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


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!