The 2017 Formula One season is starting today over in Melbourne, Australia! Nothing beats watching F1 cars in action (well, maybe apart from watching IndyCars too) and I can’t wait to see how the new regulations will shake up the order, if it even does that which so far looks as if it won’t. Hopefully we will get some good racing at least. And as always, I’ll say this, I wish I was in Melbourne right now. Been there twice, enjoyed it both times. Hopefully going there for a third time soon.
So those of you who aren’t familiar to the F1 or new to racing, here’s a little guide on who’s driving for which team. Well, the full-time drivers that is.
#44 Lewis Hamilton (England)
Fastest Laps: 31
Finishing Rate: 87.77%
#77 Valtteri Bottas (Finland)
Fastest Laps: 1
Finishing Rate: 92.21%
Red Bull TAG Heuer
#3 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia)
Fastest Laps: 8
Finishing Rate: 90.83%
#33 Max Verstappen (Netherlands)
Fastest Laps: 1
Finishing Rate: 82.5%
#5 Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
Fastest Laps: 28
Finishing Rate: 85.96%
#7 Kimi Räikkönen (Finland)
Fastest Laps: 43
Finishing Rate: 78.57%
Force India Mercedes
#11 Sergio Perez (Mexico)
Fastest Laps: 3
Finishing Rate: 88.56%
#31 Esteban Ocon (France)
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%
#18 Lance Stroll (Canada)
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 0%
#19 Felipe Massa (Brazil)
Fastest Laps: 15
Finishing Rate: 85.6%
#2 Stoffel Vandoorne (Belgium)
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 100%
#14 Fernando Alonso (Spain)
Fastest Laps: 22
Finishing Rate: 83.52%
Toro Rosso Ferrari
#26 Daniil Kvyat (Russia)
Fastest Laps: 1
Finishing Rate: 78.94%
#55 Carlos Sainz (Spain)
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 72.5%
#8 Romain Grosjean (France)
Fastest Laps: 1
Finishing Rate: 72.55%
#20 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark)
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 87.5%
#27 Nico Hülkenberg (Germany)
Fastest Laps: 2
Finishing Rate: 84.34%
#30 Jolyon Palmer (England)
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 75%
#9 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden)
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 76.79%
#94 Pascal Wehrlein
Fastest Laps: 0
Finishing Rate: 76.19%
The big story of the season I guess will be the fight at the top. It looks like it won’t be a one-team race like we’ve seen for the past few years. Ferrari have definitely caught up with Mercedes and for once we might get that world champion vs world champion fight in Hamilton vs Vettel. That’d be a great fight to follow for the neutrals, me included as I’m not a fan of either man these days (one because of how he’s been acting lately, the other because he joined THE enemy).
The other thing I’m looking forward to seeing is how well Bottas does in a top car for once. He’s now got the golden opportunity in the best car on the grid, but can he keep up with Hamilton? We know he’s got the talent, now it’s his time to prove it.Surely he’ll get his first win this season and when he does, that fight will become even closer.
I will say I like the look of the cars. Longer rear wings, bigger rear tyres….back to the older times eh? I’m not bothered by the shark fins at all. Also we got some really good looking liveries on track. The Toro Rosso car is still my favourite but the new pink car for Force India sure comes a close second and the third favourite….an ORANGE McLaren! Yes, they’re back to the traditional orange colours. I do like the slightly updated Sauber look too. Can’t wait for the race in Melbourne to start in almost an hour’s time!
So in less than two days time, 2012 is history and 2013 is the now. I can’t say I’m looking forward to 2013, nothing real planned apart from study, study and yeah, study! Kinda like 2011 for me, work, work and yeah, work! So just as I wasn’t looking forward to 2011, it’ll be the same story for 2013. Just wanting to reach 2014 and hopefully start a new chapter in this crazy life of mine. I got to do many things in 2012, mostly the mid part of the year, and many memorable moments as well.
