Destinations Magazine

Grand Prix Season Singapore 2011: Qualifying Day (PART 2)

By Thelostboylloyd @lloydthelostboy
After a day of walking and exploring two cultures of Singapore—Indian at Little India and Malay at Kampong Glam—followed by a revisit of Sentosa Island and Resorts World Sentosa, it seemed like the energy in me wasn’t depleted yet. I was in Singapore to cover the high octane action of the Formula 1 SingTel Singapore Grand Prix; the excitement just kept on energizing me. Saturday, September 24, was the night of the qualifying. Read more…
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From Sentosa’s Palawan Beach, I returned to my room at the Grand Mercure Roxy to freshen up and get a change clothes for the races. I was already running a bit late for the concert at 6PM, so I decided to take the direct bus from the back of the hotel to the bus stop right in front of Nicholls Highway. A great trip is incomplete sans any (little) misfortune, so I got mine: I forgot that buses do not stop at access points of the grand prix. And so yes, I did hurriedly walk from Suntec City to Gate 1 for some minutes. 

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Photo credit: Singapore Grand Prix via Action Images

I was a little sweaty when I met Toi Villar, a friend who has been working in Singapore for three months as a nurse. As I am already late, we headed immediately to the F1 Village Stage to watch our very own Charice, who honestly I haven’t even watched perform here in the Philippines. And as the concert was exclusive to ticketholders with access to Zone 1, we were fortunate to be very near the stage.

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Photo credit: Singapore Grand Prix via Action Images

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Photo credit: Singapore Grand Prix via Action Images

I was able to video her finale song, Before It Explodes, a song written for her by Bruno Mars, with my iPhone:
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After watching Charice perform for the first time, we headed to our Turn 1 Grandstand seats to catch Practice 3. Toi, whom I forewarned about the extreme volume of the F1 cars, didn’t seem to mind them!
Well, if you must know, the cars are really loud. Here’s a video I took during Practice 3:
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Soon after Practice 3, we were headed to the Padang Stage at Zone 4, but we did stop at Popeye’s near the Singapore Flyer to grab a quick bite. There, I found out that Toi, like me, didn’t know much about Formula 1 until the grand prix season kicked in. He told me that much of Singapore is abuzz about the grand prix for days already and that he was fortunate to have experienced it for the first time. 
Then I confessed to him that before Grand Prix Season Singapore 2011, I didn’t know much about Formula 1 and the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix. I told him that to prepare for this coverage, I studied some technical details of the Formula 1, even asking a friend to clarify and interpret the technicalities of the race.
Minutes after, we arrived at the Padang Stage, which was already crowded by lots and lots of people. Why wouldn’t it? It was none other than the sultry Colombian singer Shakira who was performing after all! Luckily, we were able to squeeze ourselves in quite near the stage. Our proximity to the stage would have cost us a small fortune had we watched it somewhere else, but with a singular grand prix ticket, we were able to watch all the concerts!

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Photo credit: Singapore Grand Prix via Action Images

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Photo credit: Singapore Grand Prix via Action Images

Shakira sexily performed her classics, such as Whenever, Wherever and Hips Don’t Lie, as well as her more recent singles, She Wolf, Loca, and Sale el Sol. The Padang was a big energetic party throughout her set, but when her encore finale Waka Waka (This Time For Africa) came, the crowd went wild! I did attempt to record it, but midway through the first verse of the song I stopped recording, threw my hands up in the air, and sang with the crowd!

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Photo credit: Singapore Grand Prix via Action Images

 Shakira’s concert ended a little over 10PM, and so we then rushed back to the Turn 1 Grandstand to catch the Qualifying. Trust me, the walk from the Padang back to Zone 1 is a long walk, but we weren’t complaining. It was a limited chance after all.
Here are some pictures from the Qualifying from Singapore GP Pte Ltd.:


Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP


Fernando Alonso (ESP), Ferrari


Jaime Alguersuari (ESP), Scuderia Toro Rosso


Sergio Perez (MEX), Sauber


Nico Rosberg (GER), Mercedes GP


Paul di Resta (GBR), Force India

For the third practice, Mark Weber of Red Bull Racing had the fastest lap with 1:46.081, while Jenson Button of McLaren was only 0.027 behind with 1:46.108. Weber’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel had the third fastest lap with 1:46.345, a mere 0.264 behind Weber.
Then the exciting qualifying came. After three high octane quarters, Vettel cinched pole position for the next night’s race with a Q3 fastest lap of 1:44.381, while Weber, Button, Lewis Hamilton of McLaren, Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, Felipe Massa of Ferarri, and Nico Rosberg of Mercedes attained grid positions two through seven, respectively.


Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing (pole position)


Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing, second; Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing, pole position; Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren, third

The race ended past 11PM. I was planning to watch 90’s rapper Shaggy’s concert at the Padang Stage, but unfortunately my tiredness kicked in, since my day started at 6am after all. Anyway, I got back to the Grand Mercure Roxy, and my big white bed couldn’t be more inviting. Sunday’s race day was the biggest day of the grand prix, and I knew I had to be prepared for the action. To be continued…
P.S. I got a high five from the Funky Love Squad before I left F1 Village. Fun!

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Photo credit: Singapore Grand Prix via Action Images

Grand Prix Season Singapore 2011: Qualifying Day (PART 2)

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