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Sebastien Vettel shrugs off Ferrari rumours

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Ever since Ferrari principal let it slip that Sebastien Vettel and Fernando Alonso could get along as teammates, Vettel is being flooded with queries over his ‘supposed’ Ferrari move. And for good reason, the young world champion seems like a fitting candidate for the Italian team who have not seen good fortune for a couple of years now even with a fairly competitive car.

Apparently Vettel has a pre-contract with Ferrari for 2014 and Fernando Alonso has already veto-ed that he wouldn’t like to race with Lewis Hamilton as a partner,

Domenicali had said: “I think they are both intelligent guys and they could easily co-exist.”

Meanwhile Red Bull were quick to counter and had said that they have Vettel under contract for 2014.

Sebastien Vettel meanwhile was cool as a cucumber, shrugging off the rumours :

“I’ve always said Ferrari is a great team with a great history, and with a great tradition in Formula One in particular,” Vettel said.

“But I’m very happy with where I am at the moment. Does it unsettle me? No.

“For now the focus is entirely on this season. If you want to have a say on this year’s championship, you are much better off being fully focused because as you can see it’s extremely tight, with a lot of winners so far, so I need all my focus on this year.”

Written by Formula One Addict

June 23rd, 2012 at 5:42 am

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

Marketing Blitzkrieg to make the Indian Grand Prix successful

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Firstly a very happy Diwali to all our readers.

Once again , sorry for the hiatus in posts, work has been a busy busy place and I didn’t get time to update the blog despite there being so many juicy news updates, from the Sahara Group acquiring stake in Force India Formula One team to Sebastien Vettel and Red Bull winning the drivers and constructor’s titles with a couple of races to spare. Congrats to Vettel who has proven his mettle once again (that almost rhymed).

However this post isn’t about his achievements or Red Bull’s continued domination of formula one now and whether its making the sport monotonous. Its about the marketing blitzkrieg that’s been unleashed in India to make the inaugural formula one Indian Grand Prix a resounding success. And it will be, but it wont be a success for the formula one fan. It would just be a commercial success.

Step into a shopping mall, you see models and people dressed up in formula one gear greeting you, formula one car shells spewed here and there and more ‘offers’ on the Indian Grand Prix, win tickets, win VIP passes, win hospitality suite passes etc. Real fans have been unable to grab any decently priced tickets, while models who pose for sponsors have been bathing in VIP suite passes. Well you may have guessed, I wasn’t able to get passes for the event. That’s ok. What sucks is that some super random folks I know have VIP passes and they certainly don’t care about formula one, just the whole sponsor hoopla over the Indian Grand Prix has assured them passes, or so they claim.

I am a reasonable person, I am all in for the Indian Grand Prix, but for the formula one fan. I would rather not have random wannabees at the circuit who know nothing about formula one , watching the race just because they think its cool. Not only will that spoil the environment it would ensure a new breed of fanboys into the sport of formula one who speak for a team without knowing anything about the history of the sport or the team.

Already news channels are broadcasting random viewpoints of street folk who are disappointed that Karun Chandhok wont race for Lotus or those who feel Narain Karthikeyan might just get podium. Now imagine 15000 of these at the formula one track. Others wonder how Red Bull can be a race team and blindly cheer for Manchester headquartered Force India formula one team.

The ticket prices honestly are atrocious except for the Rs.2500 one. Paying Rs.25000 (roughly $500) plus some more for parking doesn’t sound right to me. No normal formula one fan can afford that and it would make the event a showcase for the rich and famous. Now that may work in a place like Monaco, but in India , it doesn’t. Being a formula one fan for more than a decade, I wasn’t able to secure reasonably priced tickets. I often get invites to team’s pits for a number of races on the calendar, but for the Indian Grand Prix, I wasn’t even able to get cheap 3 day no seat passes. Doesn’t sound fair to me !

Hoping the Indian Grand Prix organisers take a cue and make it more of a people’s event from next year.

Written by Formula One Addict

October 26th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

F1 2011 game by Codemasters : Now in India through Zapak

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I remember growing up playing the formula one games on my friend’s PS3, the Monaco circuit would be our favourite with damage on. That would be one difficult race to win. Well since that time I have always loved the official formula one games.

I write this post as the latest game in the series ‘F1 2011’ is launched and yes it includes the new Buddh International circuit at Noida. Its coded by codemasters and is marketed by Zapak in India.

F1 2011 Title

The game has a number of new gameplay options, one of which is the much awaited co-op mode, you and your friend compete as formula one racing partners for a team. I have just got my review copy and cant wait to play it out. If you are looking for features, they are all listed here. You can also view the release trailer here, the graphics look simply awesome ! Am awaiting my Xbox copy to really see the HD graphics :)

The game is available on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

F1 2011™ is the sequel to the BAFTA winning FORMULA ONE™ videogame from Codemasters®, the developer and publisher of award-winning racing games. Developed under Codemasters’ exclusive worldwide agreement with Formula One   World Championship Limited, F1 2011 will come complete with all the official drivers, teams and circuits featuring in the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE World Championship™. Zapak Games, the licensing & merchandising arm of Zapak Digital Entertainment Ltd. will distribute the title in India.

