Tag Archives: F1

The Indian GP is finally here!

It’s been a long time since I blogged especially in the event of the official announcement of the Indian Grand Prix. Its Airtel which has bagged official rights to be the Presenting sponsor, there are other brands as well which will make it to the fore in the days to come. Vodafone will have its presence in the grid with McLaren Mercedes!

The ticket sales started on Saturday with two of the service providers in Bookmyshow.com and Jaypeesports.com and in a matter of hours they had sold over 10,000 tickets. A big number for Indian standards and this will only grow larger and the online tickets are set to get sold at the earliest opportunity.

While this has ushered in the required media frenzy and the much awaited factor are that of the Indian driver’s presence on the grid. Narain Karthikeyan has said he will do the first Indian GP in front of the Indian crowd, Karun was non committal and said he will be in for the date with destiny on the appointed day.

While I write this Bruno Senna has had a call to replace Heikki at Lotus which augurs well for Karun also.

The best news came today when Mercedes announced the starting of a F1 drivers Academy which is the third one of its kind outside Europe. Imagine being trained by God of the universe, Micheal Schumacher in some days at Indian Soil. This is one great step forward because it comes close on the heels of Force India F1’s Driver hunt titled One from a Billion. This shows the intensity of the brand to involved at the grass roots level of the sport in a country which is half younger than 40 years of age.

This event will usher in a lot of economic activity around the circuit and a lot of employment will be generated in events and sports management for sure. The grandeur of a formula 1 race and the high growth factor of the Indian economy will be a potent combination which can work wonders if streamlined in a proper way.

Its been a long wait for the Indian F1 fan and it looks worth the wait for the crowd what with 12 teams out there to showcase the prowess in a brand new circuit which is supposed to be extra wide at corners to encourage overtaking!
So get set for the most happening sporting extravaganza India has ever seen!

Indian F1 fan

A race to remember…the Canadian Grand Prix

For some time this Montreal race is going to be talked long after for all the reasons right from the rains to the crashes to the last lap finish by Jenson Button and ofcourse for being the longest race in f1 history in the recent past. Even before the cars arrived at Montreal, there was a lot of action off the track. While the FIA and Formula One seemed to have blinked without realizing the implications of interchanging the Indian dates with Bahrain, we at Indian were a little too happy with the grand finale being hosted here and ofcourse only problem was going to be the dew factor forget that this is not cricket.

F1 as a circus has this habit of making news even during weekdays and it remained successful in creating a lot of news with the reinstatement of Bahrain GP, while the organizers seemed to have got the financial numbers right, the teams saw red and were upset with an extra race and more so with the political atmosphere at Bahrain. Not many would have forgotten the way they packed up mid way the testing at Bahrain driving across the road sighting many a battle tank and people protesting in the streets.

Coming back to Montreal we always knew going by the weather man’s report that it would be little unpredictable, but no one actually predicted the rain the way it poured. Someone said it was monsoon raging over an hour before the scheduled start and everyone on twitter were reporting that it was not going to get any less as the time approached.

Karun actually tweeted what’s the odd that the race could start with the safety car and end with one. Well the race started with the safety car with Vettel leading a train of cars. IT was damp and ofcourse they would have to get the heat into the tyre and safety car went in at Lap 5. The things looked going fine, then in 8th lap, coming out of a corner there were a clash of McLarens, you guessed it Lewis Hamilton almost ended both their races, going into his team mate, prompting Button to ask on the radio – ‘what was he (Lewis) doing?’ Another safety car!

After that the Ferrari made rapid strides with Alonso on the fast lap and also Massa gaining places. It was the week they had looked forward to all along the season with a nice qualifying on a Saturday afternoon. They did not want to miss it and their prayers went unanswered when the heavens opened up and the drivers complained that the visibility was almost nil. Button had worked up the order too. The safety car was called and then race was red flagged after 24 laps with the cars at the grid line, Vettel leading the race and Kabuyashi was cynosure of all eyes he was behind in P2.

All the while the fans were treated to quite a few interesting pictures via the twitter, from Karun to Karthikeyan to James Allen to the press wire it was all agog with F1. Lewis was almost condemned in no uncertain terms even before the race was officially deemed over. We saw Karthikeyan having a sip of coffee in the middle of the race. Some grid girls were doing their home work from school, how cute!

Else where down in America the NASCAR was going full throttle and one Jeff was making a mark again. And ofcourse the weekend also saw LeMans 24 hours happening.

The heavens didn’t relent for almost for almost two hours, prompting someone to say if they had planned a soccer match they would have had both the first half and second half over by then. People were waiting, the reporters had missed the deadline, the European fans were getting late for their bed. Meanwhile the cars had been fitted with full wet tyres as ordered by Race Control and safety car again led the train of the cars.

