An illuminating success.
In the 20 years that I’ve been professionally photographing Formula 1 I’ve never experienced such a wave of excitement and enthusiasm as that which engulfed us all for the inaugural F1 night race in Singapore.
We all travelled to this shining light of a capitalist city slightly puzzled as to how it would all play out. There was much talk of long nights and early mornings, but really we all settled into the bizarre practice of staying on European time rather well.
After rising from a good sleep one ordered breakfast at lunchtime, strolled through one of the myriad malls and arrived in the paddock mid-afternoon. It only took the bemused media room staff a couple of days to not look quite so puzzled at the F1 press pack’s chirpy “good morning” at 3.30pm local time!
Once released from the pits the cars looked fantastic under the 1600 lighting projectors. Some appeared to have an almost overly enhanced colourful and metallic sheen – Ferrari and Honda being the standout examples.
Photographically the challenge was to portray the event in all its glory whilst retaining as much image quality as possible in the tricky (light-wise) conditions. For the creative snapper the race presented a real opportunity to show F1 in an original way, the uniqueness of the event providing some fantastic and particularly artistic possibilities.
If any criticisms can be levelled at the event they are few. Some more light on the city’s buildings would be good – and, really, what’s the point of the overly zealous airport-like security machines at the paddock gates?
F1’s regulars are already looking forward to next year’s event, with talk of Singapore being straight away one of the glamour races of the season.
Since Bernie apparently wants more night races we can expect others to appear on the calendar soon. And after the success of this one, who can blame him?
The future’s bright – the future’s dark!
Please now click on the ‘Formula 1’ link at the top of the page to enjoy my pictures from the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix.