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  • Goyal 17:00 on Sunday, October 8, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1   

    Suzuka spells doom for Schumi 

    It was the last F1 race in Suzuka for some time to come. It was definitely the last race of Schumacher here. And everyone was out to see the Red Emperor score a big victory.

    It was a race he was supposed to win with ease. And, till the 36th lap today, nothing happened to the contrary. Schumacher qualified second on the grid, just behind teammate Massa and 3 places ahead of fifth placed Alonso. He passed Massa on the third lap and after that remained comfortably at the top of the group.

    Alonso, however, drove with a lot of passion and quickly overtook Jenson Button and Ralf Schumacher to come up to the third place and drove like there was no tomorrow. At no point of time did he let the two Ferraris out of his sight. He overtook Massa after the first round of pit stops and drove great laps in and out of the pits to exit just ahead of Massa. The difference in their stops being a mere 0.3 seconds.

    Michael was the last of the top 3 to pit and that erased all doubts of a lightly fueled Ferrari for qualifying and the rumors about the tyres not being suited well enough for the circuit. He drove in his usual calm and composed manner, and looked all set to win. Disaster struck, however, on the second Degner Curve on the 37th lap and fumes came out of the red machine. The circuit looked on in stunned disbelief as the Ferrari of Schumacher retired for the first time since Spain 2005 without a crash. Schumacher, however, got out his car calmly, waved at the crowds and shook hands with all he passed, to show that he was the true Champion.

    Alonso then drove a very calm race to take his Renault home, for a first victory since June. Massa came in second and Fisichella third. Button and Raikkonen completed the top 5.

    Only a miracle can now see Schumacher win the championship. What is needed is a victory in Sao Paulo and Alonso finishing out of points. Will that happen? Well, with the fortunes changing as it has this season, I would definitely not bet against it but I agree that it is only a slim chance.

    On another note, I have always been a critic of Alonso, not because of his driving skills, but because he does not have enough grace. That came to light again last week when a frustrated Alonso blamed his own crew and mate Fisichella of letting him down in the last race at Shanghai and even said that there were people in the Renault pits that did not want him to win. I hope Alonso has watched how Schumacher behaved after his blown engine in this race and has picked up a tip or two.

  • Goyal 4:14 on Monday, September 11, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1   

    Desicritics, F1 and MS 

    I am now a part of Desicritics.org and will henceforth be cross posting sports related posts there. My first post on the Sunday Moza F1 race is up there. Check it out.

    Also this is the first post using the MS Live Writer. Hope this works πŸ™‚

    • Ojas 5:44 on Monday, September 11, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Great! Congrats macha, and hope you have good time at Desicritics πŸ™‚

      All the best!

  • Goyal 5:55 on Friday, July 7, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1   

    Start saying your prayers!! 

    F1 chief Max Mosley has announced that from 2008 onwards, now hold your breath, Microsoft (yeah, you read it right, Microsoft) will be the official supplier of engine control units.

    Now that takes the word “crashing” to a whole new level. Doesn’t it!!

    Also, going by Microsoft’s record the 2008 season may well begin in 2009 if all goes well following the Vista way!!

    And don’t even get me started on BSOD πŸ™‚

  • Goyal 13:54 on Monday, July 3, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1,   

    Four Greats. One Great Weekend!!! 

    The exit of Argentina from the Football World Cup 2006 meant that my interest in it was over and I focused again on the other two sports I love. Cricket and F1. And interesting stuff happened in both over the weekend.

    In F1, the US Grand Prix brought a sense of deja vu as only 9 of the 22 cars finished the race with Nico Rosberg being the only one out of points. The first corner on the first lap was a mess and resulted in the elimination of a lot of cars (including the “ever unlucky” Kimi) and yellow flag for around 6 laps. As soon as the yellow flag was removed another accident removed a few more cars from contention and brought back the yellow flag. Felipe Massa (who is a great driver on his day) was in the lead then held on to it till the first round of pitstops where Schumacher drove the Ferrari like crazy on the entry and exit laps (like only he can) to reclaim the top spot. He then drove a brilliant race from there on to gain a 12+ seconds lead before the final lap. I have always felt that one of the greatest strengths of Michael Schumacher is the way he drives is car in and out of the pits and the way he blazes his way away just after the pitstop with the new rubber on the car. Also, the fact that the Indianapolis track is better for the Bridgestone helped Michael’s case. Alonso’s Renault seemed a bit off colour and the guy had to give up his third place on the starting grid to team-mate Fisichella after showing resistance for a couple of laps.

