Friday, April 10, 2009

Management Of Sepang F1, Come On, Its Not Your First Year On The Job!!!


I have heard enough horror stories from friends who went to F1 at Sepang. Come on guys, its not the first year we are holding the event, it was the 10th year!! Surely we must have some experience handling the logistics, anticipating the traffic flow, etc. Why make people think we Malaysians are idiots, maybe... we are idiots after all.

The Sepang International Circuit (SIC) general manager Datuk Azmi Murad said that they would like to thank all the fans for their overwhelming support. Hey Azmi, no need to thank the people la, just spend more time organising the logistics, and ensure the overall experience is hassle free and fun. I would never go because I know what the logistics are like. Pay top dollar just to be pissed off at every juncture. Azmi added that as a major tourism tool for Malaysia, the GP would continue to be a top priority for the SIC and the government - well, not for long if you continue that way.

So what were the complaints:

a) Azmi said that with such a huge crowd, it was inevitable that there would be complaints over certain issue but they would ensure that things are better next year. Errr, the crowd was 115,794 this year, compared to last year's 107,322 ... pray tell, where is the huge jump in crowd? If I had 107,000 last year, a smart person would work within a +-10% rise in crowd as the platform for logistics management. Harrooo???... ooo, the crowd rose by 7.9% this year, I am so in deep shit, don't know how to cater to the excessive growth in traffic... help!!!

b) Very very poor traffic control all the way leading to Sepang. Did you know that it took an average of one hour to drive from the tollbooth to the car park... yeah!

c) After fuming for 1 hour, you have to be prepared to pay RM50 to park your car. You should feel grateful to pay the RM50 for such brilliant service and the many brilliant staff deployed to make things so fucking smooth for you all. Don't complain.

d) Is this symptomatic of government constructed structures... a few places saw water leaking from the ceiling. I must say at least the contractors were consistent and predictable.

e) How often does it rain in Malaysia? I'd say 1/4 of the time. What are the chances of it raining on race day, I'd say 50-50 because our adverse weather patterns as exemplified over the past 12 months showed that our rainy season is not only in December/January anymore. Thanks to global warming, hot water vapourise faster thus making cloud patterns heavier and hence rain falling almost every day now. Its good, makes me feel like I am back in Ipoh.

Now, if we know its probably going to rain, why didn't anyone think of the logistics to cater for such a situation. Puddles forming everywhere, getting larger by the minute. Mall area was not prepared for such a situation, so many areas and events within Sepang F1 were not prepared for the eventuality of raining. Why? Because you fucking planted a few cili padis at the front? Because the feng shui bugger already installed the Tracing the Nine Star secret feng shui method to counter the rain???

Ask anybody who went there with mats preparing to sit on the grounds. They turn muddy faster than a melting ice cream. Many people came back with an 'unforgettable experience' and some with hives and itches on their bodies. Management DID NOT trim the grass. Management DID NOT fumigate the hillside. Were the hundreds and thousands of caterpillars part of the crowd entertainment program - then put in the program la, at least people can look forward to them and not be surprised.

f) The queues were so long to get in, very poor crowd management, I am surprised not many people had strokes or heart attacks from the pressure, anger and tension. Apparently there just very few lines to enter and the staff were more intent on checking the bags. You know beforehand how many are coming, when is the crowd coming in, the general pattern of crowds coming in, you would then adjust your logistics to suit the anticipated events... harrooo ... ingat ni pasar malam ka??? In fact, our pasar malam has much better crowd control and dispersal system - and its self patrolled some more.

g) Why push the start time from 3pm to 5pm? Did anyone bothered to tell the fucking Europeans that while 5pm may be better viewing time, the chance of a heavy downpour rises from 40% at 3pm to 80% at 5pm (highly unscientific conclusion based on daily evidence). Somebody go and ask Bernie Ecclestone to attend a day long seminar on Malaysian weather patterns.

h) Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone was quoted saying the Sepang circuit was getting "shabby" from lack of care just hours before yesterday's Malaysian Grand Prix. "It has become, if you don't mind, like an old house that needs a bit of redecorating. It's starting to get a little shabby and looks a bit tired. There is rubbish all over the place and it's not really a good sign for Malaysia. We're on worldwide television and it needs to look good, much like in the beginning." Now when something constructive is said, let's not hear our politicians rise up to defend the indefensible but rather take to heart the criticisms and make sure they do not occur again.

Having said all that, the F1 race was damn exciting and the best for a very very long time. The downpour added huge excitement as we all Malaysian know how tough it was to drive at 80km when you cannot see more than 5 feet and your wipers are there just for show. We know how it is when it really pours and its still kind of bright but the light reflects off the raindrops and basically makes you see a clod of white mass in front of you. It was exciting to see great bolts of lightning and thunder, and to wonder if Button or Hamilton were startled and shivered when they heard the thunder clapping??!!


p/s photo: Aya Ueto


3 comments:

bOcy said...

i've been on the track when it poured heavily. The tyre's basically free spinning if your accelerate at the near the last turn to the checkline. The track's full of water. Engineering guys need to check again on the track alignment and drainage.

Chauncey Gardener said...

I would disagree with you on the probability of rain being 1/4 of the time. It is more like 2/3.

And more than likely, rain will fall between 2-5 pm because it is convectional rain clouds that form (hot air rising, hottest part of the day is after 12 noon). So even if the race starts at 2 pm, there is a risk of rain regardless but starting at 5 pm compounds the risk because of failing light.

As for the greedy Mr Ecclestone, the time shifting to 5 pm was to capture a larger European audience. Nothing wrong with the idea but it does put the drivers at higher risk and, as we have seen, curtailed the race itself, limiting the points awarded, etc. I think that racing fans will rise up early if the race is at 2 pm Malaysian time. Heck, the Asian populace is awake at 3 am in the morning to watch football, so why can't the Europeans wake up a bit earlier to watch the races ?

And perhaps Mr Ecclestone threw in that comment about the state of the facilities to start some justification to move the race out of Sepang to more "lucrative" venues ?

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