Kimi’s return to Scuderia – The right tonic for Ferrari or may be not?

The long awaited move finally came in when Ferrari announced that Kimi will make a come-back to Scuderia with a 2 year deal starting next season. F1 fans will get to see two world champions – Kimi and Alonso, driving the Ferraris in the next season and this thought itself makes the 2014 season a block buster in making.

'Fire' and 'Ice' - A deadly combination !
‘Fire’ and ‘Ice’ – A deadly combination !

This announcement itself is historic for the legendary team as last time it fielded two world champions was way back in early 1950s when Ascari and Farina drove together. Shows how desperate the team is to break the Red Bull domination and come back into the recknoning.

Most people – fans & experts, are of the view that Kimi might just bring in the spark that Ferrari needs to revive itself. Ironic for a man who is nick-named the ‘Ice Man’! There is a merit in this view given Ferrai’s current situation. They have not been the best team over last few seasons, something that the prancing horse is not used to. The domination of Red Bulls with Sebastian Vettel at helm has been one of the major reasons. Despite a formidable line-up comprising Alonso and Massa, Ferrari has been just about above average. They definitely needed a new burst of energy to revive them and the Finn might just be that. Kimi comes to Ferrari after hugely successful stint at Lotus wherein he posted 20+ consecutive in-point finish.

There is another school of thought as well. Sceptics have reasons to believe that the combination of ‘Ice’ and ‘Fire’ might actually NOT work for Scuderia. Alonso is known to be extremely aggressive and ambitious and has never been comfortable with any position other than top/preferred driver within the team. When challenged by Lewis Hamilton in Lewis’ debut season, Alonso had a very ugly break up with the team which led to his move to Renault. On the other hand, though Kimi is a man of few words, his ambitions are also not limited and he would love to gun for his second world championship in 2014 riding on a back of very good form. Managing the expectations between the two drivers would be the single biggest challenge for Scuderia going forward. Not a great thing for a team when it is eyeing a revival. While the team boss Luca Di Montezemolo has always maintained that the team is bigger than the drivers, he surely is up for a hard time in the next season.

Who proves to be right, only time will tell. For now, F1 fans all over the globe are celebrating this announcement and salivating at the prospect of seeing Alonso and Kimi – the deadly combo of Fire and ice, ride alongside in the scarlet red Ferraris. For this reason only, 2014 season might turn out to be the most awaited season in the history of the sport.

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Vettel Surges Ahead.

Vettel’s Canadian GP victory was a much awaited accomplishment as he has never won here before. Ferrari’s Feranndo Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton placed second and third respectively. Although the race weekend was off to a rainy start, which caused the qualifying to be somewhat of a challenge, Vettel stormed past the rest of the racers and was able to secure the best spot on the grid. An impressive performance by Valtteri Bottas of the William’s team put him at third place on the grid after qualifying. He was in the top four in all parts of the qualifying and showed excellent knack and control to deliver this career-defining performance. However, Bottas was not able to keep this up on Race day as he was pushed to fifth position at the start of the race.

Sebastian Vettel’s pole position at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve also indicate that the 26 year-old could be well on his way to equal or even surpass Michael Schumacher’s record of seven World Championships. Surprisingly, securing second place was more of a tussle with former world champions Alonso and Hamilton battling it out to come in after Vettel. The race saw Alonso win second place and Hamilton came in after him. Nico Rosberg the other Mercedes racer finished 5th behind Red Bull’s Mark Webber.

Vettel’s maiden Canadian GP victory.

Kimi Raikkonen who has been racing consistently didn’t do too well in the Canadian GP. In the fifth lap itself he dropped to tenth position. After a delay in the pits on lap 23 the Finn slipped to 14th position. Webber made an early pit stop in Lap 14 which slightly altered the day’s running. It pushed Alonso t fourth position and Webber was able to make it out of the pits comfortable ahead of Bottas which kept him in fifth place while Bottas slid back to sixth. Two laps later and the race leader , Vettel and Alonso both make a pit stop for a change of tyres. Meanwhile Force India’s Paul Di Resta who was racing on a one-stop strategy was eighth as of lap 17 after having started 17th on the grid.

The race became interesting from Lap 28 to 30, where the focus was on Alosno, Webber and Nico Rosberg. With Alonso on Webber’s tail, and Webber dangerously close to Rosberg , the pressure on Nico Rosberg must have been immense. In Lap 29 Webber tries to overtake Rosberg while Alonso plays it safe to take advantage of any opening that might arise. Finally in lap 30 Webber makes a quick surge past Rosberg and Alonso sees an opportunity to over take him on the start-finish stretch which leaves Rosberg in fifth position. By Lap 32 it is evident that Vettel will have a comfortable victory and enable the Red Bull team to cross of one more victory on their list. He maintains a 17.6 second lead over Hamilton. He pits in Lap 50 only to emerge with comfortable lead with 20 laps remaining.

