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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

Auto Expo 2012 : Volkswagen urges you to think BLUE !

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Its Auto Expo time and one can feel the excitement in the air. It’s the auto show that happens in Delhi every 2 years.

In line with the theme of Think Blue. Drive Blue. Volkswagen, Europe’s leading passenger car manufacturer will focus on environment friendly, fuel efficient carlines at the 11th Auto Expo scheduled to be held in New Delhi early January next year.

Volkswagen launched the Think Blue. campaign in India earlier this year coinciding with the introduction of its first carline with BlueMotion Technologies – the Passat and will continue to highlight its efficient technologies in 2012 beginning with the country’s biggest automobile show –the Auto Expo.

Amidst showcasing carlines that exemplify efficiency and German technology at its best, Volkswagen will showcase the third generation of its most loved carline for decades – the 21st century Beetle.

Mr. Neeraj Garg, Member of Board, Director Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt Ltd. said, “ The Auto Expo is one of the best platforms to showcase our latest and best to the Indian automobile enthusiasts and we are confident that the 21st century Beetle will be a cynosure of every visitor at the Pragati Maidan.”

Written by Formula One Addict

December 21st, 2011 at 6:47 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

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

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