Malysian Formula 1 Grand Prix at Sepang: Amazing Race and Transport Nightmares

So Friday morning on a veritable lack of sleep I came into the airport in Kuala Lumpur, smelling less than my best and less conscious than that! Through a headache I vaguely remember a bus and a train and ending up at the hostel in Chinatown. After flinging my backpack in the room and taking a shower I felt much more human again and decided it was time to head off to the F1 for Friday Practice.

Thankfully I found a Dutch guy, William, in my room heading the same way; so we headed off, to KL Sentral and for the cheap sum of 69 Ringits (15 pounds) we secured our transport to the track for 3 days, we should have considered why it was so cheap and heeded the warnings of the American who said he’d done as we had last year and regretted it, we decided he was some rich tosser and paid little notice of him. Oops.

On Friday it wasn’t so bad, transport to the track (50km outside of KL) took around two and a half hours and about two to get back. Not the end of the world. Friday was a chilled out affair, we scouted out our seats, my grandstand tickets were awesome, Williams 30 ringit tickets had no right to be as good as they were on the grass under the palm trees for the measly eight pounds he paid for them!!

My tiredness caught up with me toward the end of Practice 2 and I dozed for part of the session, 2 hours sleep in around 40 was catching up with me!! I got back to the hostel at around 6:30 and proceeded to do nothing but sleep until Saturday morning.

Heading to the track took a little over two hours, not so bad! Qualifying was rather exciting despite the fact we couldnt read the “large” screen to see who was where, zooming all the way with my camera and then zooming all the way in on the photo let us find out who lost out in each session. Kobayashi was the highlight of the day, superb exploits from the Sauber driver. Getting back took around 3 and a half hours. Grr.

Getting to the track on Sunday caused little problem, again a little over two hours, although we did set off rather too early, arriving at 11:30am for a race at 4:00pm, still we got to watch the GT cars race, including a ridiculous turned up Fiat 500 Abarth GT competing in the same race as Ferraris and Porsches – I wanted to say alongside but the only time that occurred was during its being lapped. Still great novelty value however!

After plenty of book reading and chatter between myself and two friends from Vietnam; Spencer and Emmy as well as a couple of packets of Chips Ahoy (cookies, with a ridiculous and excellent brand name) it was time for the main event.

The start was exciting regardless of the lack of collisions, the Renaults nailed the first corner and Webber lost out big time. I won’t bore with a long dragged out description of the race – if you care about F1 you’ve already read the BBC report but it was a great race. Webber’s move round the outside of Massa was beautiful and seeing Alonso pit for a new front wing was the highlight of the race! Heidfeld and Kobayashi put in the drives of the day and Button showed his ability to not kill a tyre makes him superior to Hamilton when tyre wear is a problem!

Getting home was a nightmare, we got on the bus, drover for an hour and a half and ended up back outside the circuit, how that happened I’m not sure. Thankfully I had my book and memories of an excellent race to get me through the four and a bit hour journey back to the hostel.

Oh during the time at the race I bought a really smart Lotus Racing polo shirt in British Racing Green which will cause my friends Richard and Lloyd a laugh, but its well smart and not emblazoned with a million sponsors logos so it might just be wearable in public! Huzzah!

Today I spent a day being a lazy man, in the mall, in Starbucks, with a frappucino and a book along with a pizza at Papa Johns and a sandwich at Subway. Twas rather fun to be a Mallrat. Snoochie Boochies!

Love and Heidfeld!

J. Xx

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