Archive for December, 2010

The 10 best ever wins in Formula 1

Posted in The 'Top 10' stuff with tags , , , , , , on December 11, 2010 by Sundar Shankar

Formula 1 drivers are an exceptional lot. Today’s racers are among the fittest men on the planet, whilst the yesteryear heroes were the bravest. We may find one driver’s a bit slow, one is mesmerising-ly quick, we see that some are erratic, some are incredibly consistent, some talents are fulfilled and some are not, but the fact remains that the best driver on the grid is separated from the (apparently) worst by a wafer thin margin. And so we might think that the drivers are equal, and its the car and the circumstances that make the difference.

But every now and then, there comes a day when a bloke proves every single one of us utterly wrong. Just completely messes up every prediction, makes a mockery of all the ‘expert opinions’ and gives us fans an unforgettable day of motor racing. The drivers who pulled off such feats attain immortality in the world of Formula 1. Those are the drives that we remember with warmth in the heart and a knowing smile.

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Chinese Copycat Cars

Posted in Automotive Articles with tags , , , , on December 4, 2010 by Sundar Shankar

Imitation, they say, is the most sincere form of flattery. Car manufacturers around the world though, are seeing red . Design imitation has always been a part of any industry. A familiar tail lamp here, a head lamp there are not viewed seriously. Hyundai Motors does it all the time, not that they are the sole exponents of design theft. But the recent launches in the Chinese automotive industry seems to be stretching this a bit too much. Inspite of stupendous growth in automotive sales in China, the concept of ‘indigenous’ vehicles is nowhere to be found. Try as they might, to convince you otherwise, almost all Chinese cars that we see in motorshows and in the advertisements are outrageous copies of existing models of other manufacturers.

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Red Bull Racing – Birth of a new F1 Champion

Posted in Random Thoughts with tags , , , , on December 3, 2010 by Sundar Shankar

The 2010 Brazilian GP was by no means a thriller, yet it must be the most memorable day in the lives of the men and women who are part of the Milton-Keynes based Red Bull Racing team. After several hits and near misses, mistakes and misfortunes, Red Bull have finally clinched the World Constructors Championship – and are now properly one of the “big” teams that Ferrari and Mclaren have to respect. In my view, the seeds for this triumph were sown when Christian Horner brought the legendary Adrian Newey on board. The design genius has been responsible for several cars that have dominated championships and it was only a matter of time before he hit the sweet spot at Red Bull.

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Memorable moments of the 2010 F1 season – Part 4

Posted in Season Reviews with tags , , , on December 3, 2010 by Sundar Shankar

WORST MOMENTS

On to the worst moments of the season – that includes wretched luck for individual drivers, silly mistakes from drivers and teams, and incidents that Formula 1 cannot be proud of. Fortunately, the 2010 season didn’t have the off-track drama that marred several seasons over the decade, and for once, they were all on-track moments.

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Memorable moments of the 2010 F1 season – Part 3

Posted in Season Reviews with tags , , , on December 3, 2010 by Sundar Shankar

By the time we left Singapore, it was clear that Red Bull, though in front, would not have it easy. It was also clear that the season thus far could be split into three different routes to the championship from the team. The initial part of the season saw Mclaren at its absolute best, punishing Red Bull heavily for their mechanical unreliability, and taking the lead in both championships. Red Bull had a rather erratic performance curve, with a few dominant races, and a few wretched ones alternating throughout the year. Ferrari, after a horrendous first half of the season, where reliability issues and gut-wrenching bad luck hurt them badly, hit back spectacularly in the second half. Fernando Alonso was making a mighty comeback, and was putting in some magnificent drives to methodically demolish the Red Bull drivers’ advantage. We go into the final four races with the championship still wide open.

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Memorable moments of the 2010 F1 season – Part 2

Posted in Season Reviews with tags , , , on December 3, 2010 by Sundar Shankar

As the teams came away from the flyway races into the European leg of the season, it was clear that this was going to be a special championship. From the Ferrari 1-2 in the season opener to Jenson’s two race wins against the expectations in tricky conditions, Hamilton’s scorching recovery drives, and the sheer pace of the Red Bulls, the four unique races had produced surprising results. We waited for the European races to consolidate the pecking order. After a processional race in Barcelona which saw Webber joining the growing list of championship contenders, lets have a look at the rest of the European races along with the Canadian GP and the Singapore GP as well.

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Memorable moments of the 2010 F1 season – Part 1

Posted in Season Reviews with tags , , , on December 1, 2010 by Sundar Shankar

 

The 2010 F1 season has been the best in living memory – certainly the most closely and fiercely contested season of all time. There were so many dramatic, game-changing incidents during the course of this year’s championship, some of which were loved by the entire F1 fraternity, some universally condemned, and some that sparked furious debates across the fan base. Yet, the best thing about the 2010 F1 championship was that almost all the drama and excitement happened on the track, rather than in boardrooms, as we have seen in the past.

Two championship contenders, two dominant teams, a year full of political mud-slinging and bickering, protests and unsporting behaviour, we’ve become used to seasons like these for years and years on end. In that context, 2010 was an incredible year for the fans – four drivers in contention in the last race, 5 in the penultimate round, and 6 evenly matched cars, with a strong midfield line-up raring to pounce if the leaders missed a step.  But more importantly, it was a championship without controversies like Piquet’s crash, Mclaren’s spy-gate, Mosley being the butt of ridicule (pardon the pun) – indeed the biggest controversy over the year was Ferrari imposing team orders blatantly. Hardly qualifies as a controversy. Had they done it in a subtle way as all the other teams still do, we might have had a perfectly untainted season. Its hard to think of any season that has been better, and it is amazing that next year might conceivably be even better.

So could we let such a phenomenal year go by without recalling some of the dramatic moments – the good, the bad, and ones in between? Hardly. Here comes a personal perspective as to the high and low points of this epic season.

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