Oct 29, 2007

Season Review

In 2006, it was a head on collision between Ferrari and Renault but in 2007, the lot seemed to favor the Woking based team against the Scuderia. Again, its all proved wrong as Formula 1 the sport, emerged triumphant after a difficult season. Take a look at the season review by going through the top 4 drivers

KIMI RAIKKONEN (2006 5th - 2007 World Champion)

The long talked about unlucky magnet of F1 finally turned things around with a new team after a dismal mid season. He started off well as a champion doing the talking in Melbourne but when the new Bridgestone tires took a toll on his driving, he slipped to 4th place in the championship after 7 races. Then in Magny Cours a hard fought victory saw Kimi getting adapted to the tyre setup. Its no looking back from then on, back to back victories in Spa and Shanghai held Raikkonen in contention for the final show down in Interlagos with a 7 point deficit. Just like what Prost did to Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet in '86, Kimi came from behind to clinch his very first drivers' championship leading a Ferrari 1-2 in Brazil. He kept his focus by alowing his driving to do all the talking and didn't look carried away by the spy saga. Now we know why hes called the "Iceman". He never melts.
Verdict: Breathtaking comeback !

LEWIS HAMILTON (2006 DNP - 2007 2nd)

From race 1 to race 15, he simply was a reason to watch F1 in 2007. 12 podiums in his rookie year is something you cannot ask for from any driver but he gave it all. Again, many might think that Hamilton was backed by an awesome Mclaren MP422 chassis, infact it's true but it takes a lot of skill and determination to beat your 2 time champion teammate. Having said that, it is far from a perfect year for this Briton as pressure got the better of him in China and Brazil. It would take a dismal performance to concede the title having lead Kimi by 17 points after race 15. Yes, the combination of stupidity both from him and his team, with some lack of fortunes means Hamilton had to settle for second.
Verdict: Good one but not good enough !

FERNANDO ALONSO (2006 1st - 2007 3rd)

Alonso would have meant business in the last two years but this time around, I have to change it to "disgrace". If there is someone who would have lost all his armory from his Arsenal, it has to be Alonso. I can understand, the so called Hamilton favoritism in McLaren but what I don't understand is Alonso's dismal cribbing against his own team and even blackmailing them in the spy scandal. Its a pity that a double world champion lacks dignity. By this time, Alonso should have emerged as a dictator and should have brought his presence felt in McLaren. 4 wins is not enough to win you the championship but nevertheless he seems to be happy to lose to Kimi rather to Lewis.
Verdict: Shut the **** up and drive !

FELIPE MASSA (2006 3rd - 2007 4th)

Its a bit surprising to see Massa slipping by a place in an year after winning more races than what he has done in 2006. I have to say, he is not in the Kimi, Schumi league cos he has always won from pole. That is a clear sign of the complacency he feels when starting from pole and the nerves when starting from somewhere else. Malaysia and Europe are indeed black spots in an otherwise OK season. Honestly, we don't expect too much from Massa and yeah the supporting role to Kimi he played in Brazil is worth mentioning. Ferrari still has belief in him and had put an end to all the speculation regarding Alonso's arrival by giving him a further 3 year deal.
Verdict: Could have been better !

Oct 22, 2007

A superlative drive to glory......

Who would have predicted this when he was 17 points behind the then leader Hamilton with only 2 races to go? I always knew Kimi Raikkonen is one man who never gives up nor be complacement while he is in the cock-pit. But even my strongest notion about Kimi couldn't help me from facing the reality which was a McLaren driver would win the drivers' championship. Well, that was not to be.

A Ferrari 1-2 was just what Kimi and Massa could manage and rest depended highly on the two silver McLarens. Going into the first corner, Hamilton was passed by Raikkonen and even by his teammate going into second. Still it was his championship to lose from there. Clearly an experience driver wouldn't have risked himself with an ambitious move on the third placed Alonso when you actually have no space to pass. A rookie mistake costed him 4th 5th and 6th places and Lewis slumped to 7. Even then, the McLaren being a superior car is supposed to cut the field and move ahead but that is not expected when you are struggling to change the gears.

