Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The 2008 Formula1 season is over.We won't stop talking about it for long though,will we?

And so this gripping,overly-competitive,controversy-filled or in one word, brilliant season is done with. How many times did we go about discussing which driver would win,whether FIA would come out with more biased decisions, whether DC would finish the next race, whether Alonso would crash into Lewis sometime(damn the guy for not doing it!),whether Force India would score any points at all and oh,whether or not Kimi would retire at the end of this season! And could we ask for a better finale? I don't think so. For a review of the race (if you are looking for one ) visit http://www.grandprix.com/race/r803racereport.html . I'm not writing about the race simply because I can't. I can,in no way,explain what happened in the race and how emotions ran loose.The person who has written that article though, has done a great job and has made a mention of every driver/team(most of us forgot about 'the others',didn't we?).

So here's what I have to say about a select bunch of drivers,followed by a small discussion about the next season! :)

Massa : How obvious was it,that I would start with him? "He isn't that good","He makes too many mistakes","He's isn't champion-material"..what else have the critics said? Yes,that exact bunch of super-humans who,right now,are having a hard time getting their feet out of their mouths? He didn't just silence the world with his aggression and determination but also showed unbelievable courage,as he stood on the podium this weekend,in the most dignified manner. No,going into the last race,I had no hopes of seeing Massa win the championship this year. But the race had me believe that Massa would,miraculously,win it. But he didn't. Can you get closer to winning a championship? A corner and a straight. That was all Lewis needed to grab the trophy back. When we,mere audience, lost our minds(did anyone suffer a nervous break-down? I'd like to know.My mom almost called for a doctor.) and felt our hearts break and sink, whatever went through that man's head,as he stood saluting thousands of fans? After a steady season and a stunning drive(in changing weather conditions-in front of God knows how many fans-with all the pressure in the world), all I can say is, Massa has trully arrived! And my respect for him has only increased,multi-fold. Hope to see him fight back,and win,in the future.

Lewis : Yes,the first Afro-Caribbean(correct?), youngest fellow to win the championship; The richest Briton, who dates a woman who has a band with a name I despise; The guy who should be gifted the record for rubbing people the wrong way and also, crashing into stationary cars in the pit-lane(I'm certain not many people have achieved this feat) : well,Lewis did it this year! Daddy's boy held onto his pants and managed not to press arbit buttons on the steering wheel this time around. Ok,in all fairness to Hamilton, he is definitely a fantastic driver and you don't need to hear me say it. I hate to admit that his style reminds me of Schumi,but I can't help but compare. He is a great driver. But for me,the greatness stops at that. Congratulations to him and all his fans. Hope we get to see more good,clean racing from him next year.

Kimi :What, oh what do I write here?! Steve Slater said that it seemed like Kimi would fall asleep once a race began, wake up towards the end and then charge through the field! Hard to disagree with that,the way this man has been performing. For majority of the season,he either didn't finish or he'd 'wake up' towards the end. What was the problem? Car didn't suit his driving style? Lack of motivation? Just bad luck? Whatever the reason maybe,I sure as hell am glad he's staying in Formula1!! And it certainly is fun to read about drivers turning up to Ski-resorts under famous-fake names and boating events dressed in Gorilla suits! Hope this fun(read alcohol)-loving Finn gets his act right next year.
Needless to say,he's a great driver and actually,I'm sure he will be back with a bang! :)

DC : The man of Formula1 retires this year,but sadly his last race wasn't exactly a send-off one would wish for. After being a part of the sport for 15 years,he leaves as one of the most successful non-champions(Going by what Steve said!). One of the most respected drivers around,David always knew the wittiest things to say and he'll surely be missed. Looking forward to those (non-driving)F1 activities he's got planned for himself. :)

Alonso : Yes,he no longer is the human I hate the most in this world. He is a fantastic driver and no one can deny that. (Not even the Merin of 2006.)What he achieved with the car he was given this year is remarkable and I sincerely hope he gets a car that a man of his skill desreves,for 09! And,for once,I don't mind hearing all that he's got to tell the world(since most of it is directed towards/against you-know-who). ;)

Fisi :
Why him? Because he has been a blessing to Force India. I think the experience he carried along,while joining the team,helped them grow-immensely. And I definitely won't forget the several occasions where he beautifully defended his Force India against superior teams like Mclaren. Well,thumbs up for a great effort and good luck for the next season!(if he plans to stay,that is).

