Posts Tagged ‘Valencia

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

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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

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

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.