I had always imagined my dream of watching a Formula 1 car race past me will come true someplace abroad. A couple of years back, i thought it would happen in the Noida at the Buddh International Circuit. But today it happened and it did not happen at either of the possibilities mentioned above. It happened on the streets of the city of dreams, Mumbai.
Vodafone as part of its promotions for the Vodafone McLaren Formula 1 racing team of which it is one of the prime sponsors, bought down former Formula 1 World Champion Lewis Hamilton to burn some serious rubber on the streets of Mumbai at the Bandra Kurla Complex.
It was sad in the beginning when the general public was sent a text message saying that the text message would give them a free entry at the venue but the event management staff did not allow them to enter without a physical invite. It was later learnt that there were special VIP invites that were sent out too and those were the entry points for the VIP enclosure. However, later after about a 2 KM walk, we did manage to find the entry point for the general public. But by the team I reached, the place was overcrowded. The 1.2 KM stretch was so jam packed that leave alone the car, it was almost impossible to even get a glimpse of the street. However, after a little bit of pushing around, I did find myself a sweet spot. And then the wait began.
It was a carnival kind of an atmosphere with acrobats, Zooz0os and the MCs keeping the audience exited. Then came down the rain, after which, we were kind of scared that the event might get scraped. But luckily, it was just a drizzle and the moment it stopped, we heard the monster come to life. It required no introduction. Everyone knew what that deafening noise was and before we knew a shiny 3 feet high McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car zipped past me. I could still hear the noise and was just trying to soak in the amazing sound when it went past again in the opposite lane.
I was jus hoping that this not be the only lap, when i heard the gears change again and the sound become louder. The mean machine was approaching again, only this time, it slowed down just a little ahead of us and we saw a spectacle which was beyond our expectations. A Formula 1 car 360 Degree Spin done voluntarily live only 20 feet away from us. I was enamored. Suddenly Lewis Hamilton came across to me as this ultimate Rockstar. I mean look at it this way: The guy is famous for driving fast. That is his entire career ‘Drive Fast’. We get a high after riding a bike at 120KM/HR, this guy is known for doing just that…
However, while I was contemplating all this, the car zipped past a couple of times more and each time I fell in love with it even more. After about 6-7 laps and half a dozed 360 degree spins, Hamilton got into a Passenger Mercedes and took a few Vodafone contest winners for a ride. Yet another high. One of the fastest human beings on the planet is driving you around while thousands of people stare in disbelief and as if that was not enough, he spun 36o degrees again, this time in a Passenger car where he had company.
After all this, he once again got into his racing avatar and got into the McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car for one last spin. And once again, the entire crowd was awestruck….
The rain held up, and Hamilton showed us driving on the streets of Mumbai that you don’t get to see even on the race tracks. Thanks to Vodafone to make it happen. I am still so in awe…What a night…oh yeah…the entire even was under flood lights!