Sunday, September 28, 2008

Singapore F1 Grand Prix

Finally, the moment came, so i can post these cards! I received them like, one month ago..and i actually wanted to post them back then...but i figured out that it will be much more convenient if i wait for the moment when they will actually correspond to the actual event...so i managed to keep these aside for a whole month, even though i was really anxious to post them...i was just so excited with the very fact that cards like this exist in the first place....should i describe my reaction when i actually received them? (My thank-you's for these go both to Relie and Fik)

So, here i am today to post these 3 postcards, and to share my own views and opinions regarding the first Night F1 Race ever.....btw, these cards were issued by the Singapore Tourism Board, in order to promote the event....very neat i have to say...though for people like me it doesnt really need any kind of promotion, but its a really good way to attract tourists from all over the world...should i say the seats were completely sold out? Enough said :)

My general impressions with the circuit? Simply magnificent!!!!!
First of all, it was a city-race, meaning, its driven through the streets of Singapore (there are two other races of this kind, Monte Carlo and Valencia, but this one has left a far far greater impression upon me). Probably coz it was a night race and the atmosphere in general was totally different...second, the circuit is surrounded by skyscrapers....above the circuit there are flyovers, with cars passing by....and flashing and glimmering lights from everywhere including the spotlights on the circuit...the beauty of Singapore just so much contributed to the overall feeling of the race....if the circuit was at some place outside the city, in some field or valley, or whatsoever, it wouldnt have felt as amazing as it did...Singapore as a city definitely has a lot of karma
some facts and trivia about the circuit itself:

Circuit length: 3.148 miles
Type of circuit: 80% temporary street circuit; 20% purpose-built race track
Number of laps: 61

* To ensure the necessary visibility for an F1 race, 1,600 high wattage lights were erected along one side of the circuit.
* In total the light projectors need 3,180,000 watts of power to ensure a brightness level of 3000 lux, four times brighter than a sports stadium.
* The lights were mounted 10 metres above the track – in order to be below the level of the trees lining much of the circuit – and will be spaced at four metre intervals.
* To provide power to the lights, over 108,000 metres of cable were used and power was generated by 12 twin-power generators housed in soundproof containers.
* Extensive plans have been put in place to prevent a power failure, with back-up lighting, powered by two separate sources, capable of keeping the circuit lit if the main system fails.

Another thing used for the first time at this circuit were the electronic flags...you know, those yellow/blue flags that are being waved during the race in order to give info to the drivers whether they should slow down coz there is a SC on the road, or whether they should let the driver behind them pass..or at least you are familiar with the chequered flag when one finishes the race..
Well, at Singapore, along the track, there were digital signs, which represented these flags (they were still controlled manually) and as well, the old flags waved by humans were present...i have to say i like that introduction of the electronic flags, just that im still not used to them and i dont know if they were implemented well enough in the race itself...well, since this was a night race, i do think it was quite appropriate coz they will be more visible to the drivers than the regular flags...unlike at day races where i think that the usage of the electronic flags would be actually useless, coz you cant really see the right signalling-colour at dalylight..

And another feature of this circuit is that it is anti-clockwise...


Now lets get down to the actual race and how it went...

After yesterday's qualifications, Massa took the pole position, Hamilton started second while Raikkonen third...The whole drama started at lap 15 when Piquet smashed into the wall, due to what the Safety Car had to come in charge (i think that this year the SC has been more on track than in the garage:)))

Well, as usual, once the SC comes in charge, most of the drivers want to use that time to make a pit-stop...Massa and Raikkonen as well, and this wouldnt have been worth mentioning unless Massa didnt start sooner than needed and pulled the fuel hose along with him...moreover, instead of stopping, he actually continued driving, dragging the hose, until the pit lane exit, where he finally stopped, and waited for his mechanics to come and pull it out.....that was just hillarious...its not the first time that that Massa guy had cracked me up with some totally imprudent action of his...i dont know if he is sometimes having a lack of nerves, but he really makes stupid mistakes...so thats where it was obvious that he had no chances to do something, and from 1st, became 18th...this whole pit thing actually got me a bit lost, since when Raikkonen exited, he was 16th...i really couldnt figure out how from being 3rd, he ended up 16th, but I guess that all that time gap he had, simply melted, with the SC on track....Massa was also punished with a stop-and-go penalty, coz of what happened.

At lap 51, Sutil crashed as well, which meant another SC time...i hoped that this would be a chance for Raikkonen to come close to Glock who was in front of him, and eventually overtake him and score one additional point....but it doesnt always turn out as you wish for coz at lap 58, Raikkonen went over one of those uneven bumpy parts of the track, it caused his car to spin a bit, he lost control over it...and smashed into the wall!
That was just simply painful to watch....few laps before the end, while being 5th (coming down from 16th) instead of scoring some points, Raikkonen ended his race...if it happened in the middle of the race, i wouldnt have felt this bitter...if Raikkonen was not in a position to score points, i wouldnt have felt this bitter...but like this, it always hurts :|

Anyway, the race ended with Alonso winning a race after a long long time (or 1 year and 2 weeks to be more precise), Rosberg being second, and Hamilton ended third.
I have to say that i was actually glad Alonso won...as long as its not Hamilton, anyone is ok to win for me :) (and i need to point out that today, due to problems with the car at the qualifications, Alonso started from the 15th position).

Several years ago, when Alonso was driving for Renault, I doubt i would have said i was glad he had won..coz he was Kimi's rival back then, and there is no way i would have said im glad that a guy who is a threat for Kimi, wins actually...but right now, i somewhat felt sorry for Alonso, being in such an uncompetitive team (I really wonder what the hell happened to Renault) and esp. i somewhat grew fond of him, after he spent a year in McLaren with having Hamilton as a colleague...i think, that was a living hell for Alonso...so i really think he is better at where he is right now...maybe Renault's car is far from the best, but at least he doesnt have Hamilton and Ron Dennis breathing into his neck
Another thing I noticed tonight, is the relationship between Flavio and Alonso..they defintiely seem to have some geniune closeness between them, which i hadnt noticed between anyone else in the teams.
And i cant not mention the obvious cold attitude between Alonso and Hamilton...esp. from Alonso's side...the way they greeted each other...and congratulated...Alonso was sitting on a sofa, had a bottle of water in his right hand and was drinking from it, Hamilton came, gave him his hand, Alonso didnt even bother to put down the bottle, he just gave Luis his left hand, muttered something, and didnt even take a look at Hamilton...he didnt even sprinkled him with the champagne, something which the drivers do among them...so, that animosity can really be felt...and with every right from Alonso's side I have to say...

Well, despite the bad outcome for Raikkonen, I still think it was a good race...unpredictable and dramatic, and frankly, thats whats needed a lot in F1, otherwise it tends to get boring...and definitely definitely an amazing circuit and atmosphere!!!

My geniune congrats to Alonso, and for god's sake Kimi, what the hell is wrong with you?!!!!!

4 comments:

run to live said...

Great Write up! I link it on my blog!

BTW, nice postcard collection you have there....I got a stack of them..used to collect them for fun...hahaa

Ana said...

you should consider starting to collect postcards again..even if its for fun...gets addictive eventually ;))))

run to live said...

I will try to grab them again...looking at your blog..my postcards does not belongs to the same category as what you have collected....My are mainly advertising cards....maybe I should try to post them up one by one in my blog.haha

Ana said...

you should..I would love to see those, even if they are advert cards...they all represent something :)