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GP Week : Issue 30
From the GrandstandA spectator’s view of the first night Grand Prix John van Leeuwen Formula 1 fan THE race in Singapore was the most exciting Grands Prix I’ve been to, and for me, a lot of that was do with the fact that it was at night. It gave the event a different feel and appearance to other Grands Prix, because you have all day to do what you want to do, and then you head to the track for a night’s entertainment. Normally, the whole day is just spent at a racetrack. And in that there must be commercial benefits for Singapore. One of the things that stood out for me compared to say, the Malaysian Grand Prix, the Sepang circuit is miles from anywhere. So you spend a lot of time getting there and back, a good hour each way from Kuala Lumpur. In Singapore, you walk out of the circuit and you’re in the middle of the city. All of the shops were open until midnight, so even leaving after race everyone was handing out brochures. It had a really commercial atmosphere in the way the city was involved. In most cases, you walked out of a main gate and into a shopping area. As a spectator, the event is quite unique. The car’s look fantastic under lights, and even better set against the mix of colonial and modern buildings in the city, absolutely fantastic. One thing I noticed was that with the way the grandstands are configured with no shade, it would be searing hot if they held the race during the day. At somewhere like Sepang, there is a lot of shade over the grandstands because of the heat, but they don’t have that here. It would have been unbearable if the racing was during the day. Bustling around the city, I felt that Singapore really got behind the event. There was the odd Taxi driver grumbling because of the road closures, and I think some of the businesses around Suntec City might have been affected, but most of the shopping centres and hotels near the circuit would have benefited greatly from having the Grand Prix. 20 opinion