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!!!


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.