Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The ultimate Dream come true!!!!

Alonso in McLaren in 2007!!!!
Hope Montoya gets the boot!!!
Kimi and alonso ..side by side...GOD!!!!!i want 2007 now!!!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

White Noise!

- it is possible to construct an apparatus which will be so delicate that if there are personalities in another existence or sphere who wish to get in touch with us in this existence or sphere, this apparatus will at least give them a better opportunity to express themselves than the tilting tables and raps and ouija boards and mediums and the other crude methods now purported to be the only means of communication.
- Edison

And on this note begins 'White Noise'. I have been wanting to see the movie for quite some time but it happened only yesterday. After a big dinner out, i thought i would never stay awake through the movie. But by the time the movie ended at about 2.30 am , i was on the edge of my seat. White noise turned out to be a real thriller. here is a bit about the story..

"Jonathan rivers is an architect, happily married to anna, a novelist. She goes missing and is feared dead after a road side mishap. The movie then veers into the supernatural and increduility when raymond price tells johnathan that he 'heard' from anna and that she is dead. Thus begins a fateful quest for rivers whose interest in 'talking' with the dead turns into an obsession. Soon the 'white noises' reveal more and more information and to johnathans shock not all of the images he sees are dead and some are going to die. "

I have intentionally kept the story description criptic because otherwise it will spoil a lot of fun. In sum 'white noise' is worth a watch and is sure to keep you hooked or should i say spooked.


Background

At the basis of 'white noise' is what is called the...

Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP)

Electronic Voice Phenomena, or EVP, are weird and mysterious, apparently paranormal sonic events of unknown origin, which can sometimes be heard (and captured in recordings) on various types of electronic apparatus, and which are usually discounted by skeptics as being simple forms of radio interference.

While it is impossible to prove that all EVPs are due to natural phenomena, skeptics maintain that they are probably due to such things as interference from a nearby CB operator or cross modulation. Some of the "voices" are most likely people creating meaning out of random noise, a kind of auditory pareidolia or apophenia. And now that the phenomenon has a number of devoted followers (thanks in part to "White Noise"), some hoaxers have probably entered the fray.

A lot of info on EVP and communication with the other dimesion here

Here is a catalouge of so-called EVP recordings

More on EVP

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A tale in the twist!

I was panting. Beads of sweat trickled down my back. It was hot. It was the summer of 2005. And that definitely was not the best day of my life. As i lay on the cold tiled floor of my apartment in the ninth floor worn out and exhausted, my head swirled and my eyes drooped. Dont pass-out, i said to myself. Just hang on. This will get over soon. It finally did get over. As the merciful sun faded down its usual nest in the west, i recuperated from the wounds of the day. It was one of the hottest summers i had ever seen in my life. That particular day and half a dozen similar ones that followed left a scar so deep that i sat down to compose a post on the depressing heat of chennai. I called that a 'dreadful melacholy'. Now, exactly seven months later i sit in my hostel room not very far away - in bangalore - totally craving for that heat, the sunshine and the sweat. Dark and gloomy skies, a permanently cold bed and floor and an eternal shiver can do that to the best of us. Well as they say, the grass is always green on the other side.

Going back to that april, life was completely different from what it is now. I was working, not literally though. At least i was in the payroll of CTS and that brought certain liberties. Money, for one, seemed to be always available. I flaunted the new found freedom of debit cards everywhere. Dinner meant exploring new restraunts. And there was always a movie dvd to be enjoyed later that night or a trip to 'satyam' was always on the cards. In between i sometimes went to work! I had by that time got the good news of the CAT results and my spirits were soaring like the temperature. A great apartment and interesting roommates. I always forget how pseud the flats look for a new-comer. I still remember the first day when i came to check it out. My mouth was permanently prised open in a wow. It was nothing like a bachelor hole i had imagined. It was a proper two bedroom apartment , on the ninth floor, with a beautiful view through huge french windows that adorned the balcony. When booby (one of my room mates) said "Well?" , I said "yes". And that was how i shifted from the little cell where i was put up far away from chennai to this cool place in tiruvanmiyur.

Well it all started at the little 'training camp' that cts puts us through before being launched into the battle field. On june,2004 i was officially an employee of cts but was placed at St. Joseph's college for a training period of two months. It was class room all over again. Girls sat in the front rows and guys at the back. Some things never change. Session after session we sat through technical lectures and organisational seminars. That was where i met the three guys who were to become my roommates later. Arjun, Boobesh and Pradeep. Well, i met a lot of interesting characters there and we had a common passtime during those tea/snack/lunch breaks - appraise girls from the various other batches that were having their training. Well, it may sound pathetic, but it was fun. There were also sessions of fiercely competitive NFS fights between me and Arjun which he always ended up losing(Well its my blog ;) ). Well, one thing got firmly established during the two month period - that i was crazy. When i started looking for a place to stay, they popped up the question on whether i want to stay in their place. I said i needed to evaluate. And that is how one day i took this long bus trip to tirunmiyur to check out the apartment and said 'Wow' seeing the beautiful looking apartments.

Interestingly, two of those three guys were also aspiring for CAT. So we made a pact the day i moved in to work regularly for the same purpose. The pact stayed a pact - it never materialised. We planned to wake up at 5 am ever morning to work. I always managed to get up three hours later. Soon this infection spread among everyone and in the end CAT lay forgotten. Meanwhile, CTS threw up rather dull projects that forced us to go to movies and do other things that helps you live. A few months later i transported my bike from coimbatore to chennai and that resulted in a new mobility. The trouble now was who got to take it out. Meanwhile CAT was nearing and a new urgency gripped us. In a mechanistic flurry of action, i joined 'time' for the test series but ended up bunking quite a few of those too ( i bunk everything!). However, it became a sunday routine to go to adyar and write a mock cat and have a good lunch at a restraunt we had identified there whose sambhar tasted exactly like annapoorna in coimbatore. It was motivation enough to go for the mock cats. Well by now booby had also joined the fray.

Meanwhile, Arjun was having his own pursuits. I briefly mentioned about our passtime during the training period. What happened was Arjun took a liking to one particular girl and kept calling her kaaka for no apparent reason. He got so hooked on to her that he began investigating her and in less than a month had her whole biography with him and in less than two months he had started having those long conversations through cell phones. His motive in life then was kaaka, booze and generally having fun and working a bit. Its an altogether different matter that he got bored off her by the summer of 2005. Wel life meandered for all of us with no motive but filled with fun and enjoyment. Around march the f1 season started and in chennai you cant get to watch it unless you have a set-top box. So we bought it. Weekends were awaited in anticipation of those races. Lunches would be skipped or planned so as be there from the beginning. There were two camps : intially started with shumi vs alonso then morphed into kimi vs alonso. Well, i am not going to bring f1 into this now. Enough words have been spent on that. Sometime during 2005, arjun got himself a bike. A brand new, pulsar 180cc with its gleaming bulge, alloy wheels and nitrox shocks. I just spent a lot of time oggling over it. And it was great to drive especially on the ECR, in the night.

(to be contd.)

The captain takes his side home

Dravid validated the claims of being 'the wall' as he steered india to a series tie in mumbai. It was a solid, unglamourous and dogged effort; a typical dravid-style. For a better part of the match he was partnered with Yuvaraj singh whose booming drives and ferocious pulls kept the south african bowlers in check. On a pitch that offered both the batsmen and bowlers a chance the south africans were done in by the toss. Yet again, in this series, the captain winning the toss chose to bowl and won the match. Dravid was relying on his bowlers to make the break-throughs. Although, there was never a collapse from the south africans, they were stifled and chocked for runs and finally could only manage a meagre 221 although they had lost only 6 wickets. Jaques kallis once again played his lynchpin part to perfection although he might have been guilty of playing too cautiously.

221 was always gettable and it looked easier with tendulkar at his aggressive best and sehwag pulverising the bowlers although they had lost gambhir for a duck. However, sehwag departed after having decimated pollock for 14 runs in an over to a dubious decision and the game predictably slowed down. Tendulkar shifted down gears and one anticipated a long innings from him. That was not to be. He departed for a spectacular flying catch at point and indians were on flimsy grounds at 70-odd for 3. Dravid walked in and steadied the ship along with Yuvaraj who played a magnificient little knock that unfortunately ended at 49. Later Dhoni and kaif made little contributions and dravid made sure that the series wasnt last.

2-2 result does not tell the right story. The south africans had the upper hand in the series. Be it their drubbing of the indians in the last match or their fighting defeat in this one, their superiority was evident. The indians on their part were admirable in their come back and finished the series clinically. However, a few lessons need to be learnt and the team needs to improve. Looking forward, he team takes on the lankans in the test series. This is chappell's first in india and it will be interesting to see what tactics they adopt. It will also be interesting to see how well the lankans respond after their 6-1 one-day drubbing.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Shameful exhibition of dissent!!!

The kolkatta match was a disgrace if anything. Indians batted woefully on an alien pitch, surrounded by an alien crowd and pegged back by some classy bowling by pollock. Kolkatta did its reputation no good by booing the indians and hoarsely crying for the south africans. Is it a part of this country? Did they realise that it was the indians that were playing? What if andhra started booing for laxman like this. Ever state will have some reasons to boo thanks to our selectors. But axing ganguly was perhaps the sanest decision they had ever taken. There can be no better way to disgrace our country in front of a visiting team. A shameful day not only for Indian cricket but for the nation itself.