Kimi being notified by Ferrari about Lewis' hard show, quickly put his Scarlet onto a series of scorching laps and got pass his teammate which some may think as an already planned Ferrari antic. Whatever it was, Kimi took the chequered flag ahead of Massa and Alonso and Lewis who was a distant 7th. Job done but it took some time for the calculations to really hit the Iceman and when it did, he came out of the cock pit jubilant and not knowing what to do. Kimi drove a Champion's drive and didn't put a wheel wrong when it mattered most. He should have been a "former champion" by now but fortune was always showing its back on him.

Well, I am ecstatic or rather relieved to see my screams for the 'flying finn' finally getting paid off.

Congrats KIMI for becoming the 2007 Formula 1 World Champion.....

World Championship standings, round 17 and final

Drivers: Constructors:

1. Raikkonen 110 1. Ferrari 204
2. Hamilton 109 2. BMW Sauber 101
3. Alonso 109 3. Renault 51
4. Massa 94 4. Williams-Toyota 33
5. Heidfeld 61 5. Red Bull-Renault 24
6. Kubica 39 6. Toyota 13
7. Kovalainen 30 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 8
8. Fisichella 21 8. Honda 6
9. Rosberg 20 9. Super Aguri-Honda 4
10. Coulthard 14 10. Spyker-Ferrari 1
11. Wurz 13 11. McLaren-Mercedes -
12. Webber 10
13. Trulli 8
14. Vettel 6
15. Button 6
16. R.Schumacher 5
17. Sato 4
18. Liuzzi 3
19. Sutil 1

Oct 21, 2007

WoRlD cHaMpIoN.........finally !

Courtesy: Evenstar Saima

bra_flag.gif picture by SaimaAzam
Sunday -
_354412s.png picture by SaimaAzam _354410s.png picture by SaimaAzam
Ferrari have their new Champion and Kimi smiles as destiny's child, and the 2007 F1 World Championship is well deserved to him.

Kimi Raikkonen : perseverance won the title

"For sure we were not in the strongest position as some point of the season, (but) we always believed we can recover, we always believed we can do a better job than the others," said Raikkonen. Even in hard times we stick together and never give up. We saw at the end that although we were a long way behind, we knew we could win the championship."

"I have to thank the team, they did a great job, not just today but all year," Raikkonen said. "We always worked hard and improved the situation, we had perfect team work, we had a hard fight with Massa all year and he was unfortunate not being in the fight any more.

"The sponsors have been a big bonus for us, they have done a great job for us, improving the fuel and everything, for sure I am going to enjoy today. I am very happy. I got a very good start, we were side by side with Felipe but we didn't want to race too hard," he explained. "I got past Hamilton and then he went off and I knew we had a chance then.

"We had good speed with the car, taking it easy, saving the car and tyres, we could have gone faster. Perfect work from the team, it paid off very well so thanks very much.

"I wasn't really 100 percent sure, we weren't sure if someone needed to stop in front of Lewis. He was seventh and even though I finished, there were other people who needed to finish, it took a long time to hear I had finally won. After the last few races we scored some good points, it has been a good finish to the season, great work for everybody. I am very happy: it was an amazing day."

An amazing day indeed! Fantastic stuff from you Kimi. Absolutely fantastic. Congratulations to the Iceman - the man who we have supported no matter what situation we were in. I believed you would win it today and never for a second doubted you. A big hug from me goes out to all the Kimi fans out there - congratulations guys! Go on, don't be shy, leave a comment and tell us your thoughts about the race, and your feelings when watching Kimi pronounced as world champion. I couldn't hold my tears in! Keep Flying Kimi - we adore you!

_354561s-1.png picture by SaimaAzam

Oct 18, 2007

All eyes on the 3-D finale in Interlagos........

