Posts Tagged ‘Ferrari

01
Oct
09

The Singapore Grand Prix and so much more!

After all the excitement and anticipation, the Singapore Grand Prix 2009 was finally here. Lewis Hamilton clinched the first position followed by Timo Glock and Fernado Alonso.

What seemed to be an event extraordinaire last year did not seem so much like it this year. But I guess with Formula 1 racing there never can be a dull day. So here are a couple of the latest most shocking events in Formula 1 post the Singapore Grand Prix.

After its sudden triumph over the past few races, Force India seemed to finally run out of its winning streak. Not only did Adrian Sutil not finish, but also got himself fined a reported $20,000.

Now for the most talked about news in the F1 fraternity, Alonso is moving to Ferrari! After his debut in Formula 1 racing in 2001 with Minardi, he went on to become Renault’s official test driver the following season. By 2003 he was in the racer’s seat and went on to be F1’s youngest Grand Prix winner with victory. By the end of 2005 he was F1’s youngest champion.

Fernando Alonso now with Ferrari

Fernando Alonso now with Ferrari

Woah! All the hard work and the brilliant racing by the Spaniard has definitely paid off.

As for Raikkonen, he is said to be moving to McLaren where he will be racing along with reigning world champion, Lewis Hamilton. Raikkonen is not very thrilled about the change but has said it was a consensual agreement and is leaving with great memories with the team of the prancing horse.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Raikkonen

So 2010 is going to see Massa and Alonso as Ferrari’s racers. If you are wondering where that leaves Fisichella, the former Fore India racer, will be Ferrari’s reserve driver. Are you also thinking he should have stayed on with Force India?

It is almost the end of a truly eventful Formula 1 season, and I just cannot wait to see what 2010 has in store for every race fanatic.

04
Sep
09

Mallya loses Fisichella to Ferrari!

With the announcement of Fisichella’s move to Ferrari, come a lot of mixed emotions. While there are those who say it was totally expected, there are those who believe he should have stayed on with Force India.

However, one who is grabbing a lot of the spotlight is Dr. Vijay Mallya. Now, he claims there was no exchange of money, YA RIGHT! For the businessman he is known to be, Mr Mallya seems to have put no thought into that statement he made. Does he really expect us to believe the fact that he just let Fisichella go?

Anyway, for more on circuit news, Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India’s test driver is currently the top contender as Fisichella’s replacement. Although, Dr. Mallya has gone on to say that he will be testing a couple of racers for the vacant seat.

With Ferrari saying Fisichella can make a significant contribution this season in terms of points, it is most certain that he is getting all the attention he needs from the team. What a dream come true for the Italian!
Another question that comes to mind amidst all of this talk of patriotism is, how long will it be before we see an Indian in a Force India car?

Also let us not forget, we’re soon going to have to review yet another new recruit’s performance!

www.singaporegrandprix.in

28
Aug
09

Close enough to touch – almost!

F1 Singapore

F1 Singapore

I played some psychology games with myself (I do that sometimes, just to check my sanity levels). This time I played free-association. You know, you think of a word and immediately associative things pop-up. So this time I thought of F1 Singapore – predictable night race, street race, hose pipe (thanks to Massa) and also so close!

Now, when I thought about it I realised, close not just in terms of close to India (that too, but not only) the cars are so amazingly close to where you stand. It is logical isn’t it? It’s on the regular street! A street that on a normal day, you stand waiting for the light to change so you can run across to grab a bite, or something. Honestly, the only thing keeping you from the cars is ice-cold fear and a flimsy wire-fence! The sound and the blast of air after a car whips past can literally bowl you over!

Alonso cycling

www.singaporegrandprix.in

25
Aug
09

Monaco of the East

I asked a group of F1 enthusiasts, which would be their dream destination to watch F1 live. Some lazy bones said I’d only go when India opens its own circuit. Most said Monaco and others said Singapore.

When questioned further the reasons cited brought about some interesting comparisons and contrasts. Monaco: one of the oldest circuits in the season, was inaugurated in 1929. Racing on its narrow streets is rather mockingly likened to riding a bicycle around your bathroom or like Nelson Piquet jested, “like flying a helicopter in the living room!”

For us spectators, the more challenging the circuit the greater the thrill. World Champion Lewis Hamilton was reported to have said that it [Singapore] was twice as hard to negotiate as the more famous Monaco street circuit, and unexpectedly physical – requiring double the amount of energy over a single lap as compared to the Monaco circuit. This was because the roads are rather bumpy and the turns tough to negotiate at such high speeds.

