Monday, June 9, 2008

Race Date: 08 Jun 2008
Number of Laps: 70
Circuit Length: 4.361 km
Race Distance: 305.270 km
Lap Record: 1:13.622 - R Barrichello (2004)

Rain Pain and Gain

With rain chasing most of the practice sessions and the Sunday morning support races it was always going to rain in the race and a wet race at the Mecca of street races was always going to be interesting. All through practice Heikki, Nico and young Kubica had been fastest. And then Heikki stalled before the parade lap, so had to start from the pit lane. Hamilton took second from Kimmi at the beginning and Button clouts Heidfiled and Alonso got hit by Rosberg. And both the cars had new noses before the second lap was out. The rain and the narrow track conspired again and it was Hamilton this time to make the tracks acquaintance or more correctly with the barriers and picked up a puncture. But he drove valiantly thereafter and had a victory to show for it.

Monaco is always the high point of the F1 calendar. The principality always attracts the beautiful crowd and it’s always party time when F1 comes to the principality. Then again no one complains, even when the racing here is staid and plain jane. This time it was not to be so. It rained and then every one here wanted to put on a show. So next time around it was Alonso’s turn to damage his tire, the right rear wheel this time, by tangoing with the barriers at casino then the former champ car winner Sebastian tries to play tag with Coulthard and brings out the safety car. To complicate matters Raikonnen earns a drive thru for violating the three minute rule. Alonso seems to be in a hurry to prove that it is the driver and not that car that is important. And tries to drive through and over Heidfield and ends up tboning the German and the German in return drives over the Spaniard’s nose. There where other crashes and a lot of overtaking, which is not common for Monaco but then again it was different this time. The one big regret of this year would for young Adrian Sutil and Force India team as he was clouted out of a good fourth place finish and more by Raikonnen who collided with him and took him out of the race. It is not to take away any thing from Hamilton who put possibly one of his finest performances to date of his short F1 career and too victory and the lead in the championship standings, Kubica took second, showing that the BMW and the pole are fast maturing into potential contenders to Ferrari and Mclaren who have dominated to sport one time or the other over the past two decades. May be the next race will be his maiden victory who knows.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Monaco GP: Saturday Qualifying

Felipe Massa will start the Monaco Grand Prix from the pole position after leading a
Ferrari 1-2 finish in qualifying on Saturday.

The Brazilian driver, who has won two of the last three Formula One races, gave Ferrari its first pole in Monaco in eight years after setting a best lap time of 1 minute, 15.787 seconds around the famous street circuit.

Teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who won in Monaco for McLaren in 2005, will start on the front row for Sunday's race, with McLaren drivers Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen filling the second row.

Ferrari, which has won four straight races coming in, hasn't won from the pole since Jody Scheckter in 1979 and is looking for its first win in the coastal principality since Michael Schumacher took the checkered flag in 2001.

Showers are expected for the race. In dry conditions, the outcome is usually determined by the fastest qualifier — making Saturday's session important.

Ferrari has been focused on Monaco since Massa finished over a minute behind McLaren pair Fernando Alonso and Hamilton last year.

Robert Kubica of BMW Sauber will start fifth ahead of Nico Rosberg of Williams, who had been strong all weekend.

Alonso, going for his third straight victory at Monaco, will start from seventh in his Renault, ahead of 2004 winner Jarno Trulli of Toyota and Red Bull's Mark Webber.

McLaren, with 14 wins in the past 25 races here, had dominated practice through Saturday with Kovalainen setting the pace in the morning before a crash ended his session.

The Finnish driver came out of a curb and swiped the opposite wall to leave his rear left tire wobbling. He emerged unhurt from the smoking car and was seen smiling inside the British team's garage.

At last month's Spanish GP, Kovalainen was left unconscious after a high-speed crash into a tire wall. He spent a night in a hospital after receiving slight injuries, including a concussion.

Red Bull's David Coulthard had set the sixth fastest lap time through the first two qualifying sessions before a high-speed crash left him starting 10th.

The Briton lost control of his Red Bull car as he came out of the tunnel — the fastest part of the street circuit race — and slammed into the right wall. The front right wheel was damaged while the rear right wheel came loose, forcing the car to skid into the runoff area. Coulthard appeared unhurt getting out of his car.

1. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari 1:15.787
2. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari 1:15.815
3. Lewis Hamilton Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.839
4. Heikki Kovalainen Finland McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.165
5. Robert Kubica Poland BMW Sauber 1:16.171
6. Nico Rosberg Germany Williams-Toyota 1:16.548
7. Fernando Alonso Spain Renault 1:16.852
8. Jarno Trulli Italy Toyota 1:17.203
9. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1:17.343
10. David Coulthard Britain Red Bull-Renault No Time
11. Timo Glock Germany Toyota 1:15.907
12. Jenson Button Britain Honda 1:16.101
13. Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 1:16.455
14. Kazuki Nakajima Japan Williams-Toyota 1:16.479
15. Rubens Barrichello Brazil Honda 1:16.537
16. Sebastien Bourdais France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:16.806
17. Nelson Piquet Brazil Renault 1:16.933
18. Sebastian Vettel Germany Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:16.955
19. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Ferrari 1:17.225
20. Giancarlo Fisichella Italy Force India-Ferrari 1:17.823


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Monte Carlo :Track Review

Nestled in the shadow of the towering Alps that form a majestic and brooding backdrop, lies the most famous and instantly recognizable track in all of motorsport. The feature of this circuit, such as Casino Square, Mirabeau, Loews, Tabac and Rascasse, have become household names and lie within sight of the imposing Grimaldi Palace, home to the principality's rulers, which gazes down on the dramam of Formula One from its lofty perch, a rocky outcrop that juts into the Mediterranean Sea.

Monaco's circuit is redolent of the bygone days of the gentlemen racers, when motor-racing was a sport and not a high-tech, multi-million dollar business. In truth, it is totally unsuited to the demands and safety requirements of modern Formula One. Apart from the addition of extra-protective barriers, the track has changed little over the years, while the town that surrounds it has become ever more congested with high rise hotels and apartment buildings. But such is the allure of the Monaco Grand Prix that its glamour reaches beyond the realms of motorsport and has ensured that the race survives to this day.

The Monaco Grand Prix was the brainchild of Anthony Noghes, a local cigarette manufacturer who was president of Automobile Club de Monaco and a close friend of the ruler, Prince Louis II. The first race around the streets of the principality took place in 1929 and when the world championship began in 1950, Monaco featured in the seven-race inaugural series. Although it disappeared from the scene for four years, it made a comeback in 1955 and has formed a part of the championship every year since then.

Driving the circuit low to the ground in a Formula one car is uncannily like to playing a computer game: one's vision is limited to the fearsome Armco barriers that keep the vehicle within the tight confines of the track.

From the start-finish line, a short blast of accelaration and you are at Ste Devote which you reach in sixth gear, braking hard on the slippery, narrowing track and taking the tight right-handers in third gear, one at a time. Up the hill into the fast right-handed, fourth gear Massenate and you flash through Casino Square before another right-hander sends you shooting along a short straight to the slow, treacherous Mirabeau. The corners are now coming thick and fast, and there is barely time to accelarate before you tortuously slow Loews hairpin is upon you. This corner is taken in second, or even first gear. According to one expert, you enter it as if you were parking your car, and simply manoeuvre around it.

Another quick dab on the throttle, before the two right-hander of portier lead you back to the harbour side and the fastest stretch of the track, through the tunnel. As you emerge into the daylight once again, you are practically on the left-right chicane and then the amazingly quick Tabac corner, which leads to a series of corners round the swimming pool. Now for the final series of bends: the left-handed jink that is Rascasse before the double apexed, right handed Anthony Noghes leads you back to the start-finish line.

Monaco's roll of honour reads like a who's who of Formula One: Juan Manual Fangio won twice, Stirling Moss three times and Graham Hill five. Jackie Stewart and Nicki Lauda also both won twice. More recently, Alain Prost conquered the tight-twisty circuit four times, Michael Schumacher has triumphed on three occassions and David Coulthard twice in 2000 & 2002.

