There are more than 800 officials volunteering their services at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix 2019 and while most are understandably Australian, there are plenty of other nationalities volunteering their services around Albert Park.
Ferdinand Lai is one of those passionate officials who is part of the action down under.
Lai is one of 32 officials from Singapore at Albert Park to volunteer as an official - the most of any other country, outside of Australia, that will be represented over the course of the weekend.
Spending the previous five years as a Fire Marshal at the Singapore Grand Prix, Lai believed the time was right to get out of his comfort zone and make the venture to Australia.
“I am very excited to come down from Singapore and be part of the action, especially because I get to make new friends around here,” Lai said.
“I love being near the track, especially as a Fire Marshal, because when there are incidents, there is a lot of pressure to act smart and quickly which is great.
“Being a Fire Marshal gets your adrenaline pumping. Of course you want a safe and smooth race so you don’t wish for anything to go wrong but it's still an exciting role.
“This is my fifth year as an official and my first year in Australia which is a little nerve wracking but it doesn’t matter because I love motor sport for the excitement, the thrills and the fumes. It’s just fantastic.”
Of all the Singaporean officials, two them are Fire Marshals, while the rest are made up of Flag, Spectator, Radio and Intervention Marshals – all roles that they can benefit their own country with the skills they learn while in Australia.
However for Lai, while he will be looking at picking some things to take back to his home Grand Prix, there are not too many differences between the two premier events.
"I would have to say that both events run pretty much the same, there is nothing too noticeable that is different between the way the two events run on track,” Lai added.
“However over here, the weather is nicer, the people are nice and on Sunday we have a BBQ which is something we don’t have in Singapore.
“Hopefully I can learn some new skills over here and implement them back in Singapore and share with my friends back over there.
“After this experience, I can definitely say that I will be back because it’s such a fun time thanks to all the great people here.”
Fernando Lai coming to Australia and developing relationships with other officials represents the common trait that all the countries who are lucky enough to host a Grand Prix share.
That being, no matter what corner of the world these officials come from, they all speak the same language when it comes to the love of motor sport.