Shanghai F1 2011

I’m at the Shanghai international circuit to experience the Formula 1 race.┬áThe race is about 40 minutes from where we live, ofcourse, just going there was already great. A highway packed with Chinese trucks but also bentleys, Rolls royce and ferrari’s and other expensive cars. However, we had a unpleasant surprise upon arrival; we didn’t know we needed to buy a ticket to park the car! A friendly policemen told us we should have, and send our can back. But it wouldn’t be a Chinese event if the inventive Chinese would see the business in this opportunity. We noticed there were salesmen next to the road everywhere, they were selling tickets for the event and to park. The first offer we got wanted 300 rmb, but we asked him to come with us (as we didnt trust the validity one bit) but he didn’t want to join. Actually, he looked up, and look at the same policeman we were send away by moments early and and the parking ticket vendor started running! So we tried a second man in a bit calmer area. Once again it seemed fishy, we had to wait “for his friend” but we figured that we didn’t have much choice, so we waited. However, as promised, he arrived in 5 minutes. Turns out, he was holding a ticket which he was ‘selling’ over and over again. He just steps in the car with you, gets you inside and walks back out. So… arriving back at the gate, a cop waved us to stop. But the ticketman, who joined us to retrieve the ticket, told us to hit the gas and don’t show the parking ticket too clearly! But it worked, the police agent waved us though. Then, we couldn’t stop laughing. We were suddenly surrounded by Mercedes cars. We realized we were allowed on the Mercedes VIP ticket – with a Honda! The only non s-class on the lot! We then figured out how this system works. Probably, one of the chauffeurs of these fancy Mercedes cars, saw the opportunity and sold his card to the vendors. They can easily make the money back if they get enough people on to the lot. Again, this shows the great trading feeling of the Chinese people. Besides, as Mercedes would arrange, we parked right in front of the entrance. So that was a great start of the day. We walked a little bit around the track. Then we settled down in the grandstand A, and watched this spectacular race! The sound is overwhelming. The Shanghai track is also exciting, just as exciting as Monza with lot’s of action to see. Also great to see so many international, but more and more Chinese fans participating in the atmosphere. I want to thank Marc van der Chijs for giving me tickets for this great event!