Saturday, September 27, 2008

Mini Update

I've got 10 minutes, so this will be a quick one.

Day 1 at the inaugural Formula 1 night street race was nothing short of exhilarating. The excitement began after lunch, when the various support races began their practice runs around the circuit. This was followed by the high-octane F1 practice sessions after dinner.

A few things I noted, and which were pointed out by our friendly Fast Intervention Vehicle driver ( who hails from Australia and has 10 years of experience under his belt ):

- what you see on TV is nothing compared to what you experience at the track
- the F1 cars are so fast, it's positively terrifying
- the decibel level is completely off the charts, even though you get hit by the engine noise for only seconds at a time
- seems as though good looks is requisite criteria for being part of an F1 team ( this includes the crew )

We had a full-day shakedown on Thursday, during which my FIV was among 4 chosen to do high-speed full-circuit laps. Our BMW hit 140 km/hr at one stretch, and we were literally burning rubber, since we took turns so quickly the tyres screeched, emitting plumes of smoke at some points. I was in the front passenger seat, and loving every minute! :)

Yesterday, we were situated at various prime vantage points, like the pit exit ( where we got to see all the racing cars line up before taking off on the track - this happened right outside our window, woohoo! ), along the track turn ( where we got out of our car to stand near the circuit and really find out what the noise level is like ), and near the pit entry ( where we bumped into Mark Webber from the Red Bull team, as he supervised the transport of his damaged vehicle - I was just a couple of metres away, but of course there's no way any of us normal earthlings can approach to say hello ).

Webber's really gorgeous up close. Not that I wasn't already aware of this, haha.

Slept a total of 4.5 hours since we only returned to the hospital at 1am due to bus shuttle delays and such. But I'm glad to be a part of F1 history - we were right there when the first support race car ( a Formula BMW ) launched itself onto the track for a practice run. And we were among the first few to do a lap around the circuit, even before the race cars got a chance. It's a beautiful experience, and our city landmarks look amazing from the track.

Not sure if I'm allowed to post any photos, but I'll ask and see.

Till next time...

No comments: