Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Brawn Identity

F1 2008 , in the recession era , has witnessed several changes , in the form of cost cutting (almost 60 %) , structural modifications to the car and rule changes.

The changes include :

  • Return of the slick tyres (in addition to the intermediates, the wet tyres and the soft compound tyres)
  • A smaller rear wing and a much wider front wing with driver-adjustable flaps
  • KERS, the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems which can give drivers up to an additional 85 horsepower for 6.6 seconds a lap
  • Engine : ev limits will be cut from 19,000 to 18,000 rpm. Drivers will be limited to eight engines per season, with each team allowed an additional four engines for testing
  • The pit lane will now remain open throughout any safety-car period, allowing drivers to refuel without penalty
(source : F1.com)

FIA , has constantly revolutionizing the sport , with radical changes almost every year , to keep up with the popularity of the sport ,in comparison to others .Their aim has been basically to stop the dominance of certain drivers and teams ,due to their increased financial resources and highly advanced R&D setup, which has ultimately led to declining interest in viewership ( Not yet proved completely !!)

They first went after the racing god , Michael Schumacher , by introducing structural modifications in the F1 car to prevent him from winning . When he eventually retired , they went after the Ferrari team , and to stop their monopoly in the constructor standings, and as such havent been successful in stoppign them.

Until last year , the game stood as a 2 horse race , with only Ferrari and Mclaren giving it a real tough fight to gain the championship , with the likes of Renault , Sauber , Toyota coming a distant fifth or sometimes barely scoring a point.
Season 2009 , on the other hand has a come real shocker , with debutantes "Brawn-Mercedes"(Ex-Honda) team , comprising of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello has finished 1-2 while giants like Ferrari and Mclaren hardly finished the race .

As far as marketing is concerned , its a good thing to see a healthy competition existing amongst the teams, but when it comes to a sport like F1 , the fan base basically comprises of a 70 % Ferrari fans and a 30 % Mclaren (read : Lewis Hamilton fans) and hence it will be a major disappointment to see a team like Ferrari struggle against minnows like Brawn Mercedes,Red Bull,Torro Rosso or Toyota

F1 boss,Bernie Ecclestone has certainly got his facts wrong , and is acting upon a wrong assumption that , F1 can be saved only if even the lower placed teams are given a handicap or some other kind of advantage to give them a podium finish.

F1 doesnt sell because Jenson Button or a Sebastian Bourdais wins
F1 doesnt sell in India because it has the Force India team ( If thats the case , GP2 should be more popular , since India seemed to grab more wins there )
F1 doesnt sell because of a Williams or a BMW Sauber car

The only reason F1 is the most favoured sport in the world is because of the Prancing Horse,Ferrari . The single most greatest car in the whole world. Their dominance in the sport , (starting with Michael Schumacher till their recent find ,Felipe Massa) is the only reason F1 is surviving. A car , that has inspired millions to race , that has redifined the word "speed" and
has constantly stood for the ideal dream car , every guy wants to own.

Hope the Malaysian circuit brings back the Ferrari dominance. !

Ending on a lighter note , I just came across Jerry Seinfeld's standup act on loyalty towards sports teams :

" Loyalty to any one sports team is pretty hard to justify. Because the players are always changing, the team can move to another city, you're actually rooting for the clothes when you get right down to it. You know what I mean, you are standing and cheering and yelling for your clothes to beat the clothes from another city. Fans will be so in love with a player but if he goes to another team, they boo him. This is the same human being in a different shirt, they *hate* him now. Boo! different shirt!! Boo. "

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Delhi 6 to Chandini Chowks !

Am back here in the blogging circuit after an amazing trip to one of the splendors of India , Rajasthan and Delhi

Covering a distance of almost 2000 kms in a span of 5 days, it turned out to be a very long road journey covering almost several parts of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer , Pokran, Ajmer , Pushkar & Delhi and back to Chennai. Yet it was an enthralling and unforgettable experience to be mesmerised by the grandeur and beauty of the forts and palaces

But what really struck me , was the phenomenal changes that has undergone in the nation's capital in the past few years. Delhi ,since childhood has always fascinated me in several ways . One being the beautiful historical monuments like Qutub Minar,Red Fort lined across the city, the immortal beauty of the Taj,the varied culture prevalent in the city , the food and the pretty gals :P

The same city though is now shedding its historical tag in lieu of becoming a highly developed "modern and a cool" city with its massive skyscrapers ,malls , discs and the dominance and rising fame of the shopping streets from Sarojini Nagar to Chandni Chowks , thanks to Bollywood cinema. Gurgaon , in fact looked like a shining jewel and resembled almost like New York ,at night when viewed from the highway

Not that I am against this trend of modernisation , it's jus sometimes a sad state to see history being forgotten , and other factors come into place .Reports indicate that even the famous city tours have begun including the Chandni Chowks the famous malls etc and leaving out the historical landmarks . People heading out to Delhi are more keen in checking out the famous malls and the shopping areas , than seeing the landmarks which might be of a little concern , for "Brand Delhi" .Can the brand still possess the historical places as its key trait ,and unique selling proposition or will Delhi 6 / Chandni Chowk replace it ?

To me , Delhi is a delightful and an unforgettable place ,which i love dearly the same way I love my Chennai (not jus for the landmarks but for several personal reasons :) , and I jus hope the history lives on for generations to come.