Vettel : Been saving the best for the last! I love Vettel. (The excess amount of love I'm showering on the fellow could be a result of his role in the championship battle though). I've said it before and I'm saying it again,Vettel has what it takes to shine in Formula1. He's young,he has the skill,the aggression and most of what it takes to be champion. He has lots to learn and lets hope he will,soon. He's been doing well in other series and this year, he even won a race, overtook Lewis (ha!) and what not. That's got me rooting for him. But I remember having similar opinions about Rosberg
(who,sadly,didn't do very well this year),at the start of this season.Hope Vettel continues to drive well. Let this overtaking maneuver he pulled on Lewis not be a one-time wonder like the one Sato pulled on Alonso! (remember that? :D )

Looking ahead to season 09,there are, but a few transfers happening.
There are these bonds between drivers and teams now. Bonds that are growing to resemble this-
Michael : Ferrari
And the one that stands out prominently is Lewis : Mclaren.
And, I can probably add, Alonso : Renault , Rosberg : Williams.

Lewis and Mclaren certainly seem to work well together and I don't see him leaving the team-not for a very long time,surely. Heikki stays at Mclaren for another year. But as good as he was this year,he didn't remind me of the previous Finns who drove for Mclaren. Ferrari have Massa and Kimi booked for a couple of years now. Am I happy? I guess so. As much as I like both drivers,it would be nice to see a fresh face in the red suit. Someone like Vettel!! Talking of whom, his move to Red Bull,I think,isn't great. Wonder if they can provide him a car with which he can challenge for wins! Rosberg stays with Williams-who promise to improve next season,what with their immense research in the much-talked-about 'KERS' technology. Apart from Honda,Toro Rosso and Force India,teams have announced their line-up for the next season. Except of course, Renault. I'm not too sure about Nelsinho, but Alonso should probably stay put. No other team can possibly satisfy his ego and provide a car that's good enough. The team seem to be improving and they have performed well before,maybe they can help him win more races,and even fight for the championship next year!
Also,there's Bruno Senna(does he need any introduction?) who is supposed to test for Honda, India's Karun Chandhok who supposedly will test for Force India and Germany's Nico Hulkenberg(helped Germany win in A1,last season) who has been testing for Williams.And there are others,mostly from GP2 who have been linked to STR Ferrari and/or Honda. I'm hoping to see young blood racing around in F1,next season!

There are also the rule changes,that I haven't really read about,yet. The KERS, tyre(threading) width, conditions on aerodynamics-related modifications and so on. I also wonder if they'll bring around changes in the qualifying pattern. I hope they do. And how would it be if they awarded a point or two to the pole-setter? After all,the guy who bags the pole doesn't stay ahead after the first five corners,a lot of times.He might as well be given a point for the pole,is what I feel. Your opinion?

Now we have the long,gruelling wait. Four slow months,with no F1. I'm looking forward to reading about the FIA gala though,which happens in December. I'm more than eager to watch their video,which brings out the best moments of the season. IF you haven't already watched last season's video(which,by the way,is brilliant),here's the link. http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg33tkyvG5A .

I'm done, I guess, with all the talking I wanted to do. Looking forward to another-I'm sure-mindblowing season, this coming year! :)

P.S. Any 'fact' that I've mentioned wrong,please let me know.


Akshata said...

Ah. here it is. :)
Couldn't see Massa's eyes after the race. All these years of hard work, intra-team battles, being continually outshone thanks to the 1-2 strategy..one could say he deserved the championship. So close..

Oh and Hamilton isn't the richest Briton as far as I know. He's only the highest paid Brit sportsperson. :)

Of course, this was updated in April 08..we just have to wait for the next Forbes or Sunday Times rich list. :)

soda said...

oi what were u cribbing about the quality of this post, its super only :)...and the 1 pt for pole is also a nice idea

Merin Mandanna said...