Then when the race began it was Schumacher rising like a phoenix only to be overtaken in the next few laps, it almost had sparks of a Mercedes renaissance a short-lived one though with DRS helping Webber. Alonso retired and a few laps later Massa after having contact with Narain also retired making it a forgettable weekend for Ferrari. In all this Button was going fast and with just few laps to go there was a safety car necessitate by the Heidfeld – Kobayashi contact. Now Button was going all over the cars in front of him and the car responded the way he wanted. Button overtook Schumi, then Webber and was gaining almost over a second and it was the last lap even before he could finish it the fans were pretty sure he had it in his bag, and it happened exactly.

Button had won and what a special win this one was taking it in the last lap of an incident filled race. It was worth the wait for all those fans in front of the TV sets and at the race. It was a moment which was a big advertisement for F1 because the races were getting monotonous and yes there is this human factor when it mattered the most for Button also for Vettel who erred a little and what a big difference it made. Well if you thought to err is human then it is Championship stuff to force it.

In the process, RedBull finished P2 and P3. Webber was happy and Schumacher was just off and was fourth. Waiting has its rewards literally, in all my watching the races for some years now this was perhaps the best one and the longest one I reckon. So there is more to come in the next few races we have a strong McLaren and a Ferrari which could make it a triangular contest, unless ofcourse Vettel takes a deep breath and finds inner peace!

R Senthilkumar Indian F1 fan 🙂

Of Bahrain, Kubica and HRT…

The cancellation of Bahrain as it comes under circumstances beyond control of organizers makes a for a commentary on the political machinations under which sports are run. Given that Bahrain is one of the most waited circuit since its inception in 2004 has always been a wonderful advertising for the sports in this part of the continent.

There was no other alternative than the cancellation at his hour. We were already given the idea with all the reports and tweets emanating from there after the last test. While the teams were returning they were driving past militia and tanks and camouflaged men. Not a sight to behold on whatever the nationality we may belong to.

It is indeed a great loss and this will only make the other circuits in the Asian region work harder to make it up for the loss of an Asian venue if I may say so.

As I write this we have the first GP coming up at Noida near New Delhi and the f1.com site in its calendar has an * attached which says subject to approval. So the other Asian circuits or rather the F1 circus travels to are China, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore and ofcourse Abu Dhabi. So here we have the fate closing in to make 19 races from 20 as scheduled. It could be that the Bahrain can be back which is remote at this point in time or we may have one more race in some place but it has to be really worked out.

As regards testing Jerez or Barcelona will host the next testing. So there is one more testing which will not be on any of the real race circuits. We can see the best on the day at Australian GP in a totally different dimension that would be real surprise for all the teams.

We can also factor in weather this time around like last year which can play and make or break a race for the current champion and the future champion.

Talking of champions this year is getting sexier with so many champions on the grid. Micheal, Alonso, Lewis, Vettel, Button, that’s an impressive list by any standards and this will be really be great action from the word go. The sheer idea of imagining this is a nice experience I bet.

There is only one seat left to be announced that’s from Hispania, the team mate of Narain Karthikeyan, and hopefully the grid will complete the next week.

Robert Kubica needs a special mention an unfortunate accident at an inopportune moment, just the timing of it was harsh and unexpected in a fashion which shook the whole fraternity, I was filled with tears and had only this question why only Kubica, having seen the Canadian crash was too much on him. Pray he gets back and wish to see him behind the wheel at the earliest opportunity. I am more optimist than ever after seeing one of my superb sweet driver Massa get back in the way only F1 drivers could have done or can do. Kubica has given Nick his life line and hopefully he will enjoy every bit of it.

So will catch up as we watch the next best champion raring to go and also some testing in between.

Will write about the testing and the grid in the next post till then sitting happily fingers crossed.

PS: Here in India people wont listen to you other than Cricket till the final on 2nd April so its a kinda real tough to get them listen in 🙂

Narain Karthikeyan back in F1!

The news of Narain Karthikeyan getting back to F1 made up for an almost lost opportunity to have an Indian driver don the tricolors during the inaugural Indian Grand Prix this October. Watching it from close quarters, it was a foregone conclusion that Narain would be the best bet. I would have preferred him drive a Force India F1 any day, but lets get back to reality.

When I met him a couple of months back, the same questions popped up, whats are the plans like, hows he liking the NASCAR drive, et all. As we conversed, we knew this year is will be more emotional than ever, may be far more than the 2005 year start at Melbourne. I still remember he had Michael Schumacher in his mirror. He felt this is also a very important for us in India to showcase what we can achieve, in terms of Infrastructure and as a nation with a sporting culture what we can pull off especially when its the first Indian GP. The dream of having an Indian driver at the Indian GP is now a reality.

