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Lewis Hamilton continues Mercedes domination of Formula One, but the Chinese got it all wrong

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I will admit it folks, I have been a bit out of touch with Formula One the last few months, mainly due to work pressure and the fact that cable in the United States costs a bomb. That would somewhat explain my lack of updating the blog with the latest formula one happenings as the name of the blog and the slogan suggest.

Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China.
Sunday 20 April 2014.
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG, celebrates on the podium as Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG sprays champagne.
World Copyright: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic.
ref: Digital Image _J5R7939

Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix today, with Germany’s Nico Rosberg in tow to complete yet another Mercedes GP 1-2. This is the third 1-2 the pair have delivered this season out of the total 4 races.  Fernando Alonso clinched 3rd place for Ferrari finishing the podium followed by the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and current World Champion Sebastien Vettel.

However this race would not necessarily be remembered for Lewis’s victory but for blunders by Chinese Race officials including showing the chequered flag a good 2 laps before the end of the race. No one still knows what happened there and why the official was in such a hurry to end the race, but according to FIA rules, the race ended there and the next 2 laps did not have any consequence on the race classification.

This meant that a certain backmarker who had made a maneuver to overtake for the 17th place was robbed of his rightful position. The victim was Kamui Kobayashi who had made the pass on Jules Bianchi.

The particular FIA rule under article 43.2 states :

“Should for any reason the end-of-race signal be given before the leading car completes the scheduled number of laps, or the prescribed time has been completed, the race will be deemed to have finished when the leading car last crossed the line before the signal was given.”

This was not the only error in the race, there were more. A number of blue flags as per other media reports were also waved incorrectly for many drivers.

Written by Formula One Addict

April 20th, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Ferrari commits faux pas in India by supporting murder charged Italian Marines

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Oil and water don’t mix, and neither do sports and politics especially on matters which are subjudice. In a case of apparently bad advice to the Ferrari formula one team, the team is sporting the Italian marines insignia on their cars and released press releases around the same protesting their arrest.

Italian Marine flag Ferrari Indian Grand Prix 2012

For folks outside India, here are the facts :

1. The Italian marines shot down fishermen off the coast of Kerala in India.

2. Tried to escape to international waters, played the jurisdiction card when arrest became imminent and even offered money to the kin of those deceased.

3. They are getting a fair trial in the courts of this country.

Currently the matter is sub-judice in India and the marines are on bail. If they are innocent, F1chronicles hopes they would be acquitted , if they are guilty they deserve punishment like any criminal.

The action by Ferrari in view of the above facts can only be seen as stupid since the Govt. can do anything in the matter due to the courts handing the matter. The Ferrari team in its press release had hoped Indian authorities would find a solution which cannot happen as courts are independent in India.

The initial release read :

In doing so, Ferrari pays tribute to one of the outstanding entities of our country, also in the hope that the Indian and Italian authorities will soon find a solution to the situation currently involving two sailors from the Italian Navy.

After the hue and cry, the Scuderia Ferrari team embarrassed had to go into damage control after the earlier release and issued the following release :

The Italian Navy’s national flag on the Ferrari race cars at the Indian Grand Prix is there as a tribute to one of our country’s outstanding institutions. With all the respect due to the Indian Authorities, Ferrari wishes to make it clear that this initiative does not have, nor should it be seen as having, any political implication.

Some advisor needs to get fired Smile

Written by Formula One Addict

October 27th, 2012 at 9:57 am

Formula 1 still keen on Bahrain Grand Prix 2012

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Despite widespread protests and calls by human rights groups to call off the race , formula one seems keen to hold the race. And they are also spreading good news (propaganda) about it. An article on Bloomsberg claims that 3000 temporary jobs will be created in Bahrain due to the race and also that the race would earn 500 million  USD for the Bahrain economy.

“The F1 generates huge returns for Bahrain by regenerating interest in Bahrain as a friendly and hospitable environment,” Sheikh Salman said.

Sheikh Salman is the chief executive officer of the Bahrain International Circuit which has also been criticized for firing folks on whims and fancies like liking a facebook age which promoted democracy for Bahrain.

The official news agency of Bahrain is doing even more propaganda hinting that the racing event is needed for national unity (while people are still getting arrested ?). Below is an excerpt from a press release on Bahrain News Agency’s website.

So unfortunate it was when the Bahrain Grand Prix Race was cancelled last year, even more unfortunate were the events that lead to that. Bahrain had gone through a rough period of time in 2011, but the comeback of the event of the year is proof that our beloved Bahrain can, is and will always be moving forward and in alignment with the progression of the rest of the world, that Bahrainis will, at the end of the day, always put their differences aside and unite in their love for their country, and the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix is the perfect event to set the ideal mood and the ideal scene for unity. The excitement, the anticipation, the economic opportunities and the festive events and shows that are all steady companions to the Grand Prix every year are sure to unite us.

The event is currently scheduled for the April 20-22 weekend, and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is in no mood to back down and cancel the race. In a rare show of support for any such activity. He made the following comments :

“Of course the race is going to happen. No worries at all,” Bernie Ecclestone

“What I don’t understand are the negative statements being made, people catching them and continuing them. They’re saying things they don’t understand.

