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Sepang F-1 Circuit, Kuala Lumpur -
Home of the
Red-Bull Sauber Petronas Team

Two of my friends were indeed kind enough to give two tickets for me to go to the first ever World Formula 1 Championship that held at Sepang F-1 Circuit, which is just located next to the new Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang, some 40km away from the city centre.

I was hesitating of whether should I take up their offers, as my company, MIR is also the
developer for the official website for both the FIM World Motorcycle Malaysian Grand Prix as well as the FIA's World Formula 1 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix. Eventually, I couldn't stand the look of my 9 year old son, an ever crazy follower of the F-1 who can tell you how many 1-2 podium finishes Ferrarri has scored in this year's championship and whether which circuit that Pedro Diniz has not involved with an accident...

I am not a good father, but at least I know what my son wants..so there we are, I took the offer from the friend that gave the seats just opposite the pit-stop. the start and the finishing line at the grand stand (It proved to be not a particularly wise decision..with a kid around you). Anyway, in a sattelite TV, the atmosphere at the pit stop were usually highly suspense and exciting to see the supporting crew fighting for milliseconds to change wheels, refueling and blast off to the race track again.. so I thought that would be a better option than the twist and turn corners and a long straight at the other side of the grand stand.

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I can't remember when was the last trip to somewhere that I have to walk a litte since I had that little heart operation. I decided to travel light, bought a small Lowepro Off-Trail2 to house a manual Nikon F3-T body with a 500mm Mirror lens, a 50mm and 200mm Micro-Nikkor. Films ? Just 5 rolls of Fujicolor ASA 200 negative film. Motor Drive ? No. Too heavy for comfort and all I have was only 5 rolls of films.

Reasons ? Becoz' I am not a pro...

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< While I wasn't that freely to move around as I have wished, I did have some friends that were working on the other side at the pit stops where most of the action were. CYLEow, photo editor of the Star newspaper was one of them, this image on the left was taken by him with an fisheye lens. I am using it to illustrate why I need to bring along a 500mm Mirror lens. Well, if I have a choice and taken an earlier visit for the three days pass I was given - I could have better option like a 28, 80mm, a 500mm Mirror may be a zoom for more flexible operation on such situation.

FIA's was very strict to issue media pass to photographers or journalists covering the event unless one comes with strong and 'powerful' accredition (So does the FIM for the motorcyle championship, obviously, it is for safety and security reasons as these are high speed demons events). Even as the official developer for the Grand Prix site, we cannot get a media pass for this event (which is one of the reason why eventually I decided to come as a spectator). We had some goodwill established with some seasoned foreign F-1 photographers who are generously permiting us to use their work to publish in the GP site. Security is tight and within the grand stand seats, one is not that freely to move about as behind us are the control instruments to transmit broadcasting signals. Anyway, I managed to have some shots, no big deals, but they are after some struggling to shoot through or between the heads of other F-1 fans that sat in front of me, ha! Obviously, most were using the 500mm CAT lens which I have to fight to stablise due to my age... hehe.

Warning: Thinking of bring along your kids to the track ? You might as well Click Here for a quick Summary what is F-1 racing all about.

Why didn't I use an AF body like the Nikon
F100, F-5 or borrow a Canon EOS-1 RS or something equivalent ? Oh.. I have never seen so many exotic lenses and bodies over there in my life, well, since the longest lens I can carry with is a non AF CAT lens and you cannot play around (other than the film speed) with shuter speed to much (It is a joke to use ND in such situation..), Worst of all, as I said, I am not a pro and I don't have the freedom to move around as many others on duty...

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Sepang F-1 Circuit, Kuala Lumpur - Home of the Red-Bull Sauber Petronas Team.

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Credit: My friends, EricYong, FWL and KH Tan, who generously provided me with the tickets. CYLEow, Picture Editor of the Star Newspaper for using one of this image (and many images in the photo gallery section in Malaysian GP site. Site created 'unfortunately' again with a PowerMac Broadcasting with a Linux Redhat server. A tribute to all the people (Including both the governing bodies of World's Motor Sports for World Championship -FIA and FIM that have so much confidence in us) that have made this Formula 1 race in my country with such a tremendous success. Also dedicated to my loving son, Alvin Foo. Cheers!