Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Singapore: 2009 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix

We were in Singapore last September to watch the 2009 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix which is a spectacular night race that cuts through the heart of downtown Singapore. Although there were qualifying races and other events the past few days, we got ourselves tickets only for the Formula One final on September 27. In fact, we purchased our tickets online as early as April.

The original plan was to get grandstand tickets. But we were advised that the walkabout tickets were just fine. And you could see more action if you went around the area. The cars moved so fast when viewed from the grandstand, you wouldn't see much action except through the video screens.

Since we wanted a good spot, we arrived early and picked the spot of our choice, one of the corners where the cars slowed down. My dad had been studying the map for weeks and had already decided where we were going to wait it out.

The day started with the Aston Martin Asia Cup at 3:30 p.m. followed by Formula BMW and Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. It was only at 6:30 p.m. that the main event started. Imagine we waited already three hours by the time the drivers came out. Talk about patience!

Our perseverance gave us front row seats to the Formula One Drivers' Track Parade. The only hassle with the view though was the wire mesh that protected us from the action on the track.

The actual Formula One Race started at 8 p.m. A lot of people suggested that we bring ear plugs. Some find the noise too loud. But I found the ear plugs a hassle so I ended up taking them off.

What is great about watching from corners is that the cars slow down a bit. After several laps of the same thing, we decided to move around. There's an open field (padang) where you can sit on the grass and watch the race from a really large video screen. I got to see action from a grandstand view while walking around and you couldn't see much when the cars passed by since they were simply too fast.

Anyway, it was a great experience. The race was won by Lewis Hamilton of McLaren-Mercedes. Sad I wasn't able to take home the lanyard I wanted since they were sold out days before. But I got myself a souvenir program of the 2009 Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix. I wonder if we'll get to watch it again next year.

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