The scarlet Ferrari Formula One car of Spaniard double world champion, Fernando Alsono, flashes past the crowds of people standing just a few feet from the speeding cars. For this one weekend a year, the city streets of Singapore’s Marina Bay are transformed into one of Formula One’s most spectacular Grand Prix circuits.
It could be argued that watching Formula One racing at the trackside is not as good as watching the race on television. Of course, there are limitations to watching the race from beside the track where even identifying the cars and drivers can be tricky as they pass you in an ear shattering blur. However, Formula One is as much spectacle as it is sport, and to stand this close to the cars, feeling the vibrations of their engines as they roar by you at high-speed, is really an experience that television could never re-create.
Thanks to my friend Mitch I had a Grandstand ticket, but we watched the race unfold from various locations around the track. At times we were so close that we could smell the fuel and brake dust of the cars. In the end German Sebastian Vettel won the race, and as he crossed the line and began his victory lap waving to the crowds, an immense firework display lit up the sky over Marina Bay bringing to an end a fantastic weekend of Formula One Grand Prix excitement.
I’ll watch the race again on TV to see the action in full, but also happy to be able to sit back and say “I was there.”