    After the race Michael has cut down the Spaniard (reminds me of Crowe in The Gladiator) Alonso’s lead to 19 points with 8 races to go in the season. It also brought up a Ferrai 1-2 after a year (the last one being at the last Grand Prix fiasco here last year). Also the Contructors Championship lead has been cut down to 26 points.

    In cricket, Jayasuriya and Tharanga tore into the English attach to chase down 322 in 37.3 odd overs and the way Jayasuriya was going (152 off 99 balls) a 400 run target wouldn’t have been difficult at all. To add insult to injury, it completed a 5-0 whitewash of England in England. Also they erased the long standing 285 run opening stand held by Ganguly and Tendulkar to 286.

    The best event, however, was a very sweet Indian victory in the West Indies. This is only the second Indian series victory in WI and has come after 35 long years. Also it is a first actual Indian test series victory outside the subcontinent (Zimbabwe was a farce, though the victory against Pakistan was of much better quality) in 20 years and has finally erased the dubious record of sorts. Kumble was ecstatic after taking the last wicket and the joy of the Indian team was there for all to see. Dravid and Kumble’s batting and Sreesanth and Bhajji’s bowling in the first innings and Dravid’s batting and Sreesanth and Kumble’s bowling in the second were the highpoints of the Indian team. Dravid (the Man of the Match and the series) was a manual on how to bat on a difficult wicket. I have been a great critic of Dravid the captain and a great fan of Dravid the batsman. This test match (and the series on the whole) again showed why Dravid is easily one of the finest craftsmen in the trade and explained his being called “The Wall”. Also, the test highlighted the utility of Anil Kumble to the Indian team and I sincerely hpe that the Indian selectors (led by the irrepressible Kiran More) would see sense and keep him in the scheme of things for the WC2007. Kumble bowling India to victory reminded me of his valiant attempt to bowl with a broken jaw. It almost seemed a poetical justice that this man gets the final wicket lead India to a victory that will be remembered for some time to come.

    A low point in the test, however, came just before lunch on the third day when Lara missed a Harbhajan ball that spun miles and turned around and mockingly applauded the curator for making a turner despite his request for a pacy one. The fact that the amount of spin on the ball would have put Indian tracks to shame did not seem to go down well with the WI captain. Agreed that Lara did not get the team and pitches to match his demands but that does not justify his on-field behaviour. There are forums to express such displeasure and the cricket field is the last one of those. Also it once again shows the difference between Tendulkar and Lara. Tendulkar by his behaviour and demeanour has achieved the status of a demi god while the mercurial Carribean batsman is still a mortal. Through out the series the only glimpse of the great Lara was in the third test when Lara anchored the WI and averted an otherwise clear defeat. I hope Lara realizes his mistake and apologises for his naive behaviour on the field.

    Once the dust settles India must realize that the victory has come against a comparatively inexperienced and weak WI team and that bigger and tougher battles lay ahead and that to prove themselves many more such victories are required.

    PS: Also the past weeks sporting events consisted of news concerning two more greats.Β  First was the exit of one of the best tennis players (and my all time favourite) Andre Agassi from Wimbledon. Next was the superb play of the legendary Zidane against the mighty Brazil to take France into the semis of the FIFA World Cup. I wish I could write about those too.

  • Goyal 16:17 on Friday, May 19, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1   

    Random Post 

    What am I doing posting on a Friday night (did I add this one is from the office!!)?? I have no answer. I am waiting for a friend to finish his work before heading home. Also I will be in office tomorrow πŸ˜¦ interviewing people to work with.

    Neways, some random pieces to talk about.

