Day/Night 1 – Singapore F1 Grand Prix 1st and 2nd Practice (Sep 26)

Day 1 was spent scouting / recce-ing the track. Kris Raikkonen and I, Ronald Massa, entered via Gate 6, checked out Turn 13 (Merlion side), walked down the straight stretch towards Esplanade at Turn 14, then took the underpass to the opposite side (Gate 7), checked out some babes, walked past Turn 15, 16, 19, 20 and finally trekked across a U-shaped cluster to reach the Singapore Flyer zone to meet Sasha and collect tickets for R & M. Phew. We, the Ferrari team, covered half the track in an hour or so — on foot.

Above: Entering via Gate 6. First foray into F1! Note: Blue-and-white stripes shirt is not in support of BMW Sauber. Had to save Ferrari polo for the next 2 days.

Above: We all need an ice cold beer on a sweltering and balmy late afternoon.

We then walked back the same route (bummer!) and started practising some shots at Turn 19.

Above: Toyota approaching Turn 19.

Above: Red Bull after Turn 19.

I used my trusted point-and-shoot camera and the pictures turned out not so trusthworthy at all. Kris fared better with Ghim’s camera (thanks dude). Then walked till Turn 14 and took the underpass to Turn 8. Took some pictures and videos here. Nice angle and spot for shutters.

Noticed the massive crowd spilling in from Gate 3 and had to part through the crowd like Moses to get out of the area and walk a considerable distance across St Andrew’s Cathedral to reach Gate 4 to pass tickets to R & M. We’re nice people.

We trekked back to Fairmont/Swisstoel cos an apparent friend working there (Ai Niang, you reading this?) promised to bring Kris Raikkonen and me up to the hotel’s rooftop to view the track. Turned out to be a bluff. See, nice people get conned, cheated and bluffed.

We went back to Gate 4 and reached a dead end walking the straight Padang track, seeing a glimpse of Turn 10, which is supposed to be an exciting turn due to the high kerbs which the drivers complained of on Thursday night.

Above: One of the accredited photographers at Padang Track telling us his settings for camera.

Went opposite to the Circuit Park and walked towards Turns 11 and 12. Realised these are the best spots to take photos due to the slow turns doing a “S”. Took a lot more pictures here before proceeding to the other prime spot further down at Turn 13.

Above: Ferrari approaching Turn 11.

Above: Alonso leading the 1st practice at Turn 11.

Above: Raikkonen during the 2nd practice on the chicane at Turn 11.

Turn 13 turned out to be the area NEAREST to the cars because the cars slowed down on a tight left turn. We snapped pictures away. The next day, the area was cordoned and shifted further in so it’s not that near anymore. Damn the safety marshals!

Above: Raikkonen approaching Turn 13.

Above: Lewis Hamilton at Turn 13. Up close and personal.

Above: David Coulthard at Turn 13.

Observations on the Race itself

  • Hamilton clocked the best time in 1st practice (1:45:518 / 20 laps) and Alonso clocked the best time in 2nd practice (1:45:654 / 30m laps).
  • Mark Webber crashed into the barrier at Turn 18 after braking too late on the left turn.
  • Turned out the street circuit was really bumpy where the cars kept hitting the surfaces. Well, Singapore didn’t have that much time to even the roads but props to a great event held! It’s perhaps even bumpier than Valencia GP but it’s OK! Next year will be better!
  • Seems like the cars have lesser chances of overtaking on our narrow circuit.
  • Massa (the real Massa, not me) will do well on this dry track and if he clinches pole on Saturday, the Brazilian driver will coast to victory on Sunday just like he did in Valencia. Fingers crossed.

End of 1st and 2nd Practice on Friday night (26/9). Qualifying tomorrow. Go Ferrari! Go Scudeira!

It’s seriously char si lang (read: noisy) but shiok lah. Who needs earplugs when you can hear the real damn thing and feel the real damn thing and see the real damn thing in front of you? Welcome to the Singapore Grand Prix and first night race in the world.

It’s Team Ferrari here signing off. Roger out!

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