Indians approach mumbai with uncertainty. Surely, they must be a shaken lot after the kolkatta debacle not just from the result on the field but the antagonism off it. That a city was ready to forget the country for the sake of an individual who for all logical purposes didnt deserve a place in the team is shameful. Mumbai was a watershed for the indians in the australian series and they would be hoping to come back in a similar fashion against the south africans. The south africans for their part have launched into the mind games without mercy. Boucher's remarks on ganguly is a blatant exhibition of an attempt to throw the indians into a disarray. Hopefully the indians come back strongly after this. It will reflect the character of the team.

And ironically, these are excatly the times when i miss sourav ganguly. One can be darned sure he would have thrown in a piece of his mind for these psychological banters. ;))

Iimb diary: A weekend with nothing to do!

Had a fun weekend for a change. I had been on a virtual vacation ever since the summer placements ended. This weekend marked a culmination of sorts. Went out to dinner on friday evening at a nearby restaurant called 'adigas'. The food was good. I would like to say 'great' but i am still not sure if it was the good old einstenian relativity that made it taste so good compared to the iimb mess. A couple of dosas,a bhel and a nice hot cofee were the perfect ingredients to make me feel contented. It also gave a bout of nostalgia and i started missing my chennai life again. Somehow food makes me think of chennai. Just cannot wait to start working again. Feeling to active to sleep off i started watching 'Before sunrise'. It turned out to be the perfect lullaby and dozed off half-way through.

Woke up at around ten on saturday to grey skies. Bangalore is land of eternal coldness and darkness. Only the other day we were having this big debate on which is better: the man killing heat of chennai that kept u active or this shrouding, lethargic darkness of bangalore and i decided to settle for the perfection of Coimbatore. Well, i trudged off to the mess for some parathas. With the breakfast done, what next was the question. Strangely i have never had a situation like this in iimb. There always was something next. Somewhere in the back of my mind a voice wanted me to start studying but i just couldnt amplify it. By the time i had walked back to my room i began to feel very drowsy and promptly slept again at eleven thirty and had to be awoken by the shrill ring of g-talk. My friend was calling me for lunch at the mess. It was near one-thirty. After lunch, i settled comfortably before a movie and spent the rest of the time regaining my expertise in nfs5. Somehow i always sucked at nfs5. I still dont know the reason for that. Maybe its the handling. Spent the evening again playing games, chatting with the guys in the block and watching 'joey' for some time.

Went to the forum for dinner with joe and vengi, two of my classmates. I didnt realise how much i hated crowds until i had to stand at the pizza corner in transit for about 20 minutes just to place an order. Pizzas, cokes and subs can never match the beautiful taste of ghee dosa with sambhar and chutney. Strolled around the forum for sometime and then came back. Again a movie in vengi room with some vodka. And finally off to sleep at about 2.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The rise and fall of ganguly

Article from Cricinfo

By both leading from the front and with macho posturing, like when he famously doffed his shirt at Lord's, Sourav Ganguly ushered in a new era of competitiveness in Indian cricket. But after five years as the country's most successful captain poor form and obduracy finally did him in. Cricinfo brings a recap of his captaincy saga.

September 1999
Captains India for the first time in the Coca-Cola Singapore Challenge tournament, against West Indies as Sachin Tendulkar is rested due to a sore back. Brian Lara's cameo helps West Indies win the game.

Barely a week later, he leads India again in the Toronto Cricket Festival - with Tendulkar skipping the tournament due to an injury - against West Indies. India clinch the series 2-1.

February 21 2000
Tendulkar announces that he will step down as captain at the end of the two-test series against South Africa.

February 26 2000
Selectors name Ganguly as the captain for the ODI series against South Africa.

March 2000
Ganguly becomes full-time captain as India beat South Africa in the ODI series. He scores a magnificent century and two fifties as India win by a 3-2 margin.

October 2000
Ganguly heads a bunch of youngsters in the ICC Knock Out Trophy in Kenya. A spectacular win against Australia in the league game is the highlight as India enter the final, where they lose to New Zealand. India go to Sharjah for the Champions Trophy tournament where they get trounced in the final against Sri Lanka. But Ganguly, with his attacking captaincy, has done enough to restore the Indian fans' faith in the team.

November 2000
Ganguly leads India for the first time in a Test match, against Bangladesh - making their debut - at Dhaka. A one-off fixture, India romp home by nine wickets; Ganguly scores 84.

December 2000
Ganguly is in fine form, scoring a big century (144) in the second ODI against Zimbabwe and turning in an allround display in the fourth to clinch the series for India. Rahul Dravid leads India for the first time in the fifth and the final match of the series.

March 2001
Ganguly's first outstanding achievement as captain. A resurgent India clinch an epic series at home against world champions Australia, after trailing 0-1, with a thrilling two-wicket win at Chennai. Ganguly's contributions with the bat are minimal, but his aggressive, innovative leadership and heroic marshalling of the younger players usher in a new era of competitiveness for India. Further, this series signifies the strong relationship forged between Ganguly and John Wright, the coach, and promises better times ahead for Team India.

July 2001
India start their bad habit of losing in the finals. In Zimbabwe, they win every league match but go on to lose the final against West Indies.

August 2001
India lose in the final of the Coca-Cola Cup. The tournament marked the first time Sehwag opened the batting.

Amidst claims of a slump in batting, Ganguly hits an unbeaten 98 in the second Test against Sri Lanka at Kandy, after India again trail 0-1. Ganguly and Dravid put on 191 runs as India chase a fourth-innings target of 264. However, Sri Lanka clinch the third Test to win the series 2-1.

October 2001
Another final, another loss, this time the Standard Bank Trophy to South Africa.

November 2001
In an unprecedented and highly controversial action, Ganguly and five other Indian players are summoned by Mike Denness, the match-referee, and warned for excessive appealing during the second Test at Port Elizabeth. Ganguly is also accused of not controlling his players, and is punished with a suspended ban for one Test match and two one-day international matches. India lose the three-Test series 2-0, and the third is deemed unofficial by the ICC amidst threats of a revolt by India and the BCCI.

February 2002
Another final-like situation awaits India. India lead England 3-2 as they face off for the sixth and final one-dayer at Mumbai. Despite Ganguly's 80, India, chasing 256, come close but lose by five runs. Andrew Flintoff takes off his shirt and runs on to the field, irking Ganguly who would do his revenge act at Lord's a few months later.

March 2002

Ganguly hits 136 against Zimbabwe at Delhi, his first hundred as captain and his first since November 1999, as India win by four wickets. In the ODI series, India recover from a 1-2 deficit to win 3-2.

May 2002
India lose the fifth Test against West Indies to lose the series 2-1, and Team India looks to be running out of steam. Ganguly still manages to score 322 runs at 53.66, his unbeaten 75 in the second Test at Port-of-Spain contributing to a 37-run win.

For the first time after eight tours and almost 50 years, India win a match at the Kensington Oval in Barbados and India go on to win the three-match ODI series.

July 2002
India go to Lord's, for the final of the Natwest Series, with an awful record of nine final losses in a row, six of them under Ganguly. But a redemption awaits them at Lord's as Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif star in an amazing win. Ganguly doesn't forget Flintoff's celebration in India and does a little war dance after removing his shirt in the balcony of Lord's.

August 2002
Ganguly scores a brilliant 128 against England in the third Test at Leeds as India rack up 628 for 8 in its first innings. India draw the series 1-1, and walk away with the plaudits after a gritty show in the series.

March 2003
It's World Cup time. Ganguly's scores three centuries albeit against weak sides in the league games and leads India to the World Cup final after 20 years. But the spectre of losing finalists comes back to haunt them as they are vanquished by Australia.

October 2003
Another hundred in a tepid draw at Ahmedabad against New Zealand, does its job in silencing Ganguly's critics. However, he is ruled out of the second Test after having to undergo surgery to remove a boil from his inner thigh.

December 2003
Ganguly's finest Test hundred as captain. His 144 in the first Test at Brisbane sets the tone for a fantastic series against the Australians. The rest of the team responds admirably as India draw the four-Test series 1-1, and return home as heroes.

February 2004
India lose their way in the VB Series and lose another final.

March 2004
India head into the fifth and final match against Pakistan on March 23 with the ODI series tied 2-2 and they manage to clinch the series, winning by 40 runs at Lahore.

April 2004
Ganguly returns from a back injury to captain India in the final Test at Rawalpindi, scoring 77 out of India's mammoth 600 as they win their first overseas Test series in over a decade. The victory also made Ganguly the first captain to lead India to a series win in Pakistan, and he also became the most successful Indian captain with 15 Test wins, erasing Mohammad Azharuddin's record of 14.

October 2004
India lose the first Test against Australia at Bangalore by 217 runs. Ganguly struggles both as a batsman and as a captain, and his withdrawal from the last two Tests due to injury leads to much media speculation and controversy.

December 2004
Consecutive fifties against Bangladesh cannot quell calls for his sacking, and he looks uneasy at the crease against an energetic Bangladeshi attack.

March 2005
The signs of his decline are obvious after a dismal showing in a drawn series at home against Pakistan. Inzamam-ul-Haq's side triumphs in the decider at Bangalore, virtually signaling the end of the successful Ganguly-Wright relationship. Ganguly's batting hits an all-time low, with every bowler giving him a torrid time; even Shahid Afridi's inconspicuous leg-spin finds him wanting.

After the fourth ODI against Pakistan, with the 6-match ODI series tied 2-2, Ganguly is banned for six matches for a slow-over rate - he served out a four-match curtailed ban - and has to watch from the sidelines as India go down 2-4 to Pakistan.