What more can you ask for? In a season dominated by spygate scandals, off camera cribbings and moreover Ferrari - Mclaren head on collisions, a 3 way title fight in the very last grandprix just add to the spice. I have my doubts whether this has been the best season racing vise but nevertheless it is a season which gave just too many things to digest in one stretch. All said and done, here are the relative possibilities for the 3 drivers to win the title

For Kimi to win - Need to finsih 1st or 2nd hoping that both the McLarens would take out each other and also hoping for his teammate to sandwich between himself and one of the McLarens in the worst case

For Alonso to win - Have to beat Hamilton by a margin of 4 points by keeping Kimi behind. If he wins and lewis comes third, job done

For Lewis to win - Just have to beat Kimi and Fernando no mater where you finish. Also he can afford to go out with a more strategic approach

Millions watching not necessarily among the raucous Sao Paulo crowd but they know they just have to get a glimpse of the season finale and see 3 drivers battling out hard...............

When and Where can u see

Qualifying - ESPN Live 20th October 21.30 hrs IST
Race - Star Sports Live 21st October 21.30 hrs IST

Oct 13, 2007

Laga Chunari Mein Daag - deceptive !

Pradeep Sarkar has come out with a melodrama, trying to tell the story of the journey of a Banarasi woman in his latest flick, Lagaa Chunari Mein Daag(LCMD). A lot would be expected from Sarkar after his superb execution of the cult classic, Parineeta which also gave Bollywood a promising actress, Vidya Balan. So lets see how the film has faired with me atleast.

First thing first, LCMD is painfully dragging in the first half causing the audience to yawn and murmur and unfolds into a mediocre masala in the latter half. The director tries to make the transition of a lady from a 'girl-next door' image to an 'Escort' (u know what I mean) with so much despair. This in undoubtedly the most critical part of the film and I have to say the film fails to convince the very transition. The girl being the elder of the two sisters, has to deal with lots of household issues, the same old "makaan, bigli ki bill, do waqt ki roti blah blah blah" which we are seeing for the umpteenth time. So Rani makes a move to Mumbai in search of money and being underqualified for a white-corner job, finds it hard to sustain. She tries to make living out of jobs which she herself is not comfortable with. A leading call center MD uses her to his advantage and tells her "u might not be qualified but ur anatomy is good" which along with the desperation for money prompts our heroine to enter the bemire world of prostitution.

One question to the director. You have just put a question mark on certain Indian women that they are smutty enough to go into pros without even trying hard to make a living. Accepted that Rani is doing all these for her family but didn't she find a better way or shouldn't she atleast try for a better way? A big blatant NO is the director's answer! I think he himself was so desperate to tell a story on prostitution but in that case he shouldn't have taken the pain to convince the audience "this is how women shift to call girls" and then failing miserably to do so. The first half tests your patience unlike the second where Kunal Kapoor and Konkona provides some lighter moments, the saving grace one has to say.

Abhishek Bachchan has only few scenes in the movie but he takes his character far too seriously and is a liability in an already crappy melodrama. Konkona is good, Kunal is good too but it's Rani who is supposed to be the heart and soul of the film, who fails to gain sympathy from the audience. A happy ending is the last thing the already fagged audience wanted to see after a dismal 150 mins. The film is too lengthy and is neither a commercial product nor an intellectual take on one of the most sensitive and malefic evils. The script is the weakest link but yeah the dialogues are equally awful. LCMD gives away a deceptive message to Indian women and I feel they shouldn't take it. A pat on the back for Aditya Chopra for putting his money on a subject dating back to 1960 :-). I am asking him, why on earth?

Verdict: Worth a miss !

Oct 7, 2007

Raceday - KIMI triumphs !

Courtesy: Evenstar Saima

2007 Chinese Grand Prix

<span class=Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso kept the world championship battle alive by finishing first and second in the Chinese Grand Prix, while Lewis Hamilton retired after going off the road in the pit entry.

The result closes Alonso to within four points of Hamilton going into the final round, with Raikkonen a further three points adrift.

Hamilton had dominated the wet opening stages, but stayed out too long on extremely worn intermediates tyres, and ran wide into the gravel in the pitlane entry when he finally tried to make a stop. The McLaren became beached in the gravel and the championship leader was out of the race.

As Hamilton began to suffer badly with tyre wear, Raikkonen closed right in on the leader. The McLaren was sliding around wildly and lapping 10 seconds slower than it had earlier on.

