A dramatic see-saw of a race at the Japanese Grand Prix saw Lewis Hamilton take victory as nearest championship rival and teammate Fernando Alonso crashed out in treacherous conditions. The race started off in torrential rain and mist as the conditions turned out to worse than they were on Saturday. Second place went to a belligerent Heikki Kovalainen as he managed to hold-off a charging Kimi Raikkonen in the last few laps of the race. David Coulthard finished 4th with Giancarlo Fisichella 5th and Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica and Vitantonio Liuzzi taking the 6th, 7th and 8th positions.
The race presented a stark contrast at the opening and closing stages which made it boring -at-first but damn-interesting-at-the-end! The first nineteen laps were yawn-inducing as the entire field went round behind the safety car as the conditions were still not race-friendly. And as if qualifying behind the two McLarens was not enough, Ferrari were dealt a further blow as they had to pit for extreme wet tyres as was stipulated before the start of the race (an announcement, which Ferrari claimed never came around to their ears!) Thus it happened that whilst Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were running 1st and 2nd, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were 20th and 21st!!! The ring-a-ring-a-roses continued till the 19th lap and when proper racing resumed then, Hamilton had managed to pull ahead of Alonso by more than two seconds. By this time most teams had decided in favor of a one-stop pit strategy and it was Alonso who pitted first and then Hamilton did so in the next lap and came out with his lead intact. Alonso however was caught in traffic and also had few off-track moments – during which Kimi Raikkonen managed to pass him. The order in the mid-section of the race was pretty much of a mish-mash as the race lead saw change hands no fewer than 7 times!!! Apart from Hamilton; Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Heikki Kovalainen & Giancarlo Fisichella all held the race lead but all of that shook down after the pitstops and it then emerged that Hamilton was leading with (surprise surprise!) Mark Webber & Sebastian Vettel in 2nd and 3rd places with title contenders Alonso & Raikkonen wayy back in 8th and 11th positions. It was then that Alonso’s race went from bad to worse as he crashed heavily at turn six and forcing the deployment of the safety car yet again.
The second period behind the safety car happened to be the death-knell for podium contenders Webber and Vettel as the latter rammed into the former’s rear end thus taking both of them out! The safety car was called in at lap 47 and the reamining 20 laps were in stark contrast to the starting 20 laps! A frenzied race in wet and treacherous conditions saw many a brilliant moves – including Kimi Raikkonen’s overtaking maneouvre over David Coulthard into 4th position and after Massa (who was in 3rd then) pitted for the final time, Kimi continued to hound Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen for 2nd position. They two continued their tussle till right at the end but Kovalainen managed to hold on. Further down the track there was even more spectacular racing as Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica were at-it…passing and re-passing each other up until the finish-line! Massa managing to hold onto 6th position and Kubica had to be content with 7th. Vitantonio Liuzzi took the final point in 8th position.
The results mean that the drivers’ championship now sees Hamilton lead by a clear margin of 12 points – Hamilton on 107 and Alonso on 95 with Raikkonen on 90. Felipe Massa is out of it though. The next race is in Shanghai in a week’s time and if Hamilton manages to win that, he’s gonna be the champion! Kimi Raikkonen is not out of it altogether even though the gap is a hefty 17 points. A double-DNF for McLaren and a win for Raikkonen would surely turn the tables – totally!!!
