Its 2.47 PM on Monday morning I.E 29th September 2008 and I am happy to see that I was a witness to a piece of Formula One history being made. The first Night race ever in Formula One was held last night and I was there, watching it all at turn 5. And writing a blog just CANNOT give words to what I felt. It was the single most amazing thing to have happened to me in my 22 Yrs on this planet.
I left home at 3.15 noon. It looked like it would rain, was very cloudy and I messaged Divya and Kalyan (My jijaji) that it looks like it would rain. Kalyan, the local weatherman as I have started to call him, said it wouldn't rain. I was at the Marina Bay Circuit at 4.15 and was searching the Gate 7 entry. I heard cars whizzing by. That was the Formula BMW Pacific that was taking place. I walked along the roads and found an entry to Gate 2. I asked one of the police personnels where I could enter gate 7 from. He said I could get into Gate 2 and walk around till Gate 7 internally. So I did. One thing I got to say is the hospitability of the Singaporeans. Everything is answered with a bright smile on their face.
I entered Gate 2 and found a nice place to sit. I had walkabout tickets so I could walk around anywhere in the Gate 2-7 vicinity. And I am so glad I just stayed put at Gate 2 for most of the race. As soon as the Formula BMW Pacific event concluded, there was the other support event of Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. Once that was done, I just sat there listening to songs on my iPod when I saw people pointing out to something. I just about managed to take the ear plugs off in time when I heard them shout "Go Felipe!!". The driver's parade had begun. Each driver was placed in a vintage car with their names written on the cars, and they were being taken around the track. One driver in each car. When I saw Felipe Massa go by, I knew the next would be Raikkonen. I quickly fumbled to switch on my camera which I was using in Video mode, coz I could hardly take any good pics in motion.
And there he was. 50 feet away from me, separated by a barrier. If there were no barriers there and if Kimi just stood there, I could have walked up to him in less than 50 steps. And that is no exaggeration. That is how close I was to the race track. I managed to switch on the Camera just as he was passing by and I noticed I wasnt concentrating on the camera at all. My eyes were stuck on him. My heart was pounding and my hands were shivering. And I saw him, as clear as daylight. There he was. The most amazing looking man I'd seen. And he looks much much better than his pics. Oh I cant tell you how I felt at that moment. I was so awe-struck that I had gone numb for a moment. Probably the happiest that I have felt.
Then the others driver went by. I caught them on the camera but the cars were going too fast for my camera. Not as fast as the F1 cars of course..they are vintage cars. But my camera wasnt accustomed to sports photography I guess. So the video isnt all that great. Lewis Hamilton had the warmest smile of all the drivers. He is such a pleaser. But his arrogance has put me off quite a bit and hence I wont talk about him too much. Robert Kubica had the loudest of cheer after Kimi Raikkonen. (P.S. In a local newspaper there was a compilation of list of reasons why Singaporeans will watch F1 at the Marina Bay circuit...and one of the reason was "TO WATCH KIMI RAIKKONEN").
The race started and it was just awesome. The crowd was cheering and people went crazy. The loud noise of the roaring engines...WOW!!! I had ear plugs on for a while and then I removed those to "hear" F1 at its best. It was an amazing feeling to hear the cars whizz by. Just across from me, like 50 feet away. I am not going to write much about the race, except that Kimi Raikkonen crashed out and there was the biggest groan from the crowd when that announcement was made. There was non stop commentary that was going on at the circuit and between the roaring sounds we could hear little.
All in all, I had the time of my life...and I've never felt this way before :P ...going a little musical am I?? Why not?? After all I saw Kimi. And Wow...I am more in love with him now than ever before :P
I leave from Singapore tomorrow i.e 30th September. It was a visit I'll never forget. In my lifetime. The only thing that can top this right now is meeting Kimi in person. I was yakking all the way home with Appu about Kimi. I said If I become a good sports journalist, I can meet him :P...hehehe...I'd be too tongue tied I said. But I swear, I cant tell you how I'm feeling. :)
Peace out everyone...I'll sign off for now. Happiness all around!! :)