and my first ever attendance of a Grand Prix after following it on TV for more than 10 years.
The Shanghai F1 Circuit was inspired by the Chinese character “上” (shang), the first character in the name Shanghai.
Last year I thought about going but didn’t get around to arranging leave early enough as then I had to work on weekends and had already put in leave for my attempt of the Great Wall Marathon. This year however, working a regular Monday to Friday week it was on; although getting tickets wasn’t all that easy.
I even went to the track 2 weeks before the race and was just given a phone number to call. I couldn’t buy tickets there but could reserve them over the phone and they would send them to me if I was in Shanghai, which I wouldn’t be 24 hours later. Eventually managed to get them via a local tourism website and not wanting to fight for a good spot on the grass went for next grade up in Grandstands B5-8 but you couldn’t choose your seat, it was just luck of the draw.
Thankfully the Metro Line 10 was open for both days (which it wasn’t in 2010) so getting to and from the circuit was easy enough. The plan was to get out to the circuit for qualifying which we did and as we walked from the Metro station towards the circuit we could hear the whine of a F1 engine being revved and I started to get really excited. The queues weren’t to bad as we made our way into the track area and up to our seats which turned out to have a great view. We looked straight down the start/finish straight, could see the pit lane and the team garages, we were also high up enough to see most of the track and so could track cars as they sped around the rest of the circuit. Check it out…
As I sat there, looking down on the track I couldn’t believe I was actually about to see a F1 car in person, witness a qualifying session live and hear the sounds so many commentators have referred to for myself. It was (more…)