Friday, February 8, 2008

Is Singapore GP overrated ?

I have been reading many posts recently around the F1 community and I decided I should write my personal opinion about the Singapore Grand Prix.

As this is going to be a "First" on many point of view, I will try and breakdown each one and gather my thoughts about each so as to give you a fair and unbiased view.

F1 first ever Night Race: Why ?

This is the first one that pops up everywhere and makes people blood boil all over, why should the europeans get priority to watch "Day" racing ? Some will argue that the viewership in Europe makes it worth trying out new ways to minimise their precious night sleep, others argue that Money is deciding what the race calendar should look like.
Mr Bernie Ecclestone is a businessman. plain and simple. By running a multi Billion industry like F1 you have to make decision that won't please everybody, and in order to keep the sport interesting, just like any business, you have to be innovative. What worked 5, 10 years ago just doesn't work now. The F1 have been through many changes over the year, most good and some bad ones too... but overall what keeps this industry going is the way the ship is steered.
If it makes financial sense to have a Night Race in Asia then so be it. It can only be good for the sport in general. More Sponsors, More Money which in turn leads to more reach across the globe.

Night Race : is it Safe ?

Do you seriously think the authorities in place would have given the Go-ahead if it wasn't ? Would the Super-Safe Singapore governement taken the task if it wasn't ?
The infrastructure deployed for this Race is like no other in any sports at this point. The lightning company is the best in their field. Their engineers have devised a way to light up only on side of the track so as to not disorientate the drivers should they spin around and minimise the shadows. The light up will be the equivalent of 4 full stadiums lighting. It's hard to imagine what it could be like for sure, but Safe ? Definetly YES.

Can Singapore Race live up to the Hype ?

As of today it's now 233 days to the Singapore race. A lot needs to be done but a lot has been started already.
Just like any other street race, the infrastructure needed will not be like a permanent circuit.
Grandstand are being built as we speak, road resurfacing will take place over the coming months, but most of the work is being done behind the scene, and very few info come out of the powers in place so it is a difficulty for people like me to report on The Singapore Grand Prix because all we get is Sugar coated news, and whatever makes it in the news is the same across the different platforms. As time comes more will be done to create awareness among Singaporean of what a Formula 1 race can do for the country as a whole. Singaporean on average are very pragmatic about these kind of things, the greatness of it all hasn't sinked in yet !
Yes sure hotels are happy, they're fully booked at 3 time the normal rates. But that's all we get so far ! It will be a boost for the economy says the governement - That is so obvious-
But try and talk to people in the street, at the market do they care ? not really.
For F1 to be successful in Singapore it has to reach to the populace just like Malaysia did with Sepang, get as much of the local population involved, give cheaper tickets so that the average Joe can bring his familly for a week end of fun. Do not only target the Elite with overpriced tickets and restrict the week-end to the middle or upper class of the population.
Singapore is trying hard to look like the Monaco of the East on the F1 circuit, but you don't have to. Every race you go to they're will be the Rich and famous one side and us on the other. So be it ! The true fans are everywhere, rich or not they make the sport what it is now ! Singapore has a lot to live up to but in my opinion they will live up to the Hype and make this race a great one to watch both at home and abroad.

that's it for today, i will write some more in the coming days and look forward to your comments !

1 comment: said...

"Singapore has a lot to live up to but in my opinion"

hmm, hadn't thought about it like that. the thing is there's so many 'firsts' about this race, it almost can't fail to be successful, on at least some level.

the true test will be... how many times will f1 return?