Sunday, March 30, 2008

Formula 1 Part 1

Formula 1 Malaysian Grand Prix, Part 1

"Honda, The Power of Dreams"
Dream I did, and powerful it was. On 22-23rd May 2008, Honda made my dream come true. From just a simple entry form, consisting of some questions and a slogan, to being the selected winners of Grandstand tickets for 2 to the prestigious Malaysian Grand Prix at the Sepang International Circuit, believe it or not, that alone caught me by surprise. It didn't just end there. Honda made absolutely sure that we had the most spectacular F1 weekend, with 2 x Sapphire 3-days Grandstand tickets worth Rm 1600 each, exclusive Paddocks Pass to tour the pits, 3-day Parking sticker worth Rm 50, exclusive invites to Honda's Street Party at The Curve to meet Rubens Barrichello and Super Aguri Drivers, lunch, dessert, beverages, fans, flags, t-shirts, caps, ear plugs and more all thrown in with excellent hospitality under the good hands of The Honda People.

How could I have asked for more. I'm eternally grateful to Honda, and will also make sure I'll get myself a Honda if I can help it =) For the record, Fluffy researched the questions and I did the slogan. So I guess we have found our winning formula in luck! Lol. Although the tickets were valid for 3 days, we managed only to attend both Qualifying Day and Race Day. But even 2 days are more than enough to fill our memory cards to the brim, with a whopping 1 GB worth of photos. *GRIN*

At the entrance of Formula 1 Village on Qualifying Day. Not many people there, which was fantastic to queue without people "accidently" rubbing against my *ahem* or wiping their sticky sweat on my shirt/skin, or come close enough to leave me no choice but inhale the tormenting aroma of their Body Odour! Wanted to get my hands on some exotic pieces of official team merchandise very badly! The words "Ferrari" and "The Prancing Horse symbol" on a piece of garment costs Rm150 for a spaghetti top to > Rm 300 for a jacket. I was so tempted to swipe my brand new credit card for it, but I didn't want my dad to breathe down my neck. I was wearing red anyway.

The magical entrance for the exclusive.
Never would I have thought that one day I will be able to enter anywhere through the VIP entrance. And it was sweet! Very short queue and efficient officials to give me our entrance band for the day. Ahh~ it was bliss watching other people squeezing through their other entrances, and lining up while being roasted ala Kenny Roger's Chicken under the scorching sun, Muahahahaha... Now I know why people would pay so much just to get a taste of this.

Boy oh boy, that's the starting grid, visible from my seat!
Oh and the podium! (First floor, green patch on the left.)

Also visible from my seat, the magical Turn-1-of-All-Possibilities in the distance, after a high speed potential straight right in front of me! Honda I love you so much.

A very excited me with my F1-clueless Fluffy. It was so funny that he didn't know how the qualifying day was gonna proceed, and when it ended, haha...

The VERY important ear plugs! Being that close to the race track, I was absolutely deafened by the beautiful sound of those V8 engines!! They took my breath away, and my ear drums with it. Well, nearly. I swear, even with those orange rubber stuffed deep inside my ear, the roar of the engines were still beyond bearable levels of loud -.-"

The very exclusive Paddocks Pass that allows only a handful of lucky ordinary citizens to tour the pits, get very very close to the very F1 cars that were being prepared for qualifying at the time, and actually find out what the mechanics actually do in that den.

This is as close as it gets. With a guide, to explain in detail the stuff that goes on around here.
"Any questions?", she asked at the end of the tour.
"How do I get a job here", said Fluffy.
(-.-") , me.

By the way, I think Honda's conservation and environmental efforts are fantastic! With "Save Our Rhinos" and "My Earth Dreams", this is ethical engineering excellence with a heart. Somewhere in the pits, Fluffy spotted Dawn Yang, with red blotches on her face. It's most probably the melted make up that has been blotted away. Lol. Want to know how she looks like in person? Ask him yourself for a non-biased point of view.

Okay, this is Nico Rosberg of Williams F1 team having lunch. Hehehe... *swoons*

While hanging around the F1 village, lookie what I found! I think he's hilarious, and deserves an award for this. Although I don't really know if Ferrari secretly paid him to do it, or he's just a Schizophrenic Hardcore Ferrari Fan.

Well, the Ferrari Flag was waved high and proud as both Ferrari drivers qualified beautifully on the front row! To be blatantly honest, I've seen more Ferrari flags over the weekend than the Malaysian Jalur Gemilang, for the whole of 2007.

The most annoying thing that day was that the cars are so incredibly fast, my shutter speed of 1/8 of a second couldn't quite catch up with it. Strangely, I managed to capture all the other cars better than the Ferraris, leading me to only one plausible conclusion. And that is, Ferraris are sooooo much faster! *squeals* Even before the car reached my screen, I clicked. All I got was an empty piece of car-less road, very frustrating. Lucky for me I attended Qualifying day, spent the whole day capturing empty pieces of road while practicing how to get the cars on my screen instead. You all better appreciate my photos, or face my wrath. *ROAR*

Trying to take a slimming photo of Fluffy. See? This pic shows a jaw line! I'm such a good photographer *Smug*

Did I mention the pit stops were right in front of us. A WHOLE ROW of them all!
In this picture, ING Renault's Nelsinho Piquet and Fernando Alonso, BMWS auber's Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld.

Toyota's Jarno Trulli (4th place) and Timo Glock, Toro Rosso's Sebastien Bourdais and Sebastian Vettel.
I think the pit stops are definitely one of the most exciting features in the race. Split second tyre changes, mechanical magic and the lollypop man working all together in a adrenaline rush to put a car together in just a few seconds! It was exhilarating just watching them, in awe. More pit stop photos in Part 2! Including Lewis Hamilton's and Kimi Raikkonen's...

Honda gave us a wonderful lunch! That's 1/4 roasted chicken over mashed potatoes, salad, brown gravy, garlic bread, and chocolate cake delivered right to our knees XD YUMS!

The "atas" water that XiaXue's always talking about. Apparently this is high class water from a higher ground level in the highlands of France, situated high above the Earth's Equator. Wow, very atas indeed, price also very atas. But no difference in taste okay! I took the lame effort of comparing nutritional values between this "atas water" and a "bawah water", namely our bottle water from underground source. Now that I think of it, our water is really "bawah" -.-" Well, atas water seems to have more minerals and electrolytes than bawah water. But I don't understand what's the big deal about it. Want more minerals in your water? Throw in 2 packets of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) into your bawah water and there you go lah! You get a pleasant orange flavour, mildly sweet taste, and a cure for your diarrhoea too! Still very much cheaper than the so called atas water.

To be continued in Part 2....

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