A very emotional day! "Verrari's" first win with "V"ettel in "F"errari! And a great race day it was with excitement until the end.
Of course the day started with the F1 drivers autograph session. Fans were running up the hill after they arrived from the shuttle buses to get in line for an autograph. And it was a long line...a very long line. In fact the line was longer than the time the drivers had in the end. I felt sorry for those fans who still lined up all around the Petronas tent when the drivers where already on their way back to the pit lane.
I also felt sorry for the first few drivers who came in to sign autographs but the organizers of the session told the fans that they had to move up to the drivers, no matter if they were fans of that team or not. Since the fans did not really move, the organizers changed their mind and then announced that with the second team coming in, it would be OK for those fans to cut the line so they could get their autographs. Only fair that fans of a certain team can get to their favourite drivers!
Before the opening ceremony an interesting "show act" was performed. I am still not sure what it was but to me it felt like some archaic ritual by some army guys. Even my Malaysian friends were not sure after I showed them the video.
Another interesting observation I had this time was that Malaysians (and to be fair, I have to say also other nationals F1 fans) stand up and remove their hats for the Malaysian national anthem, but not for the other anthems. Even though it was announced over the loudspeaker, but nobody showed respect to the playing Swiss anthem of the winning team of the TCR International Series a few minutes before. Same is true for the German anthem being played at the end of the race, but by that time everyone was standing anyway.
And "standing" is the subject which caused me and some other F1 fans grief yet again, since we paid for seats and people with no tickets for this section were again standing in front of us on the stairs blocking our view. I told a few people nicely that they were standing in front of me and were blocking my view but since some of them did not react I had to get security to get them to move. Most of them though were understanding enough and got out of the way. At other races, like in Singapore, it is not a big problem because you can focus your attention at the large screens but in Malaysia there is almost no large screens or they are too far away to see anything.