Wednesday, April 30, 2014

MALAYSIA F1 GP 2014 - RACE DAY

Race day is the busiest day of the three days of F1. The rain of the qualifying day and the long way back to the city had caused me to buy a One-Way ticket for the way home after the race with the KLIA Express Train/Shuttle Bus combination, rather than using my already paid bus transfer. An extra RM 25!

The race track was very busy even way before the F1 activities started. Malaysian Super Series had their second races, with Series A and B as well as Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. I felt kind of sorry for the winners who went up the podium and had their champagne splashing fun and winning ceremonies, with nobody really watching down below. 

The F1 drivers truck parade had never happened before, according to my seat neighbors, so it was great to see all the drivers walk up to the bus directly in front of us and assemble in the open deck, with the exception of Sebastian Vettel and another driver, who stayed in the covered back of the bus. I guess it must have been the heat/humidity which kept them inside. But for the hard-core fans who sit here in the sun for three days it is the closest they will ever get to their drivers. 

Again, Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton seemed to be the friendliest, smiling and waving at the crowd, while others were quiet and seemed distant. Great to see them up close though. 

The race kicked off with a moment of silence for MH370 and the national anthem of Malaysia while the grandstands filled up with people. People who had a seat and people who obviously didn't and just stood wherever they pleased to - mostly right in front of us, blocking our view. Unfortunately the race organizers did nothing to limit this behaviour and the poor girls who checked the tickets where completely overwhelmed with people coming in and out of the gate.

Luckily the weather was perfect for a great race and it did not get delayed for any rain, as during the qualifying. It's a great race track with good views, perfect seats at a real attractive price. No fireworks at the end, unlike in Singapore and no real concerts, during the first two days. A concert with Calvin Harris happened after the race but I am not sure how many people actually went to it. After the podium fun, everyone seemed to move back to the parking areas and buses. 

The alternative option to go back to the city, which was labeled "the fastest way to the race" turned out to be better than the RapidKL direct bus option, however the first line I hit was long. And it turned into an even longer six lines inside the tent next to the buses, however it moved fast. The way down to the KLIA Express train was well posted and I actually got the next available train which was in the city in 20 minutes. It seemed faster, AC was much better than on the RapidKL buses and I got lucky having seats. However the train was very full with lots of people standing. It will be my option for next year's race for sure. 























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