Posts Tagged ‘sport

25
Nov
09

5 Weirdest F1 moments

30
Oct
09

what do they think?

Here’s what some of the racers had to say about the latest track addition of the season.
Jenson Button

Jenson Button

“It’s always fun to try a new race track, particularly one which looks as unique as Yas Marina with the unusual pit-lane exit and the day/night race.” Jenson Button, Brawn GP

Rubens Barichello

Rubens Barichello

“The layout of the circuit seems both fun and challenging and it will be interesting to start the race in daylight and to finish in evening conditions.” Rubens Barrichello, Brawn GP 

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

 “It will be a new experience for everyone so it’s important that we maximise all the sessions and learn as much as we can quickly to try and find an advantage. I think the facility looks amazing…” Fernando Alonso, Renault   

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

 “All the signs point to Abu Dhabi being another strong track for us – there are plenty of slow corners leading onto long straights, where KERS will be very advantageous. Seeing as it’s likely to be the last race for KERS, it would be fantastic to send it off with a perfect result.” Lewis Hamilton, McLaren

 

31
Aug
09

India on the F1 map

Fisichella

Fisichella

It all began with pole position on Saturday. Little did anyone expect Saturday’s results let alone Sunday’s! With Fisichella winning pole position on Saturday, it was still not obvious that he would deliver on Sunday. But what a race!

The first couple of minutes at Spa were just a preview to the action that was to follow. With Romain Grosjean coming in the way of Button’s race and with Hamilton and Jaime Alguersuari bearing the consequences of the crash, the race was all about the action right from the start.

Force India, for 2 years now had placed itself at the tail end of every standing. As if to say ‘enough is enough’ Fisichella put on a show that is bound to go down in history.

If you ask me, Fisichella had a real chance to stand on the podium. Raikonnen’s comfort with the Belgian circuit and KERS put him at an undeniable advantage. As for Fisichella’s win, Force India proved a lot of people wrong on Sunday and I have a feeling this is just the beginning!

For the Ferrari fans, it was just wonderful to see the red car up ahead for the first time this season.

2009 definitely has been a season of so many things unexpected. I can only imagine what the last couple of races have in store. As always I am still excited about what Singapore is going to unfold!

www.singaporegrandprix.in

Go Force India

Force India

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

24
Aug
09

Formula One Singapore – Closest to home!

4cfe1_singapore-grand-prix-2008-track-night

Singapore here I come!

With all the action on the circuits around the world, some hardcore F1 fans are seriously contemplating skipping across continents to witness Formula One LIVE!

Not a bad idea, considering the fact that there is a lot happening and a lot to look forward to. With all the changes coming up: both in terms of the drivers, teams and souped-up cars (the Double Diffuser and KERS) going for that extra burst of power, Button is going to have to hold onto his pants! With 8 races left to go, the tide may turn in the favour of McLaren or Ferrari.

The Valencia weekend looked good for Hamilton, but an unfortunate pit-stop (they may deny it till they are blue in the face) pulled Brawn’s Barrichello ahead. An exciting race, proving that when it come to Formula One nothing is a given! The next race at Monza, Italy will set the tone for the much sought after Singapore.

f1 singapore

 

Why much sought after? For us Indian’s, Singapore is easily the most exciting and viable option for a live experience ! It is less than 4.5 hours away with a range of airfares ready to be plucked off the shelves. Plus, there are a number of travel agents who are willing to put together a package for you.

So, in the spirit of the race we did a little study of the packages going around and came up with some interesting info. We found that one of the best deals came from Travel Tours – an official travel partner for the Singapore Tourism Board. They have a range of packages starting as low as 52,000 for 5 star packages! The best thing is that their Singapore F1 packages come with an easy EMI scheme! Something that no one else is offering.

