The 6th of April 2011 marked the day where Team Mercedes GP Petronas held its 'Meet the Fans' session in conjunction with the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix. The session, held at the Suria KLCC shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur was a packed and quite successful event with both drivers, 7 time world champion Michael Schumacher and his racing partner, Nico Rosberg spent some time answering a short Q &A as well as signing autographs at the concourse area of the shopping mall. The Mercedes Petronas GP promotional booth basically took up the whole concourse area with the team souvenirs, Petronas products and the piece de resistance, the official South East Asian public showing of the new Mercedes Benz CLS63 AMG 4 door coupe.
Speaking of the CLS 63 I have to say that viewing the car in person is so much better than viewing the car in the official photographs. It looks so much better in the metal and that slightly more blunt nose actually works. If I looked at the official photographs I had the opinion that the earlier CLS had a sportier outlook but I have now changed my mind. The new and improved CLS 63 looks stunning. It has a myriad of lines that look very cohesive, must more than the earlier CLS55/63 and shows subtle aggression. I loved the little touches, especially that 'show off' badging on the front flanks – “V8 biturbo” tells you of the car's hidden powerplant, that new AMG 5.5liter twin turbocharged V8. Touches like these are very popular with those who want to flaunt it a little.
The car was a left hand drive unit specially brought in in conjunction with the F1 pre-race promotions. This was much like the official South East Asian unveiling of the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG last year which also tied in with the Malaysian Formula 1 GP. Oh yes, the Mercedes Petronas GP Formula 1 car the Petronas MGP W02 was on display too.
Anyway, it was packed and crowded but I managed to stick close to the stage for some photo taking during the Q &A session. I suppose it actually pays off to dress immaculately (and looking like someone 'important' also helps...a little) most of the time in case of an occasion like this.
During the autograph session one fan, who had a German sounding accent took off his shirt in front of Michael Schumacher when his turn came up. He had Michael Schumacher's signature as well as race victories tattooed on his back. Yes, tattooed. He caused a scare among the Petronas security staff but everyone clapped and laughed. I suppose Michael Schumacher had met his ultimate fan right here in Kuala Lumpur. The chap then managed to pose for the cameras after that. Really weird.
So the pre-race promotional events are on full swing in and around Kuala Lumpur. Practice for the Malaysian F1 at the Sepang F1 Circuit is on the 8th of April, qualifying is on Saturday the 9th and race day, Sunday, the 10th of April 2011. I hope it'll be a blast!
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