With the Singapore GP just around the corner, I'm reminded of something my wife and I noticed at last year's race. Corporate ticket-buying is ruining F1 for genuine fans.
We had front-row seats - right on the start line. We got to see the drivers up close and personal during the national anthem. We got to watch Vettel and his crew fussing with the Ferrari, so close we could have thrown popcorn and had it land in the cockpit. We got to listen to all the sounds of the grid work and teams, and we got to enjoy the race from a fantastic position in the stands.
Three seats down from us, on the front row, there was a block of 12 seats that were empty for practice, and qualifying, and for the beginning of the race itself. About 10 minutes in, a group of people all turned up wearing identical IBM shirts, all carrying theme-cocktails, laughing and joking and generally being a nuisance to everyone else. They occupied those 12 seats for about 15 minutes, before all getting up and leaving, never to come back.
We saw the same thing up and down the pit-row grandstand - blocks of seats all being temporarily filled by corporate clones, only to be left empty for 90% of the time. I find this repulsive. Genuine F1 fans would love to have had any of those seats, but instead, some corporate raffle bought a block of seats and gave the tickets to people who had no idea why they were there, no idea what they were watching, and were genuinely disinterested in the whole race.
Perhaps the companies that do this should find out first if the people they're giving the tickets to actually want to go to the race, rather than to just turn up on the company's dime and get drunk. Or better yet - don't waste the company's money at all, don't buy the seats, keep the ungrateful corporate drones at home and let REAL fans have the opportunity to sit in these prime locations.
Like I said: close to the action....