It is a long dream come true, that its there finally on the calendar, we were close to a Hyderabad F1 track way back if I should say, but we never know how political equations can hinder or bolster things up. Then waiting for almost last three years on tow and this years officially being up there near New Delhi in Noida.

Its great to see the place coming up at a brisk pace, and will get ready to host the event. The Commonwealth Games last year, sans the corruption story was a great reminder that India can host the best given an opportunity. We can be sure that Indian GP will also be an event which will change the way F1 looks at Indian market for sure.

Now we have three people to cheer, two FF1 cars and one HRT, and if you thought we will be spoilt for choice, its not simply true. Narain will be most watched, riding on a billion dreams next only to the Cricket World Cup aspirations that Indians religiously have and pray for. We will still be looking out for FF1 cars!

Despite of his age, Narain is a fast driver and a quick learner, so the challenges before him in terms of the change in technology and rules should be easy for him. Adaptability is his forte. Doing what he likes is one of his hallmarks and inside the cockpit he forgets the world around him.

It would be unwise to expect any miracle from HRT on day 1, nevertheless, it might be that he should look for opportunities wasted by those ahead of him and for sure, we will be a happy lot. Now waiting for the Bahrain GP to kick start the circus as we all know for this year!

Will be back with more!

Karun Chandhok makes it to F1!!!

Senna seated adn KC seated just above

Senna seated & KC seated just above

I have longed to see an Indian colors in the grid and last week was a ray of hope and yesterday I tweeted KC that I just cant wait to see the official confirmation. And lo, it did happen and am very happy for Karun.

The combination seems too good and it presents a good opportunity for Karun to develop and rise to the occasion. With Bruno Senna as team mate the expectations will be much more than usual. On the other hand Bruno himself will have to race under pressure which I presume will be a great help to Karun.

One more factor which works for Karun is that there will less of pressure from people back home since its not like how it was when Narain gate crashed the F1 circuit. I still have those memories when people thought he ought to have won all the races. Imagine Jordan beating the Ferrari would be straight out of comics or sometime the next film script might allow that.

The Indian F1 fan is much more matured and Karun is not the first driver to do the feat and then ofcourse we shall have comparisons. This time around the look of the grid is something pretty awesome what with Ring Master aka King being back. I am referring to Micheal Schumacher. He would be the most watched person.

I think KC’s presence in the grid is more than a reason that I will be regular. Wishing Karun all the very best and hoping that he will do well as much as possible in the given car and hope he beats his team-mate the first competition on the grid.

KC presence should boost a bit on the marketing front vis a vis selling F1 for the Indian audience for an Indian GP in 2011 hopefully.

This should get some relief for all Indian drivers especially after what Mr. Mallya had said. Well hope things will be better for sure. Now will wait to watch the qualifying to see if KC can spring a surprise, I would wait with my fingers crossed.

Indian F1 fan.

This was a blog post in yallaf1.blogspot.com

Micheal Schumacher comeback…

I have always believed off track events are sometimes more interesting than the 300 kilometers race on track. And when the races ended with the last race being an academic race, it was left to making of new contracts and more over how the new teams would make their line up. For sometime it seemed that it will take pretty long time and sometimes even months to announce the drivers.

When Button signed up at McLaren, it was little disappointing that the man had to leave because of financials. But this year clearly belonged to Button for some reason from the start with a fantastic drive at Australian GP and went on to win the championship though not as everyone expected. But now it seems lost to the PR mania that Schumacher come back has taken on. Ever since Mercedes spilled the news that they were in touch with Schumie for a possible come back, it was the leading story till they culminated with an official story to the effect. Now we have an all German line up backed by a Mercedes brand.

I was delighted to see the man but to be a little frank it took sometime to see him adorn a new set of colors literally. How would Schumacher look in the new livery. For some fans like me who know F1 as Schumacher and Schumacher as F1 it would be really a great tough thing to point the car he will be driving. Or would it be now part Ferrari and part Mercedes loyalty. Pitrat has analysed it in his post.

A red and black/grey combination (most of my countries political flags have this colour), so how do I do it… root for Schumie, and root for Ferrari…tough ask I should say. I would reserve this for the first race, nevertheless, will be watching the most of what happens till the light go out at the first GP.

The year 2009 will be remembered for Schumacher come back than for having created a new World Champion. We can look forward to some exciting racing here when you know that more champions are there vying with one another. It has always been my fancy to see how Lewis would drive along side the seven time champion.