But one driver's star shone brighter than any other on this track, which - uniquley in modern Formula One - allows driver skill to surpass mechanical excellence. The supremo was the great Brazilian Ayrton Senna who led the field home no less than 6 times, once in a Lotus Honda Turbo, the other five in a Mclaren Honda. In 1988, when Senna was in his first season at Mclaren, he led everyone comfotrably, including his team-mate Alain Prost, before he made an uncharacteristic mistake at the tight right-hand corner on the approach to the tunnel and put himself out of the race. This so enraged Senna that he strode straight back to his Monaco Apartment and no one heard from him from several days.

Monaco, too, has witnessed its fair share of tragedy and horrific accidents. In modern times, two drivers lost their lives in the streets of the principality. The 54-yr old Luigi Fagioli died from injuries he sustained in a crash in the tunnel during practices for the race in 1952 and 15 years later, Lorenzo Bandini burned to death when his Ferrari crashed at the chicane. The same chicane nearly claimed Carl Wendlinger in Formula One's disastrous 1994 season. The Austrian's life hung in the balance for days after he suffered head injuries when his Sauber slid into the bariers but, he survived. Other near misses included Alberto Ascari in 1955 and Paul Hawkins, 10 years later. Both plunged into the harbour but, escaped from there submerged cars and swam to safety.

Probably the most dramatic incident occured in 1980 when Derek Daly became air-borne in his Tyrrell at Ste Devote and landed on top of tea-mate Jean Pierre Jarrier. By a miracle neither was hurt.

Monaco usually provides enthralling races but the lack of opportunities to over-take means that drivers frequently fail to live up to their pre-race billing. Races at Monaco often look more like high-speed traffic jams than Formula One contests. Qualify badly and there is not much you can do but hang around the back of the field waiting for the leaders to run into trouble. Since qualifying is such an important component of racing around the streets of the principality it is perhaps not surprising that the determined Senna dominated this circuit, although other drivers have had noteworthy races at Monaco.

In 1961, Stirling Moss stunned everyone when he out-paced the all conquering Ferraris in his old Lotus Climax. This victory was his third and final Monaco triumph (he had won in 1956 in a Maserati and 4 years later in the Lotus Climax).

Once drivers have mastered the deceptive circuit they seem to enjoy a clear advantage in future years. The history books are filled with back-to-back winners. Graham Hill won three in a row between 1963-65. Then, after a break, he claimed back-to-back wins in 1968-69. Prost won three in a row from 1984 and the great Senna claimed consecutive vicotries from 1989-93. Other races of note include an astonishing performance in the wet by Jean Pierre Beltoise in a BRM in 1972, for his only win in Formula One. Another maiden victory came from Riccardo Patrese in 1982 in a Brabham Ford. This driver's victory owed more to the misfortune of others than to the excellence of his own driving. He had spun while leading and after a push-start,went on to finsih the race completely unaware that he had won - in the eventful final laps Prost and Daly crashed out, De Cesaris ran out of fuel and Pironi suffered electrical problems.

And who can forget the excitememnt of the titanic struggle in wet conditions two years later between prost, senna and a young stefan bellof? Or Olivier Panis' maiden triumph in 1996, from 14th on the grid for Ligier's first victory in 15 years?

The Monaco Grand prix is as much about motor-sport and the race itself as it is about the tiny pit-lane stuffed with celebrities and a fleet of expensive yachts whose passengers are there "to be seen". With is combination of glamour and action, Monaco is truly unique-long may this venerable sporting instituion endure.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dark horses and brazilian heroes

