FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX
A First Timers Experience [Survival Guide]
Motorsport isn’t for everyone. And as far as I was aware, it certainly wasn’t for me. Watching a blur of super-charged colour hurtle around a racetrack 50-60 times just didn’t sound like my cup of tea.
And yet, like countless others, my wife and I found ourselves bolted to the couch tuning into ‘Drive To Survive’, a collaborative effort from Netflix and Formula 1 offering fans a behind-the-scenes look at life in the Formula 1 World Championship. From the pit garage to the boardroom, to the cramped space afforded the drivers in the cockpit – we learned of the rivalries, politics and the pressure surrounding the competing teams.
Why did Daniel Ricciardo leave Red Bull? What crazy utterance would cross the lips of Haas boss Guenther Steiner next? Could Pierre Gasly convert talent into trophies? What’s the deal with Max Verstappen? Whatever the questions, Jess and I wanted answers. The seed was well and truly planted.
Fast forward a few months and there we were, disembarking for the Singapore Grand Prix at Changi International enroute to our hotel, igniting one of the most exhilarating weekends we’ve had in a long while. Four jam-packed days of amazing food and drinks, globally acclaimed live music, cultural encounters and of course, the cars. Oh, the cars……
If you find yourself considering a trip to Singapore for your own FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX experience, here’s a handful of thoughts and suggestions that may just have you following in our footsteps:
Sights & The City
Singapore is amazing. It’s organised and it’s clean. Squeaky clean. Thanks to a highly efficient MRT (train) system, getting around is a breeze which is lucky as there is so much to see and do with the contrasts just as striking as the sights themselves. On one hand, Singapore is a shopaholic’s dream. One shopping centre after another offering anything from bargain basement goods right up to the world’s most prestigious labels. Orchard Road in particular is lined with high-end outlets and poses the biggest danger to a healthy credit card balance!
On the flipside, the city’s tropical climate offers itself to breathtaking natural beauty, highlighted by the dazzling scenery of Gardens By The Bay. Flora, representing all corners of the globe, are on show beaneath man-made waterfalls and sky bridges that offer the best view of this wondrous place.
The Singapore Flyer, Singapore Zoo and Sentosa Island’s Universal Studio’s are other places that capture the attention of visitors to the city and are well worth the price of entry for kids and adults alike.
I’m not sure I should start on this topic, I may never stop. Everywhere breath you take, every move you make you’ll see – or more importantly, smell – the aroma of scrumptious Singaporean fare. The simplest way I can put this is that even the worst places produce food you’d go back for time and again. From the famous Chilli Crab, to a spicy Laksa or Hokkien Prawn Mee, I could have gorged my way around town a dozen times over. The many hawker markets are a great place for a cheap, but delicious meal or if you’re looking for wow factor it’s hard to go past Ce La Vi, perched high atop Marina Bay Sands. Your wallet will feel the pinch but the view and outstanding food will ensure that’s the last thing you remember heading home!
Plan and pack for all extremes! While the temperature rarely fluctuates more than a few degrees (25-30° being the norm) the rain, particularly later in the year can come and go in an instant. And when it comes…… boys does it come! Whilst the wettest months are typically November to January, there’s still the odd chance of a brief barrage of torrential rain. Late on race day in 2022, we experienced rain like I’ve never seen before, to the point where we thought there was no chance the race could commence. But as quick as it came, it went, and given the temperatures our wet clothes were dry in an instant! There was a lesson to be learned for us, grab a poncho and umbrella early and at the slightest chance of rain, carry it with you.
World Class Entertainment
The Singapore Grand Prix team don’t mess around. When it comes time to book a musical act to wow the GP crowds, there’s no scraping the bottom of the world’s entertainment barrel. They shop from the top shelf. Previous years’ line ups have included the likes of Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maroon 5, Gwen Stefani, Dua Lipa, Liam Gallagher, Simply Red, Ariana Grande, Seal, Calvin Harris, Duran Duran and Bon Jovi.
We were fortunate to catch Westlife, Black Eyed Peas and much to Jess’ delight, TLC, before Green Day blew the metaphorical roof off with their Sunday night post-race delivery of all their classics! We wait with anticipation for this year’s line up to be announced, it’s guaranteed to be a winning formula once again.
Off and Racing
Well, this was surprising. We thought we’d have a look at a practice session on Friday, be there for qualifying on Saturday and then take in the main event on Sunday. Such is the allure of the back stories, team dynamics and sheer power of the cars themselves, we left our seats for nothing other than food, drinks and well, when nature calls….
Enthralled, we cheered our hometown boy Dan and bemoaned the phenomenal talent of pantomime villain, Verstappen. We savoured seeing Sebastian Vettel in his Aston Martin before he bowed out of F1 racing just a few races later.
The Mexican, Sergio Perez led from start to finish so the action, of which there was plenty, took place in midfield. And it mainly centred around eventual World Champion, Verstappen. Starting from 8th but quickly dropping to 12th on Lap 1, the Belgian/Dutch flyer weaved his way through the pack to reach as high as 7th, his seemingly carefree and cavalier approach delighting the crowd at every turn.
After some vintage driving and a thick slice of luck, it was great to witness Dan Ricciardo post his best result of the season, guiding his McLaren into 5th position at the chequered flag. Enjoyed boisterous support from the excitable crowd, a loud cheer greeted the West Aussie each time he drove through Turns 1 and 2, our race day vantage point.
My Singapore Grand Prix Conclusion
As a consequence of the above our appreciation of Formula 1 racing, non-existent prior to 2022, has not only developed, but flourished. A weekend overflowing with adrenaline, excitement, passion and ….. did I mention the amazing food? We find ourselves counting down to subsequent Grand Prix broadcasts and routinely stay up-to-date, even in the offseason, with all the drama that Formula 1 provides.
I know this won’t be our last FORMULA 1 SINGAPORE AIRLINES SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX appearance, we hope next time you can join us!