September 2005
The final act that brought the man down. An uncharacteristically slow hundred against a depleted Zimbabwe at Bulawayo sends the critics into raptures, only for the controversial Ganguly-Greg Chappell saga to blow up in everyone's faces. Ganguly goes public with his dismay at Chappell's suggestions during the match that he step down from the captaincy, and the media goes wild. Chappell is not amused, maintaining that the Indian captain asked him for his honest opinion on his form and leadership in a private meeting between the two. The tour goes on, with India unsurprisingly sweeping Zimbabwe 2-0, but on the team's return to India Ganguly is publicly ostracised and calls for his sacking are the order of the day. Forty-eight hours after saying that he respected the Indian captain and looked forward to working with him in the future, Chappell fires off a damning memorandum to the BCCI.

October 2005
Ganguly refuses to fade away. He hits a century in the Duleep Trophy match against a strong North Zone attack to remind the world that he is not done yet.

November 2005
Ganguly bags a pair, dismissed both times by the man he had handpicked, Zaheer Khan. And on November 22, the selectors end his five-year reign as Test captain when they pick Rahul Dravid to lead India in the Tests against Sri Lanka.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Oops We've lost the match! ; Pakistan come out blazing on the final day


Well thats exactly what trescothick would have been saying as the last wicket fell. As england realised that they might just get defeated in a test, the match was over. Pakistan, true to its strength, came out blazing on the day when it mattered and made a mockery of the english plans. There was a certain amount of disdain with which england had approached the test match - one brewed by the ashes victory. After all they had beaten the Australians. However it takes one day to turn fortunes over and england might be realising that they were on the better side during several moments in the ashes. Now the full circle. Well, its just one defeat. After all, England came out strong after their lords defeat tosnatch the coveted trophy didnt they? This is different. For starters, they are not playing in the manicured lawns of the english counties. This is the subcontinent. The cauldron where the best have been left gasping. And spin takes a whole new meaning here. Its no longer a defense weapon but a lethan attack mortar. Kaneria spun a web around the baffled englishmen as he went about twirling the cherry to his hearts content. Clueless was what characterises the day england had today. As batsmen after batsmen walked back to the shade of the pavilion, the coach must have realised that he had run short of men. They had just eleven to win the test. This is not to chide england or pull them down but to put teams in perspective. Pakistan are strong in their home and they look dazed until the moment of calling comes. Today was that moment of calling and they came out with a savage war cry. After having dominated the test for most of the sessions england must feel betrayed. Betrayed by the disintegrating pitch. Betrayed by pakistans sudden surge. And above all betrayed by their own complacency. Wake up poms, we have a situation on our hands now. The rest of the test matches will be more savage as england look to wrest this initiative back and silence doubters.

South africans begin with a bang!

South africa stretched it winning streak to 20 games as they prevailed in the opening one day against India. The chinks in the indian armoury materialised sublimely when pitted against a south african side that oozed of quality and confidence. For the proteas it was just another day in the office. We are in India? So what? Indians have thrashed the sri lankans? So what? No fuss. Put us in a stadium and we'll win matches. The match lived up to its expectation of being competitive but barely. Indians at times just failed to realise that the match was going out of hand.

Early on, the south africans began by rattling the Indian batsmen to good measure with a fiery opening burst. The famed top order was consumed in a flash of good bowling and the score board read like a pin-code. Five wickets down at 35, the Indians were rudely shaken awake and Yuvaraj found himself in the hot seat. It is difficult to deliver when eyes filled with bloodlust are staring at you. Its even difficult if you are the lone man standing. But Yuvaraj put his hand up. Occassionally he carves out these exquisite innings that make you wonder why he is not rated as one of the best in business. He found a partner in the new found batting star pathan and the duo did the dog work of pulling India out of the dumps they had landed themselves into. A shocking late burst from Bajji ensured that the Indians had something to bowl at. A great recovery which reflects the attitude of this team.

Grame smith and kallis are the lynch pins of south african batting and both of them played a part in today's victory. Smith thrashed the opening bowlers with disdain by taking the attack to them ; something the sri lankans had failed to do. The Indians bowlers have a hard series ahead and they might do well to realise that they have been bowling at a sub-standard sri lankan batting in the last seven matches. Indians however pegged back strongly snatching up wickets at crucial moments and checking the flow of runs. The extra bite, however, was missing. At 160/5 the match was precarious for south africa and the Indians looked to possess the momentum but Kallis, the south african wall ensured that he saw the team through till the end. Although the runs and balls kept neck to neck, they were never under pressure thanks to the calm presence of kallis and some insipid bowling by the Indians. Dravid waited too long for something to happen, hoping that the batsmen would commit some mistake rather than forcing them to make mistakes. For the indians this match was like a reality check, they were placed in perspective. The fielding was below par at times and the bowling went astray under pressure. However, i wouldnt read too much from this defeat and still maintain my earlier final score line of 3-2 for India.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Indians blow away the Lankans

Indians finished what was left of Srilanka's pride when they thrashed them in the final ODI. Having reduced their batting to mediocrity they left the lankan bowlers feeling humiliated by doing what they had done well throughout the series - taking them on. Dhoni was once again in the act showing his repertoire and flexibility in adapting to different situations. He perished trying to end in style but the job had been done. The lankans had been mauled to death by then. Indians have batted throughout this series with a shocking ruthlessness brushing aside the lankans as if they were dust. What one must gaurd against is this ruthlessness translating into a lack of respect for the opponent. With the south africans starting their one days a couple of days down the road, the indians will do well to put their head down and assess them rather than getting intoxicated by their hedonic victory. Having said that the indians were near perfect this series knowing what to do when and doing it right. The most pleasing aspect has been the way different players have put their hand up at different instances. Dhoni,dravid,tendulkar,yuvraj,pathan,raina have all delivered and one must not forget the little contributions by kaif and sehwag. When it came to bowling pathan, rp singh, sreesanth, agarkar and bajji have shone. That nearly completes a squad. This is what playing as a team means. Call it fear for spots, enthusiasm of a new leader, beginner's luck or a chance coincidence the truth is that the indians are on a huge roll right now. Grame smith will definitely be having troubled sleep wishing that his unbeaten record doesnt come to an end. Dhoni must especially be giving him the jitters. But again, a man waiting to explode is sehwag. He is due for something huge. And he relishes the south africans.

Dravid must feel contented and happy. A convincing victory for the team under his captaincy will only strengthen his hold. He has been quite shrewd and surprisingly aggresive in his captaincy throughout this series. Great job by him so far.

Moody tried to put up a brave face but the truth was that the lankans had been humiliated and their ranking torn to shreds. It will take all of the gap between now and the tests for their wounds to heal. They will come back strong and renewed for the tests. It will be interesting to see how this new look indian team performs in the tests.

As the squad was announced for the south african series, one got the feeling that ganguly has slowly been squeezed out of the indian team. The administrators seemed to have handled the issue quite cunnigly but it seems that greg had prevailed. I have myself screamed for ganguly's head in a few of my posts but i feel sad for him now. He needs to go out on a high not like this. I just hope that he gets his head down and notches up a few runs under his belt in domestic cricket. Then hopefully the selectors will look at him not as a captain but as a player in the indian team.

And as for predictions for the south african series, i think it will be much more competitive. The south africans are themselves on a roll and it will be an equal clash though indians will have a distinct home advantage. My prediction is 3-2 for the indians. If its better then indians are really special. It its worse then the sri lankan series had been just an aberration.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

More google earth snaps


Google's location

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Google Earth Snaps


The Bangalore airport


















The IIMB Campus as seen from satellite imagery


the big circle is the ground...
the numerous little square blocks are the hostel blocks.....
the rest is the main building...admin,offices,classrooms,audi...etc

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Hurricane Dhoni keeps the indian ball rolling



Indians have discovered the power pill. Its been quite some time since they had their last one. I guess it was in the last world cup. They were unstoppable then. Batting and bowling clicked quite beautifully except for the two occassions when they met real class - the aussies. The loss in the finals was a dissapointing let down. Coming back to now, Indians are on a similar roll. Dravid's gods of fortune are smiling rather benevolently on him much to the anxiety of the prince from the east of this country. Ganguly's heart must be sinking deeper into the pool of murkiness with each win. He is getting erased from the equation slowly but surely.

After three win - resounding ones at that - Indians look invincible. Sri lankans must be shaken. After complete drubbing in the first two matches they looked to come back in the third one and their batting clicked. Sangakarra, a class act, showed how well he can play. He is among the top in terms of style and poise at the crease. His essay would have been a spectacular one had it not been for the indian team's shaktimaan. In sport - like iimb - everything is relative. Its cruel but thats how life is. Sangakarra's essay was an amazing one, one of the top one day knocks. But the papers next day had very little of it. Enter Dhoni. If Sangakaara's innings was like a sweet breeze, Dhoni's was a hurricane. He came and incinerated the srilankans. There was nothing clinical about it. He came and tore them apart, like a hungry predator, thats feasts on a helpless prey. Everything was massive. With nearly half a dozen sixes and some serious smacks he threw srilanka out of the match and possibily the series too. On the way to a magnificient 183 he brushed aside a couple of records not the least being the highest score ever by a wicket keeper. At last, have the indians found a real keeper?. We'll have to see more but Dhoni is going to give the opposition jitters. He plays in the hyperzone!

