India and the Formula one:
India has long been on the Formula one’s radar, with Hyderabad considered as a potential race venue but as the Chandrababu Naidu chief backer of the project was voted out in the Andhra Pradesh assembly elections India’s Formula one dream remains the dream till 2007.
India’s history with formula one has been great, India’s first Formula One driver Narain Karthikeyan made his debut in 2005 with Jordan (now midland), he is now the test driver for william. In 2004, TCS provide IT and engineering services for the development of the Ferrari‘s Formula 1 racing car. But as India clocks more than 9% GDP I believe things will change in future. India could host a grand prix in Delhi as early as 2009, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on January this year. India’s Kingfisher Airlines owned by Vijay Mallya, inked a multi-year partnership deal with Toyota Motorsport to be an official partner of the Toyota F1 Racing team in January 2007 “The government of Delhi I think really wants Formula One in India and I am optimistic that maybe we will be able to host our first race in 2009” Mallya said.
Formula One, abbreviated to F1, and also known as Grand Prix racing, is the first class of auto racing. The F1 world championship season consists of a series of races, known as Grand Prix. A Formula One race takes place over an entire weekend, with two free practice sessions on friday, a practice session and a qualifying session on Saturday, and the race on Sunday. The qualifying session takes place to determine the running order at the beginning of the race. A driver or car that sets the fastest time qualifies at the front of the grid and is said to be on pole position. For the year 2007 only 11 teams have entered for the formula One world championship, each entering two cars for a total of 22 cars, while the regulations place a minimum limit of 20 cars and maximum limit of 24 entries for the championship. Unlike the motoGP, F1 gives room for strategy throughout the race, drivers will make one or more pit stops in order to refuel and change tyres and driver’s one false decision may cost him the race.
Circuit and Scoring:
The circuit parameters are the pole position, length, longest straight, left turns, right turns and its width. Races are usually 305 kilometres long (apart from the Monaco Grand Prix, which is 78 laps / 260.5 km), though occasionally some races are truncated due to special circumstances. The top eight drivers and their respective teams of a grand prix get points in this pattern 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis (the race winner receives ten points, the first runner-up eight, and so on) The results of each race are combined to determine two annual World Championships, one for drivers and one for constructors.
FIA is the governing body which regulates the formula one race. Though manufacturers can make cars of any power FIA emphasizes the safety and has made many precautions to avert accident for these high speed cars. A wide variety of technologies – including active suspension, ground effect aerodynamics and turbochargers – are banned under the current regulations. F1 cars are said to be the most technically advanced one prevailing in the world. Manufacturers have been pumping millions of dollars for this race. Although teams rarely disclose information about their budgets, it is estimated that they range from US$66 million to US$400 million each.
Prominent Drivers and their Cars:
Michael Schumacher – Ferrari: Popularly known as ‘Schumi’ is the all time favourite of F1 race. He is the most successful ever in history of formula one. Michael Schumacher and Ferrari have won five consecutive drivers championships and six consecutive constructors’ championships between 1999 and 2004. Schumacher set many new records, including those for Grand Prix wins (91), wins in a season (13 of 18), and most drivers’ championships (7). Once it was happened due to the dominanceof Michael Schumacher and Ferrari, Formula One Viewing figures dropped creating an embarrassment for the sport; such was the dominance of the schumi.
Feranando Alonso – Mclaren Mercedes: The one who gave tough fight to the king of F1 – schumi. 2005 and 2006 world champion Alonso moved from Renault to Mclaren for the 2007 season. Mclaren unveiled its new car MP4-22 on January 15. Alonso said that the MP4-22 is the nicest car he has ever had. Alonso will defend the title with this new car and he partners a newbie Lewis Hamilton.
Massa – Raikkonen – Ferrari: Massa joined Ferrari last year and partnered schumi. With three pole positions and two race wins in first year and finishing third in overall drivers’ championship Massa has become the nominee for the 2007 championship. Massa’s new partner Kimi Raikkonen moved to Ferrari from Mclaren. But unlike Massa last season was not good for Kimi, he finished fifth and failed to secure a single win in the season. But with the new Ferrari he might bounce back in2007.
Toyota’s Ralf Schumacher, Renault’s Fisichella, Red Bull’s Mark webber, Honda’s Jenson Button and Barrichello might look for championship in the post Schumacher era.
Alonso’s partner Lewis Hamilton, Fisichella’s partner Kovalainen,William’s Nico Rosberg and BMW’s Robert Kubica are the four newcomers who have the potential to become superstars.
Formula one’s Indian Driver!
Narain Karthikeyan is the India’s first Formula One driver. He made his debut in 2005 with the Jordan team. He is currently a WilliamsF1 test driver. He achieved his first points in the 2005 United States Grand Prix under uncertain circumstances as all but three teams pulled out due to an argument over tyre safety. Karthikeyan finished 4th besides the controversial USGP, Karthikeyan’s highest finish was 11th place. In an unlucky end to his 2005 season, Karthikeyan crashed his Jordan into a wall at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. Because the Jordan team was taken over and renamed Midland for the 2006 season, the management change prompted some doubt over Karthikeyan’s future at the team. Near the end of 2005, Karthikeyan announced he would not be driving for Midland the following year due to their demand of USD11.7 million to secure his seat on the team. For the 2005 season he secured 5points lagging behind his 2005 team partner by 2 points. He was ranked 18th for the overall 2005 season out of 24 drivers. Williams confirmed Narain as their fourth driver in 2006. He has been retained as a test driver for Williams in 2007 also. Karthikeyan’s main sponsors are the Tata Group, India’s second largest business conglomerate, and state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp.
At Indianapolis US grand Prix only three out of ten teams raced when their Michelin tyres were deemed unsafe for use and the sport created controversy throughout the year. 2006 season was highlighted by the rivalry between Alonso and Schumacher, who each won seven races. The championship was decided in the last race. At last Alonso won title again edging out schumi by 13 points. Alonso and Renault retained the title. Seven times World Champion Schumacher retired at the end of 2006, after 16 years in Formula One. Alonso’s honeymoon with Renault ended in 2006 as he moved to Mclaren – Mercedes for the 2007 season.
2007 F1 race calendar
DATE GRAND PRIX
17-Jun UNITED STATES
8-Jul GREAT BRITAIN