Yes, I know I’m late but I’m writing this not to educate you of the final standings but I’m writing this to tell you about my trip there. Just as a refresher, Raikkonen came first followed by Robert Kubica and finally Heikki Kovolainen, the Malaysian GP is also where Felipe Massa put his entire career on the line by spinning out, again. Lewis Hamilton failed to shine but still came in fifth, there’s the refresher for you.My experience there, firstly I have to admit to something. This is the first time I have attended a Formula 1 race, I never felt the need to attend a F1 race because I always believed its better to watch on TV, its not a spectator friendly sport like football and I was proven right but I’ll get to that later. My first visit to a F1 race landed me in the grandstand area, which was quite a privilege but sadly I wasn’t facing the pits but still special thanks goes to Mr.Irwan of SIC for hooking us up with the tickets.
My first gripe is about parking, I literally walked 4km in two days (qualifying and race), that’s more than I do in a week and I walked in the rain, which ultimately landed me in the waiting room of some clinic waiting to be slapped with a RM100 bill for a common cold and a temperature. Should I bill SIC? Quite debatable but I can’t complain much about this because it’s totally understandable, where else are we supposed to park? It was just my luck that I got a PO parking sticker and had to walk all the way to the welcoming area. @%&*^$#!!!
My second gripe is about the merchandise on sale. Sure everything is official merchandise and everything costs an arm and a knee but why is it that different vendors have different prices? It’s like a night market without the darkness and the fish smell, but I guess that’s just business and no one stands to gain from business competition but us, the consumer. Probably I expected better of a F1 event, I really didn’t expect to see a price war in the midst of a world championship.
F1 a spectator friendly sport? Not in Malaysia, not in Sepang. I heard that the Australian GP as well as a few other GPs around the world is superbly spectator friendly and the entire F1 atmosphere is really involving but in Malaysia, its all about the money. If you can afford a Rolls Royce, you can afford to comfortably watch the race. Yes, F1 is a rich mans sport, but does it have to be a rich spectator sport as well?
Screens in foreign race are wide enough for everyone to see but the one we had across the grand stand resembled a 12” TV from where I was seated. There is definitely improvement being made in the form of small portable screens covering the entire race but at US40 to rent, after paying so much for the ticket, it seems absurd. Shouldn’t you be getting your moneys worth already after paying the ticket? Why do you have to pay more just to be able to see the race? And why did it take SIC 10 years to figure out that people were missing out on the race?
Please excuse my whining I just feel people should be getting their moneys worth when it comes to the Malaysian GP. Yes, SIC is a great circuit, I love open track days, I feel privileged to be able to attack one of the best circuits in the world, but I’m not complaining about the track, in fact I have none except for the fact that the pits and amenities are beginning to show their age but this is really about the F1 Malaysian GP, there is so much that can be improved and so much that can be done. With the Singaporean GP around the corner and the possibility of other Asian race destinations, its about time the management actually does something. The portable screens are a start but the price definitely is not, we are Malaysians and we earn in Malaysian Ringgit, not USD.