Where do the srilankans go from here. Indians look unstoppable. They have got a momentum like an avalanche. Attapattu is now staring at a serious white wash scenario. I dont think however the lions will lie back and take it. They are ranked second for a reason. Although my opinion on the rankings range somewhere between useless to arrbit, it may have some significance. After all, it ranks the aussies at the top as it should! Srilankans will fight back but it would be very difficult if not impossible for them to save the series from here.Indians on the other hand will look to win it as comprehensively as they can. This series will be a big boost for dravid and greg - kind of a successful first real test. And momentum always helps looking forward.

So my dear dada, i think i might keep a farewell blog ready for you. What a character. Whatever said and done, he helped transform the indian team into a great unit and is one of the best indian captains. But you see sometimes even the best fade out ( premature to cite schumi here ;). After all, dada have given a lot for indian cricket and needs a proper farewell.

Monday, October 31, 2005

The first forgettable Diwali !

Its that time of the year again. Sounds of crackers, colors everywhere, sweets, and fun. Well diwali is back with a bang. Only this one is different for me. This diwali would begin with me waking up sleepily in a stuffy little room, feeling irritated. Then it would involve a run to the bathroom and then to the mess hoping to grab a bite before the 8.30 class. Yes! Class! On Diwali. Well i wouldnt have believed that any sane institution would have classes on diwali a year ago. But enter IIMB. Sanity redefined. Well the worst part is, this is the first diwali where i dont feel the excitement and anticipation. The first diwali where i am not spending the night before at my uncle's place having a good dinner and bursting crackers. The first diwali where i dont get to taste that wierd cocoction that my mum makes. The first diwali i wished i wasnt there where i was! Well i am writing this the night before. Thinking of back home and fun. In a typical IIMBian style people are trying to push fun at you. There is some block decorating contest. WTF! And then Dandya. Who cares! Diwali to me is defined by being on the road at 5 am trying to light a lar. Diwali to me is being among the friends and relatives. This is a diwali where i am writing company forms, attending pre placement talks and attending classes. Above all this diwali, i am at IIMB. Ya ya sure...IIMB rocks!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Takumo , a walking pile up ....

Everyone knows how bad takumo is. In case, someone is to argue otherwise, here is a chronological description of all his exploits.



Credits : Planet F1

Although Sato appeared to be putting his crashaholic reputation behind him at the start of 2005, he was once again topping the headlines and the hit lists at the end of the season when he managed to tick off two drivers in three races.


2005 Belgium GP: Takes out Schumacher


Sato tangles with Schumi at La Source at Spa after locking his brakes, hitting the Ferrari driver from behind.

And Schumacher made plain his displeasure afterwards, slapping the Japanese driver on the helmet before he even had the chance to climb out of his stricken BAR.

Schumi said: "I'm not very happy - it's not the first time we've seen him involved. Every accident is unnecessary but this one seemed more unnecessary than usual. I did not see anything and just felt a bump at the rear of the car. It was stupid to finish the race like this when we had hoped that the mixed conditions might help us.”

Sato, however, pleaded innocent: "The incident with Michael happened on the first corner after the restart, following the safety car. With cold tyres and brakes, it was very difficult to stop the car and unfortunately, I touched the back of him."

Verdict: Sato's fault


2005 Japanese GP: Makes Trulli an enemy

Home hero Takuma Sato made a dreadful start to the Japanese GP when the BAR driver ran wide at Turn One and, as he pulled back towards the track, Rubens Barrichello's Ferrari careered into his front wing. Both drivers pitted, Sato for a new wing and Barrichello for a new left rear tyre.

However, while Sato was arguably exempt from blame for that shunt, he wasn’t for his crash with Jarno Trulli.

Trulli retired from the Suzuka race, the victim of an over-ambitious move from Sato. The Japanese driver lunged up the inside of Trulli's Toyota but succeeded only in punting out the Italian.

And the Toyota driver wasn’t at all happy about the situation.

"I think we have a dangerous person on the track," the Italian told ITV. "It's clear for a few years that he is just causing a lot of problems and we have to stop it. The federation has to take action. He tried to do a manoeuvre that is just impossible so I don't know what he is thinking when he is driving."

The FIA did take action, excluding Sato from the result for "forcing the driver of car number 16 off the track."

Verdict: Sato’s fault


2004 Monaco GP: Sato's smoking engine results in horror smash

As the race began, Sato made an excellent start, moving from eighth to fourth in seconds. Presently, though, Sato's engine began smoking; on the third lap and it exploded spectacularly, releasing an enormous cloud of smoke, in which Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella collided with McLaren's David Coulthard and overturned several times. Both drivers were unhurt but out of the race, as was Sato.

Coulthard wasn’t charmed.

"Obviously I was very worried when Fisichella flew over me and his car landed upside down - we were lucky not to have a more serious accident," said Coulthard. "When Sato's engine blew up I couldn't see anything in front of me because of the smoke, so perhaps Fisichella was going a bit too fast but I don't know."

"However, smoke was coming from Sato's car already on the parade lap so I'm sure the engineers could have seen the telemetry that eventually the engine would blow up."

Verdict: Sato’s fault


2004 Belgium GP: First lap sandwich shunt with Webber


The race had barely begun before Sato was involved in an accident with Mark Webber. However, Webber exonerated Sato.

Webber said: "I was making my way up Eau-Rouge and aiming to get back to the pits when I lost the steering and unfortunately through not fault of his own, Sato hit me and that was the end of my race."

Sato, naturally, saw the accident as the Aussie’s fault: "I then saw Mark Webber going downhill towards Eau Rouge extremely slowly with his front wing missing and the problem was that he was in the middle of the racing line, so that is why I had to hit the brakes quite hard to avoid him. Montoya was overtaking me on the right-hand side at the top of the hill whilst I was passing Webber on his right, and I became sandwiched between the two cars. I didn't know what happened at the time, but Webber then hit me."

Verdict: Racing incident


2002 Malaysian GP: Sato commits the cardinal sin


At the start of the second lap the two Jordans collided when Sato, in his first year in F1, ran into the back of Fisichella. The pair were dicing behind Mika Salo and there is little doubt that Sato made a mistake. Both Jordans did, however, see the finish

"I am really sorry about what happened," said Sato. "I apologised to Giancarlo immediately after the race and he took it very well which I think says a lot of good things about his character."

Fisichella accepted the apology: "There is no point on dwelling on it. I think he has learnt his lesson."

Ha. As if.

Verdict: Sato’s fault

2002 Monaco GP: Sato takes himself out in spectacular fashion

Once again a big shunt happened to Sato. The Japanese driver wanted to let pass his faster team-mate Giancarlo Fisichella (finishing 5th position) after being told from the pits to do so.

The manoeuvre, though, went completely wrong as Sato, with the emotionless-fanatic Kamikaze face, crashed on the left side of the tunnel into the concrete wall at a speed of 280 km/h.

Sato was unhurt – just as he was at Spielberg and during the Historic Grand Prix of Monaco a week before, when he had damaged a Lotus Ford 49 at the harbour.

Verdict: Sato’s fault


2002 Austrian GP: shunts with Heidfeld

On lap 28 Nick Heidfeld skidded off the track, along the gravel and back onto the track again at Remus Curve. It was there that Sato, through no fault of his own, collided with Heidfeld.

The Japanese driver remained in the car immediately following the accident because the rear crash structure of the Sauber had broken through the side of the Jordan-Honda EJ12 monocoque slightly below Taku's right knee causing extensive damage and making it difficult for him to move.

Sato was treated at the scene by the FIA's Medical Team and removed to the medical centre where he was able to sit up and talk. News eventually filtered through that the Japanese driver had escaped serious injury, although he was transported to a local hospital by helicopter.

Jordan team boss Eddie Jordan later revealed that one of the doctors treating Sato had described the incident as "one of the biggest miracles they've ever seen."

Explaining the incident Heidfeld said: "I saw a cloud of tire smoke as (Alex) Yoong braked really hard and early ahead of us and maybe I pressed the pedal too hard as a result while the brakes were still cool. The next thing I knew I was going backwards down the grass. I'm just thankful that Takuma is okay."

Verdict: Racing incident

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The end of a sensational season!

Well it has ended. As fernando alonso crossed the chequered flag to hand the constructors to his team, the 2005 season came to a screeching halt. Whew! What a season. Of course, ferrari fans would have been waiting in a constipated frustration for the season to end. But it was the best season f1 could have got and at the right time. One more season of scarlet victories and i would have stopped watching f1!. The renault, underdogs before the season were flawless throughout the season especially the fernando combination worked like magic. After the surprise at australia, the renault proved that it was no freak victory by consistently reaching the podium. Fisichella missed out on the pie partly due to poor strategy, misfortune and what he called "car being tuned for fernando's style". If i have to pick the best races of the season i would choose imola, suzuka and monte carlo. Imola was a screamer in the last few laps. Schumi was at his best there. It was a nail biting race. In terms of incident filled and exciting race monte carlo was awesome with a number of over taking maneouvers. For that matter monte carlo always is exciting although a slow race. Suzuka coming at the fag end of the season threw a great race. Kimi was simply spectacular charging up the field. His final lap overtaking of fisi was awesome! Apart from this the season had some interesting races and some drab ones. Add to that a wierd indianapolis farce, we have a complete season. Michelin screwed up big time in indiana and with talks of one tyre supplier their future is under threat. But it must be said that michelin cars performed better in most of the tracks and we could see on more than one occasion, bridgestone tyres letting their teams down. Ferrari were on the receiving end on more than one occasion.

