Tag Archives: Karun Chandhok

Welcome 2012! Will it be Red Bull’s run this time too?

(Thats Me with Daniel Ricciardio at RBR Speed Street in Delhi!)

I am keeping a promise that I made to myself and this is a beginning of writing about the F1 Teams and the drivers regularly. This year the F1 circus is going to be really huge and we can start imagining that there will be a real contest on the cards. Unless of course that the guys at McLaren and Ferrari don’t take themselves seriously.

The way the seats got filled so early is a good pointer, there are at least a couple of seats undecided as I write this, nevertheless its a heave of sigh for quite a young set of people and of course quite an old set of people – read Pedro La Rosa it is now a settled affair.

The most important point here would be that its is becoming a sort of champions round akin to what we have in our National Racing Championship. All the champions are there when you have Kimi also joining in, it will be fun to watch. I am only sad that Adrian has not been confirmed yet and would be forced to comment if they came together at a corner or if any of them were to be racing together at some point in a race. I wish Webber and Massa also had a chance to be champions so almost half of the grid would be champions.

Now lets see how they stack up, Red Bull  remains the same team, and we should only be looking at their style and they can be a great team in the making, I am talking long term. If one team which has the potential to be a threat to Ferrari fan base in the long run without being in the motorsports business, trust me it could be only Red Bull. Not because I was the official blogger, but you should know the branding that Red Bull is capable of and how they were on top in both the forms of racing today – the circuit and the forests, I mean the racing and the rallying they have been there. They are building a loyal fan base, if you have doubt check out their Facebook page with 25 million likes and almost a million people talking about it.

Just check out this article which underlined how Red Bull has now really become the content and media in a way that they are doing a great job of most importantly selling the energy drink. I have been associated with the brand up close, and some of the branding association and the branding on ground is pretty close to the energy drink literally. Take the case of the Red Bull Racing Cans, the students get to make cars out of Red Bull cans and get to do a race like event with trials, qualifying and the race. For the first time when I watched, I didnt know they had a final with all the cars on the grid! In a way as one participant pointed out you had to control the remote very well and aerodynamics can wait, still it was fun to see the cars going all over and you know how they get stuck in a corner and et all. And there are appeals to the Marshals and Chief stewards after the results are announced.

Then the best one happened when I was with Team Red Bull Racing at Khardung La, running an F1 car at 18,380 feet above MSL to be precise is not everyone’s idea of owning an F1 team. Here’s how they make themselves heard and they are loud about that when they do it.

To top it all they had their Kart Fight this season in India. Its a nice way to be there, and I know for sure what they are capable of, setting the trend as they did a few weeks before the Inaugural GP blazing the road at the India Gate.

Once Yohann Setna in a conversation long ago had said, ‘You wont be surprised if you can see Red Bull on anything that moves, motorsports in particular, and most important they have only one product!’

If you can add up all these, they are slowly building up the momentum to be the franchise that everyone would want to associate with. And you can easily do it with so much of action on the ground and off the ground, at the races, rallies and even in the Himalayas!

On the other hand they have a formidable Young Drivers Program, and that’s getting really into the mode. Daniel Ricciardio who will drive for STR is a Red Bull prodigy in their terminology. You get to be the best under Red Bull.

Now back to the teams, Mc Laren and Ferrari  have so much at stake atleast start pretneding to be guys, and make a match, while 2011 was boring except a couple of races, we need to see some down to the last race happening this year in 2012. Would be interesting to see someone fail me in that aspect.

Button will continue in his form and Lewis will try a resurrection from the bad times he has had on track and his personal life. Fernando and Massa will be watched eagerly by all the F1 fans and that eventually means Ferrari fans at large.

Then there is Mercedes, with Schumi and Nico they are trying hard and probably they were the ones who tried hard last year. Lotus Renault, we can call them with full honours with the other Renault becoming Caterham, will love to see them challenge the guys on top. Will wait to see  how Kimi a part owner too, will play his part and make it happen, we are for sure in for some real fast entertainment. The Iceman is back as an owner/driver at Lotus Renault.

Down the order we have, Force India – Sahara Force India to be honest, only wondering if the Kingfisher’s problem should not rub off on to the team, its been an excellent progress to date for the team. Though I would have loved this team to have an Indian driver in Narain or Karun, I am sceptical of Mallya approving my idea. On that front, I think the erstwhile Lotus Renault did make us look bad when they didnt put Karun in for Indian race giving Mallya a big boost for his idea of Indian drivers not being upto the mark.

Then there is Williams, where are the glorious days Mr. SFW? But I have the highest regards for such an independent team on the grid, lets hope they get some pace and make themselves heard.

Sauber, our Amul’s Brand car if I may call it and then HRT, STR and Marussia to complete the list.

Personally sad to see Sir Richard Branson leave, he is my entrepreneurial hero away from the tech world.

Will write about the teams and the drivers in details in the posts to come.

Till then signing off!

R Senthilkumar

(Indian F1 fan)

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

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

Aha Mallya speaks out…

Its making heads turn well Mr. Mallya had done it on tracks and this time around he is pretty sure our Indian drivers who ever they are need to be up to the mark.

Some thoughtful provocation for the Indian Motorsports fraternity and ofcourse leaves me thinking whats does he have in mind.

I have an idea for KC, look further KC, there are enough teams, and its should be a good fit for you to learn the tricks before you end in a good team.

Read the story in here