    Sensex crashed almost 10% in the past two days and we are feeling the heat. But we did not care much when we did make obscene amounts of money when it went up like crazy. Did we??

    Schumi came in second at the Spanish Grand Prix. Big deal. He still remains, to me, the biggest threat to Alonso's (who, by the way, is a very sore loser) title defence.

    The Da Vinci Code was delayed and not released in India because the government and the Christian organisations want a disclaimer. Bull shit!! I mean the book has been around for a lot more time and then the clergy was sleeping on their asses. They wake up now and want the movie banned (along with the Muslims!!).

    India won (well almost) the first ODI against the WI. 17 sucessful chases in a row. And Dravid as a opener. Must say despite my hate for Chappel, he should get credit for creative thinking.

    I have been working my ass off for quite a few days now and don't expect respite for some more. But there are a lot of things to get done. Shit man!! So much to do and so less time 😦

    End with a quote from "A Beautiful Mind".

    Conviction, it turns out, is a luxury of those on the sidelines, Mr. Nash.

  • Goyal 5:38 on Monday, May 8, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1   

    Veni, vidi, vici 

    It is the proverbial rise of the phoenix from the ashes. After a very forgettable 2005 and not so rosy first 3 in 2006 most F1 pundits had written off Schumacher as well past his prime. But a new engine and 2 successful racing weekends the champion is back and up to all challenges coming in his way. Imola was described as a flash in the pan by most but after Nurburgring, the tifosi is up in arms and the Ferrari F1 team looks like a strong contender for the season once more. The Renault, led by Alonso is still doing well but now must divide its attention between Kimi and Schumi.

    Schumacher seemed in sublime form as put in a lot of consecutive fastest laps to over take Alonso after the second pit stop. He kept Alonso under pressure right through the race and never let the difference grow more than 2.5 secs. Thousands of Schumacher fans were probably praying hard for the second race engine of the Ferrari to last through the entire race and if that happened they knew there was no overtaking the master. Thankfully, it did and Schumacher took the chequered flag with ease. Alonso did well, however, to see off the challenge by Massa (who took his first podium) during the last few laps and keep his second place and gain a valuable 8 points. Life wasn't easy for Massa too with Kimi breathing down the neck of the Brazilian till the end but Massa held his nerves and saw the both the Ferrari cars on the podium, a sight that most F1 fans had almost forgotten.

    Another interesting fact in the race was that 9 out of the 22 on the grid did not finish the race. 7 of them retired from the race with engine problems, which to me raises a lot of questions about the two race engine policy of the F1. Also disheartening was watching both Alonso and Schumcher drive well below what they can because both of them carried a race old engine and did not want to push it too far. Combined with a four race gearbox policy this could seriously hamper the speeds of F1 cars with people not wanting to push the car out of fear of the engine giving away!!

    Last but not the least, one of the best parts of the race was watching the young Nico Rosberg giving a lot of seniors a run for their money. To me he seems a great up coming talent and given a good car I have not doubt he will soon be a regular on the podium.

    On another note, I read "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" over the weekend. It is a short and sweet book and extremely well written. Also came across this awesome quote that I have fallen in love with.

    "I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them."

    I loved the novel and recommend it highly.

  • Goyal 6:10 on Monday, May 1, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1   

    Surely you’re joking, Mr. Ecclestone 

    The following post has been cross posted on the Pavilion Seat blog.

    Formula 1 has seen such a deluge of rule changes over the past couple of years that it has left many fans (including yours truly) greatly miffed and confused. The qualifying session has been changed so often that I am sure the drivers must be confirming the rules before every race. Moreover, an F1 car with a 2.4lt V8 engine is a joke! This one gives 750 bhps compared to the 950 of the V10s. F1 is the only sport that is stepping back on technology. Also, teams are now trying hard to push the V8s to their limits for more power which I think increases the risk of an engine (that is supposed to last for 2 races now) failure.

