Tag Archives motorsports

What were they thinking?

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shredded tyres dont win races

That magically the tires will heal themselves or if the canvas is not showing then the tires should be okay even though from intermediates they went slick?

What was Hamilton thinking – or was he at all – not to let the Finn past and just go in for a pit stop and come out on fresh rubber? Why isn’t he thinking of the championship but just thinking of the race?

Well, today, both team and driver had a big booboo on their faces because of taking things for granted like this.

Brazil is in two weeks’ time, and the championship is in a three-way split. For the fans this is brilliant of course but I have no sympathy for the team nor Hamilton because of this snaffu.

It’s anyone’s game now, but I would still put my money on Hami. In spite of his stupidity.

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‘The Fluke’ crashes out

Alonso crash in Japan Fuji F1 race

and I didn’t see it! I missed the middle of the race unfortunately so I’m just looking at the various reports of the fantastic Japanese F1 race in Fuji and I fully expected that it would be red-flagged with the downpour they have suffered as well as the fog. Visibility, on TV anyway, seems to have been zero at some parts of the circuit.

Whiting didn’t stop the race; however, and the thing that really saddened me is Vettel rear-ending Webber who was running a fantastic second and almost assured of a podium finish for the hard working Aussie. I could understand Mark’s frustration when interviewed after the crash when he said “They [kids] have not got enough experience – they do a good job and then they fuck it all up.”

Which brings me to another point, the ever solid Al-Jazeera is pulling Jazeera +1 and +2 (+2 broadcast the race with English commentary today!) and the ticker was saying that if anyone wants to watch their channels from midnight tonight they have to purchase a new card from them! What the hell? Can’t they make their minds on what they want to do and keep it that way? I’m not sure how long they have the franchise, but I would rather it returns to ART who did a much better job that these crap artists. I’m wondering if the Chinese race will be available for viewing on Showtime henceforth. If anyone has any idea what’s going on and which channel we can watch the remainder of the season, please let me know.

Anyway, Hami took the race, he’s 12 points ahead of The Fluke who needs a miracle to catch up to him.

What I’m praying for now is for Ice Man to surpass the simple gap of 5 points to relegate the fluke to the history books!

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530 galloping horses

Have a gander at these:

  • 0 – 100kph: 3.7 secs
  • 0 – 200kph: 11.2 secs
  • top speed: 329kph / 204mph
  • max power: 530bhp
  • max torque: [email protected] 2,200 – 4,500 rpm

Did you guess what it is yet? No? Okay then, have a gander at this:

The new Porsche 911 GT2

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the new wet dream and it’s called the Porsche 911 GT2

[audio:gt2_sound1.mp3]

It is “the exception to the rule,” they said. “The new 911 GT2 is the most powerful road-going 911 ever made. An impressive high-performance sportscar that commands respect.

It boasts a 3.6-litre flat-six boxer engine based on the current 911 Turbo. Special features include VarioCam Plus and twin turbochargers with Variable Turbine Geometry (VTG) enabling a faster response at lower engine speeds. The efficiency of he turbocharging system has been further improved in the new 911 GT2. It generates 390kW (530 bhp) at 6,500 rpm.”

Want one? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

Porsche 911 GT2Porsche 911 GT2

911gt2-3.jpgPorsche 911 GT2

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Damn, we didn’t get it

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The 2008 F1 Calendar has just been announced and the Aussies are opening the season again:

Formula One racingรขโ‚ฌโ„ขs governing body, the FIA, has confirmed the calendar for the 2008 world championship. The addition of races in Singapore and Valencia in Spain, combined with the omission of a US Grand Prix, makes for 18 rounds – one more than in 2007.

The Australian Grand Prix will kick off proceedings on March 16, followed by Malaysia and Bahrain, before the championship heads to Europe. Turkey has been brought forward to May, while the sole North American round in Canada provisionally retains its traditional June slot.

The Valencia race, to be known as the European Grand Prix, will take place in August, while the other new event, the first-ever Formula One night race, will be staged in Singapore in late September. The season will finish in Brazil at the start of November.

The 2008 calendar in full:

16 Mar Australia
23 Mar Malaysia
6 Apr Bahrain
27 Apr Spain
11 May Turkey
25 May Monaco
8 Jun Canada*
22 Jun France
6 Jul Great Britain
20 Jul Germany
3 Aug Hungary
24 Aug Europe**
7 Sep Italy
14 Sep Belgium
28 Sep Singapore**
12 Oct China
19 Oct Japan
2 Nov Brazil

*Provisional
**Subject to circuit approval

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Bahrain to Launch F1 2008 Season

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number 6

It’s been announced in Australia just now that Bahrain will be the launchpad for the inaugural F1 race next year! The calendar is still awaiting FIA confirmation, but it looks all set.

The Australian Grand Prix has lost its place as the first race on the Formula One calendar to Bahrain, organisers of the Albert Park event said on Monday.

