Sunday, September 28, 2008

F1 qualifiers

The butterflies in my tummy started at the home bus-stop while waiting for the bus to town. Just the sheer excitement and anticipation was enough to create those flutters. I felt kinda naked cos I never leave the home without a bag & of course, my mobile, but advice from dad was not to carry anything unnecessary. It would make the entry much easier. N besides, it will be too noisy to use a phone. Alright, so, it wasn't noisy all the time and it is possible to use the phone, but I was just afraid of the crowd and I might lose it as well. Hubby was busy all evening getting updates on the Liverpool match. But it was good news for him as Liverpool won and Massa took pole. :)

We went into Raffles City for some aircon before proceeding to the grounds. It was really convenient getting to the location as we had a direct bus from our home and were there in no time. The traffic was ok, no jams. At the lobby of RC, we saw the Williams F1 car...

... and the kiddy race. I think my girl would have loved to be a part of this race... it costs $5 per ride which would allow them to go approximately 8 rounds. I think it's so cute.

We were at the grounds at around 6pm. It was a relatively smooth entry, and they have a lane for people without bags. :D

At our first pit stop, we picked up ear plugs as well as a poncho for $2. Proceeds go to the Singapore Red Cross. If you miss this stand, there are actually people going around selling them, so not to worry. Best, though, if you can bring your own. The plugs are not that great quality and you can so easily misshapen them. However, they do block out the noise quite well, but it's a bit tricky getting them to fit in at the right angle.

The next pit stop was the F1 merchandise stall, of course. ;) You do have to shop around as different stalls carry slightly differing items. And the one that I bought from did not give plastic bags with the Ferrari logo, just a plain red one. :( Items range in price from $20 for a little keychain, $30 for a little bear, $40 for a mug, $70 for a cap etc. I know now what you mean, S, a real rip off. But I guess we have to pay a price for that little logo.

We caught the practise session 3 at 7pm, prior to the qualifying round at 10pm. It was such a thrill the moment we spotted the first car zooming past. The noise was overpowering and the speed... WOW! It's really tough getting a photo of them and I only got Massa the one time in the right corner of the photo below. Too quick and they are not even close enough, too slow and they are gone. Many frustrated amateur photographers there. Hehe. By the time the qualifiers began, I totally gave up and just enjoyed the race. ;)

An ugly Singaporean. Imagine what kind of an impression we are leaving our visitors with.

After the practise, it was time for dinner with a 2-hr break till 10pm. Lots of hawker stalls and almost everything was a standard $10. I was lucky my small packet of fried carrot cake was $6. Hubby had the mixed rice, which in my opinion is the most tricky one, cos when you pick one wrong item, the price just goes up. He was expecting to pay $10, but ended up paying $15.

My carrot cake was not too bad, with a good chilli kick to it, but bearing in mind there were lots of tourists and I saw quite a number of foreigners buying this item, maybe they could have toned down on the chilli? But I loved it. And it wasn't too sweet. Pity was, I didn't take note of the name of the stall. However, I believe they all belong to Food Republic.

Hubby's rice with curry chicken, fish I think, and baby Kailan (baby in size & portion, but not in price) ;)

This was the entrance to our seats.

A view of Swissotel the Stamford (Southeast Asia's tallest hotel) with Raffles City office tower to the left and Fairmont behind it.

There were 3 of these tv screens at the padang grandstand so we could follow the race.

The toilet cublicles which we searched everywhere for, but were right under our nose.

A view of the Anderson bridge, Shenton Way (Central Business District) in the background, and the Esplanade bridge on the left.

Getting home after the event was a real breeze. As our stand was right beside one of the entry/exit gates (4) along Coleman Street, we managed to get through it rather quickly and got our bus immediately. We were home by 11.45pm, which was really good as we expected to be stuck in traffic or cramped in the mrt, but thankfully we didn't have that problem. In fact, the bus was rather empty.

Growing up and being exposed to this sport and now watching it 'live', the feeling is wonderful. I'm so proud to be a part of Singapore's history, in witnessing the hosting of F1's first ever night race. I think all Singaporeans should be too. It was a great party last evening and it was indeed a great show put up for all to see. You don't have to spend loads of money to experience it. I was lucky enough to be given a ticket, but there are spots where you can catch it for free. A one-day walk-about ticket is not costly (I read it in the papers but do not have the price), and I saw many people on the city hall steps facing the padang and they were closer to the track than we were. However, a friend of mine who was seated in the first row says that the noise is more unbearable down there.

Be sure to catch the race this evening at 8pm. Go Ferrari Go! :D


Miz Young said...

I only have one word for you:


Beau Lotus said...

Boo hoo hoo, we were set to win but we didn't. Just one mistake and all is lost. That's how unforgiving the Fi races are.

But I must say that the night race looked great even on TV. Imagine people all over the world watching it and seeing Singapore by night.

Unfortunately it cost millions to light up the races and think of the amount of electricity consumed. Not very ecological and certainly not every economical at this juncture (market crashes, rocket fuel prices, world poverty etc).

Still, we have to do it at least once and be the 1st to do it to boot. Go Singapore Go!

SIG said...

miz young - :D

beau lotus - It was a beautiful setting, and yes, I read that the lights cost a cool $10million. But of course, we have to be the first and we needed this to create an impact! People will remember us, this little red dot that made the world stand up and take a look at us. :)

Mochachocolata Rita said...

awww i am so jealous! you are really a part of history! we heard all about this all the way here in hk!

Little Corner of Mine said...

WOW, very very nice!

SIG said...

rita - Aww... you don't have to be? Next year you come, ok? :)

lcom - You can say that again. :D

ganache-ganache said...

It must be really exciting watching it live !! Hubby's a die hard ferrari fan & he collects all the model of F1 cars but after MS retired he stops doing it. We were crowding arnd the TV watching the race as this is 1st time in Sin, must watch.....

SIG said...

ganache-ganache - Oh, he is a MS fan. Me too! Actually true hor, I only used to watch him. But since it's in Singapore, like you say, have to watch the action 'live' lah. So does your hubby go to the races in Sepang?

ganache-ganache said...

No, hubby don't go to the races in Sepang & the tickets for the Sin race is overpriced, maybe next year...