 

Reigning Champion Lewis Hamilton

Reigning Champion Lewis Hamilton

The streets of Monaco have always pushed the skills of the drivers to the maximum and now Singapore even more so! Another interesting comparison is with the tunnel in Monaco – a bone of contention, owing to the abrupt shift from light to dark and into light again. Singapore’s circuit gives the same feel – almost – when it ducks under the Bay Grandstand between turn 18 and 19.

While Singapore can’t compare when it comes to Monaco’s history, the newness of its circuit is a definite plus for viewing pleasure. Plus, Singapore’s proximity to India has a definite advantage – yes this is the cold-blooded practical angle. However, it really isn’t all that cold-blooded. The race action is over-heated with all the stress and tentions of the track. AND AND AND… you can’t call any place where Beyonce and Fergie are playing to the crowd cold-blooded now can you! *wink*

Last year was special coz it’s the first year, this year is special-ER because there is so so much more!

So how do we go about getting there? Don’t fret, there are a set of travel packages that have been designed to be completely hassle-free, easy to book and really good deals as well!

Check out the packages put together by Travel Tours on this really helpful website. So for those who don’t want to leave the comfort of their couch until a circuit comes to India. Don’t wait around, coz the last one there is as good as…Badoer! Yup, you heard me!

Monaco's Street Circuit

Monaco's Street Circuit

 

Singapore's night street race circuit

Singapore's night street race circuit

25
Aug
09

The not so new recruits!

In my previous blog about the 3 new recruits of the season, I had signed off saying there was much action that we could expect considering a street circuit. But, it was just disappointment at its best with Valencia’s results.

Renault’s Romain Grosjean who replaced Piquet Jr. began with a damaged nose on the opening lap that called for an unscheduled stop. With a start like that, there definitely was pressure on the driver who ultimately ended on a half spin holding on to the 15th position. So is Renault regretting its decision? And is Alonso really getting that added attention after all?

Valencia’s street circuit proved costly for Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari as well. Alguersuari spun in Turn 12 on Lap 43 and never made it back on the track. Having put on a much better show at Hungary, this replacement for Sebastien Bourdais spelt disappointment as he clinched the 16th position.

The much talked about replacement, Luca Badoer was also probably the biggest disappointment on the streets of Valencia. Adding to his list of dubious records, has got to be that of the worst performance by a mid season recruit! Right from letting fellow recruit Romain Grosjean overtake him to getting a drive-through penalty, Badoer seems to have gone all out in doing everything wrong in his much debated return to Formula 1. With everything that went wrong, team Ferrari with Luca Badoer came in 17th!

Valencia’s street circuit brought out the worst in the recruits for Renault, Toro Rosso and Ferrari with each claiming the 15th, 16th and 17th positions respectively.

With such terrible performances on a street circuit like Valencia, I cannot help but imagine in utter sadistic amusement the turnout at a circuit like Singapore. Can you imagine . . . a night race, a street race and the worst mid season recruits ever!

www.singaporegrandprix.in

The Singapore Night Street Race

The Singapore Night Street Race

22
Aug
09

F1 Gadgets

The F1 season has picked up pace, with only 9 races left to finish, the frenzy is peaking! Bets are being placed on who is going to win, teams are changing drivers in the hope that the winds of fate may be altered, fans are sending out fervent prayers! The f1 fraternity is all a-roar!

Cashing in on all this drama are the gadget companies. The official video game of F1 2009 heightened the gaming experience with the race-wheel accessory, now that is some personal race action for you!

The mobile companies aren’t far behind! Gresso, the Russian luxury phone manufacturer has created a phone made of the same material used in F1 cars. Personally, I think it’s pretty ugly – especially when you compare it to the beauty of the cars! But hey, whatever floats your boat!

Microsoft is also hanging on like the persistent terrier it is! An intern has devised a Vista Gadget that will keep you updated on the driver standings, race stats and a video of the race! It is yet to hit the market, but knowing us, anything to keep our speed fix going, is good for us!

The bizarre, when it comes to F1, is never too far behind! Luxury phone, race-wheels and now Ferrari clocks! Now this isn’t just any Ferrari clock, it has the nose of a Ferrari car zooming out of its digital face! It weighs about 35 pounds and is 3 feet wide!

It will be interesting to see what Singapore the land of gadgets and gizmos comes up with at the F1 Singapore Night Race!

The list is endless. If you know of any cool, crazy, snazzy F1 gizmos, do tell us about it!

 

race-wheel

gresso

 

ferrari_formula-1_clock

 

 

 

 

21
Aug
09

The new recruits!

I don’t know about you, but it seems to me that drivers are not top priority for teams anymore. The 2009 championships have seen quite a few mid season changes that have left teams and fans suspended in anticipation and anxiety.

