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End of the road for Rubens Barrichello ?

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Brazilian Grand Prix - Saturday

Rubens Barrichello has had an illustrious formula one career, Wikipedia tells me that he is the eight highest point scorer ever in formula one. Now that is a big deal. I still remember his feisty driving in his early days with Jordan and Stewart.

He then moved to the Ferrari formula one team. He had a successful stint at Ferrari but was essentially the number 2 driver for the team, always shadowing Michael Schumacher.

2002 Austrian GP - Barrichello Slowing down

How can we ever forget the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, his number 2 status was confirmed when he was asked to hold off on the throttle to let Michael Schumacher go past and win the race. Ofcourse this move was criticized very heavily and Michael himself handed over the winner trophy and podium position to Rubens Barrichello who was in tears.

After his stint in Ferrari, Barrichello moved to Honda  becoming teammates with then novice Jenson Button. He was however outpaced by Button at most races in his seasons at the Honda formula one team. He was never really able to find his footing in the team and soon the Honda formula one team shut shop and the team was bought over by Ross Brawn and rechristened Brawn GP.

This would be Barrichello’s phoenix moment, using some clever rule interpretations, Brawn GP was able to secure the fastest car on the grid, but still Barrichello was behind Button and couldn’t outpace him for most of the season. He however finished third in the championship forcing critics to think that he may still have something in him. But that feeling was shortlived.

Its been downhill since then, he joined the Williams F1 team after Brawn and was a dud. And now the Williams formula one team has decided to replace him with Bruno Senna leaving Rubens Barrichello without a formula one seat for the 1st time in many many years.

There were rumours of Barrichello looking around at other formula one teams but then news reports came out confirming that he would be testing in Indy. Most probably this is the end of the road for the Brazilian, much like Juan Pablo Montoya who joined NASCAR after his formula one stint never to come back.

Written by Formula One Addict

January 29th, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Frenchman Jules Bianchi joins Sahara Force India as third driver for 2012 formula one season

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Jules Bianchi

The Manchester based Force India formula one team has announced the latest addition to their driver lineup for the 2012 formula one season. French driver Jules Bianchi gets the coveted seat ahead of other contenders (some even rumour that Karun Chandhok was in the running, totally unconfirmed though).

Before this Jules Bianchi has valuable experience racing in the GP2 Asia and world series. He has also driven in the Formula 3 championships. However his latest assignment was with the Ferrari formula one team for whom he was a reserve driver as of the 2011 season. Its interesting that he sees a brighter future at Force India than at Ferrari. Maybe its recognizing which team would realistically promote him to a raceday driver ?

Interesting part is that both Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg were reserve drivers before graduating to the real race day driving, maybe Bianchi hopes for that. That beside the Frenchman would get to ride the Force India car for testing and during Friday practice sessions. The Force India formula one team confirmed that Bianchi would get a minimum of nine Friday practice sessions.

Reactions :

Jules Bianchi: “I’m obviously excited to join Sahara Force India and the chance to get track time during race weekends is an important step for me. Being regularly in a current car is the best way to learn quickly and I hope it will put me in a strong position to one day move into a race seat. The next few months will be really exciting as I get to know the team, see how they work, and prepare for my time in the car. I would like to thank everyone for believing in me and especially Sahara Force India for giving me this great opportunity.”

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal and Managing Director: “I am delighted to welcome Jules into the Sahara Force India family. We always keep an eye on young, talented drivers and his performance in GP2 certainly impressed us all. By giving Jules the opportunity to be part of our 2012 campaign, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to young drivers. We are proud of our track record in this regard and I have no doubt that Jules will quickly settle into the team and make a valuable contribution to our efforts on track this season.”

Photos: Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Written by Formula One Addict

January 28th, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Will Kimi Raikonnen be able to avoid a Michael Schumacher ?

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Renault-LotusGP

Formula one’s blue eyed boy Kimi Raikkonen is all set for a return to formula one. the Finn would be driving for the renamed Lotus formula one team in the year 2012. After competing in the world rally championship for 3 years, he is expected to be a bit rusty, but how rusty ?

Kimi was able to win the formula one championship in his first year with Ferrari in 2007, but then that was a Ferrari, and let us not kid ourselves, Lotus are no Ferrari, heck they aren’t even a Sauber at this stage , the team with which Kimi started his career.

So the big question is how would be his performance, expecting a podium from him would be too much in my opinion, in fact I would be surprised if he manages top 10 finishes for majority of the season. His big test would be his rivalry with Swiss teammate Romain Grosjean.

Michael Schumacher’s comeback wasn’t dogged as much by his lackluster performances but by the fact that he was regularly beaten by teammate Nico Rosberg. Like Rosberg, Grosjean is no small fish, he is the current GP2 and GP2 Asia champ, one of the few drivers to hold both the titles.

Kimi packs in a wealth of formula one experience compared to Grosjean’s limited test driver experience with the Renault team in 2009. However, he has been in a different form of racing for quite some time now, rally sport is very different from formula one racing. He could take a good amount of time allowing the young Grosjean to take the lead, and once as an experienced driver you see the young ones leaving you behind, things can infact slip very fast.

What exactly happens, we would know only once the season starts, but Kimi Raikkonen surely has an uphill task ahead of himself.