OK when we did the previw to this season Miss Flying finn said Massa will win a lot more races and i said that it was unlikely that there will be a brazilian world champ this year. looking at the first two races it looked like i was gonna be prooved right. Massa seemed totally at odds without traction control and then, it was like he woke up from slumber or most likely he heard all the rumors about him being replaced and decided it was time to proove his worth. No matter what it was he seems to have woken up and today it was his third pole postion in sucession. Mclaren seem to have lost the plot, or forgotten the travails of last season. If they remembered i dont think they would ahve given thier drivers this bad cars. Talking of Mclaren, Heikki seems to ahve come into his own he out qualified Lewis here, that too after that horrible crash last race. It was a horryfying scene to see him spear of into the undergrowth like that. technical failures like that should not be happening in this day and age.
I read some where that the track designer Herman Tilke say that he used the best elements from famous tracks to design the istanbul track. and to tell you the truth, the first corner reminds me of Interlagos. We all know how good interlagos is and first corner there is always been very intersting. So the race was always going to be interesting, especially during the first few corners. True to Form Fischi went into the second corner too fast and too late to do any thing about it. he speared of the back of Nakajima and that was the end of that, some how vettle and sutil were also involved and they were all out of the race. Vettel has completed just one lap till date this year. Torro Rosso should have some strong words with him in the near future. my take on this is this, mclaren is screwing up bad and its unpardonable and BMW going the way they are going will end up with the Constructors championship. but they lack the "want" or "hunger" in their individual drivers to take the drivers crown. heidfield has uplifted being unnoticealbe to a new art and i dont think even he knows how to overcome it.
As far as Kubica is concerned he is too inexperienced but he is a team player and he will keep BMW where they want to be. Mario Thiessen will be proud of his drivers and secretly patting him self on his back. the season keeps getting interesting as hell. and its better than last year too. so let the games continue.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Rossi is back...

Itz been long time since Doctor have been graced the podium.. but last week, he broke the spell...

read on...

Link from

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mass(a) Effect

Three races, three different winners, and Sauber-BMW on top of the constructors championship. This season is promising to be a humdinger. After two dismal performances, the new center of the latest F1 political intrigue has shown that he deserves a drive with the Ferrari team. In a action packed race BMW showed its exemplary reliability and Ferrari showed why they are top of the heap. If there was any doubt about Massa deserving his next years drive with Ferrari then Bahrain should dispel that.

Ferrari has always been the poster boy of F1, may be it is because they are the only surviving team from the start of F1 or may be it is because they have always been halo products. They always had their pick of drivers, even when the reigning champion called his Ferrari a “fast truck” they could pick and choose who drove for them. The latest wannabe Scuderia recruit is Fernando Alonso, who is not so hot at the moment in the Renault.

The Victim is Massa, he was number 2 to king Michael and then to his prodigy the iceman Kimi. He is no small driver by any angle, he was choosen to be Michael’s partner because of his pace and technical brilliance, and if it wasn’t for Kimi jumping ship from Mclaren he would be a Ferrari’s no. 1 driver and a potential world champion contender. He crashed out in Melbourne and then again in Sepang, and the romour mill started that he was going to be replaced at the end of this year, especially when Alonso’s car turned out to be crap. But after this race Massa served notice that he wont go down without a fight.

The prince of F1 also was off color at Bahrain if Sepang was any indication Bahrain proved that Lewis wasn’t infallible. His armour was fault proof last year, and this year it seems a little too fragile, Mclaren will have to up their game considerably if they have to win this years championship especially with BMW Sauber nipping at their heels.

Oh the funny thing is that you don’t have to win races to be champion, you just have to be consistent, and both Ferrari and Mclaren have shown an amazing lack of consistency. Its going to be an interesting year.

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Pts

1 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 57 1:31:06.970 2 10

2 1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 57 +3.3 secs 4 8

3 4 Robert Kubica BMW 57 +4.9 secs 1 6

4 3 Nick Heidfeld BMW 57 +8.4 secs 6 5

5 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 57 +26.7 secs 5 4

6 11 Jarno Trulli Toyota 57 +41.3 secs 7 3

7 10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 57 +45.4 secs 11 2

8 7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 57 +55.8 secs 8 1

9 12 Timo Glock Toyota 57 +69.5 secs 13

10 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 57 +77.1secs 10

11 17 Rubens Barrichello Honda 57 +77.8secs 12

12 21 Giancarlo Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 18

13 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 +1 Lap 3

14 8 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 56 +1 Lap 16

15 14 Sebastien Bourdais STR-Ferrari 56 +1 Lap 15

16 19 Anthony Davidson Super Aguri-Honda 56 +1 Lap 21

17 18 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 56 +1 Lap 22

18 9 David Coulthard Red Bull-Renault 56 +1 Lap 17

19 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Ferrari 55 +2 Laps