Developed using Codemasters’ EGO Game Technology Platform F1 2011 will deliver an unrivalled FORMULA ONE experience that puts players into the heart of the world’s most exciting sport, powered by cutting edge graphics, advanced physics systems and integrated network play.

· Go Compete!  F1 2011 builds extensively on the multiplayer options from F1 2010. Split-screen racing is included for the first time in a high-definition FORMULA ONE title. Competitive online racing is extended with 16 players going head-to-head in GRAND PRIX™ with up to 8 AI drivers added to simulate the full grid of 24 drivers. An innovative new co-op Championship enables two players to lead their favourite FORMULA ONE team to Driver and Constructor glory across the course of a FORMULA ONE season. These enhancements are complimented by additional quick fire modes including Time Attack.

· New Circuits for 2011. Two stunning new additions to the race calendar extend the number of circuits to feature in F1 2011 to 19. Players will be able to debut ahead of the drivers on the Buddh International Circuit, the home of the first FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX OF INDIA and players will be able to test themselves on the iconic Nürburging circuit for the first time in High Definition, as this legendary track returns for the 2011 season.

· Be the driver, live the life.  From the paddock to the track, F1 2011 takes players closer to the experience of being a FORMULA ONE driver than ever before. A new Parc Ferme area, an expanded and revamped Paddock, new Pit Lane, celebration and reaction cinematics and an enhanced media interaction system fully immerse players in the glamour, pressure and excitement of being a FORMULA ONE driver. Players progress from rookie to FIA FORMULA ONE DRIVERS’ WORLD CHAMPION in an extensive career mode where gamers fight to become priority driver and shape the development of the car by performing well in races and earning performance upgrades.

· All the cars, all the stars. Fully licensed, F1 2011 features all the drivers set to contest the 2011 FIA FORMULA ONE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP, including Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button. All 2011 teams are represented including Ferrari, Red Rull Racing, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Lotus Renault GP in their iconic black and gold livery.

· KERS, DRS and more! F1 2011 includes all the new rule changes set to make this year’s season the most exciting yet. F1 2011 debuts DRS (Drag Reduction System) – the new system which enables drivers to adjust the rear wing on the car to give a boost of up to 10km. KERS also returns, giving players an extra 80BHP for up to 6.67 seconds, enabling drivers to blast past rivals. Combined, these systems encourage close wheel-to-wheel racing with new options for both defence and attack. This season’s new Pirelli tyres are faithfully simulated in the game, and if players push their car too hard they may experience a range of authentic new damage failures.

· Full Day / Night Racing. The 2011 FORMULA 1 ETHIAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX comes alive with a full day/ night transition which recreates the special atmosphere at this unique track. Every one of the existing circuits from the 2010 roster has been given a complete visual overhaul. New atmospheric effects, including dynamic clouds, compliment a weather system which features an advanced rain model that affects on-track grip.  Powered by the EGO Game Technology Platforms, F1 2011 pushes forward the graphical standard of what can be achieved in a racing game.

· The world’s greatest cars, the most exciting racing. Building on the heritage of producing award-winning racing games for over a decade, Codemasters is uniquely placed to realise the spectacle and exhilaration of racing 200MPH+ FORMULA ONE cars for all fans. F1 2011 can be tuned for players from a wide range of skill levels, from the casual gamer to the hardcore simulation enthusiast and those in between, with a range of differing skill levels. A huge range of vehicle variables can be tuned to suit each player’s unique driving style, or drivers can entrust their Race Engineer to set their car up and head straight onto the track. F1 2011 will support a comprehensive range of racing wheels for the ultimate racing experience.

· Unprecedented authenticity. Codemasters has used its unprecedented access to the world of FORMULA ONE to connect the development team directly with FORMULA ONE teams and tyre manufacturers. Extensive consultancy has taken place with a range of FORMULA ONE professionals, including race engineers, mechanics and drivers. This has been combined with real world data including CAD and on-board telemetry to deliver a race experience complete with authentic handling, accurate circuits and precisely modelled racing cars.

· EGO powered FORMULA ONE. F1 2011 is being developed on the EGO Game Technology platform, evolved from the award winning EGO engine. Enabling Codemasters development talent to share tools and technology across Studios and Central Technology teams, the EGO Game Technology Platform empowers Codemasters game designers to realise their creative visions across multiple platforms featuring cutting edge graphics, powerful AI, advanced physics systems and integrated network play.

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