Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What I will remember about Micheal Schumacher

I'm not a Micheal Schumacher fan. Yet, in all fairness, I do agree that he's probably the greatest racing driver of all time. What I didn't like about him was his gamesmanship. I felt it was unnecessary and most of the time uncalled for. That's I have put together things that I remember in this post rather than going by what the pundits say. For e.g. I can't say that I saw the 1994 collision with Hill because I just stopped watching F1 when Senna died. I didn't see the 1995 season either. Seasons earlier to that are so far back that I just don't remember much about Schumacher in those years.

This post is a tribute to Micheal Schumacher.

Things that made me drop my jaw -
1. Revival of Ferrari. There's no way that Ferrari could have won any of their championships from 1999 onwards without Micheal Schumacher. The genius of man was such that he was able to win 3 races in 1996 with a POS. That's when Williams were super dominant and could have won every single race. What also made the difference was Ross Brawn and Rory Bryne following him to Ferrari. The difference was visible immediately and Schumacher could have won the 1997 season itself.
2. Overall Record. The same number of wins as Prost and Senna put together. That's pretty amazing. I still remember the post race press conference where Schumacher had equalled Senna's Record of 41 wins. Going hand in hand with these was his absolute domination of the 2002 and 2004 seasons.
3. Jerez 1996. Some say that he could won that race in a Minardi. That's how good he was in that race
4. Spa 1998. This was a race he didn't win but it was because he ran into the back of DC's car. But it was a rain affected race and it was just incredible to see him in the rain. He had nearly a minute's lead and was coasting to victory when it happened.
5. Sepang 1999. To my mind, this is his best race ever. He came back from injury and promised to help Eddie Irvine win. And boy oh boy did he do that. Nobody is a better defensive driver that MS and the way he held back Hakkinen was just incredible. It wasn't just 1 or 2 laps but a whole bunch of laps. Mind you Hakkinen was no slouch in the Mclaren either. Hakkinen did get the better of Schumacher in Spa 2000 with an amazing overtaking move, and keeping that in perspective, this effort in Sepang was astonishing. I also remember him defending against Ralf in Brazil 2002, but won't rate that as highly because Ralf's known limitations as a racer.
6. Brazil 2006. I think his last race was a bit underrated. He was nearly a lap down on Massa after a few laps and yet managed to come within a few seconds of second place Alonso. That means he gained almost 40 odd seconds on Massa! That's pretty special.

Some of things that made me go "That's why I don't cheer for him" aka gamesmanship -
1. Last race of  1997 against JV
2. Austria 2001, 2002 "against" Barrichello
3. Indy 2004's Dead Heat Attempt
4. Monaco 2006 Car Parking

Myopic view of , , ,

Monday, October 09, 2006

More than 50 years, but still no progress

Recently, a friend of mine told me that he had agreed to get married. That sentence would sound a little odd, unless you already knew about arranged marriages in India. The system basically starts with the parents of a "suitable boy" or a "suitable girl" take it upon themselves to convince their son/daughter that it is time that he/she gets hitched. After some persuasion, the prospective bride/grom gives her/his requirements. Some parents choose to ignore these and but many urbane, educated, "modern" folks do keep these "requirements" in mind.

In my friends case, it was his requirements that shocked and surprised me
1. She had to speak only a particular south indian language. No other south indian language would do, because
a) He disliked the movies and tv shows made in another south indian language
b) His mother disliked the other remaining languages
c) The girl should not feel offended if my friend and his mother happened to converse in his mother tongue
2. She must be religious and must have no aversion to a particular sect (with its own weird and controversal guru). If he chooses to donate hundreds of thousands of Rupees to the sect then its his choice and she must not have anything to say about it
3. She must not watch too much TV or movies as its offensive to his parents.
4. She must first devote herself to taking care of his parents and next him. Her wishes are irrelavent.

I could go on further, but my point is made. Essentially, I feel my friend is not looking for a marriage or for a soulmate. He's looking for a slave.

What surprised and shocked me was that this friend was very well educated, highly capable in his job, liberal in his views and quite dynamic. And yet, what these "requirements" reveal is a very parochial and narrow minded person. It was this revelation that came as a shock. After more than 50 years of Indians trying to rid themselves of their parochial nature, even the most educated, well travelled, well read people still tend to be highly discriminating in their personal chocies and views.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Its not that just one blow up

It looks more than likely than Alonso will now win the championship, but its not because of Schumacher's Ferrari blowing up its engine in Japan. In the end, its due to Alonso having a better start to the season than Schumacher.

Considering that its been 6 years since Schumacher's car has had an engine failure, its a bit ironic that this season may be coming to an end without a title due to an engine failure. He has won 5 championships for Ferrari since 2000 simply because of that amazing relability. Some call it luck, some say it was amazing driving, some say divine inspiration, and others a bit of FerrArI magic (sic).

All said and done, I think Ferrari are the best team in terms of reliability and that's why they have won so often. Consider the case of Raikkonen who is now moving to Ferrari. He lost the championship last year because of reliability issues and if his McLaren was reliable, then could have finished 3rd in the championship this season.

But, that's the luck of the draw. Sometimes its destiny, sometimes its luck and sometimes its outside forces. link (nsfw).

Friday, October 06, 2006

What to do during a Bandh?

Everything comes to a standstill, so what's the best things one can do?

Most Bangaloreans thought that its best not to venture out, but I couldn't resist. Who can resist the chance of driving through silk board at 9.00 AM on a Wednesday, with no traffic?

That's what I did and added a drive to Electronics City and back. 8 mins from Silk board to Electronics City and 7 mins on the way back.
I can't remember the last time, anyone could do that at 9.00 AM on a Wednesday Morning!! Ya..

Talking of zipping in and out of traffic, here's a nice clip of a "leisurely" stroll through Paris. Yes sir, for F1 Drivers, this surely is a leisurely pace.