Posts Tagged ‘street circuit

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

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




Speed Tweets

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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.