Wednesday, 8 April 2009

First Time at the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix

Malaysia has hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix since 1998. After 11 years, I finally attended my first F1 race last Sunday.

The road to the circuit was a slow crawl with so many cars and buses. Luckily DM and I were on a Harley, so we whizzed in and out of traffic like a breeze.

By the time we arrived at the circuit, it was already 4.30pm and the race started at 5.00pm. We parked the Harley in the motorcycle parking area and headed straight into the circuit area.

I was amazed at the number of people there. Recession? What recession? Tickets that costs minimum RM500 were full of people. But I read in the papers that there were only 80,000 spectators this year compare to 120,000 at last years race.

When the race started I realized that listening to the sound of a Formula 1 car live is one of the most exhilarating sounds of adrenaline rush ever.

Now let me share with you my experience about taking pictures of the F1 cars as they zoomed past at an average speed of 85 meters per second.

Because my camera was not a DSLR like DM’s,

I had to focus on a spot on the track and press the button half way down in ready mode. By listening to the approaching sound of the engine as an indicator, I pressed the button all the way down when the sound got nearer, with the hope that the image gets captured.

It was a whole load of tikam work and most of the time I got empty pics like this

Or ‘half cars’ like these

After many tries I managed to get some shots that looked like these

So not too bad lah.

Unfortunately the extremely loud sound of the cars caused the flash in my good old Canon PowerShot A80 camera to crack. As I was taking the pics, I could hear a crackling sound coming from my camera. I dismissed it as just a sound. Later when I couldn’t use the flash only did I realise what had happened. It was like breaking a wine glass with a high resonance frequency.

Next I’m going to bitch about the extremely poor service at the circuit.

DM and I had bought tickets for the Citrine seats 1 week prior to the race and we were allocated seat numbers.

However when we got there, the person-in-charge of crowd control (I’m going to refer to him as Mr Orange because his story does not end here) told us that it was free seating. WTF! The reason we paid so much for the tickets was because we wanted peace of mind that our seats were secured.

We had to jostle and finally found 2 empty seats which were surrounded by foreign students.

Where the hell do students get that kind of money for the tickets?

Soon the crowd got bigger and bigger and since everyone was standing up, we could not get a good angle to take pics. So we left our seats and headed right to the top of the row of seats and jostled in the crowd.

The crowd soon got so big that we got frustrated and we left the seating area to walk around the place.

As we were heading out of the place, I realised that Mr Orange just stood there and let every Tom, Dick and Harry walk in and plunk their arses wherever they wished. No wonder there were so many people in the Citrine seats that I thought the management had oversold the tickets.

I couldn’t stand such poor services that I walked up to Mr Orange and complained. We should not be paying such prices only to get such poor services. Mr Orange finally started controlling the crowd and directed some of them away.

Mr Orange directing traffic away after I complained about the poor crowd control.

DM said if we were to come back again next year, we’re gonna get Grandstand tickets so that we can get a good view of the drivers and their team in the paddock.

The price of food at the circuit was also super pricey.

Just imagine paying so much for something that will end up as shit. Just ta pau your own food in the bag lah. I know food and drinks are not allowed in the circuit. But what are they gonna do if I bring my own F&B? Arrest me?

The speakers were one of the most atrocious speakers I’ve ever seen/heard. The sound muffled so badly and the voice constantly broke up. It was like having a conversation with a friend on a bad cellphone line. It was so bad that I couldn’t hear a word being announced. I didn’t even know that it was Jaclyn Victor who sang the Negaraku until I read about it in the papers the next day. I thought they were playing a recorded song.

You’d also know by now that the race was cut short due to the heavy downpour. Well, by the time it was raining cats and dogs, the Citrine seats were leaking so terribly that many had to vacate their seats. I didn’t take a shot of the leaks cause my flash had broked by then.

Ok, so enough with the bitching.

To end this entry, here's a pic of the gloomy sky at the race. After this pic was taken, the heavens opened and it poured cats and dogs.


Salt N Turmeric said...

How can they let ppl w/o proper ticket in? Thts weird. It wasnt like tht when i went a few yrs ago. Tickets w numbered seat means its allocated lah kan?

Eh few of my blogger frens got invited by celcom to the race. jealous i dengar. lol.

Julie Lim said...

Hi Farina,

I think this boo-boo was only in where I was sitting lah. I didn't see the other seats having such poor crowd control.

Your friends must be popular bloggers to get invited by Celcom :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...