After rebuffing several of Raikkonen's passing attempts, Hamilton eventually ran wide at Turn 8 on lap 28, allowing the Ferrari through.

Raikkonen then pulled away by up to six seconds per lap as Hamilton struggled, and Alonso - who finally passed Massa at the hairpin on lap 26 - closed in on his title rival at an even faster rate.

I knew Kimi would be victorious. What a fantastic performance - he made all the difference when it counted before his first pit stop and never stopped pushing till the end.

He was indeed the heaviest of the top four in qualifying, so it outlines his qualifying lap in particular, compared to Lewis' light run for pole, as quite impressive. He was also struggling a little with the slippery track but kept control and put pressure on Hamilton. It was an emotional win of Kimi's, personally to me, because sometimes dreams do come true for once and our dream was for Kimi to win this race. It felt right and justified after the poor circumstances at Japan, and most importantly - he deserved it! No matter how frustrating this season has been for the fans with the interference of huge egos, bitching, court rooms and penalties, Kimi brought a smile to my face. The fans there must have loved it. The race itself was brilliant with plenty of battles going on and superb drives.

We knew Kimi could do it and congratulations to him, the team, and the fans.
~ Keep flying Kimi!

chi_flag.<span class=gif picture by SaimaAzam"> Quotes

-Raikkonen hopes Brazil win brings title
Kimi Raikkonen - 1st:
"I am very happy! It is a really great result for me and the whole team, who done a truly excellent job," said Raikkonen. who gave Ferrari their 200th victory in Formula One. "We needed this win and we got it. At the start of the race, I had a lot of understeer but then the situation improved.

I was one of the last to switch to dry tyres but this was a help as after a little while the rain began to fall again. Even after the second stop I had a bit of understeer, but as before, the situation improved in the final stages. I knew Alonso was very quick but I was in full control of the situation. The car overall was working well both in the wet and in the dry. Last week in Fuji, we were unlucky but today things went right for us.

"We have had yet another example that in this sport anything can happen. The situation in the drivers' classification is still difficult, but I will try everything to win in Brazil, even if the final outcome does not just depend on what we do. It should be a great battle, very hard to predict and interesting."

Sunday quotes: Ferrari - Felipe Massa - 3rd: "All in all, finishing on the podium in a race like this is very important and I am very happy for the team. There is one race to go: anything can happen and we must continue to work to stay ahead of our rivals."

Jean Todt: "It is great to be able to celebrate Scuderia Ferrari's two hundredth victory in Formula 1, here in Shanghai, at the end of a difficult race, further complicated by the unpredictability of the changes in the weather. Kimi brings his total tally of the season to five and this is the team's eighth. He drove an extraordinary race, without committing the slightest error."

Luca Baldisserri: "This was probably one of the most difficult races of the season, characterized by very unstable weather, with the rain coming and going. After the first pit stop, Kimi gradually made up ground on Hamilton and could have got past earlier but for the yellow flags. Then, as the track was drying, Kimi stepped up the pace and controlled a possible attack from Alonso."

Pos Driver Team Time

1. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1h37:58.395
2. Alonso McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 9.800
3. Massa Ferrari (B) + 12.800
4. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 53.500
5. Button Honda (B) + 68.600
6. Liuzzi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 73.600
7. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 74.200
8. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) + 80.700
9. Kovalainen Renault (B) + 81.100
10. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 84.600
11. Fisichella Renault (B) + 86.600
12. Wurz Williams-Toyota (B) + 1 Lap
13. Trulli Toyota (B) + 1 Lap
14. Sato Super Aguri-Honda (B) + 1 Lap
15. Barrichello Honda (B) + 1 Lap
16. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 2 Laps
17. Yamamoto Spyker-Ferrari (B) + 3 Laps

Fastest lap: Massa, 1:37.454

Not classified/retirements:
Driver Team On lap

Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 34
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 31
R.Schumacher Toyota (B) 26
Sutil Spyker-Ferrari (B) 25
Davidson Super Aguri-Honda (B) 12