Ferrari's rude shock this season will have them pouring money, brains and effort into capturing their leadership the next season. Mclaren wont be behind. For a change, they might want to make their cars run the distance. Its high time kimi started winning championships or he will be another case of extremely talented sportman under unfortunate circumstances. it will be interesting to see renault's response next season. They have been excellent this season with the last race showing how much they could have pushed had they wanted to. It had been a really synchronised and strategic effort from them. But can they repeat it. Mclaren and ferrari are giants and they will be wounded giants.

There is a lot of shuffling in the driver line ups but not as exciting as the previous years shuffle that had people moving everywhere. Barri is moving. At last! He is going over to honda. Rifts were very evident when barri complained in the middle of the season that he was being asked to play second fiddle. Massa will have the oppurtunity of driving for the ferrari in a real race the next season. This will be an acid test for him although he has been with them before. No longer can he say that he didnt have the firepower at his disposal. Schumi will play his last season and will want to give it a 110%. He would definitely not want to end his career in a season like the one finished. Man thats bad for any sportsman!


Teams that dissapointed were BMW williams , honda and even toyota to a certain extent. Toyota promised so much at the beginning of the season but were not able to match the improvements of the Mclarens and the renaults. Truilly fizzled out later in the season and ralph promptly crashed at turn 13 ;) Sato! The man was outrageous. His performance was pathetic and was also involved in a couple of very stupid accidents that made a fuming truilly remark that the "man was dangerous". He should be out! But money speaks in f1! Talking of money, no amount of sponsorship could probably give narain a drive the next season. I am not saying that he was bad but he is still not upto the level. He showed his class in tricky conditions and very sporadic driving but one must accept that at the end of the day monteiro was better.

Honda would be looking to improve the next season atleast for their much overrated jensy. Button is good driver, agreed but the way they are fighting over him makes you feel that he is a prodigal driver. I dont see him as such. Barri would be joining him and honda will need to pull their socks together.

BMW will have a drive after having bought sauber. Hopefully things would get more competitive. There is a possible 11th team entering the fray next year and things hopefully will heat up.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Renault are the constructors champions...


Finishing off in style
Fernando alonso stamped his authority on the chinese grand prix when he lead the race from start to finish to conclude a momentous season both for himself and renault. Right from the start he showed incredible race pace which the Mclarens themselves were not able to match. With his fellow team mate providing a second level of defense alonso sped away from the field putting nearly a second more per lap. It was not as though he was running very light as was suspected before the race. The renaults were really quick, the engineers deciding to throw in everything in a quest to clench the constructors. In fact, alonso pitted on lap 19 but that too i doubt due to the safety car coming out on to the track. The safety car in fact nullified the early advantage he had gained when he came out of the pits still leading the race. All the drivers at the back had pitted and caught up with him. Alonso again pulled away from the field when they started racing again.

A drab and wierd race
The race was wierd. Safety cars spent a huge amount of time on track first due to a loose drainage cover and then due to narain's incredible crash - perhaps the largest crash of the season. Montoya was the unlucky man as his tyre took the drain covers and had to retire. Mclaren's hope of winning the constructors pretty much fizzled out with that what with alonso dominating and fisi in the second place. The second safety car procession was much longer and was the result of narain loosing control and dramatically crashing out of the race. His car was a total wreck. Luckily he climbed out uninjured. A bad end to his average season. I doubt he will be getting a race seat the next time around. The lad has a lot to learn. This second safety car incident also happened to produce a wierd incident. All the cars were proceeding in a slow procession when schumi lost control and spun away from the track. It was the end of the race for him. Everyone pitted again and when they came out kimi was in 2 while fisi was in 3. It was an ideal arrangement. When the race started again, alonso pulled away again from the field. The rest of the race was pretty much status quo though there were a few interesting battles like the one between weber and barrichello. Barrichello was struggling with his car probably due to the completely worn out tyres. Fisi once again threw away a great chance when he was handed a drive through penalty by the race stewards for blocking the other cars while entering the pit lane. This gifted his podium to a gleeful ralf who was right behind him.

Alonso crossed the chequered flag in style reflecting the seson pretty much as it had been. The renault are the constructors and this should mean a lot to them not to say how much it means to alonso. As for kimi it was again a case of so near yet so far.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Possible lighter Renaults capture 1-2 at china......

Running light?
The two reanults surprisingly filled up the first and second slots in the qualifying. I suspect they ran light. But what will be interesting is what kind of strategy Renault have for the race tommorow. With a renault 1-2 it could be a mix of defense and offense and a lot would depend on the men sitting before the terminals. It is an undisputed fact so far that the mclaren are much faster. However a consequetively paired seating on the grid is always a bonus for the strategists and lets see how the renaults go about it.

The battle at the top
The mclaren's looked slightly unwieldly in the qualifying and i am sure their mechanics will b tweaking the machines tonight. They will come out strongly using a mix of strategy and brute force to lead the procession. The fight heats up right at the start. Kimi behind the two renaults. Fisi will once again be immediately in the hot seat and he would also have the last race embarrasment in his mind. Moving slightly down the field there is more action. Forget jensi, he is again up there in the top in qualifying possibly due to low fuel. Honda is still not good enough. But just behind sits a really hot pair of schumi and montoya. Well i can already see things happening. Well, it gonna be one hell of a start at least. jensi will definitely get pushed down with a couple of hundred meters. It however remains to be seen whether montoya or schumi take the lead. Further up it remains to be seen if the renaults can pull away comfortable initially because of the light fuel or will kimi pull another one of his magics right at the start.

Again, my usual few words on the king ;)
And finally, Fernando alonso keeps it coming. Light fuel or not the man is great behind the wheel and he makes it look so easy. No pomp, no fanfare sensible and quick driving. He is gonna go places in f1.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Sensational kimi scorches to victory at suzuka!

Every now and then kimi conjures up that iceman magic that must be proof enough for his supporters to claim he is the best in the business. Kimi showed what racing was when he overtook a clueless fisi to clinch the victory at japan. Kimi at his best! From 17th to 1st! Thats the magic combination of Mclaren and kimi at work. An instance where ron didnt need to stand red faced as the machine failed its driver. Kimi blizted his way past the procession with a combination of strategy and overtaking and struck the hapless fisi who was leading the race in the last lap. Surely its time he had a grip on a championship. Maybe next year. Meanwhile montoya threw away a great chance to put a lead in the constructors by getting himself involved in a little incident, although it wasnt exactly his fault.

Alonso must be dissapointed with his third and would have atleast liked to come second overtaking his team mate. However it was good day for the renaults as both their drivers finished in the podium and took the team into a slender two point lead. Both Mclaren and Renault are deserving of the constructors this year and it would be the ideal result if both end up with the same points.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The focus shifts towards the constructors


As we move to suzuka, the heat has now turned on the constructor's championship following the driver's championship getting sealed in the last race. And in this final burst to victory Mclaren may seem to have a clear advantage on paper. If only they could translate in to race completions. For if the McLaren complete the race they are bound to be in the top three if not in the top two. So it all boils down to how reliable the Mclaren are. Renault will be grappling with the exact opposite problem, that of performance. Clearly, Mclaren have been leagues ahead in terms of sheer speed and Renault would want to bridge that gap. They seem to have taken a step by introducing a revised engine for this race. So its Mclaren's speed against Renault's reliablity at the moment. Currently both the teams are nearly on par with Mclaren leading by just two points. I can't place a bet on either of the teams to run away with the title and i dont want to try.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Its now confirmed: Alonso Rulez!


Fernando alonso slid smoothly into the throne of a champion. There was no fuss , no sweat. The Mclaren were clearly leagues ahead and alonso did what best was left to do; made sure he reached the podium. F1 has a new champion. Let's just savour this moment. Lets not get into the ifs and buts but feel good about it. Fernando represents the future of F1, along with a band of eager young men who are beginning to set the circuits ablaze. Three cheers to Fernando!!!

Gajini!



If one went to gajini with memento etched in his mind, he will be dissapointed. One must understand the bottomline ; gajini is an indian movie. Although 'Gajini' has borrowed the core concept from memento , the story drawn around it is a typical tamil flick with action sequences and duets in beautiful locations. That was to be expected. Just a fool would mimic memento exactly with alternating 15 minute pieces and a story so dense that one would have to wrack his brain to understand what was happening. So i am not going to make any comparisons between the two movies. By itself, Gajini was a great movie.

The movie revolves around sanjay ramaswamy played by surya. Sanjay is a rich entreprenuer who after an 'incident' suffers from short term memory loss. He has only one goal : to avenge the death of his lover. The beauty is (the memento snip) sanjay cannot remember anything that happened more than 15 minutes ago. To counter this he uses all sorts of aids and means to keep track of what he was doing and what he should do. The movie jusxtaposes sanjay's past and present and showcases it so that the movie moves at a quick pace. Surya has delivered a great performance ,as expected. His mannerisms and moves are good to watch especially as a memory loss patient who tries to untangle the maze of riddles that surround him. Even as the gregarious business man he has performed neatly. Asin is a treat for the eye and livens up the screen with her presence. Nayan tara is the only aberration. I would have liked someone else in her place.

Harris jeyaraj to me is a dissapointment in this movie. Apart from two songs all others are average. Even the background score was sporadic and unpleasant. For a movie of this sort background score could have played a huge role reflecting the moods and thoughts of the protagonist. The fight sequences are good if one has made his peace with men flying about defying gravity. After countless tamil movies, i have come to accept it and no longer feel odd when i see a man flying around revolving in the air and hitting a lamp post. Camera work is good and the movie is visually captivating using colours and shades to convey the mood of the scene.

