The McLarens were quick on Friday and on Saturday’s practice sessions and many were of the opinion that Lewis Hamilton was a shoo-in for pole position. Pah! said Sebastian Vettel as he wheeled around in his Red Bull around the Yas Marina circuit as fast as he could and took Pole Position for Sunday’s race. Lewis Hamilton had to settle for second position, 0.141 seconds slower than Vettel with Jenson Button a teeny weensy 0.009 seconds behind in third.
Mark Webber starts from fourth with the two Ferraris of Fernando Alonso in fifth & Felipe Massa in sixth. Mercedes have Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher seventh and eight with the two Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta completing the top ten.
It was a thrilling finale to Q3 as first Button took provisional pole as the Chequered Flag fell on the session but Hamilton came steaming in behind to usurp his teammate by the slenderest of margins – 0.009 seconds to be exact! Vettel was running the last and he beat Hamilton’s time quite effortlessly, equalling Nigel Mansell’s most-pole-positions-in-a-year record in the process.
Having had shunned movies for a while, I was waiting for a good one to break the self-imposed exile – and The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn was definitely a good choice to do that. Director Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Georges Remi a.k.a Herge’s characters – the intrepid boy reporter Tintin, his dog Snowy and the foul-mouthed but likeable Captain Haddock – comes to life in an animated rollercoaster of an adventure.
I’m not a huge fan of Tintin and his adventures (well, there was the time when I used to diligently cut out the series’ pages from The Week and staple them to make a poor-man’s version of the comic book since the original ones were priced a bit high for my pocket money) but have read most of the works and also used to see the series on TV, even though the Hindi versions didn’t do justice to the characters or their utterances! The movie instalment, however, is an immensely enjoyable spectacle which brings out the comic world onto the screen in amazing vividity and vibrancy.
The movie follows Tintin and Snowy’s adventures as a wooden model of a long lost ship – The Unicorn – and the secret that it hides leads them onto a fascinating journey across the world. They come across Captain Haddock, whose ancestor the ship once belonged to and holds the key to unlocking the mystery behind it all. There are the bumbling cops Thompson and Thomson, the villain Sakharine, the mutinous former ship-mates of Captain Haddock, the singing lady Bianca Castafiore and a whole lot of fun, frolic and edge-of-the-seat thrills and spills.
The story is engaging and fast-paced and though it combines elements from three different Tintin books, the cohesiveness is there. Having the movie animated enables several scenes to be grandiose and large-scaled, something which would probably have been difficult to shoot the normal way, even with CGI. The animation also copies the look and feel of the original comic books and makes one feel that the books itself have come to life.