The eyes of the world looked at Singapore and its impressive skyline during the F1 Nightrace last weekend. This attention helped Singapore to position itself as a first world metropolis in the heart of Asia.
I’m the first to admit that I am not a racing enthusiast. If anything, I follow the global circuit from the fringes, reading up on Vettel and Hamilton once in a while. So when my client Audi invited me to their F1 Party at Singapore’s Fullerton hotel, it was more the experience and the people that made me look forward to the event. Together with my colleague Havard, our coach/trainer from Bangkok who was visiting for a week, I arrived at the venue just over an hour before the race started. Up on the roof terrace 7 pm was the perfect time to take in the course and the impressive Singapore skyline in the diminishing light. As darkness fell and the lights came on, this time with F1-colours on the Marina Bay Sands mall and many of the CBD skyscrapers, I could only imagine what the image to the outside world would be – and indeed, through the race I received a few SMS from Europe asking about the feeling “on the ground” and commenting on the impressive pictures they saw.
Extending the F1 Nightrace in Singapore for another five years was a brilliant move – yes, Singaporeans will complain about traffic jams due to road closures (I almost missed my SMU ‘Advertising’ class last Thursday night), but secretly they’ll be proud of their city state, its success becoming visible to the world during the event. The overseas’ reporters that have been sent to cover the race would make sure they earn their keep by reporting from the fringes of the event, covering Singapore’s economic performance and achievements in technology, education, architecture and culture. These stories are always valid, but it takes an event like the F1 Nightrace to put the focus on Singapore.