Lewis Hamilton took victory for McLaren at the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps in what turned out to be a real topsy-turvy and incident-filled race, where the changeable conditions came into play but not enough to dictate the race outcome. Mark Webber was on pole position in his Red Bull but he finished a fortuitous 2nd, ahead of the much improved Renault of Robert Kubica.
Ferrari salvaged a 4th place finish for Felipe Massa, who incidentally was on the dry-weather setup compared to Alonso’s wet-weather setup. Adrian Sutil finished 5th for Force India ahead of Nico Rosberg in 6th and Michael Schumacher in 7th. Kamui Kobayashi took the 8h place for BMW Sauber, with Vitaly Petrov and Jaime Algersuari rounding off the top ten.
Red Bull’s failure to convert pole positions into race wins continued here as pole-sitter Mark Webber had a dreadful start and dropped down to sixth by the end of the first lap. Lewis Hamilton took full advantage and sped into the lead, with teammate Jenson Button slotting into second place, after passing the fast-starting Renault of Robert Kubica. As a few spots of rain began to fall, almost all of the lead drivers slid wide at the bus stop chicane and Rubens Barrichello got his braking wrong and ploughed into the back of Fernando Alonso, bringing to an end his 300th Grand Prix. Ferrari took a huge gamble by putting out Alonso on the intermediate tires but it didn’t pay off as the rain eased off and he had to make another stop to get back onto the slicks, effectively ruining his afternoon.
Mark Webber and Red Bull took pole position for the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix in a Qualifying session played out in changing weather conditions as his fastest lap with around five minutes to go in the 3rd qualifying session held good as a bit of rain returned to prevent the others from upping it. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will start on P2 with Renault’s Robert Kubica in P3.
Sebastian Vettel starts from P4 with Jenson Button on P5 and Felipe Massa P6, ahead of Rubens Barrichello P7, Adrian Sutil P8, Nico Hulkenberg P9 and Fernando Alonso rounding off the top ten. It was cruel on Ferrari as they got their cars round on track in the second-half of Q3 just as the rain started falling, which put paid to their hopes of overtaking the McLarens and at least be close to the Red Bulls.
Mercedes GP had a session to forget with neither driver making it into Q3 and their misery is compounded as Michael Schumacher has to serve a 10-place drop as a result of his brash move on Rubens Barrichello in Hungary. Nico Rosberg has had a gearbox change and he cops a 5-place penalty on the grid.
The draw for the group stage of the 2010-2011 UEFA Champions League was held earlier today at Monaco and it threw up some really delicious ties for Europe’s top club prize. 32 clubs were split into eight groups of four teams, who’ll play each other home and away between September and December to decide which two teams from each group advance to the first knockout round.
Group A: Tottenham, Inter Milan, Werder Bremen, FC Twente
Group B: Benfica, Lyon, Schalke, Hapoel Tel-Aviv
Group C: Manchester United, Rangers, Valencia, Bursaspor
Group D: Barcelona, Rubin Kazan, FC Copenhagen, Panathinakos
Group E: Bayern Munich, AS Roma, Basel, CFR Cluj
Group F: Chelsea, Marseille, Spartak Moscow, Zilina
Group G: Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax, Auxerre
Group H: Arsenal, Shakhtar Donetsk, Partizan Belgrade, Braga
Champions Inter Milan have newcomers Tottenham, Dutch champions FC Twente and Germany’s Werder Bremen alongside them with last year’s runners up Bayern Munich in Group E alongside AS Roma, Basel & CFR Cluj.
Among the other English teams, Arsenal have potentially the easiest group as they’re bunched with Shakhtar Donetsk, Partizan Belgrade and Braga in group H. Premier League champs Chelsea were drawn alongside Marseille, Spartak Moscow and Zilina. Manchester United will face a tricky tie against SPL Champions Rangers with Valencia and Bursaspor the other teams in group C.
As is the case always, there’s the ubiquitous group of death and it is group G, with Real Madrid, Ajax, AC Milan and Auxerre grouped together innit!
The action kicks off on the 14th of September.
More: Replay of the draw | UEFA Report | BBC Sport Report
With a title like Lafangey Parindey one would expect the movie to be somewhat crass, riddled with street-gangs, brawls, bloody fights, bruises, cuss-words, the works. And maybe a love-story amidst all that disorder coz let’s face it – it’s a movie. And bang! the lead actors are Neil Nitin Mukesh and Deepika Padukone – two of the classier actors around. Totally out of place!
Lafangey Parindey is set in the Tilakwadi chawl in Mumbai, where Nandan Kamtekar (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is known by the name of one-shot-Nandu - a loafer by day and boxer by night, winning fights for the local goon, Usman bhai (Piyush Mishra). As with any tapori, his role-model is another bigger one – Anna (Kay Kay Menon) and in helping him out after a hit one rainy night, he causes an accident which changes everything. Anna dies but Nandu escapes further punishment after the case is suppressed.
