Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Qualifying to me is where the excitement starts!  

Again, it starts late in the afternoon, so no need to go really early to the race track. For one, because you won't get in and secondly because there is nothing to see or do. 

The GP2 first race started at 16:00, which was just when I arrived, using yet another entrance, which saved me from walking through the masses and the long route down to Zone 1. I had seen the other Zones many time, so I took Singapore's excellent MRT system to get to my gate down at the Zone 1. 

Security this year was really beefed up! Even when we landed at the airport, we had to go through full check-points upon arrival! I have never seen anything like this before. And here at the race, it is also full search of bags and body scanners. In certain areas they even scan again! 

Third practise of F1 happened again at the time the sun sets and the race track is lit up by hundreds of lights...if not thousands. This time I watched third practice yet from another platform which I could use with my ticket. I was determined this time to watch the race at turn 3, which is right after the start of the race and gives full view of turn 1, 2 and 3. 

The Porsche Carrera Cup is happening before 20:00 and I filled the gap of the remaining hour with the over-priced drink and food stands. The prices are really outrageous. A beer costs more than at the Munich Octoberfest, but at half a litre, while we have a full litre in Munich!!  Food is offered in all forms and flavours. I decided to have a vegetarian (yes, they do!!) Falaffel, sitting down by the river and enjoying the view. 

Qualifying then happened between 21:00 and 22:00 and as expected Sebastian Vettel got the Pole position :-)) During the Qualifying I observed the people over on the other side in the super-expensive Paddock Clubs and thought to myself "what a waste of money" since they seemed not interested in the race. But I also wondered about the people over on my side who stood there with their fingers in their ears. Do they not know that a F1 race is loud, or do they not care about a possible damage to their hearing?

The Killers were performing on Padang Stage this night! Walking back from the Start/Finish point takes a while. And while walking with the masses, you are being entertained with all kinds of events along the way. But it takes a while and so I got a seat (or rather a standing position) in the middle of the lawn called Padang. I still had a good view of the stage and the music had already started when I got there. 

The crowd was all hyped up. Probably by the beer which was consumed in large amounts, despite the high price. It is always amazing to me to see totally sober Asian guys and completely drunk Caucasians at those events. While the base vibrated in my stomach and my camera, I thought that those people up there on the balconies of The Swissotel The Stamford had the best seats! Though they can't sleep or do anything else due to the noise. 

The Killers weren't my thing....they were great, just not my kinda music, so I left before the other 60.000 people or so would join me on the way home. 

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