To add to the drama, every change is accompanied with intense media hype and gossip! The star of the show has got to be Nelson Piquet Jr. on his dismissal from Renault. In his exact words, “Flavio Briatore was my ‘EXECUTIONER’ more than my manager”. The son of legendary Formula One Champion, Nelson Piquet blamed the team for his poor performances and accused them of giving teammate Alonso all the attention. Oooooo! Hard claims!

Next was Sebastien Bourdais. This racer began his F1 stint with Toro Rosso in 2008 and after a fairly good season in 2008, Bourdais began a steady decline in the 2009 Formula One Championships. Get this, in Spain he struck teammate Buemi’s car in an attempt of avoiding Jarno Trulli, ending the race for both drivers! And then, at the British Grand Prix, there was an encore when Bourdais collided with McLaren driver Kovalainen ending the race,again, for both drivers. With a hit-list like that it was evident he wasn’t going to last long resulting in Toro Rosso’s decision to replace Bourdais with Jaime Alguersuari. Now, that’s some bad street cred!

Well the drama didn’t end there, Bourdais threatened to sue. And that’s when Toro Rosso dished out a reported whopping 2.1 million US dollars for an out of court settlement! Unbelievable!

The next replacement, and the most talked about is Luca Badoer for Ferrari. With all the excitement of Schumacher’s return and then him NOT returning, Luca Badoer has definitely been the centre of F1 attention. Although a relatively new name to me, Badoer holds the dubious distinction of being a driver who has competed in 48 Grand Prix’s without scoring a single point! Other records to his name include the record of having driven the most kilometers in a Ferrari Formula One car than any other Italian in history!

For champions and underdogs, all I can say is – with challenging circuits like the Singapore street circuit still to come, it sure is going to be one hell of a season to watch the REPLACEMENTS give it their best!

www.singaporegrandprix.in

21
Aug
09

Kick Every Racers asS

Jenson Button has proved that having the best car is the ticket to success. How much does the driver really matter?

Well if the driver doesn’t matter then why are World Champions paid so much? Why are they coveted and sought after? Get a decent driver and a fast car and that should do right? The race stats this year seems to tilt the argument in the favour of the constructor!

Hamilton said that the KERS power boost system helped beat Raikkonen and Webber at Hungary. He admitted that with KERS “anything can happen”.

Ferrari and McLaren have been constantly pursuing KERS and Costa, Ferrari’s technical director admits that it has helped improve lap timings. Ferrari’s improved performance at Monaco’s street circuit definitely brings their hopes with Valencia around the corner as well as the much talked about night race at Singapore.

Singapore has much to offer this season. Not only is it the thrill of the circuit, Alonso’s win last year and its many mishaps has a lot of ardent fans, me included looking forward to what it could bring this year.

Will KERS change the course of fate? Will the streets expanded circuits, enhanced for over-taking bring about an optimum use of KERS. I guess we will only have to wait with bated breath!

www.singaporegrandprix.in

21
Aug
09

OK, so Schumacher isn’t making his come back. So What?

This past month has been crazy on the circuit of this sport! There has been a spate of mishaps, misadventures, revelations, disappointments!

First it was Surtees’ untimely death. The image of that tyre sailing towards him leaves me shuddering and questioning why I love this sport as much as I do! Then there was Massa, the spring that brought him down sprung the hopes of some hardcore Schumacher fans! Only to have their hopes wounded along with his neck muscles.  Or is Schumacher just scared to take a hit on his legendary pride.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m the last one to take away Schumacher’s greatness!  Yes, he is a legend, yes there should be a movie made about him and all that, but he is not the sport and never will be! I dare all of you to challenge that. I mean, there were a lot of us who vowed we would never watch the sport after what happened to Senna. His loss is still felt, but the race is still on! The sport is bigger than any driver and will always be. If it wasn’t, it would have been immortalised and revered for its past glories and nothing more!

Despite the furore and dismay at the selection of Badoer to replace Massa, Ferrari has held their stance. His tenure as a test driver does stand him in good stead, but the fact that out of 48 races he hasn’t scored a single point is a sore point, plus he has never raced in Valencia.

The street circuits have set a new standard. Last year, both Valencia and Singapore launched a new street circuit! With Singapore getting an edge over Valencia with the night race angle! I mean think about it, not only is it on the streets you crossed casually a few hours ago AND it’s also under the cover of darkness. Fast and Furious made real!

With Ferrari down to the third spot and Brawn leading – it’s a refreshing change from the monotonous predictability! So for the F1 community there is a lot to look forward to.

What are you looking forward to for the rest of the season?

www.singaporegrandprix.in




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Singapore 2008 highlights

An exciting video of Singapore Grand Prix 2008 - a just prelude to 2009. Don't miss it!

Singapore F1 Grand Prix 2008 from Matt Preston on Vimeo.