I am no car racing fan, yet yesterday evening's inaugural Formula 1 race was something not to be passed up - on TV at least. I couldn't afford the thousand(s) dollar tickets. I have stopped working around the Raffles Place area since 6 eyars ago and thus couldn't get anywhere near the tracks to have a freebie off the office's aerial view of the race. Many offices which had good views of the tracks had a party last night - in the office premises while watching the race for free. Lucky blokes.
I am sure those at track-side got their tickets' worth, what with the atmosphere and roar of the F1 car engines and all. But watching on Telly has its advantages too. The room is air-conned (at least mine was), I can snack on anything and everything that I fancied, the toilet is just next door and you get aerial views of the cars and tracks. There was the magnificant skylight too, courtesy of the cameraman from Mediacorp's free-to-air channel, or any of the pay TV channels that was broadcasting the race. And I can follow the race at every turn and corner, including a view of the paddock when Felipe Massa raced off with the refueling tube in his car. The instant replays are one of the features watching on site could never match. With informative commentary thrown in, it is no wonder that F1 sells.
Some had earlier derided the whole event as nothing more than 20 cars circling a track 61 times. They really missed a good race, which was full of drama and action. I didn't know that circling a track that many time was so engrossing to watch. At the end, only 16 cars (I remember) completed the circuit. I would have wanted to be on site so that I could also have taken away videos and photos that I can share with my children in the years to come. Oh well, there is next year.
Though not the first F1 event on this island, it was the first F1 race staged at night. I remember people TALKING about the F1 races in the Old Thomson Road tracks when I was about 8 years old. Then there wasn't any broadcast of the event on TV. The best you got was either be on site or near a radio. (Was there a radio broadcast of the event then? I don't remember).
What a fantastic night and an exciting race it was. I am looking forward to next year's race, which reminds me - I need to put that on my spending budget for the next year to be on track side, or find a job that has an office with a view or get a 52 inch High Definition TV so that I can catch it on Mediacorp TV HD5.
And congratulations to the eventual race champion, Fernando Alonso (in a Renault), whose name will now be associated forever with this small little island.
Image source: morgueFile.com Author: Rogan Josh