Didn’t really do much for the first two months apart from checking out the Singapore Air Show for once, which was kinda cool. Not often do you get to see aviation displays so why not? And it wasn’t just displays in the exhibition hall, there was one in the skies too, which was great to see.
The last time I went on an overseas trip was just before I started serving the Army, that being my one month stay in Canada (Vancouver and Calgary). So it was nice to have a short trip overseas away from work for once, spending a week during March in Melbourne, Australia, which was my first time back down under since 20 years ago (I was just 2 years old when I visited Sydney). Really had a good time in Melbourne, great city and got to see most of downtown Melbourne and also the Great Ocean Road. And of course, I was there for another reason, the 2012 F1 Australian Grand Prix. That was my fourth F1 event (second watching the actual race live) and the first time outside of Singapore.
Gotta say the whole event in the Albert Park circuit was great, a must go for anyone who are into cars. Lots of racing action and car displays, I think I saw about 500 cars at least on display. The good thing about the Aussie GP, you actually get to see the drivers (F1 and V8 Supercar drivers too) on the Thursday (or other days for non-F1) for the autograph sessions, and walk the pit-lane if you have a pass (which I did). Had some good seats for the race at the Schumacher stand, and Jenson Button won it, and he’s my favourite in F1 these days, so all good for me!
For April, I didn’t do much again, but I did get to visit Genting Highlands for the first time in almost 10 years (I think), and I had my fun there, with all the rides and everything else. I had to wait an hour to do a freaking go kart race, the main thing I was looking forward to, and you need a passport to do even ride them, which wasted my time even more. The delay was due to weather, after all, we’re in the moutains, it was hazy and raining. So I had my go-kart run in the wet weather, and that was fun!
For the most part of January to July, I was still serving the Army, just counting down to the magical date, “August 1st 2012”, the day of my freedom. 2011 was a crazy year of too much work, so I slacked most of the time in 2012, doing whatever I needed to do and just wanting to get out of that horrible place I call my camp, full of idiots and only a few good people there. So yeah, August 1st came, I did my medical on the same day as my ORD date, did the usual things, and that’s the last time I’ve been there! FREEDOM!
And two days later, I’m back at Changi Airport for my second trip overseas (3 if you count Genting in Malaysia, but my second flight, which is still the most I’ve done in a year ever, 2 flights), and off I went to California, USA to stay with family there for nearly 2 months. Had an awesome time there with my awesome family, got to see Sacramento, San Francisco, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Anaheim, Burbank, Santa Monica and many more. I love it there, I hope I can move to North California soon. Would love to stay at San Francisco, the weather at the Bay Area is just wonderful there.
What would you do if you’re near Los Angeles? Go to Disneyland of course! Even for the bunch of us who went there, and not kids anymore, still a great place to have some fun. I got to see an IndyCar race too for the first time over in Sonoma, and the show there was awesome. Was as good at the one in Australia for the F1 race there, which means better than Singapore. And for my first live IndyCar race, the guy who won it had to be Ryan Briscoe, the same guy who got me into watching IndyCars in the first place and will always be my favourite driver in IndyCars. That was his first win in two years, and his last win for Team Penske. At least I can say I saw it live! Wish I had more time to explore San Francisco other than checking out the obvious, the Golden Gate Bridge, hopefully I’ll be back soon!
Back home by September, and on the second day, had to go to my new school for some rubbish orientation program. They are incredibly boring. And yes, late September in Singapore can only mean one thing, Singapore Grand Prix. Fourth straight year catching the action, second time watching the full weekend live, and for the first time, had walkabout tickets to go to every zones. Worth the money for sure, got to see a lot of good action for zones I hadn’t been to before. Good show as always, too bad I took the wrong spot for the race, view was blocked the whole time! Got to see Maroon 5, Katy Perry and Noel Gallagher’s high flying birds in action. Noel being my favourite musician of all time, that was awesome even though I didn’t get to see him for all that much because of the F1 scheduling. Still, I finally saw him live! As for the other two, became fans of the other two from their shows. Sebastian Vettel won the race again, so that made it three races I watched this year, all won by drivers I’m fans of.
