Amiable Vettel on India

Amiable Vettel on India

Sebastian Vettel has now won both the Indian Grand Prix. He was asked about his feelings on India as a country in the post-race (non podium) press conference. His response was simply beautiful:

India has a lot to offer. There are a lot of people here: 1.3 billion or more so quite incredible and just to see that, to see how people live here, to see the culture, I think is very very different. In life, I think a lot is always about expectations and in Europe expectations are very very high. Money plays a big role whereas here, I think, expectations are fairly low. Money is not that important. It doesn’t matter how old you are. I think it’s more important to have a healthy, happy life, to enjoy your life with your family, with your kids. Sometimes to compare the circumstances you live in, here in India compared to Europe – obviously I grew up in Germany – it’s black and white, it’s very different but it’s nice to see that the people are so happy, warm-hearted. I think it would definitely be nice to spend a little bit more time to travel around and get more of an idea.

At Japan, he similarly acknowledged & respected their culture. On the podium he applauded Kamui Kobayashi’s third position & spoke a little Japanese. He was also brought to tears when Kate Walker reminded him he’d reached Jim Clark’s record of wins.

At Singapore, he dedicated his win to Professor Sid Watkins (both straight after in the car when he’s usually doing the crazy frog and on the podium), paying homage to his incredible work throughout the decades.

Say what you want about his finger & tendency to annoy/bore audiences with showcases of dominance, he’s such a amiable chap. A world champion the Formula One community is pleased to be represented by.

October 28, 2012 0 comments Read More
★ Gearboxes and 5 years ago…

★ Gearboxes and 5 years ago…

5 years ago to this day, Kimi Raikkonen took an incredible come from behind championship victory at Interlagos. Hamilton suffered a gearbox issue(Youtube Link) which put an end to his challenge.

Gearboxes have been silently instrumental in shaping this year’s championship thanks to a new cost-saving legislation requiring a single gearbox to last 5 races. Failure to do so would mean a 5 place grid penalty if a new one is taken before the race (hence ruining your race, as seen countless times this season) or a DNF (Hamilton at Singapore). Embedded below is a great video explaining the intricacies of a Formula One gearbox courtesy of Sky Sports F1.

The most fascinating statement from that video for me is James Allison’s comment how Sau Paulo is a circuit notorious for breaking gearboxes… It’ll be the very last race on the very last gearbox that some drivers (Vettel in particular) have.

I can’t help but feel there might be a case of history repeating itself this year… Red Bull and Vettel look set to dominate the next few races. There could well be a scenario where Alonso needs a Vettel DNF and a win to take the title come Interlagos. Felipe Massa always goes well around Sao Paulo and “co-operated” in 2007 to let Kimi take the victory. With his rejuvenated form (he was faster in Korea), could we see Massa having to “co-operate” again for Alonso?

I do hate it when factors outside the driver’s control affect his championship. But that’s motorsport. Vettel’s had many alternator troubles this year and I don’t wish him bad luck. The best title deciders are like those of Suzuka 1988 between Senna and Prost or 1998/2000 between Schumacher and Mika Häkkinen. Two elite drivers battling it out till the very end, lap after lap.

October 21, 2012 0 comments
Senna Wallpaper

Here’s a full HD wallpaper which I’d like to share with you all. It’s Senna (in my view) at his best – In the number 1 beautiful McLaren MP4-5 that contrasts vividly with his iconic yellow helmet. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this car in person- with it’s clean lines and massive rear tyres, it’s truly a sight to behold.

October 20, 2012 0 comments
Jousting for Position

Jousting for Position

Jousting for position at Turn 1. Rosberg, Button and Perez.

(via Reddit)

October 18, 2012 0 comments
The ‘Massa’ Kerbs in India

The ‘Massa’ Kerbs in India

Felipe Massa had a torrid time at the inaugural Indian GP, twice hitting the “sausage kerbs” guarding the boundaries of the extremely fast turns in the middle sector. Much like the formidable Esses at Suzuka’s first sector, a driver’s rhythm is everything.

Massa complained last year asking for the removal of such kerbs. What did the Indian authorities do?

