Monday, May 2, 2011

You MUST see a Formula 1 race in the flesh.

With the F1 season in full swing, it occurs to me that I never blogged about a trip my wife and I took towards the end of 2010. We flew to Singapore to experience the Singapore F1 race in the flesh. We've always wanted to see an F1 race live, and a night race, street circuit in my most favourite Asian country fitted the bill nicely. If you're an F1 fan, you'll know the noises these cars make from watching it on TV. Well. Actually, you don't. You may think you do - we did - but when you hear them for yourself, you'll realise that the TV does zero justice to the spectacle of an F1 race. 24 800hp engines spinning at 17,000rpm on the start line is quite literally mind-melting. The sound splits the air in two.
We weren't sure if we'd go to the practice and qualifying sessions or just the race but as soon as we got to the track on the first evening, we were sucked in 100%. We went to all the practice sessions, qualifying and of course the race itself. The beauty of Singapore is that you can quite literally stand next to the track while they're racing. The only thing between you and the cars is a concrete K-rail and a 6 foot steel fence. Even in the grandstands on the main straight, you're never more than 30m from the track. The pictures below are taken from a video I made on race night.
The night race was a massive benefit to the look of the race too - the cars looked simply beautiful under the lights, especially the McLaren ones.
The entire experience was something we'll never forget. Singapore is a beautiful city and country to visit and when the F1 circus comes to town, it's transformed. I'm sure it's the same everywhere the Ecclestone empire shines its spotlight but to be there, in the city, watching the race for real was just incredible. Even the support races were fascinating to watch. And if you remember back to that race, at the end of it, one of the Lotus cars caught fire - it pulled up to a stop right in front of us on the main straight as Heikki Kovalainen hopped out and calmly extinguished the blaze himself.
I know F1 is expensive - incredibly so if you choose to fly half way around the planet to see it, but if you're a die-hard F1 fan, there really is no excuse not to see a race live. Pick your track carefully, and I guarantee you'll never forget the experience. You might even bump into someone famous. We quite literally bumped into Sir Jackie Stewart. I'm still buzzing about it now 7 months after we came home .....

1 comment:

Paul said...

Haven't had the chance to go to a race yet but with Austin coming next year, and me living in Houston, I'll be there. I can't. wait.