Vettel’s maiden win at the Montreal Circuit has given him a good lead where the championship points are concerned. He leads with 132 points, followed by Alonso who has 96 points and Raikkonen with 88. If you are looking for some exclusive F1 caps, F1 jackets and F1 jerseys shop for Force India jackets and caps  and jerseys on our online store. www.sports365.in can meet all your sports and fitness requirements, shop with us and avail amazing offers!

Abstract

Well into the F1 season, Vettel was able to make his maiden Canadian GP win. The race results with Alonso second and Hamilton third have given the 26-year-old Vettel a good lead in the championship points.

Homeground advantage: Alonso’s second Barcelona win.

The Spanish Grand Prix proved to be quite a successful race for the Ferrari team, with both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa finishing first and third respectively. Massa hadn’t had a win in quite sometime and this race turned that around for him. It couldn’t have got any better for the Sapniard (Alonso) , who sped towards the chequered flag a midst adoring fans. He is no stranger to winning the Spanish Grand Prix, Alonso won the race on 2006 when he was racing for Renault. Having started the race in 5th place it was quite a performance by Alosno, for whom it’s the second victory this season and his 32nd overall.

Finishing in second place was Kimi Raikkonen who has been racing well this season. This means that Vettel still leads the world championship with 89 points and is followed by Kimi who has 85 points and then Alonso with 72 points. As for the other prominent racers, Jenson Button started out in 14th place and slipped behind to 17th  by the end of the race. Vettel and Alonso made terrific starts. Vettel split the two Mercedes and Alonso went past Raikkonen going into turn one on the first lap. Meanwhile , Force India’s Paul di Resta had quite a good race as he finished 7th.

At the start of the race — as always– all the racers tried to gain some ground as this can sometimes determine the rest of the race. The Spanish Grand Prix was no different. Within the first 20 laps, a lot  happened. One of the most striking maneuvers was pulled off by Alonso who  ducked under Raikkonen before keeping his foot to the floor and driving around the outside of Hamilton. A few laps ahead  it seemed like Hamilton was in more trouble when Kimi overtook him as well. From a series of pit stops from Rosberg, Alonso and Vettel , Kimi and Guittierez, Alonso seemed to get the upper hand, but it was too early to determine the course that the race would take.. In lap 18 Webber reported a problem with his front-left tyre. Meanwhile, the Mercedes pair of Rosberg are in P5 and p10 and Ricciardo, were enjoying a decent afternoon, moved ahead of Di Resta and up into P8. Next up for the Aussie is Perez and Webber.

Victory: Fernando Alonso wins the Spanish GP
Fernando Alonso wins the Spanish GP

The following laps had their fair share of excitement. In lap 32 and 33 Kimi made his move to get past Vettel and succeeded. He started off by drawing himself alongside the German, but couldn’t make the move stick. In lap 33, he cruised past the triple world champion who didn’t put up too much of a challenge on the Finn who streaked off into the distance. A few laps ahead and Kimi lost his position to Alosno, who  sailed past him to take the lead amid a fervent audience. Lap 45 proved to be crucial for Di Resta who took 7th place as he raced past Button. Four laps ahead when Alonso maked his final pit stop well ahead of Kimi it looked it was clear that he would win the Spanish GP!

For those of you who were watching the race and were sure that Alonso would be adding one more feather to his cap, you were right. In lap 64 Alonso was 11 seconds ahead of Raikkonen and some 26 seconds ahead of Massa. Winning the race in front of his home crowd would have made this GP all the more special.

With the drivers paying more attention to their tyres, the pace of the race was not as one would have expected it to be. But, it looks like Ferrari is not complaining!

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What the fortninght brings in sports events.

We bring you a gist of some of the prominent sporting events that are going to take place in the next two weeks. Whether you’re a cricket fan who can’t wait for the ILP season to start, or a tennis buff who is eagerly looking forward to Nadal’s performance on the clay court here is something that will interest you all.

One of the most anticipated cricket tournaments will be starting next week. The IPL matches are going to start on April 4th and with 76 matches in all, if you can’t make it a stadium to watch it live there is always Youtube. They will be resuming the live streaming of all the matches after renewing its partnership with Time Internet. Unfortunately, there have been some controversies and mishaps which have resulted in some key players not participating this year. Jesse Ryder the Delhi Daredevils player on Wednesday was assaulted during a night-out in New Zealand, that left him with a fractured skull. Ryder was rushed to a hospital where he is in an induced coma. This is the second player that the Delhi Daredevils have lost, after Kevin Pietersen, who was ruled out of IPL over an old knee injury. In addition to this Micheal Clark, Shikhar Dhawan and Pujara will most likely not been seen on the field. With the ongoing Sri Lankan Tamils issue, 10 matches which were supposed to be held in Chennai will be shifted to other locations. Despite all this the excitement and fervency of cricket fans across the country has not waned.