Overall gajini is a different movie by tamil standards and a must watch. The story line although diluted holds some of the anguish and tension of memento and is gripping.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Awaiting the brazilian carnage!

The brazilian grand prix has started off on a furtuitious note for Alonso. The pole is where he would have liked to start in his quest for his world championship title. The renaults were very competitive and a surprising error by kimi ensured that alonso got what he wanted. All he needs to do is to keep a level head for the rest of the race ; something that looks very much on the cards given the matured way alonso has been driving this season. It would all boil down to the first corner where a carnage could be expected. With juan having the whole crowd behind him, alonso needs to be wary of any corner mishaps. But he is relatively safe compared to the crowded segment behind him. With kimi , fisi , montoya and button crowding at the first corner, it is gonna be one hell of a start. Kimi would still possibly win this race but i believe that the renaults with new aero and changes are extremely competitive here; on par with the McLaren. It would only be a fitting way to win the chamionship if we some some fist fight between alonso and kimi on the track.

Hail Alonso!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

On the threshold of greatness.

Alonso will step into his car this saturday with a real chance of being crowned the world champion. All he needs is a podium finish to settle the issue. Going by the amazing consistency he and his car have been showing this season, the prospect looks very real. If it were to happen it will be a great moment for the young spaniard as well as for f1. Kimi , whose challenge must be rated as one of the most spirited ones given his constant flirt with bad luck, will be eyeing the next season. He has been the driver to watch for more than half of this season and is the driver to watch for the next season. Meanwhile Alonso, would like a shift to a team that would take him to greater heights the coming season. However it is still too early to be talking about things like that for the moment has come for alonso to finally seal it off. He is on the threshold of greatness - will he do it?

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Kimi's tryst with horrendous luck continues....

The championship race is finished for kimi. The mathematical chance that he might still make it is ridiculous. At the risk of shooting off my mouth let me hail the new king of F1 : Fernando Alonso. I cant hold back the desire to say 'i told you so'. Alonso every bit deserves this crown but let me reserve this when he actually wins the championship.

Now if ever there was a saga of persistent bad luck, it is kimi's tryst with faulty Mclaren. Every time he plays catch up , something gives. I am no longer sure if Mclaren is the one to blame. Interestingly , kimi's team mate Montoya doesnt seem to have so many problems but his car is also not as fast as kimi's. There could be several explanations. One is , in their urge to push kimi to the top Mclaren is tweaking the car for maximum performance thereby compromising on reliablity. The other is , kimi just doesnt know how to manage his car. He may cut corners at amazing speeds and push the limits but may not be looking after his machine. Whatever it is enough words have been wasted trying to understand this wierd kimi-Mclaren phenomenon that it is no longer worthwhile to pursue.




Sport is cruel. And Schumi is discovering it the hard way. A massive icon of f1 seems to be fading right before our eyes. A lot of schumi's die hard fans have stopped watching f1 but a lot more f1 fans are coming back. My friend has started watching it after a 2 year break now that the stalemate at the top has ended. But one can help but feel sorry for this man. He might be retiring on a low and no sports man would ever want that.

Monday, July 11, 2005

A vindication for Montoya ; Alonso stretches lead

Keep ur cool , Ice-man
Not that he needs to be said that!The Ice man - who stormed to a third place finish from the back of the grid - must be one very frustrated and let down soul. Who wouldn't be? McLaren are essentially nullyfying the fruits of a spectacular car that they posess by consistently throwing up these 'problems'. Kimi deserves more. Kimi deserves to stay at the top of the grid and it is McLaren's prerogative to do that. But then , F1 is beautiful for these little ironies and unpredictablity. McLaren don't have the best car on the circuit. To rephrase , they have the fastest car but not the most reliable. It takes two to tango.

1 - 2
Now Montoya was able to exploit the sheer power at his disposal to take a deserving win. Alonso wasn't far behind , putting pressure and trying to take little opportunities that came. He would be happy with the result , of course. He would be happy as long as kimi stays behind him. Compared to last year , Alonso is a changed man. He seems more sensible , more tactical and strategic compared to the fiery hot head that he was last year. He seems to understand his limitations and strenghts better. Of course , when you have a good car everything seems rosy.


A Class apart
Silverstone threw up the picture of how F1 is this season. A McLaren - Renault top four just showed that they were a class apart as jenson put it at the end of the race. However the surprising factor was that the Renaults who were supposed to be subdued here , were nearly up there with the McLarens although kimi's last lap showed how fast the black beasts could actually go.

The man who faded away
Fisichella was either clumsy or unlucky. He had a potential podium finish until he stalled in one of the pit stops letting kimi go ahead. Thats the second time in two weekends. Amidst kimi's blitzkreig his sublime drive got overshadowed. Starting sixth he did a good job. In fact he set the third fastest time during the race faster than his team mate.

And Jenson. Must be a dissapointment but it was the best he could do. Hope he keeps doing this.

And the reds....Shumi aptly put it after the race "We are going backwards". Again Barry ; a botched up pit stop strategy put him behind schumi. Was that intentional or poor strategy? Poor Strategy? Ferrari?..Nah...Lets brew this controversy some time later. They already have enough problems to worry about.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Trust the reds not to fall in line

Cited

Agreed Michellin screwed up big time but come to moments before the race. We needed a race , for the sake of f1. We needed a chicane for the sake of safety.

Nine teams agree on a way forward and the one team that spoils it all is…yes, Ferrari. They’re not to blame for the debacle, but they are to blame for the compromise solution not going through. A chicane could spoil their victory? And as a result they come away from the race with 18 points. Jean Todt was grinning on the grid and you know why.

The team feel no shame at testing more than all the others so the other teams won't have been surprised.

It’s odd, too, that for the first time we get to hear Ferrari’s pit radio. Why don’t we hear it in the other races – the Championship leaders, Renault, made theirs available in Canada, a really crucial race for them.

Finally, even when there are just two cars at the front, they won’t let their cars race to the line. Rubens and Michael could have had a humdinger over the last 15 laps but it was 2002 all over again. Fall in line

So how come Michael Schumacher was allowed to challenge Rubens on the last.lap of the Monaco Grand Prix?

Hidden Agendas and double standards!

Cited

Race Director Charlie Whiting, Ross Brawn’s drinking buddy released a letter that he got from Michelin with some smart answers as to why they couldn’t use different tyres on Sunday.

But he’s changed the rules for Bridgestone prior to a race so we’ve been here before. It's surprising nobody’s questioned why Whiting changed the tyre rules at the beginning of the 2003 Brazilian GP.

Back in 2003 you were only allowed to take one wet tyre to races, so you had to make your mind up before the event. Bridgestone arrived at Interlagos with their legendary intermediate tyre that was quite good in wet and mixed conditions. Michelin had a full wet that could run in more rain.

When the heavens opened before the race, Whiting delayed the start because the Bridgestone runners wouldn’t have been able to make it round safely. It was clearly Bridgestone’s fault for not bringing a full wet tyre, but as the argument has gone this weekend – they knew the situation…

After delaying the start the field was then sent round Interlagos behind the Safety Car until enough water was taken off the circuit. Had they released the field when it was suitable for the Michelins on full wets, then Fisichella would never have won the race in his Jordan and Kimi Raikkonen may well have got the win.

Nobody complained because it was a safety issue. Fast forward two years and Whiting is not prepared to compromise in another safety situation. This interpretation of the rules when it suits them makes F1 fans deeply suspicius - it's like there was an agenda here from the FIA.

Corner 13 - Ralph crashes and so did Formula 1

The chaos , discontent and the rot that lies at the core of f1 was displayed for public view at Indianapolis as schocked fans watched a 6 car farce take place. For a sport that prides itself in its milli second accuracy and efficiency , it was a black day. Michelin were responsible for the fiasco that was dutifully propogated by everyone else. The worry frowns began as early as in friday when Ralph crashed at corner 13 - where else - prompting questions about tyre wear. When Zonta spun later , the question of safety arose. Unfortunately for Michellin , they could'nt find the reason for tyre wear - a suspicious claim.

Prompted by fears of driver safety , Michellin made unreasonable demands like putting a chicane at corner 13 or letting them use the barca spec tyres against the rules. When FIA refused , as expected , Michellin asked the teams not to race. The teams agreed. As coulthard pointed out it is a shame that the beareaucrats and the directors couldnt sit together and come to a consensus. It reveals the discontent that has been brewing for quite some time in F1 and has taken the world a step closer to the rival championship series that major teams are threatening to run.

Whatever the reasons , the truth was that irate fans had to watch a 6 car non-race that proceeded to the only climax possible , a ferrari 1-2. Amid boos and water bottle missiles Michael schumacher claimed his first victory of the season, however farcical it may be.The 2005 championship has been thrown wide open now with Alonso under more and more threat. All said and done , the fact the nine teams out of ten with the only exception of ferrari agreed for the chicane highlights the proxy war thats been going on for sometime ; the ferrari against the others. There are no losers in this except the sport itself.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Error : Divide by zero!


