So F1 has come and gone with more twists and turns than Mount Pleasant Road. The news coverage was all singing praises about the whole event, from the parties to the event organisation to the success of our hospitality industry during the period…
And now for the bad news.
My wife and I were driving on the ECP during the practice runs on Friday. Here’s what the news failed to cover. Multiple car accidents all along the particular section of the expressway route where the F1 cars happened to be zipping under. Apparently some of our local drivers were so curious about those foreign drivers and their very fast cars that they have been winding down their windows to listen to the engine sounds and trying to catch a glimpse of the F1 action, resulting in inadvertent veering to the left and either hitting the side walls of the expressway or ramming into other people’s backsides. Accident, or expensive ploy to catch the race by positioning yourself on the expressway flyover by causing an accident? My wife and I kept laughing when we passed by car owner after car owner, either trying to sort out the mess they caused for themselves by being too kay-poh, or taking the opportunity from their accidents to continue watching the practice session.
I am soooo surprised that wasn’t covered in the evening news. Maybe The Noose will cover it.
Where opportunity allowed, I also watched the television coverage of the F1 event with much amusement, particularly when the on-screen dialogue was switched from the commentators to the driver’s comms radio. In the most beautifully seamless show of propaganda reporting, you can see the transition from commentators saying how great the event is going, how well-designed the track is and how unique the night race is for the drivers, to the drivers themselves saying how the track wasn’t tested before the race came to be, the crappy state of the street circuit (I think Hamilton said it was worse than Monaco, though I’m sure Felipe Massa will have a lot more to say about that) and how the lights that are supposed to light the track up like it was day was too blinding for proper driving.
So the drivers gave their verdict; did anyone care? I don’t know about you, but my nationalistic pride can only go so far; glazing over what the people who are most involved in the event have to say for the portraying only the best impression of what we have done is just asking me to lie.
But I will give this whole thing some slack; after all, it’s our first time, and we have at least 4 more tries to get things right (we have a 5-year run with this Grand Prix thing, after which the contract to hold more races will be re-negotiated), so for the sake of our country’s reputation as a successful social democracy, we better bloody well listen. And we did make the world sit up and watch, too. It would have been successful if all the cars came out of the race in one piece and nobody died, yes. But it was even more successful because 2 cars were totalled and someone from 15th position won the race (and more importantly, nobody died). Regardless of whether our inaugural Formula One night race was a success or otherwise, if it wasn’t eventful in the first place, who’d take notice?