The Australian Grand Prix Corporation (AGPC) announced that the March 16 event in Melbourne would be the second race on the 2008 calendar and would start 90 minutes later than usual, at 1530 local time, to cater for European television audiences.

“Bahrain will stage the first race,” a spokesman for the AGPC told Reuters.

The dates and calendar order are subject to final confirmation from the FIA, Formula One’s governing body.
Reuters

Congrats Bahrain!

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The boy’s out in front?

Lewis Hamilton

No way!

Just the 6th round of the championship and he’s been on the podium on all the previous rounds. And this is his very first season in F1! The guy is good, pretty good actually to even overshadow “the fluke“!

I’ll be glued to the TV screen come 8pm (just in about an hour from now) and cheering the excellent Lewis Hamilton and hoping that I don’t jinx his chances.

Actually, come to think of it, Massa ain’t doin’ bad either, he too is overshadowing the ice-man. Maybe both those so called “number ones” can act as support drivers to the two young bucks. They’re certainly providing us with a lot more entertainment than either (careful) “top drivers” put together.

Well done Hami, now go get ’em!

(and oh, it’s so sweet to know that Bahrain owns 30% of your team!)

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Ah, practice does make perfect

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Bahrain International Circuit - BIC - Logo

To me, this is the most appropriate praise for the Bahrain International Circuit:

Williams have blamed their decision not to test at the Sakhir circuit during winter testing for their failure to break into the top eight and score points in the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
crash.net

Well, people are taking it seriously now… especially when you consider that there are circuits in the circus which are decades older than the BIC.

All that is left to say is well done!

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New Colours

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Michael is out of it. So I suppose it’s high time I should be out of my sulking at his departure and get re-involved in the sport I love. Time to snap out of it!

I’ve been prevaricating as to who should gain my support henceforth, the Prancing Horse has always been my favourite since I got an interest in F1 simply because of the great strides they have had when Schumi joined the team all those years ago. I didn’t know anything about F1 before then, I didn’t have much interest in cars before then for that matter, I still don’t consider myself a “petrol head”, not by a long shot, but I do enjoy the roar of the engines and the intense competitiveness of every part of an F1 team and event, and that it is not simply the driver who makes the difference, but every single part of the team that does.

The teams, especially with the new rules of engine capacities and single-source tyres this season, have not much difference between them; however, there seems to be a resurgence and shuffling between the teams technically and through their personnel too. The team grabbing the headlines as the “best improved and promising” now seems to be McLaren. I would like to think that their improvement owes a little to Bahrain in owning 30% of that team!

Is that involvement just vanity, though? Or is it based on real business cases which might benefit the country? A report in the International Herald Tribune suggests that it might be a bit of both, with more emphasis on the latter:

“It is in the non-FOne aspects of McLaren that we saw the value,” said Mohammed. “In addition to that, of course, Formula One has incredible networking opportunities and we’re already talking to a lot of the McLaren partners on helping to grow their businesses within the region, and looking at opportunities, in whatever field.”

[…]

“Our goal strategically is to capture more value within the country, create high-skilled jobs for the people,” said Mohammed. “Through McLaren and others – and McLaren is one of the key partners – it provides us access to DaimlerChrysler or other manufacturers, where we can work with them to produce components for automobiles.

This is good. Once again “the young leadership” is demonstrating that it is thinking out of the box, unrestricted by old-world methods and practices, but charging ahead putting stakes in the ground with the vision that the return on investment will be reaped in multi-faceted ways and over both medium- and long-term periods. It’s not a hit-and-run affair, but these kinds of investments are being put in place with a strategy of dragging this country by its scruff of the neck into areas we have not thought of yet: manufacturing and its support services which requires a skilled, determined and well-educated workforce. Maybe none of which is present at this particular moment, but the longer-term perspective suggests that given a chance, this is where the country is being taken by the young leadership.

What concerns most people I think is not understanding that plan. That is a failing in communication that must be fixed by the very same young leadership. In order to translate this vision, and explain their very brave non-linear plan, it must be effectively communicated to Bahrain in order for us too to take ownership stakes into the new national plans and get the opportunity to play a part in their success stories.

Most people don’t appreciate non-linear methodologies, they need held by the hand and steps explained to them in defined linear, easy-to-follow steps for them to grasp the idea. Once they do, you will probably find that they get to be fully on-board with you. If you don’t grasp a concept, it is very easy to conclude that these disparate and seemingly disconnected projects are simply put their for elitist pleasures with no immediate or medium returns to the country. And, it shouldn’t be frustration that explains these things in easy to follow concepts, but should be an integral part of the marketing plan.

I think the recent interview with the crown prince certainly dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s:

Is it fair to calculate the cost of building this circuit based on its profitability? he said.

As an example, does Bahrain Airport take into account the cost of building its infrastructure while calculating its profits? he continued.

