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Many Adventures of a Nomadic Poet A young poet with Asperger's makes travel his passion, and away he goes...

Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix

AUSTRALIA | Sunday, 26 March 2017 | Views [386]

F1 car

F1 car

What a great prize I had in store for me today, no pun intended. For the past two years I've heard the sounds of the fighter jets and some of the world's fastest cars, and last month I said to myself "I'm going to the Grand Prix this year." When I'd play racing games on Nintendo as a child, there was always an option for "grand prix" and I figured it was pronounced phonetically and I never really knew what it meant. As the French words for "great prize" it wasn't until I learned about the Monaco Grand Prix that I learned what a grand prix was. By the way, plural is "grands prix" not "grand prixs." 

As perhaps Melbourne's most glamourous event other than the Melbourne Cup, the Formula 1 Grand Prix evokes the imagination. Images of fast cars to go with champagne and royalty go through your mind. Currently, Formula 1 is hosted in 20 countries with every track being a different shape comprising of 15 turns. Held at Albert Park with a gorgeous setting, the Australian Grand Prix goes from Thursday through Sunday, with qualifying races Thursday through Saturday and the main event being today.

As with many other events in Melbourne, transport is included in the ticket price. "Ride a tram free to the Grand Prix" is what I said to my friend Laura, a beautiful Brit whom I met in North Korea. We've bowed to statues of the Kims, we've linked up, and now we'd be arm in arm to the Grand Prix. Food at the event itself costs an arm and a leg but you can bring your own, so I stocked up on bananas, muesli bars, and stuff for sandwiches so we could have a picnic as the cars whizzed by. Grandstand tickets are substantially more expensive, though with general admission you're free to sit and wander where you like.

As spectacular as the race itself is the air display. We arrived just in time to observe the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Roulettes.

RAAF Roulettes

Their formation was majestic and the sound subtle. I was warned to bring earplugs; when the RAAF F/A-18 Super Hornet flew overhead, it was most definitely the loudest sound I've ever heard!

RAAF F/A-18 Super Hornet

In writer's words, it was "beautiful to watch and painful to hear." Flying at supersonic speed, the fighter jet performed the most beautiful acrobatic maneuvers. With my ears plugged, it was a spectacular show! Much bigger, though much quieter, is the RAAF C-17 Globemaster.

RAAF C-17 Globemaster

Remembering Banjo Patterson's words "we're all Australians now" we put our hands over our hearts for Advance Australia Fair. I know the national anthem by heart to the last word...that's how much I love Australia.

At 4 PM, the Formula 1 Grand Prix began! 58 laps in some of the world's fastest and most elite cars in a glamour of an event. Seemingly driving at the speed of light, they're not as noisy as I expected though the Hornet may have played a factor in making everything sound quieter. It was rather frustrating finding a great photo spot but my high-powered lens helped exponentially.

As real enthusiasts followed the race on their mobile phones, cheers erupted when Sebastian Vettel of Germany, for Ferrari, would cross the finish line to win the 2017 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix! What a spectacular race it was today. Laura and I were impressed, that's for sure.

Even if you're not a racing connoisseur, the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix is most certainly an event any visitor to Melbourne should go to. Just the feeling of being at the Grand Prix is one like no other; I had tears in my eyes today as I joyfully watched the cars zoom by. If I were a real enthusiast, I'd be travelling to all 20 countries chasing the Formula 1 Grand Prix as fast as the cars go. 


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