In contrast Mercury is offering packages for 44,000 which doesn’t include airfare, so we did the math and found that all included their packages start at 69,000! Kuoni, known for their exorbitant prices are on the same lines. And you know what, these hotels aren’t even five star! The hotel choices put together by Travel Tours are close to the circuit and one of the best Singapore has to offer.

Think about it – Singapore is giving you Beyonce and Fergie to groove to. Speed under stars and Travel Tours – we’ve dubbed them the F1 experts – have chosen the best Singapore F1 tickets, carefully selected hotels and are placing it on a convenient platter for you to grab and bite into for all the excitement and juice!

For more information log onto http://singaporegrandprix.in

Go for it, I say!

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

I have a need… a need for speed!

For us speed-hungry souls this weekend is going to be a feast! The second round of the INRC rally in Bangalore on the 21st of August gives you 3 days of revving, rallying madness. If that’s not enough, we have the race on the streets of Valencia as well. Do I catch the dirt and the debris at the rally or the clean, fine smooth and sophisticated race in Spain!

There is something about a rally that is just raw and real! I guess it is primarily because we don’t have the pleasure of watching an F1 race in India. Both sports are exciting and fall under a different category – but for some of us racing fans, whether it’s two wheels or four, dirt or circuit we stay clued in. I also follow the illegal auto-races on OMR in Chennai! Those guys are crazy!

Although, with Singapore introducing its street circuit in 2008, it is now possible to be a part of the world’s most adrenalin pumping sport with the little island being just round the corner!

With all the chatter about the FIA 2009 championships, and the excitement, it really sucks that India doesn’t have its own circuit. And then it struck me, we could still get some circuit action! Why wait for Mallya to get his act together? We don’t have to travel all over the world anymore to stand at the stands and get sucked under all the G-Force, you could just hop across in a handful hours to Singapore. Its lethal combination of a street race and a night race the adrenalin levels are bound to skyrocket!

The world saw some of the most crazy F1 moments at Singapore 2008. Right from Massa’s fuel hose goof-up to the underground disturbances. Alonso’s victory had the F1 fraternity shake their heads in consternation for weeks! I don’t know about you, but I’d love to give Singapore a look-up. I don’t want to miss out on unusual pitstops resulting in podium finishes one more time! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want 2008 to be rewound and played for 2009. That is the beauty of the sport – no two races are the same. But the 2008 night race has set a precedent and Singapore has never disappointed!

So where will you be this weekend?

www.singaporegrandprix.in

21
Aug
09

How Bizarre!

F1 as a sport has more than its share of freak accidents. Some comical, some dangerous, some exciting and some downright fateful!

Here are some that always tug at my G-Force!

The world’s first night race last year at Singapore had racing fans’ jaws drop open. Massa’s racing away with the fuel hose still in his car has got to win hands down on the top of charts of ignominious moments!

One that really had me surprised was Webber’s gear shift going phut. Why? Because there was some interference with the underground train line and he had to drop out of the race! Let us just go back to the day of the Morse, so we can finish our races for God’s sake!

Alonso’s win – a stroke of luck, or was it underhanded strategy? Eyebrows are still raised at the idea of him pitting on the 12th lap and having his team mate crash a couple of laps down! The safety car ruined the race for all the other hot favourites.

Some that weren’t so recent but still do the rounds at the F1 tables is when Robert Kubica – broke his hand in a road accident and raced with one hand. He changed gears only with the right and drove with his left!

Talk about bizarre excuses and you have got to remember David Coulthard at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix. In a comfortable lead, all that was needed was a routine tyre change. Instead he drove right into the pit wall. What takes the cake was Coulthard’s excuse of the engine over revving by itself!

The year was 1977, it was Hans Heyer’s first and only attempt at the German Grand Prix. With little experience with single seaters, and a bad car he did not qualify. But get this, he still raced! Heyer snuck in from the pit lane and lasted a whole 10 laps until his gearbox broke down!

These were a couple that got my attention. If you have a list of your own, go ahead and add on!

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.