Race Reports: Formula1.com | BBC Sport | Grandprix.com
It was like snatching away candy from a child as McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton wrenched off the pole position for Sunday’s Japanese Grand Prix from teammate Fernando Alonso…right at the end of the qualifying session! For almost 44 minutes and 50 seconds of the alloted 45 minutes of Qualifying session (across three quarters) it was Alonso who had the fastest time and the pole position but right at the end, in fact after the chequered flag was waved, Hamilton banged in a quicker lap to take the pole away from the spaniard. Alonso’s time had looked vulnerable even before Hamilton had started his final run as Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen drove an impeccable last-gasp flying lap and was quicker than Alonso in the first two sectors but lost time in the final sector and had to be content with P2 – which became P3 after Lewis’ own last-gasp efforts. The entire qualifying session was completed under steady rain and that effectively put paid to the hopes that Ferrari would emerge tops coz the McLarens were oh-so-good in wet weather trim. Rains are also forecast for tomorrow’s race and given Alonso and Kimi’s experience in such conditions, it remains to be seen whether Hamilton can cling onto the lead. I expect a keen tussle going into the first corner and won’t be surprised if in the melee between Hamilton and Alonso, Kimi steals a march over them
It was yet again the BMWs which were best-of-the-rest with Nick Heidfeld taking 5th spot behind Felipe Massa. Williams’ Nico Rosberg qualified 6th but will drop to 16th as a result of an engine change. This elevates Jenson Button – in Honda’s best qualifying result this year – to 6th position with Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel (Surprise!), Robert Kubica and Giancarlo Fisichella completing the top ten. Toyota had an abysmal qualifying session on their home track with Jarno Trulli only managing 13th and Ralf Schumacher in 15th after a crash with Sakon Yamamoto in Q2. Most teams were caught out by the rain and it would be intriguing to see what set-up they will use for tomorrow’s race. In any case, the four-way-lead-battle will be the centre of attraction for everyone for the outcome of this race would eventually decide who emerges with a clearcut advantage to win the drivers’ title. Make-or-break for Lewis, Alonso and Kimi!!! Expect a cracker of a race…
Qualifying Reports: Formula1.com | Grandprix.com | BBC Sport
Some email forwards never cease to irritate and amuse me at the same time. ‘Amuse’ may be said to be ‘make me curious’ and what follows invariably is that I allow myself a li’l smile after seeing them. Today’s forward – from Mr. A.P – was a newer one in the sense that I hadn’t seen/heard of it before. So it deserved some undivided attention. I received a collection of around a dozen photos of what seemed to be a huge ship! A close look and my usual investigation revealed that it was the longest container ship in the world! Nice find, I must say! I had to pen this down for posterity! This one would come under the category of Biggest/Largest! Quite a while ago, I had written about a Biggest Photo and a Huge Mine…this time around, it is the Largest Container Ship!!! The vessel in question is the Emma Maersk.
The Emma Maersk is a container vessel that belongs to the Maersk group (I’m sure most of us would have seen humongous containers named Maersk Sealand either on a goods train or on a 16-wheeled truck). It was 2nd in the biggest-ships stakes until the leader – the Knock Nevis – was err…umm…retired from active duty. It stretches out to a gigantic length of 397 metres and moves at a speed of 26 Knots and what must be its most bizarre fact is that it has a crew of only 13 people!!! Must be supermen Its stats sound just plain numbers to laymen like u and me but I’m sure they’re no mean numbers in the transportation world. Imagine such jumbos sailing around in the oceans…transporting cargoes from one port to another…and who knows, something we buy/see/use might have been brought ashore from a foreign country by this very behemoth
I got this in an Email today and thought I’d share it here…
Mis Bah Five Runs
I was listening to some routine telugu songs on the jukebox today and wasn’t paying much attention to them initially. But as the playlist repeated some 3-4 times, I couldn’t help noticing that there were a few songs that had more than a fair sprinkling of Hindi lyrics in their midst! Now it is a known fact that of late many telugu songs have been incorporating hindi lines in their lyrics but this time the trend was much more predominant. Felt like I was listening to hindi songs with telugu lines in-between!
Investigation revealed that all of these songs were from the yet-to-be-released movie titled Chirutha (meaning Leopard??) starring Megastar Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan Tej. The music was by renowned music director Manisarma. Though the songs by themselves were of the foot-tapping and groovy type (not blockbusters, I must say!) the needless sprinkling of hindi all over the songs made them stand out that li’l bit. Sample this: “Twinkle twinkle little star aao aao mera pyaar…mere bahon me aa jaane jaana mujhe ishq me kar deewana ne nee to kalisi raana” or “ek bar ek bar dil ke paas aaja baar baar baar baar karle mazaa…ek baar ek baar pogariste pokiri….baar baar baar baar love kirkiri” !!!
