At most races, Red Bull Racing would want its Formula One drivers to have a nice, early night before the start of practice, but Singapore isn’t most races. Free practice doesn’t begin until 6pm local time, so the team bosses do not want the drivers at the track before 330pm, which means Daniel Ricciardo and Max Vestrappen are under orders to stay up until dawn on Thursday.
While unusual, this presented a great opportunity for a competition. Red Bull Racing asked fans to send in 30-second videos detailing why they’d like to have dinner with Daniel and Max. The lucky winners were invited, with a friend each, to have dinner with the boys late on Thursday night in Singapore.
The Marina Bay Street Circuit area has a host of great hotels with wonderful restaurants, but if you’re eating out in Singapore, and particularly if you’re eating out at midnight, Singapore’s world-famous hawker food is the best choice. Therefore, Daniel, Max and their guests went to Newton Food Centre to sample a wide selection of local dishes, with chilli crab and satay taking pole positions on the taste grid.
“I’m not a big fan of seafood, but it was very nice to be here,” said Max as he edged away from the plate of chilli crab, “You see a lot about the culture and try some new stuff and it was great to share that with the fans tonight. It’s a great city and the people are very friendly with a very open society, it’s very enjoyable just to be here.”
“It was cool to experience some local food at a traditional food market, a place I’d never been,” said Daniel. “It was very traditional of Singapore with your chilli crabs and lemon chicken which are very popular here. We got to experience it all with the locals and the fans who joined us for the evening. As a lot of them were Australian, I had to pour them a shoey, I think it went down well!”
A good time was had by all, and the Red Bull Racing team got its drivers back in plenty of time for an early night, albeit one that starts as the sun comes up.