Ah, the simple pure meritocracy of sport.
Ferrari Move to Calm Navy Flag Row
Published: October 27, 2012 at 7:15 AM ET
GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) – Ferrari moved to placate angry Indian authorities on Saturday with an assurance that a navy flag on their Formula One cars was not a political statement of support for Italian sailors detained for killing local fishermen.
Umm… so what is it then?
The Italian navy flag will, however, remain on the cars for the remainder of the Indian Grand Prix weekend.
The two sailors were detained in February on charges of killing two Indian fishermen while protecting a cargo ship off the Indian ocean coast.
Italy says the sailors, who were released on bail in June in the southern state of Kerala, mistook the men for pirates.
Ferrari issued a statement on Saturday saying they had put the flag on their cars as a tribute to “one of our country’s outstanding institutions”.
The declaration overwrote one published on their website (www.ferrari.com) earlier in the week that had also hoped the sailors’ situation would be resolved.
After all, they were brown people on a boat. Who’s to know that they weren’t pirates, or illegal immigrants, or drug smugglers?
They have no rights a rich person is bound to respect.
Motor Racing: Mallya Flies In for Indian GP, Slams Critics
Published: October 27, 2012 at 3:15 AM ET
The liquor and aviation tycoon, no longer a billionaire according to the latest Forbes list, flew in from London on his private Airbus after suggestions that he might stay away to avoid having it impounded.
Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines had its license suspended by India’s civil aviation authorities last week and has not flown since the start of October after a protest by employees, unpaid since March, turned violent.
The airline has never turned a profit and, according to the consultancy Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, has total debt estimated at about $2.5 billion.
Mallya is an important figure in Formula One, a longtime friend of F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone and sitting on the governing International Automobile Federation’s world motor sport council.
He was also instrumental in bringing the sport to the country and co-owns the first and only Indian-licensed team.
“Kingfisher Airlines is a Plc. They (the local media) don’t understand the concept of a Plc.”
“In a Plc where is one man, who might be the chairman, responsible for the finances of the entire Plc? And what has it got to do with all my other businesses? I have built up and run the largest spirits company in the world in this country.”
Asked whether he had flown to India on his plane, Mallya vented more frustration.
“You are probably referring to my plane being seized? Wonderful. I don’t owe anybody money,” he said. “Why should my plane be at risk. It’s so stupid.”
Move along- no corruption to see here.
Despite Formula One, Jaypee’s balance sheet remains a big challenge
Ravi Teja Sharma, Economic Times
28 Oct, 2012, 09.17 AM
A few years ago when the Gaur family, promoters of the Jaypee Group, first talked about setting up a racetrack to host F1 in India, many scoffed. That changed in 2009, when the Gaurs signed a 10-year deal with F1’s controlling body, FIA, to build the circuit and hold the event and then followed it up by getting the track ready in two years flat.
However, since the inaugural race in October last year, the group has had to grapple with uncertainty and red tape as Uttar Pradesh voted out Mayawati, who was considered to be close to the Gaurs. With Mayawati’s bete noire Akhilesh Yadav at the helm of UP politics, the opening of the 185-km long, Rs 13,000-crore Yamuna Expressway – that connects Greater Noida with Agra – was delayed.
There is some history to that. Before the UP elections in early 2012, there was apprehension about the future of the group if Mayawati was ousted from power. Analysts tracking the company were worried about the impact of possible political change (and vendetta that follows with political change in India) on the business.
Soon after his election, Akhilesh Yadav referred to the expressway during a debate in the UP assembly as an “expressway of scams meant to provide huge undue favours to a select company”. Some of these fears seemed justified when the company was kept hanging for a completion certificate and formalities for the opening were completed in a hurry by the UP government only on the night before the opening. However, a behind-the-scenes rapprochement seemed to have been worked out as the expressway was opened to the public in August by Yadav himself.
The toll revenue from the expressway was never what attracted Jaypee to this project in the first place. To build the expressway, the company did not charge anything from the government, but was given 6,175 acres of land across five locations (1,235 acres each) along the expressway, which it will use to develop around 530 million sq ft of real estate over the years. The group has already sold 68 million sq ft of space in Noida and Greater Noida, with a sale value of over Rs 14,000 crore and the company has got advances of Rs 7,800 crore.
Yamuna Expressway, DND flyway to be toll-free for F1 final day
25 Oct, 2012, 07.21PM
GREATER NOIDA: Yamuna Expressway and DND Flyway will be toll-free on Sunday, the final day of Formula one racing event.
Commuters from Agra, Mathura and Noida will get signal- free and toll-free movement and they will be able to reach Buddh International Circuit to watch the Formula one car racing final, the Yamuna Expressway spokesperson said.
Mayur Vihar Toll Plaza will not be free, said Abbasi. Last year during the final day of the Formula one event, the traffic volume on DND was around 75,000 vehicles, he said.
And that has nothing to do with this-
Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone unperturbed by smaller crowds at second edition of Indian Grand Prix
Greater Noida, October 28, 2012, UPDATED 13:13
It is an open secret that ticket sales for the second Indian Grand Prix at the Buddh International Circuit have been sluggish compared to last year, when a near full house welcomed the sport to country.
