taken some photos but I didn't cos I just never thought of it.
The whole excitement of F1 Singapore somehow wasn't there for me. I know I was looking forward to it and writing about it and all but when it was here, I didn't quite enjoy it. It all felt somewhat mooted.
To be honest I enjoyed that one Friday at last years race more than the three days this year. I got to see the drivers again this year, and at the Paddock club as well, I got to the pit garage again, I sneaked in to the Paddock party and I also got to see Chaka Khan at the VIP Village club. Yet I still have to say it just wasn't there for me. I would be arrogant if I were to say "been there, done that" but that is how I feel.
One thing that really bothered me a lot was the fact that most of the people who were there were not even really there for what it was meant to be, F1! The whole thing felt too much of a carnival and a circus all wrapped up into one huge comical situation. Yes, Yes I know what some of you might be thinking now. That it was suppose to be a big party as well and that all the extra distractions and entertainment was there to to give the whole thing a livelier atmosphere, right?
But that is the very problem. That's all it was. One big party. The cars racing around the track was just another part of the party! Not the reason for it!
I thought I got good seats. OK the view was decent but they were very very uncomfortable. That is still OK but the people were moving about all the time. Getting in through their rows, moving in front through the aisles, they just couldn't keep still. And the guy sitting next to me stank of alcohol while the lady getting into her row behind spilled her beer on me!
I would never ever recommend getting the Marina Bay seats to anyone ever again. Unless you are very short. And I mean very short cos I'm not at all tall and yet they hurt like hell. You can forget about getting comfortable, or occasionally leaning back or anything like that. They are the worst seats, period!
And from what I got from some new friends I made during the race days, theirs wasn't any better. They invited me to their seats in different grandstands around the circuit (we just exchanged tickets for a while). In fact, some of them, who paid top prices for the tickets, actually told me that they decided to join the walkabout crowd instead.
As for the race itself, I have to say it was boring. A couple of accidents brought the 'Oooos' and the 'Ahhhhs' out from the crowd but that was about it. The circuit itself is to blame. Yes I know it is a street circuit but still it is no Monaco. No chance whatsoever for overtaking. Look at what happened to Adrian Sutil and Nick Heifeld and you'll understand.
It is pointless if the only way the starting order of the race could be rearranged during the race itself is if there is a team member who cheats and the safety car comes out to give you a new gamble. Otherwise, you have no chance to see a proper race where the faster driver is actually able to overtake the driver in front simply because he can.
We might as well cancel the race and call it decided after Saturday's qualification. Only accidents and pit stop gambles can otherwise change the outcome. And we all know that next year's new rules mean no more refuelling, only tyre change during the pit stops.
OK, enough blabbering for me now. I have so much more to say about the Singapore F1 experience and I have some photos too. That'll have to wait till my next postings.
And bythehoo, will some of you please write in and share what you think of your seats and maybe we can all figure out the best place to be next year and the best seats that we can all recommend to everyone.
That is, if I ever go to Singapore F1 again. Really, the novelty has actually worn out for me and unless something very different is done for next years race, I would probably give it a miss.