Vijay Mallya, Force India, 2011

Mallya: Grand Prix a platform to develop Indian motorsport

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Vijay Mallya wants the Indian Grand Prix to create a motor racing legacy.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Inaugural Grand Prix ? a dream come true for India (The Hindu)

“We will have to ensure that we use the Grand Prix of India as a platform to develop motorsport at the grassroots level and focus on improving our standards and infrastructure.”

Eric Boullier on the Indian GP: “India is a country that loves its sport” (Renault)

“With an Indian Formula 1 team and an Indian driver ?ǣ in Karun Chandhok ?ǣ in the sport, a race was always the next logical step. It is a big country; a promising, powerful nation that is at the forefront of a lot of global activity.”

Corporate India races for F1 sponsorship (YouTube)

Mark Webber column (BBC)

“I’ve had my share of bad accidents. Two Mercedes sports cars flipped on me in three days at Le Mans back in 1999. In the second of those shunts, I did think for a split second that I probably wasn’t going to make it. ”

Brawn argues Q3 no-shows not all bad (ITV-F1)

“It can add some interest in certain ways: you can have the cars at the back of that pack with new tyres and more opportunity perhaps in the race.”

Tamara Ecclestone’s ??1m cash romp and other tales of social awareness (The Guardian)

“Does a picture of Bernie’s eldest unmarried writhing naked on a million quid above a report that she just had it lying around count as looking “not too bright”? That will be an agenda item at the next Ecclestone family summit, perhaps.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

TimG has an historical perspective on Mercedes’ latest development:

In the mid-1960s, Lotus started a trend of having inboard front dampers (i.e. mounting them inside the monocoque, as they are now) to clean up the airflow through the front suspension.

[Ron] Tauranac failed to follow suit with Brabham and was criticised for being too conservative for failing to even contemplate the idea. What the critics didn?t know, however, was that Tauranac had looked at the inboard damper solution in the windtunnel (a rarity then) and found it made very little difference. Certainly not enough to make it worth living with the downsides of the change, i.e. making it more difficult for mechanics to adjust the suspension, restricting foot space in the pedal box, etc. Tauranac didn?t shout about his conclusions because he didn?t want to give away an advantage to his competitors.

Which just goes to show that there may be perfectly solid reasons for a seemingly “conservative” approach, even if apparent innovation adds an extra bit of interest for the dedicated fan. Just look at Renault’s side exit exhaust, which hasn?t exactly set the world alight although it did manage to set a couple of R28s going??

From the forums

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Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

On this day last year the five remaining championship contenders – Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Leiws Hamilton, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso – were photographed together.

They re-created a famous picture taken in 1986 when Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell were vying for championship honours.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 58 comments on “Mallya: Grand Prix a platform to develop Indian motorsport”

    1. “On this day last year the five remaining championship contenders – Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Leiws Hamilton, Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso – were photographed together.”

      Who honestly thought that 1 year later Seb would have 2 titles his name! Amazing how quickly things change

      1. Sigh I miss the days when we had multiple contenders in the final GP.. Hope the teams play catch up over the winter and Red Bull find themselves with loads of competition in 2012! One can dream…

        1. @LAK 2010 was such a great year, wasn’t it? I’m really happy Vettel managed to have such a dominant year, he deserved it, but I would love another close battle next year.

    2. “Sebastian Vettel has hinted he might be willing to give up a race victory to help his team perform a perfect score in 2011”.

      Does this mean Webber will be given an equal car to what Vettel has had?

      1. What makes you think he hasn’t had an equal car?

        Webber’s problem has been with the tyres. He said that himself.

        1. What makes you think he hasn’t had an equal car?

          Vettel’s dominance paired with the supposed conspiracy against Mark Webber that everyone assumes has penetrated the deepest layers of Red Bull’s management.

        2. I have suspected this year that MW car has been turned down a small notch.

          1. Do you have anything to substantiate those suspicions? Or is your theory based on the way Mark Webber is slower than Vettel?

            If he was getting shafted with inferior equipment, it would have been found out by now. Why would Webber have re-signed with the team if he felt he was getting a raw deal?

            1. @prisoner-monkeys @rocky I can’t think of a driver who would be more likely to speak his mind if he thought he was being penalised. Remember Silverstone 2010?