The Briton, who turns 82 on Sunday, feels his close friend and Force India chief Vijay Mallya should consider having an Indian driver in his team.
On the topic of Mallya and his troubled Kingfisher Airlines, he added: “I think what Mallya has done for India is super. Everyone should support him. His company has run into some difficulties, but so have many other companies because we are going through a recession.” Formula One makes its long-awaited return to the United States in three weeks’ time and Ecclestone is hopeful that the experiment won’t be a failure like in the past, when the public never warmed up to the twists and turns of an F1 circuit instead of their usual oval fare. But he couldn’t resist taking a dig at Americans.
“The trouble with doing anything in America is that they want to be guaranteed money before anything starts. The people in Austin have built a super circuit. Indianapolis did the same, but there was a bit of a family problem in the way it was run,” he said.
Let me be the first to say Happy Birthday asshole.
Bernie has this guy in mind-
India’s Unassuming Formula One Pioneer
By BRAD SPURGEON, The New York Times
Published: October 26, 2012
“I was the first guy from India to be in Formula One, nobody had been to this territory before,” he said in a recent interview. “So it was all inventing it myself. Being a pioneer is always difficult, and I’m glad to have got another chance to race in Formula One.”
The HRT team is one of the weakest – and newest – in the series. After almost three full racing seasons, it has yet to score a single point. But Karthikeyan says he knows his value as a driver.
(R)acing at all levels requires money from its drivers, and Karthikeyan said it was not easy to persuade Indian companies to pay for a sport so little known in his country. Still, early on he gained the support of the Tata group of companies, and Tata eventually supported his entry into Formula One.
Tata, based in Mumbai, grew as a global conglomerate at the same time as Karthikeyan’s career grew, and it helped him fund his second stint in Formula One as well.
Wouldn’t want anyone uppity like Hamilton after all.
Winning Is Always the Goal for Hamilton
By BRAD SPURGEON, The New York Times
Published: October 26, 2012
Winning is always the main goal, and that is the most exciting part. It is the most satisfying part of all the work that goes into it. But as you get to Formula One, you realize this is the pinnacle of the sport and winning tons of times is not that easy. So it makes you learn to appreciate them more. When you have a longer gap, when you have 20 races and you only have three wins, those wins you really appreciate, because it took a lot of effort from yourself and from all the people that are in the team. And of course you want to win as many titles as possible. But it is getting harder and harder to do so.
Besides, these 3rd world countries are always letting Rally Squirrels run around.
Indian GP Moves on From the Dog Days of 2011
Published: October 27, 2012 at 5:03 AM ET
Last year’s inaugural race at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) was dogged by feral hounds on the dusty track during practice and teething problems in a paddock that was far from finished.
There has so far been no repeat of last year’s canine interruption.
“Every single intervention post has a gate now. We learnt from mistakes. It was very well controlled by the volunteers last year. There was no panic, it did not cause any accident.”
“There’s a sucker born every minute”- P.T. Barnum
Formula One race in New Jersey postponed until 2014 because of organizational problems
By Associated Press
Oct 19, 2012 04:49 PM EDT
“The event is not going to happen” in 2013 as planned, F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone said Friday. “Everything is set up, but it’s now too late to finish on time.”
Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner earlier told The Jersey Journal the race would not proceed next year. The newspaper said Turner and another unidentified mayor contend organizers were behind on road repairs and permits.
“The reason is because they didn’t quite know what they were doing,” Ecclestone said. “They got all the permissions together. Everything was done, that was all fine, but then they missed the boat a little on some financing that was coming in.”
Motor Racing: French GP Could Return in 2013-Ecclestone
Published: October 28, 2012 at 3:00 AM ET
GREATER NOIDA, India (Reuters) – The French Grand Prix could be back on the calendar next year for the first time since 2008, Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone said on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters on his 82nd birthday at the Indian Grand Prix, the Briton suggested France could fill a slot vacated by a postponed New Jersey race and bring the championship back to 20 rounds.
One month till Austin’s F1 race and still much to do at Circuit of the Americas
By John Maher, American-Statesman Staff
Posted: 6:33 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
A staggering amount of preparations already have been completed at the $300 million Circuit of the Americas, which two years ago was just scrub pastureland. On Wednesday, Braedon Box, project manager for the circuit, said, “Everything track-related is done. We could have a race right now. Everything else isn’t done … I’m certain everybody would like to be a little further along and putting their feet up right now.”
One of the biggest projects still unfinished is a three-lane extension of Kellam Road, which is still not paved.
The two-thirds of a mile extension will create a northern entry for the track off Pearce Lane and should help ease traffic flow. A graded dirt road was punched through weeks ago.
“They got some heavy iron and knocked that out in two weeks,” Box said. “(Then) there was a lot of start, stop and pause.”
He said the new road passed over three gas lines and a water line. Overhead utility issues also cropped up, and the last of those issues was resolved this week, Box said, adding that once paving begins it will take only a few days.
Racing? Hards and Softs.
Pretty tables below.