F1 2012 Malaysian GP in Pictures

Note: Panorama photos stitched by Microsoft ICE (Image Composite Editor) 64 bit version.

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F1 2012 Malaysian GP

Sepang Circuit Main Entrance

This year I attended the full 3 days event of the F1 2012 Malaysian GP. For two nights I slept in the car and camped in the R&R of the North-South highway. It had all the necessities that I need, food, shower and sanitation 24/7.

Friday’s practices were opened to the public but the public pit-lane walk held after the practice sessions was only for ticket holders. It was nice to be at the grandstand watching the happenings opposite at all the garages. The sound of an F1 car engine at the grandstand was obviously much louder than that heard at the hillstands. Although there were other events on Saturday morning, I just attended the practice 3 and qualifying sessions which were held in the afternoon as I decided to have a rest in the morning.

Caterham F1 Team

Drivers’ autograph signing session was held on Sunday at 11.30 am. I was a little dismayed. The cars that brought the drivers stopped close to the tables, many fans that were far away including me could not get full view of many of the drivers. The cars then parked in the open area, further blocking the view. After the autograph signing session the drivers then had a short walk to the cars, so many fans on the outer perimeter missed to see them. I hope the event organiser will consider this and sort this out next time.

Waiting for the drivers

Nothing to see, move along

Sebastian Vettel waving to fans

Sebastian Vettel, as was in last year, handed out postcards to fans at the perimeter fence but this time he did more, he signed it too…lucky fans. Then another driver surprised me. I saw this driver took photograph of himself and the fans at the tables with a cellphone. I thought it was a request from a fan but then I was wrong. As the car that he was in was pulling out, it suddenly stopped. Out came Fernando Alonso and went straight to a Ferrari fan just an arm length next to me. He then said something about taking photograph which sent me into frantic mode, adjusting my camera setting to capture the event with the camera held up high above since there was someone next to me. Unfortunately the images I managed to capture were frantic too except for one. He then rushed out to the outer perimeter and did the same to the fans there. Obviously the fans were very pleased. What Vettel and Alonso did was good for them. At least it detracted their mind, albeit a short while, from the stress or whatever problems they might be having with their cars. It also paints a good image for their teams and sponsors, a very positive image.

Sebastian signing before giving it away

Fernando Alonso setting the cellphone camera

Can't believe her luck

Obviously they were very delighted

Fans are the most important aspect in F1. Without the fans, there will be no sponsors and without the fans and sponsors, F1 is just another club race. Some travel long distances, stand in queue or close to the perimeter fence for more than an hour just to see their idols and other drivers up close. The drivers just need to look around, smile and wave, that’s all but what Vettel and Alonso did was better. F1 needs to take note on this.

For this year’s race, I was at the C3 hillstand and it was my first wet race. I did not mind being wet but the camera and the lens must stay dry. Though it was cloudy since Friday, there was no rain at the track until just after the race had started. When the race was stopped for safety reason, a few of the fans did left the circuit. I only left the hillstand for the comfort of the car where I had a thermos full of hot coffee. I rejoined the crowd when the race had restarted.

C3 Hillstand view and the weather

Click here for more pictures.

2012 F1 Season Opener Begins Next Sunday

Been anticipating and counting the days. I am still rooting for the same team but with a different name now. With the rules that restrain the overwhelming performing cars last season in place, this 2012 season many predicted will be tight. Whatever it is, may the best team and man win.

Here’s hoping for safe, exciting and full of drama races ahead. So, gentlemen,”Start your engines.”

Going Around In Circle…well kinda

Map from Google showing the places I travel. A is where I start and end

It had been about two weeks since I returned from a trip to Pekanbaru in the island of Sumatra. It is the capital of Riau Province, Indonesia. The trip was a result of my initial planned trip to Penyalai, Teluk Dalam in the island of Mendol to photograph a pair of White-bellied Sea Eagle which I came to know on my first visit to Penyalai a few months back.

Speed leaving Penyalai

From Singapore, I boarded a ferry at Harbour Front Ferry terminal to Tanjung Balai, Pulau Karimun. I then immediately continued onwards to Tanjung Batu, Pulau Kundur and spent a night there. The next morning I boarded a fast boat called ‘Speed’ by the locals for a short half hour journey to Penyalai.