Pinky Patkar (Deepika Padukone) is a free-spirited girl in the same chawl, who aspires to raise above the muck around her by skating/dancing her way into a reality show and win it. But as fate would have it, she’s blinded in an accident and her dreams lie shattered. But around comes Nandu and he trains her to “see” without sight and nurtures her ambitions to win the competition as her dancing partner. Before long, friendship blossoms into love but the past returns to haunt them and threatens to wreck their relationships and Pinky’s dreams. Or does it?
The day is finally upon us! The World Cup is behind us…and the club season is getting underway today, with the English Premier League kicking off later tonight. The 2010-11 season is predicted to be more competitive than ever before, what with Manchester United looking to wrest back the title they lost to Chelsea last year and Arsenal looking to shed off their underachievers tag whereas Liverpool are in the rebuilding phase after a dismal season culminating in the departure of Rafa Benitez and the appointment of Roy Hodgson.
The traditional Big Four applecart was upset last year with Tottenham nudging their way into the top four and big-spending Manchester City flexing their financial muscles in the transfer market, expect them to be challenging for top honours as well. And of course teams such as Everton & Aston Villa will want to have a say in the result.
While I would love to see Manchester United get back the Barclay’s Premier League trophy to Old Trafford, Chelsea under Carlo Ancelotti are looking every bit like Champions and they would want to defend their title. Depth-wise, Chelsea have a more matured squad while Man U have ageing stars like Van der Sar, Giggs & Scholes on one hand and rookies such as Javier Hernandez & Chris Smalling on the other. I expect them to take a while to get balanced and finely tuned. And as I say every year, it is a long season, so no point in putting up the predictions all so early
There are eight matches scheduled for tonight, Tottenham Vs. Manchester City kicking off the season with Champions Chelsea facing newly-promoted West Bromwich Albion rounding off the day. There’s a big one in Liverpool Vs. Arsenal on Sunday and Manchester United take on Newcastle on Monday.
TV coverage will be on ESPN & Star Sports in India with BBC Sport and ESPN Soccernet leading the web coverage.
My Alma Mater – Jagannath Institute for Technology & Management or JITM, is now Centurion University. The Orissa Assembly has passed the Centurion University of Technology & Management Bill 2010 which was tabled towards the end of July and it will pave the wav for the creation of the independent university. It will be based at Paralakhemundi, and the JITM Trust will be responsible for its functioning.
The university will be unitary, self-financed and it will be established to provide advanced knowledge in branches of Engineering & Technology, Medical Science and Genetics, Humanities and Social Science, Management, Law, Vocational Education and Training, Tribal and Development Studies. It will ensure the standard of the degrees, diplomas, charters, certificates and other academic distinctions laid down by the UGC.
The Governor who will be the visitor will have sweeping powers and can call for any papers or information relating to the affairs of the university. The Chairman of the Trust will be the President of the university, while the university will have its Vice-Chancellor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and other regular functionaries. [Source] [Another Source]
Mark Webber scored a fortuitous race win at the Hungarian Grand Prix as pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel was given a drive-through penalty and could only finish third behind the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso. Vettel was penalised for not staying within ten car-lengths behind the Safety Car when the race restarted, after it came out on lap 16 due to debris on the track. That dropped him behind Webber and Alonso and despite being the fastest car on track, he could not overtake Alonso.
Felipe Massa took 4th place, with rookies Vitaly Petrov and Nico Hulkenberg scoring their best results thus far with 5th and 6th places. Pedro de la Rosa was 7th for Sauber ahead of Jenson Button and Kamui Kobayashi. Rubens Barrichello took the last point in 10th place after a ding-dong battle with the Mercedes of Michael Schumacher.
Their battle for the sole point was one of the highlights of the race which also saw action happening in the pit-lane as Nico Rosberg’s right-rear tyre came loose after his pit-stop and bounced about the pit lane without causing any unduly harm to anyone. A few metres ahead, Renault released Robert Kubica right into the path of the Force India’s Adrian Sutil, who was just pulling in into his pit-box just ahead. The resulting collision ended their races and Renault face a further sanction for an unsafe release. As do Mercedes GP, for not securing the tyre properly on Rosberg’s car.
Webber’s victory vaults him to the top of the driver’s standings as the season heads into a three-week summer break. He overtakes Championship leader Lewis Hamilton who had to retire due to a gearbox problem on his McLaren. Vettel lies third in the standings ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. The gap between Webber and Alonso is just 20 points, which makes the championship battle all the more interesting. Over in the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull are tops, leading from McLaren by 8 points with Ferrari a further 66 points.
Race Report: Formula1.com | Grandprix.com | BBC Sport