Because Captain Mal (my mac) was sidelined for months, I’m playing catch up with posts in the next few weeks….
The last time I watched F1 was in 2009, during the second year of the Singapore F1 Grand Prix and my first year in Singapore as the editor of a travel magazine. One of the hotels invited a few editors into the McLaren enclosure because the McLaren group was billeted at their hotel. It was luxe personified, with white suited and white gloved waiters offering champagne and nibbles as you watched the race in air-conditioned comfort. We even got to go down into the McLaren pit. Ahh, the perks of the job. It was a heady experience that I was glad I got to do, especially since I was not really a fan of racing and wouldn’t buy a ticket to the races if it were up to me. But, even if I weren’t a fan, there was no mistaking the energy and anticipation of fans who watched the race.
Flashforward to 2014. And here I am back on the track. I wasn’t a guest of a hotel this time, but had accompanied D, who is an F1 fan and his friend. I still wasn’t a fan, but as in 2009, the excitement and anticipation was palpable. The races were exhilarating and it’s hard not to get caught up in the mania. The activities in between races were also fun, too. As far as I know, Singapore is the only leg of the F1 which goes all out with companion events to the race itself. So here are some pics:
First night of the F1 weekend: At the Padang, with the Old Parliament Building as backdrop. This building will be opening soon as the Singapore National Gallery. On this night, it was majestically up in lights for the race.
A part of the retelling of an old legend of the Lady in the Moon. Was not really listening much to the story, but the theatricality of it all was breathtaking. This performer was sailing up above the crowd in the field.
All lighted up
Part of the crowd on race night (Sunday). I loved the friendly rivalry that would erupt between groups of people. Our row (we were on the second row) was vocally cheering on Hamilton, while the first row were all Germans cheering on Rosberg. There were some close calls but Hamilton was just far enough ahead to eventually prevail. The noisy-but-good natured Germans in front of us lost, but they enjoyed the bantering.
Post-race concert with Robbie Williams. Crowds waiting for the show to start. For non-F1 fans, this was the highlight of the evening. Even with the downpour (no pictures, alas!), Robbie delivered. Till next year, folks!