Humans have a intrinsic tendency to take very basic values and core fundamentals for granted. Among this huge list which includes some elite names like unidirectional nature of time and gravity comes a very abstract and forgotten concept of finiteness. It is amusing to note that people are more curious about the concept of infinity than its anti-matter. This is because infinity however carefully one dissects it , is too vague , too meaningless concept for the human mind to grasp. Understanding the unknown - the basis of infinity - is every bit an anomaly as it sounds. Still , we provide special status to this concept ; a vague rubbish. There is a reason. Human mind has always had an indulgence towards topics that are dangerous or those that make their existance less secure. One may wonder how an inconspicous entity like infinity be dangerous. Think about it. Human perceptions , beleifs and laws have been shaped and built ever since we evolved around the concept of finiteness. Infinity has been relegated to an aberration or special state where no questions are asked and no further attempt is made to understand it. space is infinite : end of statement. No more questions to ask. How long? , how far? , how big? how is it shaped?. They become meaningless. Infinity is a concept of escapism wherein the human mind cannot reach beyond a certain point. Infiniteness defines the boundary of the human mind , ironical in itself. Therefore we feel very insecure around the concept of infinity. All human goals, emotions , desires and beleifs come to a grinding halt with infinity. I'll become a scientist one day - imagine an infinite infancy. God ! i need a shower after this drive - imagine an infinite drive. Shit , next time i swear i'll get better marks - what if that moment becomes infinite. Even though we have a notion that time is infinite we bound it to within our limits. To begin with we think about time only till we die. What will happen next year? What will happen after ten years?. We don't give a damn about what will happen a million years from now. In a couple of hundred years we will run out of petrol - who gives a damn , we'll have been long dead by then. So we limit time to finite boundaries and think about it. We can't cope with infinite space too. I mean the space on earth. We need a house to limit our space , we need cubicles , we need restrooms. One may argue that our cultural developments have shaped these things but i have a strong suspicion that our fear of infinity was the driving factor. We just consider infinity to be beyond us. As humans , we consider very few things to be beyond us and these we hold in reverance and fear. And so , it is with this reverence and fear that we hold the infinity. Space is infinite - wow! - space is cool. The ocean seemed to stretch to infinity - we take in breath. But the binding force is finiteness. Finite space on earth , finite water , finite resources , finite patience , finite hatred , finite love , finite blog posts!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Monaco : Time for a change?

After five chaotic races the 2005 F1 season just seems to settling down. Drivers are coming to grips and teams are evenning out in terms of muscle and strategy. Although the scuderia are still in an etherial state of unrealistic chaos , all the others appear to have settled down. Now , i am not bringing BAR into the picture here. They are having a cursed year so far. But all others. The Renaults , the williams , the toyotas and the Mclarens - more than anyone else are all coming to grips. The renault is losing its intial muscle advantage and they must cook up something nasty pretty quickly. Alonso is sitting pretty at the top but not safe. If the last race is any indication then Kimi is on a supersonic drive to the top. The Mclaren is clearly the new benchmark for speed. The toyota is gaining up too and truilly is having the season of his life so far. So in this context , i think Monaco will be that first checkpoint from where the season can well meander in any direction. The result here will provide a glimpse of what is to come. In this special circuit , where overtaking is an ordeal the race order is vital. And the best man i can tip for a win is Kimi. His 1 lap runs for qualifyings have been superb and Mclaren is setting very low times. So if he can just get his nose up there resting in P1 then it is more or less a clincher unless - there is always an unless , with the Mclaren - his machine stops midway. Now there is this another term that gets beaten and bruised getting rolled around by tongues ; traction control. Almost synonymously the renaults come into the picture. The fact that monaco demands good traction control is a side one , my interest is in those first few moments of the race. If the renault with its startup burst of burnt fuel can just nose ahead of kimi then they can try and keep him behind. Now , Michey will need to squeeze every bit of his champion status to bring a performance that would give him a podium. For one , ferrari have been bad at qualifying , for two , they have been average in races , for three , they are being unreliable and four , they start qualifying early. If a red scuderia can finish on the podium then it just reinforces what a champion team they are. But it is an uphill climb.

Dreadful Melancholy

Brightness slowly descends over the town. The town of chennai , driving away the night. Thousands of sleepy residents stir uncomfortably in their hot , sticky beds hoping to prolong this trace of coolness - almost an illusion - that persist in those wee couple of hours when the sun is still making preparations for a majestic entry and the stars still happily shine down this packed little town. A town brimming with people , a town choking in its own gases ,a town starched by dryness and rotting away slowly. An illusion it is , the coolness , for when the brightness descends , it is infact gloom for many if not all. An old wall clock ticks away merrily unaware of the prayers of millions of people wishing it to stop ; to freeze there when the sky is still dark and the moon is still the king. But the clock ticks on. The hours melt away and the brightness begins. A long day has begun. 7 AM - one begins to feel the taste of things to come. The fan that crazily spun throughout the night sending down air , hot though , suddenly becomes meaningless. It seems to lose its primary function of moving the air around. The town awaits in deathly stillness , the beginning of the nightmare. People scramble quickly from their beds when they begin to get drenched in their own sweet presipitation - sweat. It is 9 am and the blast of warmth envelopes the town like a suffocating nylon. Gasping and cursing people push through their daily jobs. Tickle , tickle , tickle and soon it is a river of sweat. Parched throats eagerly gulp down cold water. That simple liquid that is more precious that the costliest gems. People glisten with their patina of sweat , a permanent resident on the skins. At 11 am the oppresion moves to another level. Breathing gets heavier and a strange restlessness takes over - almost homicidal. Anger , frustration and irritation all fuse into a common helplessness. People find comfort in company. Sad faces peer at each other hoping for a solution even as the skin feels like it is on fire. It just could not get worse , or can it? By two PM we realise that it in fact can get worse. Perrhaps death or the instant of death when a person feels that moment , just a moment of intense fear and pain feels like this. The clock ticks away merrily. Windows get hastily shaded , blinds drawn , and darkness makes the war a little easier. This war against heat. The clock seems to be slowing down. Or is it another illusion ; heat taking its toll. People begin to dream of waterfalls, swimming pools , cool lakes and so many other bodies of heaven. A sharp twinge as a sweat bead pierces its way through the pore in the neck and runs down through the back coarsing a path of fire. Uneasiness and claustrophobia. Help. Souls give up and close the shutters of the mind by forcing an unwanted sleep hoping that when they wake up it is all a bad dream. but the nightmare is real. Tickle , tickle - the sweat.... Tick , tick - the clock ..... gasp , gasp - the breath.....these are the only sounds as the sun relents and speeds down to show its more benign grace on other parts of the world. The night has arrived. Hearts rejoice but there is that little fear in the deep recesses. That fear of the finiteness of the night. After 12 hours the nightmare will begin again. A cycle that never ends.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The 2005 drivers champion is...



It is too early in the game but i am going to take a huge chance by making my predictions for this year's drivers championship title. Had i wrote this before the last race , the one at catalunya , i would have pitched for Alonso headlong. The fact that one race has made me hesitant itself demostrates how fickle this sport is. And that means how wrong i could be even after a month of writing this. Maybe. But i take a risk for in risks lie glory of saying "i told you so".

Well , here is my take. I will let my subjective interests guide me when i say that Fernando Alonso will walk away with the title. I have got to accept that i say with trepedition and my fingers hesitate above the keys while typing this. The team that has dented my confidence on the spaniard are the Mclaren. The finn and his mean machine gave a staggering performance in the last race, if staggering is strong enough an adjective. There was a lot more that a few inches between the first and the second steps of the podium. If this was taking it easy - as kimi pointed in the post race conference - then god save the others. The way kimi flew away to victory was so surreal.

Now what does Fernando Alonso do to grab the trophy. Fortunately , his job has got simpler after his hattrick of victories and a couple of podium finishes. Try to go for the podiums. If he can finish most of the remaining races and that too in the podium then i guess the championship is his'. But thats not as easy as it sounds. Mclaren demostrated the gap they have created in the last race to the point of being unreachable. Currently Renault look to be the best of the rest. However the others are catching up quick and not the least being the ferrari. Although I am sick of predicting their revival ,they will come back strongly. However it would be a herculian task for schumi to go for the championship title , even by his standards. If he gets into the grove he can start making life very uncomfortable for the likes of Kimi and Alonso.

All said and done the the question is who is going to be the 2005 champion. My heart says Alonso , my mind is ..well , not very sure. This brings us to an interesting observation. If in fact , hypothetically speaking , say Alonso becomes the champion , then who would come second. Now kimi seems the obvious choice at the moment but you never know. The toyota have been performing well and even the williams look - well , ok. But somehow i think it will be kimi. Now , we were talking of a resurgence from schumi ; and for him second place is a very gettable target right now. So the slot 's open for him too. I would say the four potential contenders for the second spot are , kimi , trully , schumi and button (yes! him too). Well its worthless to go into spots below that. because its too early for that.

Nightmare scenarios.

Here are some things that could happen and i have a feeling that they will and make me look like a complete arse.

1. Alonso's renault not able to match the incresing speed of the other teams and he goes back to his crashing , DNF best.

2. Kimi's Mclaren begins to relive its old story of some failure or the other frustrating the balls out of the viewers and kimi.

3. Schumi wins all the remaining races of the season.

4. 1 , 2 and 3 combined. - Holy f***ing shit!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Barca is a no contest ; Kimi has it easy ; Alonso and truilly end up again in the podium

The flying finn flew trotted to an easy victory with no qualms , no worries and no hitches. He has more coming if his black beauty holds up nice and firm.

Whew! Finally

Its about time too. Is that a big sigh of relief from kimi. You can't blame that guy. You just can't. Mclaren have stress tested him to his limits. Kimi takes his first win of the season. It might have been two if not for his 'predictable' car. As is evident from his own words , "It was never over until the chequered flag". Clearly kimi was competing with no one else but with his own car.