“We have added additional sausage kerbs to deter the drivers even more,” a BIC official told the Times Of India.

And they named them ‘Massa kerb’s! Hands down the best response to a driver complaint ever.

Good on them for doing so! It’s not unsafe & righty protects track limits which we see drivers regularly exceed.

October 17, 2012 0 comments
RIP Dan Wheldon

RIP Dan Wheldon

“Welcome to immortality” – first words in this touching tribute to Dan Wheldon from NBC (network taking over F1 coverage from SPEED).

Dan tragically passed away this day a year ago. Let’s celebrate his exploits and achievements.

October 16, 2012 0 comments
Red Bull’s string of upgrades | BBCF1 →

Red Bull’s string of upgrades | BBCF1 →

Great succinct technical roundup by Gary Anderson explaining Red Bull’s re-emergance in pace. There are lots of improvements (rear geometry, sidepods and such) that holistically make a much better package. The two standout improvements are:

  1. A new front wing which Martin Brundle in Singapore described as “a work of art”. The front wing is the first piece of bodywork which comes in contact with the air and is arguably the most crucial aspect to the whole car philosophy.

  2. Double DRS’s effect in the race when it’s technically not used. It enables Red Bull to run a higher downforce setup in races (their better DRS negates it in qualifying) compared to their rivals. The Bulls have always preferred higher downforce configurations. Vettel took pole at Monza (the lowest downforce circuit) in 2011 with the highest downforce setup.

With the field so tightly packed just a few tenths can give the allusion of apparent dominance. This title’s not over yet but with even more updates coming soon for Red Bull Ferrari needs some substantial updates. Fast.

October 16, 2012 1 comment
Alonso “signed off” Vettel | BBCF1 →

Alonso “signed off” Vettel | BBCF1 →

The BBC has put it’s weight around the persistant rumor of Ferrari having a “pre-contract” with Vettel for 2014. I’ll address my views on this more in a separate article but I found this particularly interesting (linked post so just click the header):

Vettel’s potential move to Ferrari has been sanctioned by Fernando Alonso, their number one driver. The Spaniard, himself a double world champion, has a say in the identity of his team-mate and vetoed the idea of 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton joining Ferrari earlier this year.

Alonso would rather have Vettel as his teammate rather than Hamilton. I don’t think this has anything to with Alonso’s McLaren days since he’s several times publicly acknowledged his problems were with the McLaren management rather than Lewis himself.

This could either be taken two ways. Either Alonso genuinely wants an enormous challenge towards the later end of his career duelling with the man who beat his youngest double world champion record or he believes Hamilton is a better driver than Vettel.

Personally, I would like Vettel to stay at Red Bull at 2014. With Alonso at Ferrari, Hamilton at Mercedes and Button at McLaren utilising the full respective might of their teams, we’re in for one enthralling championship title fight.

October 16, 2012 1 comment
Korean GP 2012 Featured Photo: Tour De Force Vettel

Korea Featured Photo: Vettel & Red Bull – Tour De Force

October 14, 2012 0 comments
★ A Change in Philosophy and The Road Ahead

★ A Change in Philosophy and The Road Ahead

This website has always been a very much personal affair- I’ve always been the sole writer behind all the articles on here and am culpable for it’s constant design changes. Truth be told, I’ve been very pleased and satisfied with the last two designs on the website. I spent significant (read: far too much) amount of time designing and customising them. My aim’s always been to reach an ideal mix of simplicity, minimalism and rich content. I keep iterating to reach that idealist aim.

Until this point, Literal F1 has been a showcase of written text. Articles that I’ve penned on fascinating Formula One developments. However, that tends to be a burden in itself. Long time readers will know of my manta “quality not quantity” when it comes to posting on here. I’m a self confessed ardent perfectionist and most certainly the biggest critic of my own work. I always ask myself the question: “are you fully proud of what you’ve written?” before hitting that rather intimidating ‘publish’ button. This is however, incredibly time intensive. I’m rather ashamed to say it takes me weeks to go from an idea to an article published and up on the website. Furthermore…

October 13, 2012 1 comment Read More