To be fair to the lyricist/music dir, only three (or four?) songs have this seemingly excessive sprinkling of hindi therein. The rest of the songs are cool and are perfect examples of mass-y songs. This one will score big on the music front I think.
[Edit] I’ve found a PDF of the Lyrics here. Read for urself
Its all round…the fact that India are now the World Twenty20 Champions. As soon as Sreesanth caught the final catch of the tournament to dismiss Pakistan’s Misbah-Ul-Haq and notch up India’s first major tournament victory in some years, the celebrations had started all over and even after more than half-a-day has elapsed since then, the discussions show no signs of stopping.
India beat Pakistan in the World Twenty20 final by five runs to clinch their first major trophy since 1983. Batting first, India made a respectable 157/5 before bowling out Pakistan for 152 in 19.3 overs.
Cricinfo | BBC Sport | Lazybug Doffs his Hat
The news channels are all agog with the news and they’ve been telecasting the same clippings since yesterday night; each and everyone of the players’ relatives are being interviewed and their opinion asked for! And people seem to be not getting enough of it… the same thing was being talked about in the barber shop, at the pan dabba, at the tiffin center, in the parcel counter and even in the men’s room at Hyderabad Central!!! Anyways, good showing by the team and they have managed to overturn yet another of my predictions. I won’t at all mind losing this round of predictions!
I was wondering about the actual trophy that was presented to the Indian Team and a li’l bit of digging led me to this very interesting info – The trophy, which will be competed for by the 10 ICC Full Members plus leading Associate sides Kenya and Scotland, has the following details:
Designed by Minale Bryce Design Strategy of Queensland, Australia.
Manufactured by Amit Pabuwal in India.
Materials used: silver and rhodium.
Weight: Approximately 12kg.
Width (at top): 16.5cm.
Width (at base): 13.97cm
It has gripped the whole nation (atleast, the bulk of it!). All around me I see debates, allegations, counter-allegations, predictions, score tallying, stat-throwing, bets, challenges and all the humdrum that can be (and is) associated with Cricket. Normally I am averse to talking/writing about cricket coz I see it in a much minusculer level than others do. And I am also not averse to supporting the opposing team whenever India takes the field. In fact I am known for this strong anti-patriotic trait whenever there are Cricket matches involving India being played (unless the opposition happens to be Kenya/Bangladesh/Zimbabwe). I have clarified then and I shall do so even now! The Indian within me wants the team to win, no doubt; but the inherent cricket lover can’t help but say that the opposition team – which play better cricket – will win. Say 7 times out of 10. And I have been proved correct at times whilst have been horribly proven wrong. This time around, the Indian team has dented all three of my predictions – that of them losing, first to England, then to South Africa and two days ago – to Australia. They have won on all three occasions and whilst the England win might have been called lucky (who slams six sixes in an over? And forget not that England racked up 200!); and the South African debacle was more of a self-immolation by the home team rather than a conquering by the Indians; the match against Australia was the only deserving one…of course IMHO
As the curtain falls on the first-ever Twenty-Twenty World Cup, one hopes that India racks up a win and lay its hands on the coveted World Cup. But their opponents are not going to give up that easily…for they are Pakistan and this one’s the first-ever India – Pakistan match in a Tournament Final. So there’s huge emotion and pressure for both the teams; and the one that copes up better, will win on this day. May the best team win!!!
P.S: I’d predicted a narrow-margin win for Pakistan!
The ‘Object of Desire’ has been delivered safely and it now awaits the moment of its destiny. The day is not far when the beauty does makes its way into my possession. Just a fortnight more and it will meet its master…never to be separated again! To keep me au courant of the beauty until the time that it arrives, my friend Mr.B has thoughtfully sent along some pix…of even the unveiling of the piece See n’ njoy!!!