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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.

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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

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

Official F1 2011™ Game for iPhone and iPod Touch launched

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Good news for mobile gaming freaks who are also formula one fans. The Official 2011 formula one game for mobile phones developed by Jumpgames and Codemasters is now released. The game is available on appstore for Apple iPhone but isn’t there on Android and Windows Phone platforms yet.

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The press release follows :

F1 2011 is the only official FORMULA ONE™ game on the AppStore to deliver all the official drivers, teams and circuits from the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP™. F1 2011 comes from Jump Games, the award-winning developer of last year’s critically acclaimed F1 2010 iOS game, Real Steel and Putt Putt.

Players can race as their favourite driver, chosen from the 12 official teams, as they compete to become the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPION.

F1 2011 features all 19 circuits from the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including the all new Buddh International Circuit, which played host to the first ever FORMULA 1 AIRTEL GRAND PRIX OF INDIA, and the return of the legendary Nürburgring.

Key Gameplay Modes:

GRAND PRIX™

GRAND PRIX takes players straight to any of the circuits for a single GRAND PRIX. The races follow the GRAND PRIX structure of practice, qualifying and race day. GRAND PRIX is also available as an option on the main menu and allows players to quickly begin a custom race. Players may select any circuit, team and driver to play any particular circuit.

Time trial

Race against the clock and set the fastest lap times. Each circuit has a predetermined lap time challenge for players to beat if they’re to get their hands on the gold, silver or bronze trophies.

The game will be available on the Apple Appstore at USD 4.99

Written by Formula One Addict

December 21st, 2011 at 6:33 pm

Posted in F1 News

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

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