From October onwards till November, study and more studying in my new school at SIM. Back to studying Accounting, it involves numbers in some ways, I like dealing with numbers, so why not? Slacked for the whole of December playing games, with school starting in January (first day back had to be on my birthday huh?). It’s been a great year, visiting some cool places, good some stuff, enjoying my time with my family in America, watching fast cars three times, and most of all, free of any stupid orders! 2012 probably has been one of my better years, 2013 will probably be the year I just concentrate on studying, no plans to go anywhere yet, so hopefully 2014 will be another enjoyable year again! Next up for me, to know how it feels like to be a 23 year old!
It’s been great so far here in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia! Took us a while to get out of the airport, thanks to some checks, including a guard check were guard dogs were sniffing us! Sorry buddy, I’m straightedge, no drugs here!
The hotel is not that bad, not the greatest one for sure, but at least it’s better than nothing. I don’t like the idea of paying neaely $100 just to use internet everyday, but hey, at least I can keep up with what’s going on the world and do these kind of stuff!
So far, just been exploring Melbourne, which is a bit tricky at times to locate where you’re going, but we got the hang of things quickly. Had lunch at where else…..McDonald’s! And birds actually flew in the damn Macs! Saw some interesting shops, Vodafone, Target, and my favourite, Modelmania, a place to get model cars, which is what I collect!
Got to do some exploring of the city yesterday, which was the plan. Melbourne really is a great city, it looks good with all the buildings and the surroundings, it’s got all kinds of thing for everyone really. The free tram ride was worth it, about 25-30 minutes but you get to see all kinds of stuff.
Also got to buy some of my model cars at a shop called Modelmania, that’s the biggest model car shop I’ve ever seen! I wish we had one like that in Singapore, would make my life a lot easier! And it’s got all sorts of cars too, I think I can probably reach 100 models if I were to stay here!
And I one thing I noticed about Melbourne, there are a lot of Asians around here, which is nice to see. Kinda reminds me of Canada, lots of different people! Chinatown was packed with chinese people, then again, it’s Chinatown! But it’s so weird to hear some of them with an Aussie accent!
Best part of the day has to be checking out the entire view of Melbourne from the top of the Eureka Skydeck 88! From the 88th floor, you can pretty much check out the whole of Melbourne, and I got some awesome pics from there!
After some Macs breakfast, it’s off to Albert Park for us, the site of the Australian Grand Prix, and wow that was some fun today. The queueing is not fun, either entering the circuit, trying to get to the Pit lane or waiting for driver’s autographs!
The pit-lane walk was quite interesting, went for the first one, and caught so much that I didn’t really need to go for a 2nd one! You get to see the cars (not entirely fitted), the parts, the people who work on them, and also got to see a few pit-stop demonstrations! Other than the F1 garages, also got to see the V8 garages. And the fans can actually go behind the garage to see the things going on there, so I got some pics of the drivers from there too!
Thanks to my buddy, I even got to meet Garth Tander! And with the autograph sessions, I also got to meet Mark Webber and Seb Vettel (no photographs though, sucks), Sergio Perez and Heinz-Harald Frentzen while my brother got to meet Bruno Senna, Pastor Maldonado and Kamui Kobayashi! And we saw a lot of drivers as well! The best one is the Mercedes one for sure, Michael Schumacher got most of the attention, while Nico Rosberg got very irritated having to sign some of Schumacher’s stuff and started singing to himself at one point because he was bored waiting!
I wish I had gone onto the McLaren line though, you can actually get a pic of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, and I’m a huge JB fan, so that’s a brain fart moment from me there! Oh I’m gonna regret this for a long time aren’t I?
