Honestly, am not a fan of Formula 1 at all. I haven’t ever watched a complete race and neither do I know the name of all the drivers. Yes I know the famous ones like Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and the likes. But as you would have understood, I am not one who keenly follows who wins the Championship and stuff.
But when I realized that the Singapore Grand Prix was happening during my time in Singapore, I knew that I had to attend it. Whether it is the party like atmosphere at the Circuit Park or hearing the roar of 22 Formula 1 cars zooming past by, I wanted to see how it feels. Singapore has become famous as the ONLY night race on the planet. And moreover, another interesting fact is that it happens on the streets of Singapore. Singapore itself is quite small. And so the organizers would haven’t even thought of building an entire circuit. Instead, 2-3 days before the race, certain roads which would form part of the track were closed to the public.
Situated in the Marina Bay among a plethora of skyscrapers, the Circuit Park can be easily seen from any of the office buildings nearby. And so rather than buy the expensive ticket, many people prefer to catch a bird’s eye view from up above. But I wanted to get a feeling of Ground Zero and that’s why I finally arrived where the action was happening. From Formula 1 merchandise to the Formula 1 flags to even a Formula 1 Simulator, there was all this and more to keep everyone interested. There were numerous restaurants as well to ensure that no one remained hungry or thirsty.
The drivers introduction basically involved all the drivers coming along in a vintage car each on the track and waving to the crowd. As was obvious, the most cheers were reserved for guys like Vettel and Alonso. Over the next 1 hour or so, I was just exploring the entire Circuit Park and the Marina Bay waterfront. People had advised me to ensure that I got ear plugs before the race began, since the sound was deafening to say the least. They called it “Survival Kits” at the Circuit Park. To me, the term “Survival” for the spectators in a sporting event sounded a bit exaggerated. But then, when the race finally began I realized what survival meant.
The roar of a Formula 1 car engine would come close to the roar of the engines of an airliner ready for takeoff. And so almost immediately, I got the ear plugs to ensure that my ear drums weren’t damaged even the slightest bit. At 61 laps and in such humidity and high track temperatures, it must be one hell of an experience for each of the drivers. But for the spectators, 22 V8 Formula 1 engines roaring through the streets of Singapore was a surreal experience for sure.
As Vettel completed a hatrick of podium finishes after 2 hours, the crowd rose to applause the hero for finishing an almost immaculate race from start to finish. The only time he faced some trouble was at the start when for a small period, Nico Rosberg was ahead of him.
And finally, there was Rihanna’s performance to close an awesome day. All in all, even if you don’t love F1, you must go for a race at least once in your lifetime to know how the atmosphere feels like!
Kudos to the organization of a wonderful event!!