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F1 2008

The Formula 1 season is nearly halfway through, time has come to bet on the driver’s championship, and it takes no more than a quick glance at the results to note that this year has been the most competitive one in a very long time. The post Schumacher era had experienced a thrilling season finale last year which has been followed by a sensational mid season standing. Never have 3 teams including four drivers been billed as possible contenders for the divers championships.

The gap between current leader Felipe Massa and the fourth placed British sensation Lewis Hamilton is a mere 10 points. Robert Kubica in his BMW Sauber has been the surprise package this season. Considering their achievements so far, it can be safe to say that Ferrari once again look like the team to beat. They have won 5 of the 8 races, the other 3 going to Lewis Hamilton(2) and Robert Kubica(1). Heikki Kovalainen has been disappointing this season , partly due to his bad luck. He has only a singe podium finish, and his 4th place finish yesterday at Magny-Cours might be his much needed revival.

At this stage, when most teams would have chosen their numero uno, it is the toughest to predict for the Ferraris. Both the drivers are in a favorable situation to win the championship. This continuing dominance might be good news for the team championships, but is a disaster in the driver’s championship. You will only need to look back at the Mclaren duo of the last season to understand what i am referring to. For the second placed team BMW Sauber, it is clearly Robert Kubica, while for the Mclaren, it has to be Hamilton.

At the other end of the grid, Team Force India has been a failure to say the very least. Vijay Mallya must input a considerable amount of money into his R&D program for the car to be race contenders in 2010, when the Indian GP is likely to take place. His hope of being mid field runners at he end of the season is nowhere near being realized. He will have to go in for fresh blood next year. I know you will argue about the drive by Adrian Sutil in Monaco, but it was largely a race strategy combined with an extraordinary amount of luck which made them go so far.

Personally, i hope Kimi wins this year. I have my gmail id named after him(have been his fan since he came into F1 nearly 5 years ago!) and i also hope that he will cast aside his plans of retirement. Otherwise i hope Massa to win, because of his very determination to succeed after a dismal start to the season. Experts were talking of a possible Massa replacement at the end of this season. He has certainly made them to eat their words.

June 23, 2008 Posted by | Sports | | 8 Comments

Formula 1

This weekend provided some insight into the forms of the teams in Formula 1. Ferrari and McLaren seem to be leading the other constructors by a far distance. And Kimi Raikonnen proved that he has the fire to go the distance this time too.

Let me recount the race for you. Felipe Massa started on pole and lead through the first corner. I was afraid that he might ram into Raikonnen in that process, but thankfully, it didn’t happen. Lewis Hamilton, who started from ninth because of a penalty being imposed on him, made a very good start by leapfrogging into fifth. Nick Heidfield was the front runner who lost a lot of ground. So too did Jarno Trulli.

After the first set of pit stops, Massa exchanged his lead with Raikonnen. But a faulty wheel mechanism in the right front tyre of Hamilton’s car saw him slip all the way down to eleventh position after a 18 sec pitstop.

Things were starting to look good for Ferrari, but Massa’s penchant for speed brought about his ruin as he drove his Ferrari onto the gravel. Meanwhile Heikki Kovalainen was slowly starting to catch up with Kubica. Unfortunately, Hamilton got caught behind Mark Webber during the entire period from first pit stop to second pit stop and could not progress any closer to the race leaders.

The second set of pit stops saw no change in the top three with Raikonen leading Kubica by 17 secs, who in turn lead Kovalainen by another 17 secs. Hamilton was able to move two places above by going past Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber, into fifth position.

Towards the end, no untoward incidents occurred. Lewis Hamilton was able to narrow down a 14 sec difference from Tulli to within a second at the end of the last lap, but eventually had to settle for 4 points.

So Hamilton is first in the driver’s standings with 14 points and holds a 3 point advantage over Kimi Raikonen. Nick Heidfeld is joint second owing to a reliable BMW engine.

Felipe Massa is yet to gather any points after the end of 2 races. Lets hope he can get back his luck faster, so as to enable Ferrari to compete with the McLarens on an even scale.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | Sports | | Leave a comment