February 06, 2010

Formula 1: 2009 China Grand Prix

The Shanghai Formula 1 race is the main spectacle of speed on China's motorsport calendar. On race day it was raining heavily. The opening ceremonies included performances by the Shaolin Monks and a lap around the track with the drivers waving from atop a double decker bus. The crowd cheered as the first roar of the engines was heard. As the rain continued to pour down the cars zipped past, completing a a few warm up laps before the green lights indicated the Grand Prix of China had begun. It was a running start, with the pace car leading the way for the first few laps before moving aside. Sebestian Vettel and Jenson Button battled for the lead throughout the race, with Lewis Hamilton displaying some flair along the way but fading at the end.

On the wet track visibility was low and grip hard to come by. Aquaplaning was the primary activity of the day. we witnessed several spectacular crashes as driver errors unsurprisingly increased with the poor weather. Sebastien Vettel won the the race, but the day belonged to the drenched fans who had valiantly weathered the rainy day to witness the powerful combination of man and machine that is F1.

Race Notes:

My poncho was punctured early on in the race as the spectator seated in front of me could not maintain control of his umbrella. One of the spokes was violently driven through my protective raingear, tearing a swath through the plastic covering. The gash reduced my downforce and I began taking on water, never completely recovering for the remainder of the race. My pit crew could not patch it and no spare ponchos were available after the start of the race due to strict regulations prohibiting the sale of them within the circuit grounds.


"If you spend all of your time racing ahead to the future, you're liable to discover you've left a great present behind." - Tom Wilson