Thanks to the Silver GP advantage passes, we got to see all kinds of stuff, and also watch the action from the paddock club, which was quite nice! Now to enjoy the three day action from the Schumacher stand!
2012 Australian Grand Prix
The Power of 1! Gotta love that slogan! 😀
It really was a great event, the whole four days were way worth the $300+ tickets to watch the action from the Schumacher stand! Sure, trying to get to the circuit can be tricky, even with the free trams, but once you get in, there’s so much to do!
The off-track action is quite good! All kinds of car displays, which is pretty awesome! Lots of car-related activites, which is alright for me! Better than the Singapore GP for sure, I’m not into the whole entertainment/musical activites.
Thursday was pretty fun. The pit-lane walk was quite eye-opening, seeing all the things that go around the garage and what these F1 guys do just before these race weekends! And that’s thanks to the GP Advantage, which allowed me to watch the action from the F1 paddock club for the day too, access to the GP Bar and a free item (a freaking cup). Also on thursday was the F1 driver’s autograph session. I got Vettel, Webber, Perez signatures while my brother got Senna, Maldonado and Kobayashi. I even got to meet Garth Tander and Heinz-Harald Frentzen! What a day and that was just Thursday!
Friday was mostly just watching the action, either from the Schumacher stand, overlooking Turns 15 and 16 (the last two turns) and also checking out the action in Turn 14 for a while too. If only I had known that Turn 13 was a good spot to check out the action too, I would. Problem was, it rained that day! It was on and off, so that didn’t really help much for me!
Saturday was another good day. Listening to those V8 engines of the F1 car, that’s music to my ears! I got some good action from my stand for the support races, so that was nice! I got to meet two of my good friends from my online game, and another two on Sunday as well, so it’s nice to meet them in person, and at a grand prix too, since we’re all fans of motoracing!
Sunday was a whole day of action! Like the previous day, it was petty hot, but still, the action to me on track was hotter! Before the F1 race started, I was watching the pre-race events from the GP Bar and got to see what the teams did while on the grid. After the race, everyone ran to the podium stage and just hung around in the start finish straight! The atmosphere there is superb, so much better than anything I’ve ever experienced!
The Formula Ford races was quite good! I only got to see one Red Bull race-off, but that was full of action, and there was plenty in the last two corners! Only watched one of the Porsche races, but that one was alright too! The V8 Supercar races were all superb, one of the best series in the world for sure! And of course, the F1 action was amazing the whole time! And Jenson Button won the race, and he’s my favourite driver, I can’t ask for more! How I wish I could make another visit here, I’ll make that my aim for the future!
For the last day, most of it was spent on a tour around the Great Ocean Road, which is really something. If you’re in Melbourne, you’ve got to check it out. From the kangaroo sighting to the koala sighting, trying out the Australian foods and also vegimite, to checking out all the historical sights and listening to the stories about early days in Australia and the highlight of the trip, seeing the 12 Apostles, which is something amazing with a great story too. We flew off the very same night, as just my luck, I got to meet Romain Grosjean and Bruno Senna at the Melbourne Airport! Can’t wait to get back there!
Wow, the year really has flown past just like that! I’ve always said that I’ll like 2012 for some good reasons, the main one being that on the 1st of August this year, I’ll finally get out of the army, having had two years of my life wasted there doing nothing when I could be studying!
Already having lots of fun this year, not doing as much work as I did last year (since I had to help out with NDP and all). I’ve been two two trips already, firstly to Melbourne, Australia in March to check out the city for my own little break along with attending the 2012 Formula One Australian Grand Prix. The second visit was to Genting Highlands near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. But that’s not all, only 2 days after my army is done, I’m going on another trip. After all, I do like to travel and see the world for myself. I do like an adventure.
The first half of the year has been great, and I cannot wait for the second half of the year! I mean, in just a few days time, ORD! Gone from the army. School starts in October, I hope, and it’s back to the life I’m used to, as a student. Anything with freedom and I’m cool with that!