Ever had one of those experiences, when you're so "atat" excited for an event, and then, the day fell short of your expectations?
This is exactly what I recently experienced with the Singapore Grand Prix (SGP).
I've been bugging my husband that we watch the Formula One Race. I want to see the flashy, shiny race cars. I want to see the good-looking drivers up-close. I want to feel the rush of adrenalin in the pits, in the grandstands. I want to check-out the much-publicized concerts.
Tickets are not cheap. The most expensive ones are the Hospitality Suites (unpublished rates, I think around 4000SGD (around 140K Php). By the name itself, it's a suite where you are probably fed caviar, 5 Star or Michelin Star menus with extensive wine selection, while you enjoy all the action in air-conditioned, fully-carpeted room, with upholstered seats & a view to die-for.
The cheapest tickets are 168 SGD (5K+ Php) for the Walk-about. As the name says, you just walk-about. No seats, no snacks, no free little fans souvenirs. It's not bad, really. You're there for the action, not the food or the soft seating.
Ted, just like Jennifer Aniston's new movie, "I Don't know how She Does It." He was able to secure / bribe someone / steal an ID that will allow us to get inside the venue without spending a single cent.
The lousy photos here were taken by either me or ted. The nice ones were taken by a former schoolmate and now professional photographer Roland "Ron" Amores. We didn't watch the race together, I just learned about theirs in FB so i just asked for some photos. Thank you so much, Nino!!
|Nino Roland Amores with pretty fiancee Kristy Lovell Pacuribot|
So, on with my stories ---
The Singapore Gran Prix is the only night-race in the world. Understandably, they want to turn Night into Day. The tracks are flooded with glaring florescent lights. The circuit is real pedestrian / motorists streets. They close-off the streets several days prior to the race, to install the lights, concrete barricades, steel cages, humongous LED screens & high- tech speakers (commentaries of British-accent Sportscasters are heard throughout the venue).
The F1 Race is a 3night event. A ticket already covers for 3 nights. 1st night is Practice Sessions. 2nd night is Elimination and 3rd night - The Championship.
Prior to the race month, Singapore is already abuzz with the upcoming events. Almost all hotels are booked, restaurants have their F1 specialties, F1 merchandises are all over town. The shirts, caps, bags, with various F1 Team logos are sold at horrendous prizes. Sorry ka, Dew. Walang pirated dito. Lahat original. Ang mahal sobra.
This is the 4th year of F1 races in Singapore, and it's a huge money-making machine. Government is spending 100Million SGD, to earn 50 Million SGD in the 3day event!
(Don't you admire governments that spend money to make money? Not unlike the government of my beloved country, whose only way to make money is by taxing the middle class employees).
Now, let's talk a little bit about THE CARS. You probably have seen replicas somewhere, they are usually displayed during F1 season at the airport and malls. But nothing beat the real thing --- it's a beautiful piece of engineering marvel... throbbing with heat, energy and speed. The sounds on the venues are ear-splitting. The noise is like 100 sets of Chainsaws, slowly coming-in to your line of sight. Earplugs are part of the survival kits.
|Deaf and Cute|
Here are few beautiful shots of the world-famous cars, taken by Pinoy Photographer Extraordinaire, Ron Amores. Only a professional photographer with a great camera can capture these moments. The cars run at 360 KM per hour!
(If you cannot grasp the speed, city driving in Manila, for novice drivers like me, I get scared past 100KM per hour.)
Imagine bees. As a bee, buzzes in your face, you don't see the whole form/ body of the insect. One only sees a quick blackish image with silvery linings. That's the view on the race track during the Formula One Race. It's a series of inscrutable and undiscernable images, your eyes cannot keep up.
The cars are suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuper duuuuuuuuuper mega fast....
Why in the world people pay to watch this event? It's all noise and blur!
So that's why, the cars are distinctly painted with striking colors.... so we can identify them in the blur.
A blur of Red & yellow, a hint of red bull logo...was that after, Mercedes or Vodaphone?
Nothing's happening....Shouldn't there be a crash or something?
Here's Michael Schumacher's ride of the Shell Ferrari Team. This red hot beauty, with an equally hot driver is perhaps the most identifiable of all the Teams, mainly because of it's past successes, and Shell has milked its sponsorship with media mileage for all it's worth. Unfortunately, it has dismal performance this year. It crashed during the 29th lap as he overtakes Mexican Sergio Perez of Sauber Team. Michael Schumacher was unhurt, but dire predictions about his career is obvious.
There are many kinds of circuit car racing. If you've seen the cartoon movie, Cars. That race is called Daytona. F1 is the world's fastest-circuit racing because of high cornering speed (bilis ng liko) and the large amount of aerodynamics force generated. It's like flying. They're designed low-hung to prevent air-resistance and put them on the road. I read somewhere that, F1 cars run on Jet Fuel.
Just imagine the tremendous energy -- they call it High-octane power. As soon as the car is started, it must in a few seconds, accelerate, to expend the energy. Otherwise, it might blow up.
(Ok, Dew. Quit pretending to be highly-intellectual about this. Guys, go to wikipedia if you want a more credible resource.)
Malaysia and India have their own Formula One races. (Why, Oh Why? Philippines still doesn't have this? Aren't they just 3rd world country like us? Or has Malaysia and India overtaken us?) I'm begging the question.
|Air Asia Team|
The FIA Officials ride. They check the tracks safety, and they go rush over if there's an incident during the race, along with a tow truck, if necessary.
|Team Lotus Renault|
F1 Drivers and their team of Constructors are holders of the world's Super Licenses, the highest class of driving certification issued by the Federacion Internationale de l'automobile (FIA).
I'd like to see them drive thru Metro Manila's traffic jam, or share the road with our Bus Drivers, who are high-on shabu in the wee hours of the morning :)
|The Winning Race Car & Driver, Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull|
Aside from the race itself, there are also other interesting stuff to do during the event. There is an F1 village where concerts are staged, merchandises, food, drinks, are available. There are bars that offer live telecasts of the event.
Many bought the tickets.. catch a glimpse of the tracks and cars, then just proceed to the bars within the village to watch from Big Screens. Makes sense! I did the same :) In the TVs, One's view is wholistic... the whole circuit, from the pits, to the driver's seat, stadiums, intelligent commentaries of the sportscasters, and lesser noise. If you're just in the stands... it's just BLUR.
|Entrance to the F1 Village|
|The aging Boy George who has 3 layers of Eyeshadows. Hmp! |
He didn't even sing Karma Chameleon. He only sang his unknown songs.
Sorry to end on a negative note. Well, as I've said, I was expecting more on the F1 event but maybe my expectations were too high. If it were a closed circuit, especially made for the race, not this type, where the circuit is motorists & pedestrian streets, the experience would have been better.
Should you come to Singapore and watch the F1 race? Yes, for the Experience! But after one race, watch it at the comfort confines of your Big Screens at home or in the Bars, preferable with a brew on hand.
Till next adventure!