Is the value of the agreement of the promotion for this grand event calculated as part of the loss or the profit of the organisation? he said.

Our aim is promoting Bahrain at a time when our neighbours spend tens, hundreds and even thousands of millions to promote their countries, Shaikh Salman added.

Put this way, of course it is not fair to expect profitability from such an infrastructural project – I would prefer to call it an enabling project – but he more than anyone knows that even airports the world over are operated by private enterprise where they are not only expected to make profits, but required to. So maybe another way of thinking about this enabling project should be pursued. Or at least explain the non-linearity of this project to people in a simpler way. So far, not a lot of Bahrainis are “on board”. They don’t have ownership, they simply do not understand.

I think everyone agrees too that the circuit should be run in a much more transparent manner too, and that any management infractions should be dealt with by enabling them to do their jobs unhindered, but with enough over-sight built-in so that they know that it’s not a free for all.

The public face of the circuit has always been its indefatigable general manager Martin Whitaker who is doing an excellent job. But while I hold immense respect for the gentleman and require him to do even more, the board needs to seriously think of how to get the people of Bahrain invested in that project too. I don’t think having immense advertising budgets financing banners and road-side hoardings is enough, there are other things missing that must be identified and enacted.

Maybe the buying-in into McLaren is one. The building of industrial and theme parks around the circuit is another. But even those are missing the human perspective. Bahrainis need to be involved and involved fast.

Good luck to everyone this afternoon. I hope the race goes very well for all involved.

I for one will be watching, and this time will be switching my colours to McLaren, to support not only an emerging team, but my country too!

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Bahrain’s F1 to stay

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Bahrain F1 Grand Prix 2005 - 107

The Bahrain Grand Prix extended its contract with Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone on Monday.

The original deal with Bahrain, which hosted its first race in 2004, was due to expire in 2008 รขโ‚ฌโ€ but the new contract reportedly runs to 2013. No official details on the length or cost of the deal were available.

“Just three years ago Formula One รขโ‚ฌโ€ and motor sport in general รขโ‚ฌโ€ did not have any presence in the region,” Ecclestone said.

The Bahrain International Circuit was built for US$150 million (76 million pounds; รขโ€šยฌ116 million) and this year’s race is on April 15.

“Bahrain has not only built a venue that is among the very best in the world and deservedly won acclaim for its grand prix, but has also built foundations for the current growth of interest and investment in Formula One across the Middle East,” Ecclestone added.
Associated Press via IHT

Good! Excellent! Bravo!

Now fix the damn management structure and stop bleeding money for God’s sake to protect this investment!

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Make a loss and attribute it to being a culturual institution!

BIC Main Grand Stand at Night

For something that cost more that BD150 million, making a profit revenues of just over BD5 million in the 2nd year of operation, racking up a loss of BD49 million representing 65% of your paid up capital while giving away BD1.2 million in free tickets must have quite a few warning fog horns blaring. Is anyone listening though? I sure hope so….

And if they are, the first thing that should be done is fire the whole board of directors with the top management and replace them with 6th form kids as I’m sure they won’t be able to screw such an investment up so much and then claim that, hey, this is really a cultural institution and we don’t have to make money! For God’s sake, I think the hardly-visited National Museum probably makes more money that the illustrious Formula One Circuit, and that is a cultural institution!

Quite sad really, but I’ve seen it go down the pipes for more than a year now and I am not at all surprised by what the Transparency Report has found out so far, yet I’m sure that there are quite a few other bits and pieces still hidden even from their view. The report cited quite a few irregularities at the circuit (that even a cultural institution is required to avoid):

    1. Non compliance with bid tendering regulations and awarding bids directly or single-sourcing without proper justification,
    2. Holding far too much spares, some unaccounted properly,
    3. Giving away tickets worth BD 1.2 million,
    4. Improper, imprecise and irregular financial reporting procedures,
    5. Not collecting on sales worth BD2.8 million since 2005,
    6. No connection between the sales and accounting systems,
    7. No discount strategy, discounts are given haphazardly

And I’m sure many other aspects… here are a few that could be added or at least answered honestly if they could:

    1. Why is the circuit still renting large screens from a German company rather than buying these things outright?
    2. Why does the circuit not properly tender the rental of these screens in an open manner?
    3. Why does the circuit still does not have very much required experienced broadcast engineers and an experienced broadcast manager to take care of their huge broadcast investments, rather than depending on someone with just PR experience to manage the whole infrastructure?
    4. Why aren’t the broadcast equipment even put on maintenance contracts with their supplier in order to prolong their useful lives and protect the investment?
    5. Why did the circuit allegedly buy some 30 Holden cars through single sourcing the bid from a person whose company was bankrupt?

I can spill a lot more beans about the circuit and how badly it is run, but the above should suffice for now; let’s see how they try to justify their existence now.

Full disclosure: my company supplied a number of the circuit’s broadcasting capabilities in 2004.

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