    When I sit down to watch F1, I want to see the fastest cars being driven around by good guys to the limit where speed is all that matters. All the rule changes are being made to make the game cheaper and safer. Cheaper! I don't think that these companies care about a few million here and there. They say that it will attract more companies to race as costs go down and the competition becomes close. It’s like telling Superman that you have the cape but you are not allowed to fly because others can’t fly as fast. And safer. F1 has the most stringent laws concerning driver safety. What was the last accident you heard about in F1? I think it was Ralf Schumacher at the US Grand Prix in 2004. That was due to a split tyre, and he still missed some 6 races only. The crash was one of the worst ever in the F1 history, but the car kept him safe. These cars are safer than any other road cars.

    Here are a few (ridiculous to say the least) rule changes F1 is about to see.

    • Same car for the years 2008-2010. A tech freeze. There goes the entire development concept.
    • Four race gearbox.
    • Single tyre supplier (Bye-bye Michelin! We will miss you.).
    • Testing limited to 30,000 kms per year.
    • No tyre warmers. You want to save money by doing away with them? Seriously!
    • No spare cars.
    • Entry fee lowered from USD 48mn to 300,000 Euros.

    I say give them the fastest cars and let them race. Also there is a talk about reducing the downforce (technically F1 cars can race upside down on ceilings!) on the cars for more overtaking. But then again that increases the risks. Wait! FIA has a solution. Keep the drag force the same. Which basically means you will have to slow down the car to make it stable. Sucks!

    But the good news is that with the entry fee cut down and performance being no criterion, we might once again see our very own Karthikeyan back on the track.

    What did you say? Indicators on F1 cars! Well, you never know.

  • Goyal 11:31 on Tuesday, April 25, 2006 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: F1,   

    Been there, done that!! 

    This weekend was about as good as it gets. I mean one of the better ones in this place. Sanghi had come over on Friday  evening. Dinner outside and then that crappy movie called Zinda. It is supposed to be another brilliant one from our very own Tarantino (the amount of blood and gore being the comparision), Sanjay Gupta but failed to make any impression on me other than the scene with the actress tied up πŸ˜‰ Agle subah we woke up to head to NII where we had planned on spending the weekend with TK and Bharathi. Ride for Bansal and Sanghi must have been good in that Innova but was awesome for me. I did some 20 kms in 26 mins. Not that the speed was anything to boast about but the feeling of driving for such a distance in Delhi was good. I had always heard that it is difficult to ride a 2 wheeler in Delhi but I did not face much problems.

    We got there by lunch and headed off immediately to the New Shanthi Sagar Restaurant, which brought back all those memories from Bangalore. Topped it off with great kulfi-falooda at Evergreen. And now we were sleepy. So we headed back to NII and next two hours were devoted to some talk and lots of sleeping. Woke up in the evening to take a first look at the top of NII. This place took my breath away and is high on the list of places where booze must feel so different. Headed to JNU campus for a walk then and that place called PSR Rock. Brilliant place!! Watching an aircraft fly by was never better.

    It was time to bid Sanghi goodbye. We headed to the New Delhi Railway Station. Again drove and this time it was even better through those brilliantly peaceful areas of Lutyens Delhi. Very nice. Paked our bikes at Nirulas at CP and took the Metro (I fall more in love with it everytime I ride it) to the Station. Reached the station, bid Sanghi goodbye and then headed back to CP (now Rajiv Chowk btw) to Nirulas Chinese Room. Had Won-Ton soup there and Veg Chopsuey (Yum!!). I am now a die hard fan of the food there and swear to go there at every possible oppurtunity.

    After that back to NII and then mostly chatting with Tk and that eccentric friend of his (whose name I don't remember thanks to this great memory of mine). We stayed up till 2 I think talking about everything from Physics to bikes and how the chappie who wanted to "do" Physics ended up "doing" Immunology at NII.

    Woke up next morning and returned to Gurgaon as I had to catch up with some work and that is the glorious weekend came to an end. Btw, as an icing on the cake Schumi won the Imola GP πŸ™‚ There is something about San Marino that gets the Ferrari horses prancing. Is it the tifosi gathering or the circuit being their own or just the number of red flags all over, I do not know but they sure help I guess πŸ™‚

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