Written by Formula One Addict

January 15th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Sebastian Vettel pulls off another victory in perfectly executed Indian Grand Prix

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Felipe Massa at the Indian Grand Prix

Apologies that we don’t have a Sebastian Vettel image for you there, the prudes at Red Bull media feel we don’t deserve access to their media section.

As the race telecast began, the atmosphere was electric, there were people with their faces painted, there were dancers dancing bhangra and there were the who’s who of bollywood and even hollywood (atleast Lady Gaga 🙂 ) at the track. There were murmurs all around of the ticket pricing though. Everyone seemed discontent with the high ticket pricing. And most of these were the ones who had paid Rs.2.5k , imagine the light of those who had paid Rs.35000 for the 3 day pass. The feeling though was still upbeat, India was finally hosting it and with minimal government intervention. Suresh Kalmadi thankfully had nothing to do with this event and the private consortium Jaypee Sports was able to pull it off.

Rowan Atkinson Mr Bean at Indian Grand Prix

As the warm-up lap started, the newly converted formula one fan crowd started to applause, don’t ask me why. The noise obviously was deafening, those without earplugs were the unluckiest and would most probably lose some hearing ability. I couldn’t secure media access , partly due to my laziness, so I don’t know what the atmosphere was in the media room.

Michael Schumacer at the Indian Grand Prix

I wouldn’t review whole of the race, you can find that anywhere else, we usually talk about the race and other stuff around the races and it usually isnt coherent also. The post is peppered with a few photos of the Indian Grand Prix I know you would enjoy. Heading into the race Red Bull is easily the team to beat, Sebastian Vettel is breaking record after record. His comparison once was done with Michael Schumacher, but now those are moving to Ayrton Senna. I somehow disagree with those comparisons. Both Schumacher and Senna have proven themselves with average cars, Vettel on the other hand is blessed with a car that beats the rest of the grid. Same way that Brawn GP had beat almost everyone else last season and Button was the hero of heroes.

Bernie Ecclestone, Subrata Roy, Sachin Tendulkar, Shahrukh Khan and Gulshan Grover at the Indian Grand PrixAs the five red lights went out and the Indian GP was go, there was a first corner incident, nothing like Spa though. Button tried to make moves on Vettel, but to no avail.  Most of the race wasn’t very interesting though, Vettel lead from start to finish.

Shahrukh Khan faking some formula one gyaanThe bigger highlight was Sachin Tendulkar waving the chequered flag for the formula one cars. There were some interesting bits on Lap 24, Lewis Hamilton tried to take the inside line on Felipe Massa, Massa tried to block and hit Hamilton. Seeing it on High Definition on ESPN later , it does seem to be Massa’s fault, but I read somewhere that Hamilton’s been told to reduce the bad blood with Felipe Massa on the track. Like that would go any good. Ask Ron Dennis what happens when you are Lewis Hamilton to do anything. Looking at Rowan Atkinson during the incident just made by day. No Mr.Bean face could have said it better.

The ending was perfect, with Vettel sipping champagne and telling everyone that Indian girls are good looking. Quite a few social networking jokes on that. Overall it was pulled off without a hitch and the Indianess usually expected from huge events held at India. Sure traffic was a mess, but you cant have your cake and eat it too.

Written by Formula One Addict

October 31st, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Sebastian Vettel gets pole position, Narain Karthikeyan almost last in maiden Indian Grand Prix

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Buddh International Circuit Long Shot

It was an action packed qualifying session, the traffic snarls at the venue were legendary with the snarls extending to late evening when I was passing by the track. Spotted a few team folks in various cars 🙂 Team Lotus prefers the Renault Fluence to travel in style.

Jenson Button Qualifying Indian GP

Sebastian Vettel grabbed another pole position showing the dominance of his Red Bull, he is just three wins shy of Michael Schumacher’s record of most wins in a formula one season and looks all set to equal that if he continues his current form.

“The car was fantastic since yesterday and throughout qualifying,” said Sebastian Vettel. “In the end there was a little bit left in the first sector.

“I’m extremely happy and it’s good to be here. It will be a very interesting race on a challenging circuit.

“You have to really make sure you stay on the line and the circuit here is not forgiving mistakes. It’s not easy but I enjoy what I do and I was excited when I came here.”

Lewis Hamilton was second fastest in qualifying however due to a penalty he was given on Friday, he got thrown back three places and will start fifth on the grid. Fernando Alonso who will start third on the grid and seemed pleased with Hamilton’s penalty :

“With Hamilton’s penalty, starting third will be even better,” The Spaniard said

Teammate Brazilian Felipe Massa could manage only sixth position in contrast. He has been quite a press favorite with certain Indian tabloids going gaga over his resemblance to his brother whatshisname Massa.

Lewis Hamilton Indian Grand Prix Qualifying

Meanwhile Narain Karthikeyan would have entered the bad books of Michael Schumacher. Narain impeded the German champion in his hot lap and was penalized five places. Needless to say that generally means Narain Karthikeyan would be starting last on the grid. However since Timo Glock is approved to race despite being too slow, Narain wont be last on the grid.

Adrian Sutil of Force India qualified in eight position impressing new boss Subrata Roy (in photo with Nico Hulkenberg). Force India fans will remember Sahara bought stake in the team rechristening it the Sahara Force India formula one team.

Nico Hulkenberg subrata Roy

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