Renault seemed all set to make a comeback at the Hungaroring – they were going to use their mass damping system and different tyres, and Alonso seemed to be hungry to get back at Schumacher. All that seems to be ruined now – they are not using the damping system and Alonso has earned himself two penalty seconds during practice. If this pushes him back on the starting grid, we may see Massa and Schumacher leading the pack like last week, with serious competition coming only from Raikkonnen, who was tripped up by his own pit crew.
Sunday was a fantastic day of sports – first the F1 race in Bahrain, then the biggest run chase in one-day cricket history!
Bahrain was a good race, and saw Schumacher returning to winning ways. Though Alonso took the first position, it was good to see the Ferrari team getting its act together. Things did not go so well for Massa, Barichello’s replacement, and a botched up pit stop saw him slip from a potential podium finish to ninth place. Alonso drove a dream race, giving Schumacher a taste of his own medicine, going tyre-to-tyre with him coming out of the pit. Raikkonnen took third, driving with an incredible one-stop strategy. Rookie Nico Rosberg made a dream debut, driving a fantastic race to overtake Coulthard and Klein in the last stages of the race to finish seventh, claiming two championship points in the bargain. Apparently the last person to take championship points on debut was Rosberg’s Williams-Cosworth team-mate, Mark Webber, who finished just ahead of him.
The cricket crowd at Chennai has been called, in all forms of media and by all sorts of “personalities,” as a very knowledgeable and sporting crowd. Maybe that is why they have left the Chepauk stadium still standing, never mind the millions of rupees the national and state cricket bodies have made off it by just promising cricket without delivering for the past three years.
Today’s continuing rain, as well as the cloudy outlook that seems to promise more rain over the next few days, has effectively washed away any chances there might have been of a good game of cricket. And yet, hope springs eternal in the Chennaivaasi’s mind, as he (and/or she) swells the coffers of our cricket associations, whose custodians are smiling even in the rain – after all, each match washed out means more money earned without too much trouble. What’s a couple of pesky court cases by no-name busybodies and a few gently speculative media reports when you get a few million (30, for the one day international that never was against South Africa) rupees in the bargain.
Imagine the Cricket World Cup. Now imagine, just before the tournament starts, seven of the ten teams say they brought hockey sticks instead of cricket bats, and so, can there be a “compromise” for the sake of the fans, and can the organisers erect hockey goalposts and remove the stumps so that hockey can be played. The seven teams are magnanimous, saying that they are willing to forego the goals they score – they just want to play so that the fans will not be disappointed.
The organisers refuse, and so the seven teams withdraw from the tournament, letting the three teams that brought proper equipment to play for the trophy.
Watched the Canadian Grand Prix last night. What a race! The Renaults starting from 3 and 4, led till about halfway. Fisichella went out in the 32nd with hydraulics trouble and Alonso went out in the 38th with suspension problems. Kimi Raikkonen drove a great race, holding off a spirited last minute challenge from Michael Schumacher, who also drove a great race. Ferrari scored again with Barichello, who started from the pit in Michael’s spare car, finished third. Our own Narain Karthikeyan kissed the wall with his right rear tyre, ruining his suspension and retiring from the race. Jordan teammate Tiago Monteiro went on to finish tenth.
Narain Karthikeyan will draw a few million more Indians to watch the Aussie GP.
Rohit Brijnath’s write up in the Hindu was cool I thought. The bit about the “£10,000 carbon-fibre helmets” sent me checking after it. But a look at the Official Formula 1 Website‘s description of an F1 helmet seems to make the figure probable.
Narain has come in 18th and 19th in the first and second practices today. We wait and watch. Me especially, since he is a fellow (ex) Coimbatorean!
Finally, the wait is over. The much-vaunted Premier Hockey League starts today with favourites Sher E Jalandhar (Jalandhar Lions) taking on the Hyderabad Sultans. My team (the affiliation is purely geographical!) the Chennai Veerans, begin tomorrow, playing the Maratha Warriors.
Having shopped around and found no PHL mechandise, I have to be content with putting up a Chennai Veerans badge on this page!