With this official announcement the expectations are only bound to rise. With Ross Brawn and Micheal Schumacher together you can expect nothing short of magic, like I said the driver and team gelling is more time consuming than getting a new aero upgrade. For me, in hindsight it looked like it was bound to happen.

On the other side the Ferrari stable had been very gracious till now, because even when he was retired Schumie made it a point to visit every race possible. Now will there be a vacuum in an already morale-sagged Ferrari team which had a nightmarish weekends sometimes this year.

But this has been a cycle or trend and unless people go all out washing dirty linen in public, it’s all fine and it’s the way it is.

Before I end, Wishing fellow bloggers and the team at Yallaf1.com a Merry Christmas and happy Weekend …

Welcome 2010, you give more reasons for the F1 fans to watch it more than ever. And we thought 2010 would be dull.

(this was on Yallaf1.blogspot.com)

David Coulthard drives an F1 car the Worli-Bandra Sea Link

It was one in the waiting, ever since Narain drove for the Jordan Mumbai has always wanted to test the roads with an F1 car. It was slated after the final GP in 2005, unfortunately Narain had an accident and the fate of the show was also sealed with that.

Another time was when Renautl brought the car to the capital and drove beautifully on the India Gate road. Though Force India had the launch the car was not driven around, but this time it was veteran David Coulthard who did the honours of driving on the road and he did clock almost 260 km/hr. thats awesome given Indian speeds on roads are not more than 120 km/hr.

See the news video of Times now here.

I think events like these will hasten the sped of construction of the F1 circuit in Gurgoan near Delhi and more so will make an awareness of the sport in toto.

Lots of things….news analyses…

I think I am putting finger to keyboard after a long time literally to sit and scribble my thoughts… Last week was a learning experience for me with my new sessions at Sri Ramakrishna and Kongunadu Arts.

It was definitely good to see people actually treating Branding as a subject. I thought it might not cut ice, but it was surprise when they actually related so easy to it.

on the F1 front, the rumour mill had enough of this story of Alonso and the Ferrari and today it ground to a halt with an official announcement from the Italian outfit. Alonso will partner Massa and Fisichella in the next year.

So Kimi will be released and more importantly Kubica will arrive as No.1 at Renault. Kimi to Mclaren alongside Lewis? We are awaiting a formal announcement soon.

Now it the Air India which took to Jet Style, sorry the pilots I mean took to sick leave leaving the national carrier grounded for over four days. Missing was the effevescent Mr. Praful Patel during this time.

Sorely missing Mr. Shashi Tharoor too  and his tweets… 🙁

In the idiot box tube the reality is taking too much of a strain with the kids barely a year old making their debut at the NDTV Imagine reality show after Rakhi’s Swayamvar.

Talking of Rakhi, theres Rahul Mahajan who’s doing Act II of searching his bride to be on a reality show… waiting to see whats up for the eyeballs, surely the TRPS are bound to be high knowing pretty well how playboyish Rahul is. The news is that his wife will not participate in the show. I wonder what Pramod Mahajan is thinking looking down from heaven?

On the climate change front the powers that be are looking to make it happen. Lets hope to save the future for future’s sake.

That’s it for now…

At last after almost a week…

I have not been able to blog the way I wanted last week with exams in my schedule. With a sigh of relief I am back to business and hopefully be able to be online everyday.

Last week was memorable in many ways, Rahul Gandhi was in town and had an opportunity to meet him. This man has the potential to turn the tide against the erring politicians or at least that’s the hope one gets listening to him. Ofcourse we were told that he was against connecting the rivers, I don’t know why he said that or what he meant when he said that.

It was simply great to listen to him. At his age he is matured and is living a dream and preparing himself. Ofcourse it strikes you that he is no Jagan from AP and thats a positive always.

The F1 has more interesting news for India in Adrian Sutil. He was the unsung man when Fisi did the most remarkable job of putting the Force India Car on pole and made Kimi sweat it out to get his place in the podium at Belgium. This time around it was Adrian’s turn and this show went on to prove that the way FF1 raced was no flash in the pan.

They have literally jumped yards from being into the points to being for the podium. A turnaround for sure and it will be great if we can see this continue in the next year.

Alongside, Bernie was not happy at Karun not being invited to Force India F1 for the seat that Fisi vacated to join Ferrari which even Mallya termed as the dream of any F1 driver and more so of an Italina F1 driver and they supported the fruition of such dream for Fisi.

Exams are a nervous things by itself. Sometimes we begin to wonder what has gone into the minds of the Question paper setter, so much so that he thinks we need to know everything to master that subject in theory not so much in practical terms. I was sad that we did not have a single question in practical mode to suggest a solution. Long live my University.

Will catch up.