Ooh yes! That is what I had in mind! :)Came out wrong. I just had certain Mclaren fans(ahem!) drilling the victory into my head,continually.

True,I felt SO upset after the race. Poor,poor Massa.(After reading your message the other day,I actually tried looking at his eyes,every time the camera was focused on him! :P )

Nice no? :D Wonder if such a thing will ever happen.

waj said...

I again conclude, "F1 fans== complete MANIACS"
& why no mention of Pussycat Dolls this time (at least under hamilton :P)

Merin Mandanna said...

Thanks for visitng,Arjun. :) But seriously,whatever did you find here that makes you call us maniacs? There are no fights or arguments(not yet,atleast) here. Being passionate about a sport doesn't make you a maniac. :) I might as well be writing about football or NBA or tennis (or cricket?). F1 is my thing,thats all.

Merin Mandanna said...

I did make a mention of the pussy-cat dolls,by the way. (ARGH!) I said Lewis dates a woman from a band whose name I do not like.

gautam dn said...

Go Obama ..oops wrong forum...way to go hamilton for screwing those FIA guys...and @akshatha...ha ...i told you in the beginning itself..this was hamilton s year...

Akshata said...

@ above:

You said that last year as well. :p

*bursts into a hum of 'Doncha'*
(or whatever it is..that Pussycat Dolls number) :p

Ah..I'm nauseating. Halllp!

Merin Mandanna said...

LOL! Hi5 Aksie!

Waj said...

Okay, okay apologies,
passionates != maniacs
but, passionate ≈ maniacs
also, You Quoted:I might as well be writing about football or NBA or tennis (or cricket?) Is it??
I think ur next post will be on Dostana :P

Waj said...

Oh, my hyperlink is not working :((
All my "Google"ing is waste now

gautam dn said...

@ above + 3 .Sigh..so the Ferrari fans have run out of things to screw lewis on...so now they resort to lame pcd jokes about nicole...who cares about her? she s hot...and hes the champ ...thats more than enough

gautam dn said...

oh i meant @above + 4(Now @above + 5)..and the song goes like this buttons..push the buttons..not doncha ...or something like that...now i guess they ll have to do a gayish , cool r&b black soul filled remake of Queen's WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS

Merin Mandanna said...

This space is not meant for 'Dostana' type jokes,ok? :P

1.We're never going to 'run out of things to screw Lewis on'. Its just that I've not dedicated this blog to him. Its about F1,where I/we do the occasional screwing. :)
2.Aksie was talking about your hot-pussycat's song 'Doncha wish your girlfriend blew-your-money-like-me' or some crap. Pushing buttons(the wrong ones,like Lewis did in Brazil last year!) is some other song.
3.IF Lewis does create a song,like you said,its definitely going to be gay.Glad we agree on at least one point.
But I hope they spare QUEEN!

Chaitanya said...

Looks like a complete, unbiased (looking at the Alonso part :P) dissection of the season, but its all greek to me :O (Pardon me for being an F1 newb)

Good to see a Senna, and hopefully an Indian back on track. :)

Merin Mandanna said...

You actually read through the whole thing,THANKS! :)

Kertz said...
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Kertz said...

write on football please... :)

Merin Mandanna said...

Oh I know very little about football. If I wrote about football,I'd have people laughing at me or coming at me with chappals!
(feels good that someone wants me to write more though :P:))

Kertz said...
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Kertz said...
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Meghana Naidu said...

Good, crisp writing this :)
as i'm a F1 aficionado myself, fresh anguish swept over me as i read it.

vettel has new-found-respect in my eyes.
BUT why would you not mention GLOCK? he has to have a place in the hall of shame.
it is hard for me to believe that, somehow,surprisingly, he could not sustain his speed for a quarter of a lap. really.

looking forward to reading more from you ofcourse :)

Merin Mandanna said...

Glock, I do believe had terrible problems with his tyres,that last lap. (Well actually,my heart refuses to believe that any German would do something that extreme for the Hamilton clan :P )

Can't wait for the next F1 season!! :)