“People say to me ‘There’s not going to be a race.’ And I say ‘Well how do you know?’ And they tell me they saw or read something, but it’s all nonsense.

“These people (the Bahrainis) were brave enough to start an event in that part of the world, and that’s it. We’ll be there as long as they want us.”

My personal opinion is that its shameful that commercial interest is being put above human rights and formula one will be allowed to be a showcase for Bahrain to fake to the world that all is ok.

Written by Formula One Addict

April 1st, 2012 at 12:49 pm

Should formula one dump the Bahrain Grand Prix ?

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2011 Bahrain Protest for Democracy

That’s the million dollar question (quite literally too !, Bahrain apparently paid around 40 million dollars to the FIA to host last year’s race which was canceled) , with human rights groups asking the FIA to set an example and cancel the Bahrain Grand Prix due to gross human rights violations in the Middle Eastern country.

F1 fans would remember a similar debate last year when initially the race was delayed, then rescheduled and ultimately cancelled for the same reason. At that time also there was a lot of pressure from human rights groups and even teams and drivers who were aghast at some of the stories that were surfacing from the troubled country.

The Bahrain center for Human rights has been quite vocal about the F1 race and its implications on the country’s politics and internal situation. Their website hosts a photo of a woman complaining that her husband got fired from the Bahrain International Circuit just for liking a protest photo on facebook. Their website not surprisingly has been banned in Bahrain.

My two cents are that the F1 event can be used as a medium by the Government in Bahrain to show the world that all is well (thoughts which are also echoed by the VP of Bahrain Center for Human Rights). A formula one race is no less than the Olympics in terms of popularity across the world and formula one drivers and teams should be looked upon as ambassadors of peace. Any controversy and that too of this scale has the potential to deal a serious blow to F1’s image and reputation.

Articles as recent as Jan 2012 detail how even now people are being tortured for bein a part of pro-democracy protests that took place next year. In such an environment, do we really want a formula one race to happen ? Bernie Ecclestone has to answer this question for the millions of formula one fans across the world.

Leaving you with some quotes from Human Rights organisations about the situation and their recommendations.

“We will do a campaign for drivers and teams to boycott. The government wants Formula One to tell the outside world that everything is back to normal,” said Nabeel Rajab, vice president for Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

“Formula One, if they come, they are helping the government to say [it is normal]. We would prefer it if they didn’t take part. I am sure the drivers and teams respect human rights.”

“The FIA should consider the serious abuse of human rights in Bahrain and the fact that to this day authorities continue to suppress pro-democracy protests.” Mariwan Hama-Saeed of New York-based Human Rights Watch told Arabian Business.

“I doubt that Formula One can be a success in a country where serious human rights abuses have been committed. The political situation is unstable and polarised in Bahrain. We are very concerned about the government’s commitment to implement meaningful reform.”

Photo Under Creative Commons from Al Jazeera English

Written by Formula One Addict

January 8th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

FIA faces flak on haphazard rule changes, Red Bull unhappy

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FIA is facing flak from all corners on its haphazard rule change policy mid-season. The latest change is the banning of use of engine electronics and exhaust gases for performance gain. FIA has also told teams that alteration of engine configuration is not allowed between qualifying and the race sessions.

The seemingly haphazard and biased decision has drawn flak from the Red Bull team and supporters, however FIA race director Charlie Whiting dismissed that the decision reeked of any bias. Countering claims he said that its not for the FIA to see if 1 team would be more affected than others in a rule change.

    “What we are doing is stopping people breaking the existing rules,” Charlie Whiting said.     

    “It’s not for us to say whether a certain team would be more penalized than others. It just depends how extreme they are going. But I have certainly seen evidence of maps on a number of teams which are extremely extreme.     

    “It’s not confined to one team, I can assure you,”      

    “It’s a bit like the mass damper where its use when it was first introduced by one team was fairly benign when it came to aerodynamics. But the more it got developed, the more extreme the designs were.”     

    “These things escalate to the point where something has to be done.”     

 

Christian Horner of Redbull was however adamant in his criticism :

“It is slightly confusing with the technical directive that it was not addressed at the end of the year going into next year,” He said.

“Why has it been done midseason?”

Mike Gascoyne of the Lotus team was worried about the costs associated with such a decision :

“We have all spent a lot of money developing something,” Gascoyne said.

“We are always pushing to get an advantage and will obviously implement it if it is within the rules. It is just frustrating it is done in the middle of the season without consultation.”

Ross Brawn of Mercedes however was all for the decision and justified that it was for the good of the sport :

“The protagonists behind raising this issue were threatening to protest the cars and that was the difficulty they had,” Ross Brawn explained.

“If they hadn’t have taken action, then it sounds like some teams were going to protest the situation to get clarity through the stewards and that wouldn’t be very good for Formula One. We want to avoid that at all costs because … it would probably end up in the appeal courts again and that’s no good.”

FIA has been known to pass judgments on various technical issues mid-season. So why are the teams making such a big deal about it this time ? Is it because some teams are seeing their monopoly ending ? Only time will tell if this would rein in the rampaging Red Bulls !

Written by Formula One Addict

June 25th, 2011 at 10:56 am

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