The big red letdown

The ferrari continue to dissapoint. I'm no longer sure what is happening. Everything is going wrong. The tires just dont last , the car is not quick and it is no longer reliable. Quite an unbeleivable turn of events. These guys test more than any one else , pour in so much cash that i dont know how all these things are happen.I dont feel sorry for them at all.

Not exactly a spanish crowning for Alonso

Well , he cant be dissapointed. Kimi was literally flying in his car and Alonso never even came close to fighting. He must be happy to do five posiums in a row. That in itself is a great feat.

P.S This race was so boring that i cant even write it with fizz.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Barca Qualifying one " Quote " Unquote

From Formula1.com.....

Jarno Trulli, Toyota (1st, 1m 14.795s):

"I'm delighted to be on provisional pole, and especially so because this is the first time Panasonic Toyota Racing has managed the feat. My lap was nice and clear but I must say I'm surprised to have taken such a perfect result. I was struggling to find grip this morning, but in the end things went much better in qualifying. I have no doubt that the race will be hard tomorrow as the front of the grid is so tight, but we will do our very best to convert this result into pole position tomorrow morning. Then I will give everything I have in the race."


Fernando Alonso, Renault (2nd, +0.016s):

“It was a special qualifying session for me, to be competing in front of all the fans and see their support around the lap today. In the car, I made a couple of small mistakes on my timed lap, so I am pleased to be in the top three for tomorrow morning and, probably, the race. There was a little more grip out there than I had expected, so I am encouraged because the car has the potential to be faster. But it has felt good all weekend, and I think we are set up well for tomorrow in second qualifying and the race, when I will be able to attack even more.”

Kimi Raikkonen, McLaren (3rd, +0.024s):

"A pretty good result considering that we started quite early in the session. I'm upset as I made a mistake at Turn Two by going wide and I lost probably around half a second - without that we would have been quickest. However it's tomorrow where it really counts and I can't wait. The car has been working well and we have the pace so with a strong lap we should be in with a chance of a good starting position."

Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (7th, +0.603s):

“It was a reasonable performance in this qualifying session. I was looking strong in the first sector, but then lost about four tenths in the last two. If we look at my pace this morning, it is obvious we have made up some ground this afternoon, closing the gap to the others. Whatever happens in final qualifying, this is not the ideal position on the grid. So we will have to rely on our race performance. I am much happier with that and I think we are much more competitive in race trim. It is fair to say, we are still struggling with our single lap performance.”

Barca Qualifying one

Truilly douses the expectations

Jarno truilly put an incredible lap to put Fernando Alonso out of provisional pole position. But the spaniard and his legion still beleive that this sunday is his'.

Alonso has it steady

Amid a lot of screaming , honking and exceptional support Alonso put in a steady lap to come a respectable second split only by 0.016 of a second from the leader Truilly

The big red let down!


Need i say more. Barca is not a bull fight i predicted.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Barcelona may throw up a bull fight...

The tussle at the tip begins this weekend. Its like a movie climax. Alonso capturing the tip of the everest that has always been schumi's territory. Well not always , but for quite some time. Then schumi climbs back up resolutely. At Imola he scrambled to the tip and tried to push Alonso off. A visibly agitated Alonso heaved a sigh of relief on seeing the chequered flag. Well now it is at this juncture that the movie continues at Barcelona. In a land where passions run high sport always thrives and one man who would know it all is Fernando Alonso. As the schedule pits him into the heart of his homeland , he has to pass a litmus test. Well its one thing to beat Schumi to the top and another to stay there.

One can't help coming up with the analogy. Running the risk of being hackneyed , i compare Alonso to a metador trying to hold off a raging bull. You know who the bull is. The spanish crowd will root for the metador ; their metador - but the bull just doesnt care. It sees red , it is red.

There has been so much talk off track by Alonso stating that he is confident he can hold schumi back and that spain was his favourite track. One would think that he has gone a bit too far - too much of chattering - but its a direct result of the nervousness. Alonso is talking to himself when he addresses the press and says , "i can hold back schumi , anytime" . He is saying that to himself trying to drive away the inevitable jitters. Not that he can be blamed. After one saw Imola , anyone would get a jitter if he was in Schumi's path. And Alonso is in for a rough ride...Hope to tames the bull!
Buena suerte , Amigo!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The king is back!

The king is back. Just a day after the edge-of-the seat thriller at Imola, i happened to see another similar thriller. This time near my home in a huge cinema hall , packed to the brim , crowds screaming in wild ecstasy. I dont know what it was : my very low expectations or a really superb movie that made me feel that i had just seen one of the best tamil movies i have seen in recent times. I may be exaggerating here but thats how i feel.

To begin with 'Chandramukhi' is not another all-Rajini fare. Rajini plays a role just like any of the others in a really well spun suspense yarn that keeps you rivetted till the end. Apart from fight scenes that defy gravity and all Newtonian laws (i loved those too!), the rest of the movie has been neatly dissected logically. This is not a charade but a carefully thought out screen play.

To begin with the Rajini factor was subdued and beautifully used in the movie. He looks good and is back at his charming best. A day after the king of f1 made a bid to claim his rightful place, i saw the king of tamil cinema not just make a bid but claim his place as a charmer of the masses. There is never a dull moment when he is there. Such is the vibrancy of this man.

The movie begins with a usual dose of Rajini's bravado. It was disarming and enjoyable if you are not the type to cringe at the sight of super human heroics. Come on folks! We can make this happen only in movies so lets do it. I am not going into the story and the plot of the movie but another member of the cast who needs special mention is Jothika. She has done a great job especially in the second half. Watch it for yourself.

There are moments in the movie where you jump up and there are moments when you laugh heartily but overall the movie runs smoothly keeping you engrossed all the way. Dont miss this one folks! A must watch......

Monday, April 25, 2005

Imola conjures up a screamer ; Alonso holds his own against a blitzkreig


Red hot racing
Imola was about one man only. One of the greatest racers of all times , Michael Schumacher showed the world what he is made of in one of the most exiciting races of this season. Fans couldnt have asked for a more nail biting , nerve wracking finish to the race that welcomed the f1 bandwagon to Europe. As the race climaxed into the last fifteen laps the tension built up to the point of a huge explosion and was kept all the way through to the chequered flag. Schumacher , red-hot and charging hammering away at the back and a determined Alonso doggedly refusing to buckle under pressure kept a gap of just about two-thousanths of a second through the entire stretch of their dog fight.Alonso definitely is a man of steel and a man to watch out for.

The 'Tifosi' and the resurgence
The sea of red at Imola signified that Ferrari's resurgence was on the cards. Every lap of the red car was cheered. There was an early dissapointment when Schumi screwed up his second qualifying to end up in the fourteenth place. However it hardly seemed to matter. In what can only be described as a stroke of a genius the ferrari jumped a long way to land in the third place. Hats off to the masterful thinking of the team. Then on the race was on. The predator began to lurk. Button was clearly on the firing line. Schumi put on consecutive laps faster by two seconds to Button until he was right behind him. From then it was just waiting for the big man. All he needed was a little distraction in the form of williams and he swept past the clueless bar driver. Then the final encounter.

A great racer's tale of annoying equipment.
Kimi raikonnen might possibly have had his victory here had it not been for his car. Again , Mclaren failed him. He was very quick and i think as fast as Schumacher. Another dissapointment for the finn , who looked nothing short of spectacular during both the qualifying sessions and the race day. His team mate Alex Wurz , however must be mighty pleased to end up at number four. A great start for him.

A little worry package for Briatore?
Fisichella bungled up a great chance to finish at the top right from the first qualifying. His car supposedly had enhanced engines compared to Alonso who was driving on his bahrain engine but he looked insipid. He was slow in both the qualifyings and didnt complete the race. After the first race he has been going downhill , a little something to worry for the Renault.

Button is smilng again
Its happy to see the BARs back. They have a great team of drivers and having looked so promising last year just couldnt get their juices up this year.It looks like they are back.Button must be releived to be back on the podium much less finish the race. With BARs getting their act up the action is getting thicker this year with a crowd of contendors for the top honours.

Slam Bam Dunk. Not exactly a public transport
Williams just didnt have it to go for it. The car was bumpy and aerodynamically inefficient compared to the smooth flowing Ferrai ,Renaults and McLarens. Webber was dissapointing and Heildfield could have done better but then they must be having swollen necks having endured the bumpy ride in the hard carraige.

Marking his Territory
Fernando Alonso made a hat trick a feat made more dramatic by the way it was acheived. He had one of those great clashes you see once in a while in f1. Two drivers trying their best to get better of each other. Alonso had a point to prove and so did Schumacher. Alonso proved it and so did Schumacher. Both were winners although Fernando can claim that he got the better of Schumi. Alonso is a great talent ; a potential champion. Schumi looks faster and it is quite possible that Alonso might not hold on to his step in the podium but he is a champion prospect.

One last word on Bonkers
Oh and I nearly forgot : Captain Bonkers ; Villeneuve may have just managed to convince his bosses to retain him for the next race. He drove with purpose and grit. Massa must be annoyed but Villeneuve was flying. His sixth was commedable - crap!it deserves an applause. Well done bonk, you've still got it. Perhaps.

So Schumi is back. The BARs are back. Alonso is still up there. and the McLarens are flying. As we move on to Barcelona ; Alonso's home ground the action is reaching a cresendo.