Monday, July 9, 2007

British Formula One Grand Prix

This was a race with a difference, for me atleast. I had driven to Vellore/Chennai over the weekend and totally missed the qualifying (on TV atleast). I was following it on, it was a real exciting one with Alonso going P1, then Kimi going faster and then LewHam besting them all. Later, I saw the ending part of the qualifying on youtube and learnt that Kimi had almost gone off at the last turn and could have potentially got pole position. I also had to witness the disgusting spectacle of Lewis' dad make an utter fool of himself after he got pole.

I was in a race of my own on Sunday. We'd left from Chennai at around 10:30 and reached Vellore at 1:00. We had lunch at Vellore and left at 2:00 pm. I had taken 2:45 to reach Vellore on Friday evening. However, that day, I was averaging 100-120 kmph speeds. Yesterday, I consciously went a bit slower and restricted myself to 90-100 kmph speeds. Along with a fuel stop that took longer than I expected, we we found ourselves in Krishnagiri at around 3:50 pm. We had a coffee break that took around 15 minutes, so by the time we left Krishnagiri, it was after 4:00 pm. We had around 85 km to cover in an hour and half, including the 30 odd kilometers from Hosur to Bangalore, where 80 kmph is as fast as you can safely go. I was constantly monitoring the clock, driving as fast as I could within the 100 kmph limit I had set. Luckily, there was relatively less traffic even after Electronics City and we finally reached home at 5:28. I rushed upstairs, switched on the TV hoping to see the start and found to my immense disappointment that the cable was out. So, I had to follow the race too on live timing.

And what a race it was. I was following Massa's progress through the field and it was truly fantastic. The speed with which he disposed off the lower cars was truly amazing. As expected, he hit a roadblock when he came upon the faster cars, but their pitstops played into his hands and he found himself in second place at one stage. I'm sure that had he not stalled, he would have jumped LewHam and even Alonso.

Kimi was outstanding, I couldn't get an idea of how long Alonso's first pitstop was, but it did seem to me that he had the race won. However, after he pitted, Kimi unleashed a series of ultra fast laps, almost in Schumacher style, and came out comfortably ahead after his pitstop. After that, it was just a matter of holding station, which he and Alonso comfortably did.

With this, the championship is quite evenly poised. Lewis is on 70, Alonso 58, Kimi 52 and Massa is on 51. While Lewis has a comfortable lead, one should remember that only he has not had a problem so far. Kimi has had 1 DNF at Spain, Alonso had the pitlane penalty in Canada and the problem in France and Massa had the qualifying problem in Australia, the black flag in Canada and the stall here. Surely, the good luck cannot continue forever and one DNF could bring the others in contention quickly.  I also feel that Alonso is slowly gaining the upper hand speedwise(as is Kimi at Ferrari) and we could see Lewis pushing more and more leading to a mistake.

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