6 memorable things about the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix
It rained at the Marina Bay Street Circuit over the weekend - and not just in terms of water but also fans, food and fun.
The 2022 Singapore Airlines Singapore Grand Prix heralded a return to normalcy for the country post-Covid.
Here's what stood out:
1. The basic stuff is still key
It bucketed on Saturday and Sunday, leaving the 5.063km track drenched and hazardous.
F1 boasts cutting edge technology in many areas but when it came to the most important task of clearing the track of excess water, the most handy instruments were brooms, brushes and squeegees.
2. Hungry for more
From burgers to bellinis, hotdogs to sushi, diners had plenty of festival fare to keep their engines revving throughout the weekend.
The Paddock Club was the place to be for high-end cuisine dished out for VIPs by famed celebrity chefs such as Wolfgang Puck, Nobuyuki Matsuhisa and Jean-Georges Vongerichten.
It housed several watering holes including Arrival Bar and Driver's Left by Jigger & Pony and Wolfgang Puck Champagne Bar.
On the F1 village grounds, queues never ceased for the likes of lobster rolls from Luke's Lobster and plant-based burgers from food truck The Goodburger.
3. Nostalgia acts aplenty
Many of the crowd-pleasing performers produced their biggest hits in the 1990s and early 2000s that instantly took audiences down memory lane. So although the line-up was considerably safe, it possessed the winning formula for fans' maximum entertainment.
American girl group TLC's set naturally included their signature tracks Waterfalls (1995) and No Scrubs (1999), while English rock band Suede got the audience singing and swaying along to their catchy 1996 track Beautiful Ones.
The Black Eyed Peas opened their show with the 2004 party anthem Let's Get It Started, and populated the rest of the gig with the thumping Pump It (2006) and uptempo I Got A Feeling (2009). American rock band Green Day also transported everyone back in time with songs from their 1994 breakthrough album Dookie, as well as slowed things down with the sombre Boulevard Of Broken Dreams (2004), which was 2006's Record of the Year at the Grammys.
4. When it gets wet, get creative
The wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of many concertgoers.
When the rain poured down towards the end of Australian rapper The Kid Laroi's set on Sunday, some fans gave up trying to stay dry and decided to dance in the downpour instead.
Westlife's gig on Saturday also fell on the third birthday of member Mark Feehily's daughter Layla. Although the girl was not present, he got the crowd to sing happy birthday to her.
One lucky and resourceful fan in the front row even managed to get many stars to autograph his book. During Black Eyed Peas' set on Saturday, he passed it to will.i.am while the rapper was performing Scream & Shout, who signed it without missing a beat. During Westlife's concert after that, the fan did the same thing, and successfully nabbed signatures from all four members.
The F1 concert weekend wrapped with Green Day's glorious finale on Sunday, which boasted fireworks before, during and after the set, taking the excitement up another notch.
5. Not a happy birthday
It was not a birthday weekend to remember for Max Verstappen. The Dutchman had a chance to claim his second world championship in Singapore, although he needed a whole host of factors to do so.
But he was forced to abandon his final fastest lap for qualifying on Saturday after the team discovered that his Red Bull was running low on fuel. It left the Dutchman hot under the collar and sparked an expletive-laden outburst over the team radio.
He started Sunday's race eighth on the grid but despite putting on a typically aggressive display around the tricky, twisty circuit, he could only finish seventh and his wait for a first win at Marina Bay continues.
6. Ending the weekend on a high
Many trackside hotels were reportedly fully booked for the race weekend, with the Ministry of Trade and Industry also reporting that average daily rates were "expected to exceed historical rates of $440 per night".
More significantly though, the 2022 edition attracted a record of 302,000 fans, who packed the stands over the three days. The previous high was 300,000 for the first night race in 2008.
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