Monday, September 21, 2015

Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Disclaimer: Everything you are about to read is purely the thoughts of the writer. If you have any problems with the content of this article, do take it up with me before posting any bullshit online. Regardless, we are all entitled to our own opinions and freedom of speech. Do respect mine before stirring any crap against me.

Personal Updates: Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix

Singapore hosts it's inaugural F1 race in 2008. I was first involved in the event the following year as a security officer. I must say that being a security officer at that particular event really got me started and much interested in law-enforcement. It was really an eye opening experience.

My credential passes for F1SGP 

Currently, being an auxiliary police officer, I have already been involved in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 edition of the race. I can say that I was quite pumped up for my return to F1 in 2013. But to my dismay and disappointment, they messed up my credentials and did not make my pass. So I was forced to work in the sidelines and outside of the circuit park.

Me and Mark Webber - 2013 SGP
Me and Lewis Hamilton - 2013 SGP 
2013 was also a special moment for me as I got a chance to see some of the F1 drivers as they were passing by me on the first day. But the next few days was the hardest as working outside the circuit park meant a heavier workload.

2014 was when it got really boring. I was sent to Marina Bay grandstands and due to nature of the job the bad management of those in charge of us, the work and management of welfare delegated to us was horrible and and I swore that I would never work in F1 again.

Fast forward to 2015, I told myself that I actually didn't wanna work in the event when the announcement came. The announcement came and once again, I was being begged and pestered to do it. Out of pity I agreed to it and soon found myself in a situation that I didn't want to be in again.

The team me and my partner are in charge with.
This year, I and another partner was put in charge of a security team. We were doing just as instructed and just fine when outsiders, not patrons, but rather other staff, that have nothing to do with our operations complained that we were not doing our jobs correctly, which prompted a supervisor from our side to start lecturing and lambasting very very harshly at us, demoralizing the whole team. She honestly didn't have express her anger and annoyance at us, but as a leader, you should by example, deal with your men on ground tactfully relay the new instructions and approach us nice and calm manner.

2nd day, in the afternoon, it was found out that other teams also started doing the task as newly instructed, rather at the annoyance with somebody on top. The instructions were changed once again and we are forced to revert back to what we were doing before. That isn't the fucked up part, at the same time, we have to watch our backs for people who wanna find problems with us and "intrusion" exercises from various agencies such as PLRD, police and even from our own. We were nitpicked again, for stupid little tiny details, saying that the is an international event, we should be on our toes, bla bla bla....
Marina Bay Street Circuit
From my annoyance with the various different instructions these so called leaders were giving, and the way they handle things and the men on ground, to not being able to do many things such as taking photographs, meeting with the drivers and VVIPs who were friendly and didn't mind us, dealing with internal problems and fucked up intrusion exercises and literally stressing the shit out of me and my team, to the most ridiculous rules that we have to enforce on the patrons, who have paid a ton of money to be there, only to be yelled, argued at while we have to smile and take it all in, making me seem like the bad guy. Oh and speaking of that, these same problems and obligations are being faced and repeated every single year with no improvements what so ever.

I really wish that these people would open their minds up and be more understanding with what is happening on the ground. We know this is an international event, we know the risks, we know the roles, duties and procedures. Why must the few rotten eggs affect all of the efforts of the people who have worked hard? It gets increasingly harder to work due to this rubbish we have to face from the people on the top.

The lack of recognition, lack of sleep  despite the high salary compensation, some people are not in it for the money and it outweighs the work and factors we have to face. It's gonna take more than just a thank yous and motivational rally cries to make me happy.

Me and Infiniti Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo, 2015 F1SGP
And honestly, if a celebrity passes by you, and there is no one else around, would you have seized that opportunity to get a keepsake while other people who were just nosing around come running and screaming at them? I know I did, and I gladly risk my job if I have to again.

In my own personal opinion, Formula 1 is a over-glorified motorsport that isn't fan friendly due to the expensive tickets, but least accessible to fans due to the private nature of the teams within the sport. You could be paying up to 10K and you're only stuck in the bloody pit building, barely even near the car unless of course you are in their "inner circle". And the racing in recent years is really really boring. One can wonder, the massive advantage you gain if you start from pole position, you're already guaranteed a podium finish. It has already happened in a few races and now the Singapore GP, where Sebastian Vettel lead the race from start to finish.

Being a street circuit, the infrastructure and facilities of the Marina Bay Street Circuit must be set up and teared down annually for a bloody four day event can cause quite an inconvenience to the general public and I can imagine the amount logistics involved. Wonder how much does that cost? Despite this, the sponsors, Singapore Airlines and SingTel, could use their money to better pay their staff or even give discounts to customers rather than sponsoring an over-glorified event in which most of the patrons aren't even local let alone will they even bother what company is the title sponsor?

And it's really a waste of resources. For example, the tickets and staff passes, it comes in a form of a plastic pass and a lanyard. One can't imagine the sheer amount of plastic, metal and cloth used to make all of it. Don't forget, one ticket is valid only for one day.

In the meantime, Formula 1 is over. So to hell with the rules, to hell with everything. People are probably criticizing, "Don't like don't involve loh!!". And yes, this is probably my last ever F1 I will be involved in as an auxiliary police officer.

TCR Series Support Paddock
TCR Series Support Paddock
F1 aunties!
Me and Mani 
Me liked my selfie stick.
The other members of our security team.
Mani, me and Razak
Sufian, me, Dian and Kerin, the ushers.
With the rest of the ushers.
Fun shot 1
Fun shot 2

The boats that shuttles the patrons.
We weren't ready.
We're ready
Tired face
The team at the next door Club Suite  
Me and a Bangla. That's all folks!
This is probably the only positive aspect and paragraph of this post, but regardless, for the 2009, 2013 and 2015 SGP I was involved in, the last day during the last few hours was the best. Friendships are forged and memories are made. Oh and by the way, I may look happy from the photos. That is because I'm glad that it was finally over and done with. Regardless of all the negativity, I can now proudly tell my grandchildren that I was once involved in the Singapore Grand Prix.

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