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Review: F1 Malaysian Grand Prix 2005

Monday, March 21, 2005

What an exciting weekend! One of the most memorable to date (especially the DIY Pit Lane tour! muahahaha)... Most of the events organized are in conjunction with the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix. Anyways as mentioned earlier, I've purchased tickets for the F1 this weekend for the C2 hillstand. Thoughts of heat and heavy downpour crossed my mind but the C2 hillstand were 'covered'. Thus, didn't have to worry much.

The race starts at 3pm but the gang decided to leave for Sepang around 9am in order to make it in time for the qualifying session at 11am. The journey to Sepang took us 40 minutes but upon reaching the venue, there were massive jams leading to the designated parking area. After crawling thru the jam, we've managed to park out cars and were at the covered hillstand at 10:45am. Cool... 15 minutes to spare and to look for a nice spot to camp. :)

Initially, we managed to get a spot in the middle of the hill but at the edge of the shades. Cool. We could see everything from here as the cars would have to slow down quite abit to make a slight turn at the curve. We sat there for the qualifying session which was around 1 hour. Suddenly most of us felt itchy... hahaha.. we could see rashes forming on our hands and necks... :P we then decided to 'relocate' to the upper portion the hill. Ahh.. feels better... I guess there must be some kinda bug there or something. :P Moral of the story... bring a mat! hahaha.. yeah... we forgot about that and sat on the grass.

At noon, the crowd poured in... every little space under the shades were taken up. For us 'early birds', our vantage point were not blocked.. so it's all good! With 3 hours to kill, we decided to play some Chor Tai Ti (Big 2) to kill time. The guys were drinking their beers and were having a jolly good time. We were getting hungry and Shan decided to scout the food shops. Apparently, most of the 'packaged' food were sold out Except this burger store which sold burger at a killer RM10 for one burger! He decided against buying after seeing the line. The dude sitting next to me went out to buy some burger for him and his gf came back only after 45 mins! Ouch.. I'll starve for now... don't feel hungry anyways.

Yeah!! The vintage car parade started about 1:35pm, with all the drivers standing and waving to the crowds in different vintage cars. Quite cute I would say. By 2pm, the hillside were packed! Crowds spilled to the front of the hill. It's really colourful, but as usual, the colour red were everywhere. This time round, yellow to seem to be a favourite colour after the inclusion of the Indian driver.

Airshow started at 2:30pm with 4+1+1 formation MiGs flying low across the track. As usual, they show off their aerial acrobatics. IMHO this year round, it wasn't as impressive as last year. But still a sight to behold. The weather looks ok and there is no sign of rain. :) Thank God for good weather. However, the visibility on the track looks pretty bad due to the haze. The haze did soften the sun rays. Thus with a gentle breeze, it wasn't as hot as I expect it to be.

It's 3pm, you can feel the excitement in the air. The air horns are blowing, ppl are scrambling to the front, flags waving, chatters are getting louder to compensate for the increase in noise level. Suddenly from a far off, you could here the rumble of the F1 car engines. The cars took their formation lap and within 5 minutes, it was racing time! The race went on for approx. 1 hour 30 mins with race leader Alonso dominated from the beginning to the end. Defending champ, Schumi did not even come close. He was actually lapped by the Renaults. This race marks the first ever podium for team Toyota. They did quite well.. achieving position 2nd and 5th. Heifeld of Williams came in 3rd and Montaya of McLaren 4th. Ooo.. for those of you who didn't know, you can actually listen in on the race commentary from your radio on FM90 Mhz. It really helps when you're watching it in Sepang as you won't know who is up ahead or what's happening on the other side of the track.

Heard the news that track temperature went up to 49 Celsius. There were few cars with blown engines and tyres. Anyways, it was a good race with some overtaking action and lapping action. It's nice to hang out with the gang just chilling and listening to the cars roar pass. The race finish about 4:45pm and the gang decided to stay for the after-race concert. Fine with me. Want to see Thai singing sensation, Tata Young anyways. :)

The track management opened the track to the public in order to get to the concert stage located at the middle of the track. With that, many F1 fans took the opportunity to take photos on the track... including me! hahaha... the guys decided to hang around the concert area but Ruben and myself decided to walk the track that Schumi won 3 races in a row.

It took us almost 25 mins just to walk half the track and to think of it, an F1 car can do it in, 20 seconds... hahaha... Anyways, on the way, we decided to walk to the teams' pit stops. But at this rate we're going, we will be dead tired once we reached there.. and we have to think of the journey back as well. We walked to the grandstand and saw that the gates were opened. We cut across the grandstand to the corporate suites which were directly opposite the pits. We could see the pits from here... However, we do not see anyway of getting into the pits unless we walked around the track which we take at least another 20 mins.

We then saw few fellas jumping down the grandstand, crawled under the safety fence, walk across the starting grid and into the pit lane. I looked at ruben and said.. what are we waiting for? The thing is the initial jump from the grandstand is damn scary... 15 feet almost. hahaha.. to make the story short, I managed to persuade Ruben and we jumped down, crawled under the fence, walk across the starting grid and smoothly into the pit lane!

I tell you, it was worth it, we could see the crew packing things up, took a couple of pics here and there and this is where my digital camera battery died. OF ALL TIME!!! Thank God I have my K700i mobile. So We continue clicking! hehehe... We did not see anyone famous but the experience to be in the pit lanes were... sweet. The highlight of that was at the end of the lane, were the 2 medical car and 2 safety cars... took a couple of shots and we were off to the concert to re-join the concert.

It was already 7pm when we reached the concert area. The crowds were enjoying the entertainment. After a few local performances, we decided to leave. it's been almost 12 hours since we were out.. everyone was beat. Just as we were about to leave, Tata Young came out... saw her perform for awhile and we left the concert area and following that the F1 track.

Overall, a great experience. I reckon, I had more fun sitting in the hill than at the grandstand (last year). It was an excellent ideas for the organizers to include commentary for the race straight into your radio. Organization wise, I didn't see any hiccups and everything went as according to plan. Of course, the best part of the day was the DIY pit lane tour... muahahah!

Sweet!

Photo album, Click Here
posted by Ivan Choe, 2:16 pm

4 Comments:

dude i'm so jealous. i'm going next year for sure. which team is your fav?
commented by Blogger cccp, 3/21/2005 07:06:00 pm

 

Yeah.. first race of the season for next year.. better not miss it dude.

My fave? McLaren.. didn't do too well either.. hahaha
commented by Blogger Ivan, 3/21/2005 08:21:00 pm

 

first race? so fast the calendar come out already?
commented by Blogger cccp, 3/21/2005 08:59:00 pm

 

sorry.. not confirmed.. but according to http://www.malaysiangp.com.my/news.asp?nid=251

It seems this is done to avoid clash with the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, which will be held from March 15 to 26. Thus, Sepang Melbourne opt to host Race 3.
commented by Blogger Ivan, 3/22/2005 09:54:00 am

 

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