I woke up on race day to the awesome news that Singapore’s renewed our contract to hold the F1 race till 2017! What a reason to celebrate!
When the race first came to Singapore, I attended as a big fan, and it was a huge moment for me. In the last few years, feel like I’ve grown beyond that to become almost an ambassador for the sport – welcoming members of the media to my home race, taking them closer to the teams and the action, showing them the technology that makes things work and also getting my friends to love the sport that I find so wonderful. And you will have to agree that the race has done amazing things for Singapore to put us on the world map. My city sparkles every time the race comes to town, and I know that while we whine about the road closures and traffic, its also a really proud moment for us to see our city look so beautiful under the lights.
I always say (with plenty of conviction, too!) that I think Singapore is the best race on the calendar. Other than the fact that it’s held in my city, it really is so different from the rest, and so easy for people to enjoy. Think about most other races held on the big, famous race tracks. No one but a true race fan would make the trip out and spend a whole weekend doing nothing but watch cars zoom up and down. And as far as street circuits go, ours really is in the heart of the city. There’s plenty to see and do outside of the races, and off-track entertainment is truly second to none. It isn’t exclusive the way Monaco is, so EVERYONE can really enjoy themselves thoroughly, without having to be rich and famous. And of course, there’s the whole romance of racing under the stars. Its such a winning combination. I know for a fact that all my friends from work would never have watched a race in their lives if ours hadn’t made motorsport as accessible and appealing to the masses. Now, we’ve got a few die-hard converts that will attend the race year after year.
I must give full credit to the race organizers and volunteers, who clearly pulled out all the stops for the fifth installment. They made it bigger and better than before with the live acts, had all bases covered in terms of people moving and security, amped up the post-race festivities and fireworks, and really put an amazing human touch to things. I was handed an ice-cold isotonic beverage as I walked towards the concert stage on the track! Cherry on the cake for a strong race overall by Ferrari. The guys did well to finish where they did considering where they were during the race, especially Felipe who really clawed his way back up from the tail end.
So much to look forward to for the next few years, and already I cannot wait. But meanwhile, let’s just celebrate an epic 5 years as the host of the world’s only night race. They were totally right about it – nothing else comes close.