I woke up bright and early and said to myself that this will be the best day of my life.
As I was boarding our plane to watch the Singaporean Formula One Grand Prix 2013 live, I can’t stop smiling. I knew that that day will be extra special to me. I smiled an extra smile as I made sure that I had our tickets to the Pit Lane Experience that would happen later that night.
If you know me well, one thing you’d sure to know about me is my love for Formula One and on the 19th of September 2013, all my dreams came true. I still find it hilarious that the first few hours of being in Singapore were spent at Changi Airport just killing time until we were able to check-in in our hotel. We got out of Changi sometime after lunch and went straight to the hotel, took a quick nap and onto the track we went.
My brother and I arrived at around 5 PM but the Pit Lane Experience wasn’t until 9 PM. Talk about being excited. We spent the whole afternoon looking at shops and buying Formula One paraphernalia that cost us a fortune but we still splurged since we (thought at that time) weren’t going to go back. We had our pictures taken everywhere – at fake podiums, with the Rolex watch that was always shown during races, at the merchandise stores even at the gates.
By seven, we were getting a little restless and decided to sit down and grab dinner while watching a performance from some Latin group. It was a miserable dinner consisting of one chicken burrito, Pringles and bottled water. We killed time by taking lots of pictures and enjoying the breeze from the bay.
PS OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE I AM SMILING AS I AM TYPING THIS. JUST RELIVING THAT DAY THROUGH WORDS IS GIVING ME THE CHILLS. I AM ONE LUCKY GIRL.
A little before 9, we decided to stake out where the entrance was and stayed there until the gates opened. And then it started. I was smiling and recording everything as we walked with the crowd towards Turn 1 of the track.
We decided to stay back so we can take more pictures with less people photobombing every shot. We savored every moment and even took pictures with the curbs, signs and parked cars. As we were walking towards the Pit Lane exit, both Lotus and Sauber’s teams were just starting their track walk and we were able to see Romain Grosjean and Sergio Perez and their respective crews. I was unbelievably happy to see a Formula One drivers walking meters away from me.
We continued our experience at a leisurely pace and took a million more photos. You only get to walk inside of an F1 track once in your life, might as well make the most out of it. By the time my brother and I finally decided to enter the Pit Lane, a running Sebastian Vettel zoomed past us. He was too fast for photos or anything.
Once inside, we passed by every garage and took more pictures – tires, car parts, wheel guns, computers, crew, pit garage even paint on the floor. We stayed for a long time at Marussia’s garage because I wanted to take a picture of myself with Jules Bianchi’s name, which we were able to do!
But we stayed a lot longer over at Ferrari’s garage because we are Ferrari fans! Do you know what it feels like when you see someone in person when you’re so used to seeing them through your television sets? It is the best feeling ever. You get this weird sensation from head to toe and you can’t move. You just get stuck with this weird smile on your face and butterflies in your stomach.
We saw Aldo Costa, Pat Fry and Rob Smedley. Rob’s my favorite. I was so starstruck and I just had to take a video of him. He even waved at me…yes me! I was looking at him since he went out of the garage and I waved at him the moment we had eye contact. Being the gentleman that he is, he waved back with this oh-my-goodness dreamy smile.
I wish we stayed at Ferrari’s garage but we heard Red Bull practicing pit stops and we wanted to watch! Unfortunately being Asians and having to compete with Europeans and Australians, we weren’t able to see anything. We heard wheel guns blasting and tires screeching but wasn’t able to film anything. After a few minutes, we decided to move away since we were having no luck and just decided to go to the start/finish straight and take more pictures there!
It was a little sad when they announced that the track was going to close soon. We were eventually ushered out of the track back through the gates at Turn 1.
As we were walking out of the track, I was smiling happily and thanking anyone I could thank for giving me a once in a lifetime opportunity and being able to bring my brother along to share this experience with me. I was very happy and it was indeed the best day of my life.