              Personally, I think accusing RBR in that way is just a bit of a weak and frivolous argument.

            2. You are all likely right it’s just MW in a car too hot to handle that dominated the season unable to get the most out of it, but is it possible? If MW all of a sudden comes to grips with some of his problems it might seem a bit funny.

          2. That makes perfet sense to me – don’t all teams sabotage their chances in the constructor’s champioship to favour one driver over another (and who clearly doesn’t need any help)?

            Webber can accept he isn’t fast enough – his fans need to take him at his word and move on. This is the lamest conspiracy theory since McLaren hired a double world champion and then sabotaged him in favour of a rookie driver.

      2. Very interesting from Vettel, but I doubt he would sabotage his success and number of race wins to help Webber win.. He might do it for the team’s sake.. He’s a nice person after all..

        1. There is no way on this planet Vettel is going to give Webber a win. Don’t be fooled by the way he appears, he is a nice guy but there is also a ruthless side to him which I’m sure will be more obvious in the years to come.

          1. More to the point, I doubt Webber would readily accept a win gifted to him. If he’s going to beat Vettel, then I think he’d prefer to beat Vettel on merit.

            1. I think you are right there PM. After all, what has Webber to gain from a race win, save self respect and pride?
              Things he will not get from getting gifted a win as if beeing a favoured pet thrown a bit of meat as well.

            2. WEB would never accept a pity win even on team orders. He would probably prefer to put it into the wall instead. At least thats what i’d want him to do. A pity bonk is OK but not a pity win.

            3. Apart from anything else, Webber is old enough to remember Ayrton Senna gifting the 1991 Japanese GP to Gerhard Berger – video was featured on the site a few days ago.

              Nigel Mansell needed to win the race to keep his WDC chances alive. Berger led, from Senna and Mansell, with Senna becoming champion after Mansell spun off on lap 10. Senna then passed Berger and shot off, but backed right up to allow Berger to catch up and pass for the win on the very last lap.

              If ever there was a less graceful way of giving away a victory… I can’t see Vettel being willing to give away a win without somehow acknowledging he was faster. Nor can I see Webber being particularly pleased to win like that.

      3. Mark had the same chances as Vettel… 3 times from pole and he never made it stick.

        Vettel raised his game and had the upper hand all season (obviously), and got the better out of the strategies and all, obviously too.

        Mark went backwards this season compared to 2010. And there are many explications for why that happened.

        The “inequal” car argument is completely flawed. Mark’s not been fast enough.

        1. Agreed, Mark is only as fast as HAM BUT ALO – he’s not nearly as fast as VET. But then nobody is.

          1. no way. Mark is lagging behind all those drivers. i’d say on 1 lap pace he is just behind Button with ALO, HAM and VET further ahead.

            1. good thing races dont last just 1 lap.

              MW trails JB by 13 pts. That means, this year, the MW/RBR combo is faster than FA and LA, by pure nature of the fact that he has more points.

              Lets try to remember what is relevant, and what is not.

        2. Yes Mark has not been fast enough but I think ,this difference from last year is down to the tyres and Mark similar to Lewis, not being able to cope as well as Vettel and Button. Lewi’s reaction to this were more extreme than Mark’s. But the end results for Vettel were far more dramatic than the Hamilton,Button difference. I believe that this situation removed the main challenge to Vettel in his abilty to win races comfortably, there is no doubt in my mind that he is slightly quicker than Mark, but there would have been more races when Marks challenge was likely to bring about errors from Seb and the whole season may have been a much closer affair. Looks like next year will be even worse with even more races run on softer tyres lets just hope that Mark and Lewis can learn to perform better on these tyres,doubtfull I am afraid.

    3. I have seen many sceptics online, doubting India isnt the best place for f1 and we will fail in a year or two.
      Well this Roundup has three stories that show India and IndianGP organisers are well planned and realistic in wat they seek.
      Thanks Keith.

    4. Indian bureaucracy will make this grand prix a pain for all involved, especially fans traveling to India to watch the race.

      Mark my words, the Indian Grand Prix will not last beyond 2015.

