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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

Force India Formula One : Poised for 2011 season

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Vijay Mallya had one aim for his formula one team, he wanted to bring his team to a level that would ensure a podium finish for the team at the first Indian Grand Prix and quite frankly they are almost there. Mr. Vijay Mallya has not run the Force India F1 team as a side business but like a sport entity should be run, with passion, determination and ofcourse force. He also has the distinction of being one of the few people with top level categories for them :) .

This is just a small article showcasing how the team looks for the 2011 season, the team calls its 2011 challenger the VJM04.

The VJM04 Unleashed–Force India’s 2011 challenger !

vjm04-testing-pits

The team seems all charged up for the 2011 season, while poster boy Adrian Sutil was retained for the 2011 season as primary driver, Nico Hulkenberg will be the reserve driver and Brit blood (Scottish for some :P ) Paula Di Resta has come into the team as the secondary driver. Vitantonio Liuzzi is out of the team (surprised ? ).

force india f1 drivers sutil hulkenberg and resta

Testing has been proceeding well for the team and Adrian Sutil seemed happy with the recently concluded testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. Adrian’s comments after the test were :

Adrian Sutil
A very productive day in general for us. We made some good progress with the balance and we’ve now got a basic set-up that feels smooth and easy to drive. I also got a run on the supersoft tyres, which we didn’t manage to do yesterday. Of course we also put the KERS on the car. It ran reliably and allowed us to complete the full test programme: very promising for this point in testing. It’s still early days for the system but we have got ourselves into a good rhythm and can feed this back into the factory to get some more performance for the next test.

Dominic Harlow, circuit engineering director also added his thoughts :

A good final day’s testing concentrating on KERS set-up, reliability and also some aero tests that remained on our program. Adrian also looked at some ride height sweeps and a few procedural checks. It’s been a productive four days for the team and overall the car seems to be performing reliably and according to expectations in all the major areas.

The comments are very much in contrast with those of the McLaren pair of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. In other news, Martin Whitmarsh has issued a whip to the  various drivers taking gripes at the new F1 tyre suppliers Pirelli.

“Being a tire supplier is a thankless task,” Martin Whitmarsh said.

“The quick deterioration is a characteristic, requested by the teams and organization, to improve the show.”

Images : Force India F1 Media

Monaco Grand Prix : Force India drivers do fashion show, charity football and visit the Indian Empress Yacht courtesy Vijay Mallya

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The Force India formula one team is known to be glamorous and when you have team boss Vijay Mallya in town and the city is Monaco, its a recipe for a lot of non-racing action. The Force India divers were kept busy all through the weekend by the team doing a variety of things :

1. Fashion Show : Adrian Sutil and Vitantonio Liuzzi started the week with a fashion show, here are some photos from the event :

Force India Fashion Show Adrian sutil (2)Force India Fashion Show Vitantonio Liuzzi

2. Charity Football : Later on they participated in a charity football match which is a signature of the Monaco Grand Prix, more photos :

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Force India F1 team completely redesigns new motor home

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Force India F1 factory

The above is the reception of the Force India formula one team, no relation to the motorhome, but cool nonetheless. The new motorhome of the Force India formula one team is also expected to be a steel and glass structure.

In the era of austerity and economic crisis, there is one team that is certainly not feeling the heat and its Vijay Mallya led Force India formula one team. One remembers him for his flamboyant ways and the uber cool parties thrown by him on the Indian Empress yacht. The whos who of formula one including Bernie Ecclestone, Flavio Briatore etc. are known to be guests of Dr. Vijay Mallya who leaves no stone unturned in ensuring that his guests are treated well.

Dr. Vijay Mallya[3]

So it really should come as no surprise when we get to hear that the Force India formula one team is redesigning their motor home to Vijay Mallya’s exacting standards :P.

With the flyaway races done for the time being and the European leg starting, teams carry their own motor-homes with them and try to have super luxury in these :P

‘The structure we used in 2009 and 2008 was still in very good condition and the square footage it afforded us was perfect, but internally it needed some pretty major tweaks based on the use it had over the last two seasons. We looked at this use in depth and made a plan accordingly over the winter. We worked intensively with our hospitality partners Kitz Catering& Service to get their feedback on what could, or should, be done.

‘Last season the use of each of the floors overlapped slightly. The ground floor was used for team and guests, the second floor for team and drivers and the third floor for Dr Mallya’s guests and meeting area. Overall, when we looked at it, nobody really had the ideal situation. We needed to revisit each floor.’

Quoting further from the Force India F1’s press release , one can imagine the super luxury :

Which is exactly what happened, with each floor a separate ‘project’ in itself. After more than 40 designs between Force India and Kitz, the ground floor has become a space for guests and media where, after stepping through a touch activated sliding door mechanism (also new from 2009), visitors are greeted by a new welcome desk with computerised guest lists that will even – when the person says their name – recognise what their preference of drink is! Next the guest will be seated on furnishings made specially for the Force India motorhome, a mix of white, green and orange curved ergonomic tables and chairs. A fully integrated bar area with flat screen TVs will also be available for visitors wishing to chat a bit more informally, while a chill out area gives guests space to read the latest newspapers or team updates. Although this set-up is designed to promote a relaxing yet convivial atmosphere, the work that has gone into making it so has been taxing.

‘The ground floor has been a challenge,’ Andy continues. ‘The whole area has been re-fitted. The floor has been relaid with a wood laminate to make it more durable but also more in-keeping with the cooler decoration, the electrics completely rewired and the air conditioning units replaced so the whole area stays cool. This has been done in close consultation with Dr Mallya, who takes guest hospitality very seriously.’

The second floor is perhaps the most impressive overhaul from 2009. This area will be used exclusively for team and drivers, but also features a large boardroom-type meeting room, a marketing office and two extended driver and treatment rooms with all fixtures and fittings changed to make it more of a relaxing space for Adrian and Tonio.

This floor will be accessed via a separate staircase that will also have direct access from the kitchen so the team’s meals can be served fresh. Again, this whole floor has been rewired – with two kilometres of cables approximately – and air conditioning units completely reinstalled. More than 30 panels will be used to construct this area, which has also been extended by 33 square metres by the addition of an extra container to the semi-permanent structure.

The top floor will remain Dr Mallya’s guest and meeting area however he will enjoy the luxury of an additional 33 sq metres as a terrace has been constructed on the roof of the additional containers. Again, this has been refitted completely to have three separate areas, including an office, reception area and guest zone with panoramic and sound-proof windows.

This whole structure weighs more than 40 tonnes and will take 10 people up to three days to construct – more than the team’s VJM03’s take to build!

‘It’s been a major undertaking,’ surmises Andy. ‘But we feel in the end that it has been worth it. Kitz has done a fantastic job within the timescale and brief. As a team, the biggest selling point you have – apart from on track performance – is the experience you can offer to guests, sponsors and potential partners. We want to excel in every area this year and we’re confident that this new refurb will help us achieve this.

‘Given the overall benefit we will have, both long and short term, we’re quite happy to wait for an additional two races to have a perfect motorhome for our needs. The first build always takes some time to get spot-on and rather than have to revisit again later in the year, we want it right first time. In the meantime we will use a temporary motorhome in Spain and Monaco while the new improved motorhome is driven direct to Turkey. It will be impressive and something the whole team can be proud of when we see it return in 2010.’

Now that will be one sleek motorhome Smile , cant wait for the photos of the motorhome to come through.

Photos Copyright : Force India Media Images

Written by Formula One Addict

May 4th, 2010 at 3:26 pm