IPL starts on April 3rd.
IPL starts on April 3rd.

With Nadal off the courts in the Sony Open and his appearance in only two tournaments this year, tennis fans can look forward to an dynamic game from the Spaniard in the next couple of weeks. The U.S Men’s Clay Court Championship will be starting on the 8th followed by the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters. The king of clay is all set to live up to his title in these tournaments. Djokovic did not play too well in the Sony Open and it would be interesting to see if he has a different strategy in these tournaments. In both these tournaments some of the top players will not be seen. You can read more about it here.

The golf world has one of the most important tournaments starting on April 8th. The Masters is one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf.  Tiger Woods has won this title 4 times before and he seems to be the favourite this year also. If Tiger Woods wins this it will be his fourth win in two months. Rory McIlroy is still trying to find a swing that he will be able to trust and repeat for the Masters. McIlroy is more concerned about the path of his swing rather than his ranking for now.

Tiger Woods has a good chance of winning the Masters title.
Tiger Woods has a good chance of winning the Masters title.

What will the fortnight be without some high speed action! The Chinese GP race weekend starts on April 12th in Shanghai. The Malaysian GP had an air of controversy about it, with Vettel disobeying team orders. Not only is the course remarkable for its change of acceleration and deceleration within different winding turns, making high demands on the driver as well as the car, but also for its high-speed straights. One can’t really predict how the race is going to play out, but we can be guaranteed that it is going to be an adrenaline rush packed race.

We hope that this gives you a fair idea of what the sporting world brings your way in the coming fortnight. For all your sports and fitness requirements, do log on www.sports365.in and shop with us!

Will Vettel prove his mettle?

Brazil is preparing for the climax of the F1 season. With only one race left, the tension and excitement are growing, and this race is not to be missed! With Vettel and Alonso, in the race to win the championship title, the last race for the season is going to be a nail-biting event. This season has promised to be such a nail biter right from the beginning with seven different drivers winning the first seven races.

Although Vettel set the lap record, Hamilton destroyed Vettel’s title win at the United States Grand Prix. Vettel could not shake off Hamilton’s pursuits and after a thrilling 42nd lap Lewis Hamilton finally overtook Vettel.  Although this was a personal disappointment for Vettel, the Red Bull team still won the constructor’s title for the third consecutive time, and this gave the team a reason to celebrate.

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Lewis Hamilton after winning the US Grand Prix

Alonso too drove a good race. After starting seventh on the grid he managed to finish the race in 3rd place. This win ensures that a Ferrari driver still has a chance to clinch the 2012 Championship Title. Currently, Fernando Alonso is 13 points behind Vettel. If Sebastian Vettel wins the championship title this year he will be one of few to have accomplished the feat of winning three consecutive titles. The 25 year old German would join Michael Schumacher and Juan Manuel and become the youngest winner of three crowns.  Alonso has won two consecutive titles in 2005 and 2006.

For Vettel to take the championship, he just has to finish higher than fifth position.

There are three scenarios in which Alonso can emerge victorious.

  • Scenario 1: Alonso will have to finish first and with Vettel finishing fifth or lower.
  • Scenario 2: If Alonso finishes second, and Vettel completes the race in the 8th position or lower
  • Scenario 3: If Alonso finishes third, and Vettel finishes 10th or lower

One more thing that might keep Alonso interested is the fact the Vettel’s Red Bull hasn’t been the most reliable car this season and has witnessed mechanical/engine failure in a few races already. Alonso’s Ferrari on the other hand has not had any such in-race issues so far. The only time Alonso did not finish the race was when his car was involved in an accident, in most cases being clipped/knocked by other cars.

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Vettel and Alonso both have chances of clinching the Championship title this year.

For Schumacher fans it looks like the end of the road here as he hasn’t had a great season and has looked pale in comparison to his own team mate Nico Rosberg in many races. On the other hand, Kimi Raikkonen has been able to do what Schumacher was not able to. Kimi had an excellent comeback to F1 with team Lotus and is currently at third position in the drivers standing with 206 points.

What do you think the outcome of the much looked forward to Brazilian Grand Prix will be?

Don’t miss the action:

 Fri 23 November 2012
Practice 1 10:00 – 11:30
Practice 2 14:00 – 15:30
Sat 24 November 2012
Practice 3 11:00 – 12:00
Qualifying  14:00
Sun 25 November 2012
Race 14:00

(Calendar in Race Local Time)