      1. @Huron Yep the beaureaucracy here will be a hurdle, but I hope they will get better in the coming years. Especially on the taxation front as a new law is on the anvil and seeks to reduce the confusion which exists now. Its persons like u who think u are still the omni present and most aware persons who get into trouble with the system.

        But u mark my wordss “INDIAN GP IS HERE TO STAY”

      2. Wow! Take it easy Nostradamus! It hasn’t even had it’s first appearance yet and you already know it’s going to fail?
        It’s too huge an investment to fail and private ventures like such perfectly understand the Indian bureaucracy and how to handle it.
        First time issues are pretty much expected but I’m sure things will smooth out with time. Rome wasn’t built in a day..

      3. Why cant the India race fail. USA did, Turkey did, Bahrain did(temporarily), Korea looks like it might. You never know what will pop up to kill a GP.

        That said, I think the India race will become very popular with the locals. India is a vibrant and growing economy. Like every other economy, when they first drag themselves out of the “3rd world” and people get a bit of extra money, they tend to gravitate to automobiles. This was evident in the US after WWII(before which US was not really a world player), and even in the modern times, car ownership has spiked in China and Brazil.

        Once every household has 1.5 cars its not to long before interest in racing begins.

        One thing Ive noticed about the Indian people is that they REALLY go out for sport.

        Its really a question if the Indian government can keep from cocking it up.

        1. sid_prasher (@)
          21st October 2011, 18:38

          Well said – being an Indian I can say that it will either go very well or will be quite mediocre. One can just never know….

          However government involvement is not much here – this is largely a private enterprise.

    5. It will be interesting to see if any Indian companies (apart from Airtel) have bought track advertising for the Grand Prix. It was nice to see some local Korean companies, SK ZIC and Posco, appearing at Yeongam last week.

      1. The following companies have bought track advertising.

        Reliance Industries
        State Bank of India
        Bharti Airtel
        Tata Motors
        Hero Honda Motors
        Mahindra & Mahindra
        HDFC Bank
        Larsen & Toubro
        Apollo Tyres
        Britannia Industries
        Eureka Forbes
        Godrej Group
        ICICI Bank
        Kingfisher Airlines
        Madras Rubber Factory(MRF)
        Maruti Udyog
        Qwest Software Services
        Suzlon Energy
        Tata Elxsi
        Tech Mahindra
        Unitech Group
        Videocon Group
        Yes Bank

      2. Dairy co-operative Amul is sponsoring Sauber.

      3. Yes @Huron can take heart from the list of sponsor that has been provided. The names there have some of the largest companies in India as well.
        BTW @RohanK wer did u get the list from???

    6. For those of you that are bothered… it would appear that Lewis Hamilton has broken up with his girlfriend.

      Although it’s sad for them – hopefully we’ll get the old Lewis back on track now! No distractions!

      1. Ayrton Hamilton
        21st October 2011, 7:43

        Good! Now I am sure Lewis will vbe the youngest triple world Champion.

      2. For those of you that are bothered… it would appear that Lewis Hamilton has broken up with his girlfriend.

        Broken up with her again. This has to be the third time – at least – that they’ve ended their relationship.

        1. Just out of curiosity, how many times do the tabloids think they can run the same story before anyone notices?

          1. Good question, I would expect 2-3 times a season being about maximum they might get away with

            1. I’m guessing it’s a bit like James Bond films, @BasCB – Hamilton is a money-spinner, and they know it. If you read the Hamitlon/Sureidbangher article, you’ll see they’ve written it in such a way that they never actually commit to anything, so if they’re proven wrong, they have deniability. There’s one caption there that says “the pair were said to have got engaged earlier this year” – but I’m pretty sure that if you look closely enough, The Daily Fail started that story.

            2. Spot on analyses @prisoner-monkeys, the tabloids really stretch every story to get to use it re-use it and refer to it any time there’s the slightest reason!

          2. People who take tabloids seriously have very short memories and the other kind (us) couldn’t care less!

      3. @ben-n They will get back together no doubt, if it’s true.

        To be fair on Lewis though, he should be allowed to have a girlfriend and not be criticised of being distracted, he’s only human!

        1. @andrewtanner

          I absolutely agree – why shouldn’t he have a girlfriend? But equally, with all the travel involved in racing, promoting etc – can he really cope with flying to the US in between?

