Kuala Lumpur kicked off grand prix weekend with a welcome gala in the ballroom of the Shangri-La, attended by Malaysia’s political and social elite, F1 drivers and one freeloading journo.
A crab salad, cauliflower veloute, filet mignon and tiramisu was accompanied by a Tiffany’s fashion show (cue Diamonds Are Forever), and later the stage was given over to David Foster. David who, you ask? To be honest the only reason I know who he is is because his wife was on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And the only reason I would admit to watching that is because a friend of mine was in an episode. Anyway, he might not be a household name – not in my household anyway – but he did pen some of the biggest ballads ever. Like all of Whitney Houston’s hits. And Michael Jackson’s Earth Song. And loads of others. 500 million albums sold, apparently. Explains why he lives in a huge house in Malibu.
He played the piano accompanied by a host of singers, including an American Idol winner and Malaysia’s answer to Celine Dion.
Hats off to the man because he managed to get Malaysia’s longest serving Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, to sing My Way. Well, he ain’t no Sinatra but he still got a standing ovation.
There were also silences given over to the victims of MH370. Malaysia’s had a rough time, and this year’s gala was toned down accordingly. In fact, concerts by Christina Aguilera, Craig David and Calvin Harris have all been cancelled as KL is in no mood to celebrate.
McLaren’s Eric Boullier makes his entrance
F1 drivers including Emerson Fittipaldi pose with Yolanda Foster
Bike legend Mick Doohan and Sepang CEO Razlan Razali