Formula One – Singapore sets high standard for India
I have to admit I am not a Formula One fan but I did jump to the offer of going to Singapore for the floodlit race and am I glad I went! The experience of watching a race live is incomparable to what you get on television especially since this one was a night street-race and an Indian team was competing (Never mind the fact that one of the team’s drivers crashed out mid way and the other ended the race in the last spot.)
As a non-F1 enthusiast it was only when I was at the race that I learned how much the team matters in a sport that seems like a one-man show. It is the mechanics, the analysts and the managers that make or break the race for the team driver. A case in point is top qualifier Felipe Massa who lost his lead in the race because he was given an incorrect green signal while he was in the pit refueling and drove off with the fuel pipe in his car only to drive back and lose those precious seconds.
Hysteria apart, the Grand Prix showed the tiny city-country of Singapore’s unbelievable capability to host 300,000 people over three days with impeccable organization, top security and an entertainment appeal… It had some like me pledging to come back for more!
The attention to detail was immaculate. An otherwise dull and plastic city infested with bankers and professionals, managed to come of its own displaying a festive spirit for one of their biggest weekends to date.
What impressed me about the event was undoubtedly the organizational skill of the Singaporeans. There were plenty of English speaking staff directing you with a wide smile on their faces, young locals cheering you on as you left the venue, well demarcated gates and public transport to take you to your gate, a Singapore Sling bar to give you a local experience and most importantly – punctuality.
Monaco which also has a street circuit is considered the glitz and glamor capital of the world and a tall order for our Asian brothers to match up to. But I have to say, Singapore managed to reach the bar and set it higher for the rest of the countries organizing F1 races in the near future!
Singapore has undeniably set an example that needs to be matched and improved upon… Now the million dollar question is- will India be able to pull it off in 2011?