          I strongly suspect this has been a contributing factor to his poor form.

          Though of course, as you say, he is human, and if he wants a girlfriend it’s his decision!

          1. @ben-n I’m not much of a believer in outside activities affecting his race weekends that much. Sure, he’s one of the more popular drivers but I would attribute his 2011 to just poor form and that’s it. I don’t think there is any over-riding demon he has, just the issue of compounding an issue with criticism and lack of confidence.

            It may be his relationship with Nicole is hard to manage with all the travelling, but if it makes him happy that is so much better than having a driver who is dedicated to his work but feeling a bit…lost.

    7. @keithcollantine – It seems there is still a small issue with the user names displayed in the memberd directory Keith. Names having a – in them seem to be displayed with a space instead (example Ben Needham @Ben N when it should be @ben-nsorry for pulling you into this one Ben!)

      1. @bascb This is a limitation which affects users who signed up before a certain date and included a space in their username. Working on a fix at the moment.

        If a user signs up now and puts a space in their name it is automatically changed to a hyphen.

        If any users who have spaces in their usernames would like me to change their username so this problem doesn’t affect them, send me a message and I’ll sort it out.

        1. Ah, right. Thanks for the feedback Keith.

    8. ouch, no birthday shout out? what do i have to do…roll around naked on a million pounds?

      just kidding, i don’t have a million pounds :P

      1. Happy Birthday @f1yankee! I know you have been looking forward to that all year ;-)

      2. Oh LOL..

        Happy b’day mate.. ;)

      3. @F1Yankee Happy birthday!

      4. sid_prasher (@)
        21st October 2011, 18:47

        Wish you a very happy birthday!! Hope you are having a great day! Cheers!

    9. being gifted a win that contributes meaningfully to the season’s points total i would find acceptable. being gifted a win to pretend i was the best on that day, i would not.

    10. Sauber have a new sponsor for the Indian Grand Prix – Gujarat-based dairy co-operative Amul.

      If there is one definitive livery design of the 1980s, it would be the John Player Special Lotus cars. But if there were two, I’d have to say that the Parmalat Brabhams would certainly be a contender for the second slot. So it’s nice to see Amul (perhaps unintentionally) reviving the idea of dairy sponsorship.

      1. Can’t wait to see the livery, black and white cow anyone?

        1. If you look at the link to Amul PM posted, it has a slideshow also showing several shots of their company name AMUL in red on the rear wing.

          Funny to see actually from the head on shot. A big red AMUL for diary products, and the tequila brand on the top of the sidepods!

    11. Finally got myself an avatar! :D

    12. Found this excellent comment regarding the Tamara Ecclestone story and thought I’d share it with you all!

      “Just what I need to hear as spend my last 10 quid on gas to heat my humble abode – mega-rich ladies of leisure whose petty cash would solve all of my problems – and the problems of the dozens of pensioners and disadvantaged families in the immediate area – for the rest of our lives!
      But I’m not bitter. I content myself in the knowledge that these two eejits will never find true love and happiness in this life. Every would-be suitor will only be after their cash, and the ones who aren’t (playboys, trust-fund jerks and Eurotrash-aristos) will be just as spoilt, vain and as spiritually bankrupt as they are. Even their ‘friends’ will only hang around for the lavish parties and the occasional token of affection. Sad, but true. That’s why rich girls fall in love with their horses – they’re the only other living being besides daddy that they can trust.
      So they’ll look for affection from the public via the media, but as we all know, the press is a two-headed beast that has a tendency to bite after it licks. In a few short years they’ll be casualties filling that black-hole of emptiness with drugs, alcohol, cake or endless cosmetic surgical procedures until they look like the vacuous husks they really are.
      So, enjoy rubbing our noses in it girls, there’s nothing we like better than watching talentless, ostentatious tit-heads making fools of themselves, cuz we always have the last laugh. Ask Paris.”

    13. Bob Dylan warned us years ago that we are all but rolling stones….

      Once upon a time you dressed so fine
      You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn’t you ?
      People’d call, say, “Beware doll, you’re bound to fall”
      You thought they were all kiddin’ you
      You used to laugh about
      Everybody that was hangin’ out
      Now you don’t talk so loud
      Now you don’t seem so proud
      About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

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