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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

A very Indian start to the Indian Grand Prix weekend

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Michael Schumacher touring Buddh International Circuit

It seemed to be straight out of a Hollywood movie depicting India, after the embarrassment with Rubens Barrichello’s press conference which was marred by a power cut. Practice today was delayed by a stray dog incident wherein practice had to be delayed due to a stray dog entering on the track. It was chased out by a safety car. There are also reports of a bat entering the media room which newspapers reported being chased out by a man with a broom :).

In racing related news, Lewis Hamilton was fastest in P1. Sebatien Vettel was second while Mark Webber finished the top 3 in the practice session. But needless to say, that wasn’t the highlight of the day with the dog taking the honours.

Written by Formula One Addict

October 28th, 2011 at 8:24 am

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.

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