Ready, Steady, Go for 2006
by Tucker Quantal
Artist's impression of Formula 1 happening
Shanghai put on quite a show this year at the Grand Prix, showing that China is really cool and modern. It seemed impossible that any event in future could top it. Jackie Chan and Michael Learns To Rock? It doesn't get better than that, surely. Yet the race organisers promise us that they have even more improvements in store for next year's event. We tried to get details out of them, but they were having none of it, so myself and my large acquaintance Yuri waylaid Shanghai International Circuit Event Co-ordinator Hua Gaoyu, dragged him down a side street and struck him heavily about the neck and knees until he told us what to expect.
"Our circuit is already better than every other track on the F1 calendar," said Hua, spitting out a molar. "For example, in most venues, spectators have a pre-booked seat, but they can also walk around the whole circuit at track level, allowing them to see the action at any point, though from a limited perspective. Obviously, this does not sufficiently point up class divisions, so at Shanghai, everyone is restricted to just one section of the track!" He went on to promise further improvements to the spectator experience "in this manner" but was reluctant to provide details.
Later, as we three relaxed in the upmarket Xintiandi district, adopting a supine position with his wrists pinned under gou-rou.com's factseeking journoboots, Mr Hua cheerfully relented and outlined a few of the things the management have slated for 2006 to maximise racegoers ability to simultaneously enjoy motorsport and sneering at their perceived lessers.
- Top-end ticket buyers to be provided with complimentary top hats and monocles.
- Vox-pop interviews from around the circuit to be shown minutes later on massive screens in middle of track, with laugh track added over segments featuring people with "weird" accents.
- Spectators to be given the mobile phone numbers of one or more ticket holders in cheaper seats than themselves, so that they can ring them before, during or up to a month after the race to talk about how great their view is.
- So that even the lowliest customers don't feel too left out, kickable tramps will be hired at reasonable cost and chained to posts at various points on the premises.
- Tragically inept former Jaguar team boss Bobby Rahal to be placed in stocks by main entrance. Also, if possible, failed F1 drivers Tora Takagi, Michael Andretti and David Coulthard.