6/10/2014 Update: Since publishing this story we have learnt of Jules Bianchi’s serious crash at Suzuka yesterday. Our thoughts and prayers are for Jules, his family, loved ones and the whole team.
 
Jules Bianchi waving at me... ok, waving in my general direction at the Singapore Grand Prix!
QNET partner Marussia F1’s Jules Bianchi waving at me, ok, waving in my general direction, at my first ever Singapore Grand Prix! (Photo credit: Marrusia F1 Team).

There is no doubting that Singapore makes a remarkable backdrop for a hazey night race; tens of thousands of meandering spectators, a party atmosphere with headline performers, tight corners, wide straights and high-pitched engines. My Formula 1 Grand Prix cherry is popped!

Being in the Communications Team of QNET, I’m naturally fond of our sporting partners, the Marussia F1™ Team. So when a friend scored tickets to the 2014 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix, I frantically booked flights straight away. I would finally see the red and black Marussia in the flesh, rubber and carbon-fibre!

SEE ALSO: Grand Prix Celebration with Armin Strom

Oh and secretly, I was just a tiny bit excited by the small fact that Jennifer Lopez would be performing after the race… But I’d appreciate it if you kept that to yourself since it isn’t good for my masculine image… shhh!

What I discovered at my first Grand Prix is that the most exciting part of the race is…. the start.

See, the seats really were pink!
See, the seats really were pink!
So close we could almost touch them!
So close we could almost touch them!
The best shot including me AND Marussia at once (approaching grid position slowly)
The best shot including me AND Marussia at once (approaching grid position slowly)
That bump above the barrier, that's Marussia...
That bump above the barrier, that's Marussia...
Bored during race.
Bored during race.
Marussia about to enter frame...
Marussia about to enter frame...
Sigh
Sigh
Apparently it's not as loud as it use to be!
Apparently it's not as loud as it use to be!
I'm extremely proud of this shot!
I'm extremely proud of this shot!
Photo credit: B, my buddy.

 

We had bright pink grandstand seats which seemed brilliantly positioned. Of course, I don’t know for sure how good they were since it was my first time but they did afford us three notable points of interest.

First of all, we found ourselves directly in front of the spot where the drivers jumped off the vintage cars that drove them around the circuit as they waved at us. This meant we got a great view of Marussia’s Max Chilton being interviewed before the race and broadcast directly to the hundreds of screens all around the circuit. But as much as we waved back, neither Max nor Jules seemed to notice us.

Worry we did not, because we were also close to the back of the starting grid, and it just so happened that on that day, that’s exactly where Max was starting from. So we had the good fortune of being able to watch the team get off to an impressive start. Max finished the race, a considerably better effort than four other cars, but he wasn’t able to hold on to an early lead against the Caterham beside him on the Grid.

During the two hour race itself time was passed by alternately watching cars speed past or enter the pit lane in no comprehensible order, queuing to get something to eat and drink and trying to pose for photos with a Marussia car in the background that wasn’t simply a red blur. We also spent an inordinate amount of time enviously observing people in the Paddock Club looking down on us from the opposite side of the track.

The third bonus of our pink grandstand seats was that we had a clear line of sight to the winner’s podium. This would have been awesome if only we had stuck around until the end of a rather long race. But since the Marussia F1™ Team is our team, we didn’t really care to see Lewis Hamilton claim yet another prize. At any rate, there were better places to celebrate.

We left our seats in the final ten minutes to avoid the throngs of people descending on the main stage so we could get an equally good spot to see the closing performance of the weekend. For more about that, you will have to wait for my next article: What Successful Networkers Can Learn Off Jenny From The Block…