If living out of the suitcase can be called a pattern; F1 Grand Prix in India was much more than just ground-breaking technology and broken carbon-fibre. Inarguably, one of the glorifying moments for this country, the grand prix has been a boon to all motorsport fans in India. But, first things, first. Congratulations to the winner Sebastian Vettel who became the first man to emerge as the winner in the Indian subcontinent. It’s no denying that the man has become “invincible and invisible in equal measure”. His total air time over 60 laps must have been less than 60 seconds; that too, done with absolute minimum of fuss.
F1- Essentially a global sport— India’s stand
F1 in India was undoubtedly a fresh kick off in discovering a new port which is a little aloof from the financial crisis. Having said that, India’s stand has never been strong, until this year, to support a global sport that has a lot of glamor, glitz, and pomp in its trail. Leave along the cultural clashes, F1 this year, was hosted in a country which is despicably poor and the contrast of this glamorous sport was indeed stark. Alright. If that was depressing here’s comes the encouraging story. With Fi coming to an end, India became the third of the four Bric nations on the calendar, with the fourth, Russia, due to follow in a couple of years.
• Twenty years ago, F1 had 16 destinations, of which ten were European, three in North America and the final couple perfunctory trips to Japan and Australia.
• Malaysia replaced Mexico in 2001 and Austria replaced for the second German GP under a European title.
The look ahead
When novelty enters any picture, the picture is bound to change. F1 is certainly no exception to this. F1 has travelled with the times and broadened its horizons. Vacating its traditional bases could be a threat for F1. However, F1 must go around the world to pay its way. The reward from this weekend’s exploration is first-hand access to a nation of 1.2 billion people, of whom around two-thirds are aged under 35. Not yet but soon, India will pay out a rich dividend to reward F1 for its rich pioneering expansion.
Buddh International Circuit— Inside the Ferrari garage
Scuderia Ferrari’s chief techie, Andrea Beneventi is the man who leads the tech show at Ferrari’s F1 enterprise. It was fascinating to witness the sheer amount of diligence and hard work they put behind each car to go steady on tracks. Here’s what you perhaps never knew:
• The Ferrari Team uses a legion of Acer Laptops, Servers and Rack based machines among which most run Quad-Core Processors tied in with 8GB of RAM which also run specially tailored software meant for data collection, telemetry and the works.
• Real-time Telemetry is shared between the car and the Ferrari Garage in the pit lane and between the factories in Maranello. For any link up between the track server and Maranello, Ferrari uses Multiprotocol Label Switching Network (MPLS), which enables very high data, transfer speeds of up to 6 MegaBits/ second. In fact, the guys in Maranello even have access to the communication between the drivers and the pit-lane engineers.
• Beneventi reports that, the team collects about 2 to 3 GB of data for one car over the course of a race weekend, which is stored in the main server in the pit garage.
• Ferrari makes its F1 cars on almost 1/4th of the budget that it used to, which led the team to develop a brand new technology from scratch for the Apotation Meter as there previous technology would not fit in the budget.
F1 Grand Prix –The desi connection
Forget Mallya or Chandok or Narain, when you look at the Indian connection, the bond is a little stronger than the familiar names and is certainly not limited to them. Monisha Kaltenborn Narang, and Tony Fernandes witnessed homecoming as they occupy important position in three leading F1 teams.
Monisha Kaltenborn Narang
Monisha happens to be the CEO of Sauber F1 and was born in Dehradun. She spent the first eight years in the North Indian town before moving to Austria and is a mother to two kids.
Tony’s father, who is the owner of Team Lotus, was born in Goa and brought up in Kolkata. For the 47-year-old Tony, who also owns the budget airline Air Asia, is also a majority stake holder in the English football club Queens Park Rangers. Tony loves Bollywood and is passionate about cricket too.