Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

The 10th Edition of the Singapore Grand Prix – and a New Racing Section to this Blog

September 14, 2017
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Chase Carey of Liberty Media at Singapore GP 2016. Photo:  Brad Spurgeon

Chase Carey of Liberty Media at Singapore GP 2016. Photo: Brad Spurgeon

This weekend marks the 10th edition of the Singapore Grand Prix, the first running of which took place in 2008, as Formula One’s first ever night race. As it happened, that first edition would take place just as the world financial markets began to fall apart in the beginning of the financial crisis the effects of which we are still feeling today. I recall the strange atmosphere in the paddock perfectly: We were gathered in the financial hub of Southeast Asia in the slickest racing environment in a downtown setting that we had ever seen, and basking in the paddock in an atmosphere of wealth and luxury. While all the talk was about the underpinnings of that wealth and luxury falling apart around us – banks going bust, the global financial system sinking into an apparent abyss, and with it, the prospect of so many of the series’ sponsors pulling out and leaving Formula One adrift in a series that survives on begging for money.

As the series continues to negotiate for a new contract with Singapore, and in a season in which a new company has taken over the running of the series – the U.S.-based Liberty Media – I thought it would be a great time to look back at a couple of the stories that I wrote in the past, as well as to start a new auto racing section on this blog. Today I am running what I feel is the biggest story I wrote about Formula One as almost classical theater, a big, world story of glamour, glitz and drama. This was a Page 1 story in the International Herald Tribune, and later ran in the New York Times, and summed up the state of Formula One at the time, at its biggest race of the season: The Monaco Grand Prix. Read the story and tell me if the series is the same today 15 years later?

Tomorrow, I will run my preview for the first ever Singapore Grand Prix, and talk a little more about how the weekends go in Singapore.

By the way, while we all thought the first night race and the collapsing financial markets were the biggest story of the weekend in 2008, it turned out that there was a much, much bigger sporting story going on behind the scenes. But that scandal would only be revealed a year later when Nelson Piquet Jr. told the world that he (and his team directors) had staged a fake crash in order to help his teammate at Renault, Fernando Alonso, with his race strategy. The help would lead to Alonso’s first victory that season, and a year later, to the banning of two of the team’s directors from the series in one of the sport’s worst cheating scandals. Last year also marked the beginning of the Liberty Media story, as the announcement of the takeover of Formula One had just been made at the beginning of the month and Chase Carey, the new boss, visited the Singapore paddock – his first ever visit to a Formula One Grand Prix.

BradSpurgeonMusic.com Up and Running

April 14, 2014
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BradSpurgeonMusic.com

BradSpurgeonMusic.com

PARIS – As I prepare to fly out tomorrow to Shanghai for the next step of my worldwide musical open mic adventure – well, all right, mostly for covering the Formula One race in my job as a journalist – I decided I had better do a very short post just to announce on Bradspurgeon.com that I have a new web site now that I have just launched. It is Bradspurgeonmusic.com and it will in no way replace this current web site, which is a blog and general repository of all sorts of wild and crazy Brad Spurgeon ideas and articles. The new site will be strictly devoted to my own musical recordings, videos, CDs and other musical news and creations concerning my upcoming gigs and other personal music news. I have created the site because this blog, while wonderful as a medium in many ways, is not the idea place to group together all of my own music. So often at open mics or gigs or elsewhere, I have people asking where they can hear my music online – and I kind of have to send them all over the place, or to this blog, and it just isn’t adequate. So now there is: Brad Spurgeon Music. Check it out!

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