Posts Tagged ‘racers

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

Host to another FIRST!

F1 Singapore 2008 saw a whole number of firsts. It was the FIRST Formula One race ever to be held in Singapore plus Singapore was home to Asia’s FIRST street race! Now come on that can’t be all, now can it? To add to its list of firsts, Singapore took it a couple of notches higher, or should I say a couple of VOLTAGES higher and F1 Singapore 2008 saw the FIRST night race in the history of Formula One racing.

So it is easy to say that whoever made it to last year’s Singapore Grand Prix sure was a part of history in the making! But wait, don’t lose heart if you weren’t there, 2009 has a whole new FIRST of its kind.

Having dominated the F1 frenzy with all its firsts in 2008, Singapore Grand Prix 2009 is going all out to dominate the entertainment quotient of this season! Another FIRST for the sport is Singapore’s line up of artists from around the world.

The world’s only night race is where every racing fan wants to be. And I guess it’s exactly where the who’s who of entertainment want to be too. Beyonce, The Black Eyed Peas, Travis, N*E*R*D, Simple Minds are just the tip of the iceberg. With 4 days packed with entertainment around the circuit, Singapore has gone that extra mile to give every ticket holder his entire money’s worth.

So there’s the world’s only night race, I’m sorry, make that the world’s only NIGHT STREET RACE, and this incredible line up of chart toppers and there’s the fact that Singapore is just 4.5 hours away, I don’t see why it’s not worth it.

Singapore_circuit_parties

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it just does not get bigger than this!

 

http://www.singaporegrandprix.in

21
Aug
09

F1 on the streets!

With an F1 race round the corner can you even begin to imagine all the preparations that go into the logistics of a race circuit? Just imagine all the racers, their cars, the who’s who of social circuits and a circuit packed with racing fans. Alright, now that you have that in place . . . take that whole concept and move it to a street. A street in your city! Unbelievable and impossible? I guess not for the FIA. With Monaco introducing the streets as its circuits, Formula 1 was all set to flag off a whole new adventure. Now having to manoeuvre actual streets on a track that was never meant to race on, audiences have so much more to experience with drivers being pushed to their racing bests. All the mayhem and madness that comes along with the concept of a street race, there has been a definite addition to the entertainment quotient of the sport.

Say ‘streets’ and all I can think of are an endless number of bumps with never-ending traffic and a lot of time just wasted in jams. As for the fastest and meanest machines on wheels, I think NO WAY! But clearly for the FIA ‘Impossible is nothing’! With the first street race being flagged off at Monaco, Valencia and Singapore soon made their debuts in the F1 2008 Championships.

As for Valencia, in spite of it being its debut, the street race sort of fell flat. Even though all the logistics of the race were carefully planned and executed, the race ended with an unsatisfied audience. Reason being – the ‘Safety Car’ had a no show. A street race and mishaps on the circuit come hand in hand. But with a completely safe and risk-free race, (if ever such a thing exists) Valencia did not get that unbelievable break! I mean what is Formula One racing without one of those spectacular crashes, that fall in place so perfectly, at all the right times to make all the difference? No crashes, no mishaps and it just isn’t Formula One! 

The Singapore Grand Prix on the other hand, had everything going its way. Not only was it a street race, it was the FIRST ever NIGHT RACE in the history of Formula One. Singapore totally gave its audiences an F1 experience that was literally through the roof and was soon in a league of its own. Racing under the stars, a city’s streets becoming the circuit and of course the SAFETY CAR coming on TWICE was the perfect formula to propel F1 Singapore as the highlight of the 2008 championships!

I guess it is pretty much evident now that the FIA really will go ahead with any idea to take this already pulsating sport to any new level for it to stay a cut above the rest!

So if you were to introduce this whole new rule or this whole new concept to Formula One racing, what would it be?

www.singaporegrandprix.in




Speed Tweets

F1 all the way!

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.