Penyalai is a small town, similar in size to the towns seen in cowboy movies. There is only one accommodation and a very humble one for that matter. Since it is a monopoly, the price for a night is not cheap, Rp 60000 for a room with fan and Rp 100000 for a room with air-conditioning and you only have electricity when it gets dark. I paid Rp 60000 in Tanjung Batu, far more better room condition plus air-conditioning and 24 hours electricity. That said, it is just a note here, I am not complaining. I like the place and what makes me like the place is the eagles that sometimes fly low and very near.

Market in Penyalai near the pier

A reminder of my childhood

Strong current in the strait

The pair of eagles appeared at the area around the pier at about the same time as before, in my previous visit, at about an hour after noon. Since this was my second encounter with the birds, I was getting better but still not perfect. I felt much more composed. Maybe next time I should offer them some goodies.

White-bellied Sea Eagle

Its partner

Old habits die hard but bad old habits need to change. People need to wise up. I was surprised to see two young ladies on the bridge merrily walking and talking to each other, each carrying a box. They then edged closer to the railing, flipped the box over and emptied it over the sea. 50 years ago this is not a problem, they are all organic, and the weather and time will take care of it. Now there is plastic and sadly in a hundred years it is still plastic. People attitudes are the same wherever they are. There are the good, the bad and the ugly. I do see people with good habits in Penyalai. They burn their rubbish. No truck collecting rubbish in the island.

The plastic trash is an eyesore

The next morning I boarded a Speed for a six-hour long trip up the river to Kerinci, stopping at Teluk Meranti1 for lunch. I did not feel like spending the night in Kerinci, maybe next time, so I continued on to Pekanbaru. The van that ply the route between these two towns is known as ‘Siputih’, named after its colour white.  The journey took more than an hour. I spent two nights in Pekanbaru and did some shopping and walking around.

Somewhere in Pekanbaru

I obliged to the request of these young entrepreneurs

Morning rush hour in Pekanbaru

I did my shopping at Ramayana

Man fishing at Siak River

The Grand Mosque of Pekanbaru

Motorcycle park

Avian for sale

headgear for sale

On the third day at about 10.00am, I left for Dumai on the east coast of the island of Sumatra. Another six hours of road journey plus stoppage for lunch. I told the driver to drop me at the ticket office for the ferry to Malacca. After I had bought the ticket I checked in at a hotel just next to it. I was too tired to walk around looking for cheaper alternative and furthermore it was nearer to the ferry terminal.

Dumai town. The ferry ticket office is just behind this van

Dumai International & Domestic Ferry Terminal

Next morning I decided to walk to the ferry terminal which was about two or three kilometres away. I left Dumai for Malacca at about 11.00am and from Malacca I boarded a bus to Johor and home.

Melaka Sentral Terminal

Shops inside Melaka Sentral

On my way home

Note:

  1. At a certain time of the year there will be huge waves rolling-in up the river called Bono. I sure would like to see this phenomenon but I do not know if they have enough accommodation for the influx of seasonal tourists there in Teluk Meranti. Click here to have a look at the phenomenon.

Day 3 of 2nd MotoGP Pre-Season Test 2012 at Sepang

I thought I had more acceptable images than the day before because I spent more hours on the last test day at the circuit. I was wrong. Many of the images were blurred. On hindsight, I was too casual and probably also because I did not had lunch. Initially I thought that I just made it half a day and then set off home but I arrived at the circuit at about 11.00am and decided to stay till the end of the session. I had with me a thermos full of milk coffee only. Should had brought some snacks along.

One other aspect was a mistake that I now realised. I was blasting away continuously at the riders speeding up towards me, the autofocus just could not cope with the speed. Anyroad, here are the rest of the images and once again thanks for the wheelies.

As with the previous images, reduce the height to 1080 pixels for full HD resolution. Come race day I will not be at the grandstand but I shall be at the hillstand instead. Yayy! I had booked the ticket for the race in Sepang.

Note: To copy the desired image, right click on it and click open in a new tab in the menu. In the new tab just click on the image to enlarge it. Save the large image.

2nd MotoGP Pre-Season Test 2012 at Sepang

Day 2 of Test

This time I attended the test for 2 days…well almost. I left for Sepang in the morning of the second day of the test and reach the circuit by late afternoon. It was raining but by the time I was at the grandstand it had almost stopped.

The circuit was wet so not many riders did the test during that time till the session ended. Still, I managed to get plenty of shots.  Here are the selected images from day 2 which each of them is capable of full HD resolution but you need to crop the height to 1080 pixels though.

Images from the last day of test will come up next. There are a lot of images to sieve through, choose and edit.

Note: To copy the desired image, right click on it and click open in a new tab in the menu. In the new tab just click on the image to enlarge it. Save the large image.