Mon | Aug 21, 2017

F1 up close unforgettable

Published:Sunday | June 19, 2016 | 6:00 AMRohan Parague
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain signals after winning the 2016 Canadian Grand Prix auto race in Montreal, Canada on Sunday, June 12.
Rohan Parague outside the Ferrari pit area at the 2016 Canadian Formula One race.
Rohan Parague (right) shakes hands with Max Verstappen, who was fourth in last Sunday's 2016 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal.
Rohan Parague (left) of Power 106 FM with Red Bull's team leader Christian Horner at the 2016 Candian Formula one race, which Leiws Hamilton won last Sunday.
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The 2016 Canadian Formula One race was held earlier this month at the Gilles Villeneuve track in Montreal. Rohan Parague of Power 106 FM was there for the build-up and then saw Lewis Hamilton speed to victory.

Ok, so F1 in Canada was a four-day event. I met Max Verstappen, Christian Horner and Sir Jackie Stewart (past world champion) at the official cocktail and dinner on Thursday, June 9. This is a formal but exciting build-up where I was able to meet some of the drivers, engineers and sponsors.

The other three days are practice, qualifying and race day (in that order). Lewis Hamilton took pole position on Saturday, June 11. The race was really a ding-dong battle between Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari and Mercedes' Hamilton. Eventually, with good pit strategy Lewis Hamilton won, hence reducing the points gap between himself and his teammate Nico Rosberg.

The experience, live and in living colour, is my most thrilling experience ever. The crowds, the rev of 22 cars zipping by and even the smell of the fuel enhanced the experience. Enjoying it from the paddock club also gave me the opportunity to do scheduled pit lane walks, where I saw all the teams working with surgical precision.

It is an experience I will never forget.