The Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix
Posted: Oct 21 in photography
No, you haven’t clicked upon the wrong website. This is David McClelland Photography – usually the home to brides and grooms, the odd concert and my own random photography. But for now, it’s all about F1. I’ve been back from Singapore for over 3 weeks now, but I’ve only just had time to go through my shots from my week there (more like a long weekend really what with the time it takes to get there and my massive flight delay – don’t get me started). The reason for my visit was for one thing and one thing only. Formula 1.
It was round 15 of the season and the only pure night race of the calendar. I’ve been to F1 races before but nothing compares to the spectacle of Singapore – especially once the sun sets and the track and surrounding building light up before your very eyes. The cars take on a whole new look with their paintjobs reflecting under the incredibly bright lights. Then there’s the sound. It’s ridiculously loud. With it being a street circuit there is nowhere for the sound to escape to but directly into your vibrating eardrums. The smell is awesome too. Rubber mixed with fuel. Ahhh – Puts hairs on the chest.
What I couldn’t get over was just how close you get. The last race I went to was Belgium where I had walkabout tickets which means you do exactly that, walkabout and try and find a good spot on the grass to plonk yourself. Normally you’d be on average about 50 yards from trackside what with the massive runoff’s and gravel traps. In Singapore however, there are times you’d be no more than a few feet away. On one straight in particular they are going past you at close to 200mph just a few feet away. It’s utterly breathtaking.
I’ll not bore you with all the details but I will bore you with some….
Without doubt the highlight of the trip had to be when Richard (my mate) and I thought we’d see how far we could get around the track with our walkabout tickets. After a few minutes we ended up at the paddock entrance. Jackie Stewart (3 times world champion) standing right in front of us. He posed with us for a photograph. Then out came Bruno Senna (Aryton Senna’s nephew and F1 driver). Then Flippe Massa. Then Rubens Barrichello. Jenson Button (Richards hero and look-a-like). Lewis Hamilton. Nico Rosberg. Nico Hulkenberg. The list goes on… and finishes with the man himself and my hero for almost the last 20 years since his debut with Jordan. Michael Schumacher. Out he came, stood right next to me. I put my arm aroun him, asked for a photo – he said “please don’t touch me”. I grabbed my camera from Richard, flipped it to video mode and recorded me walking along side him. What happened next is way to embarrassing to publish here but make no mistake, I made a fool of myself. Just like Neil Hannon (a couple of posts back), Michel Schumacher doesn’t want to be my best friend.
After that we continued on our walkabout and arrived at the grandstands that faced the pitlane on the start/finish straight. There was a gate that could quite easily be climbed over. You only get faced with these opportunities once so over we went and walked the back half of the course. If you’d seen our faces it was like Christmas morning.
So then, here are some shots from my few days there. What a place. I only brought one 50mm lens with me as I didn’t want to be annoying myself with dipping in and out of my camera bag every two minutes. So there is very little arhitecture. Be prepared for lots of pictures of blurry cars…