In the midst of spectators from Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Great Britain, Finland and Singapore, I watched Lewis Hamilton drive to victory. Strangely, I wasn’t disappointed. It was an experience to be savoured, an ambience to be absorbed to saturation. Seeing the drivers in flesh and blood as they were driven around the track on lovely cars, waving to the crowds, was surreal- people I’d seen on television, admired and detested, but wanted to know, were right in front of me. Hamilton is definitely charismatic; he can endear himself to the crowds, and so can Nico Rosberg.
The race didn’t go my way at any point. Hamilton sped off comfortably, the two safety car periods making no dent in his lead, his pit-stops flawless. Rosberg, challenging for a podium position, made a mistake that a rookie would have been ashamed of, driving clear over the white line as he exited the pit lane, incurring a drive-through penalty. Sebastian Vettel gave him company, being penalised for speeding in the pit lane. Adrian Sutil pushed a little too hard trying to get ahead of Jaime Alguersuari and took himself and Nick Heidfeld out, the latter already in misery having started in the pit lane. The Toro Rosso cars faced premature exits, in fact coming into the garage in the same lap, while brake troubles plagued Mark Webber.
Starting twelfth, championship leader Jenson Button did pretty well to finish fifth, consolidating his position on top. Rubens Barrichello finished sixth, giving the Brawn team something to smile about. The Ferraris continued their run of misery, both the cars finishing outside the points.
No pile-ups, no massive shunts, but the race never turned into a procession, as street races sometimes threaten to. The back of the pack- the Ferrari of Giancarlo Fisichella, the Force India cars, and Alguersuari’s Toro Rosso, provided some excitement as they kept bunching up. On the track, how close or far apart the cars are becomes really evident, and you wait breathlessly for them to lunge at one another, to attack.
I wouldn’t have missed this race for the world. One dream has come true, many to go.