2014 model-based driver rankings

Ritesh:

Fantastic metrics, brilliant analysis, fine detail. Overall, a great read!

Originally posted on f1metrics:

2014 was a year completely dominated by the Mercedes team, with the barest sniff of the title for Ricciardo. But who would have won the title if all cars had been equal? Were the Mercedes drivers the year’s best performers, or would other drivers have looked even better behind the wheel of a Mercedes? That’s a question you could debate for hours. Alternatively, we can pose the question to a mathematical model, such as the one I previously used to estimate all-time driver rankings.

In a nutshell, my model ignores races for each driver where they had non-driver failures (e.g., mechanical DNFs), then uses points per race in each of the remaining races as a performance metric for each season. While this is not a perfect metric (e.g., it doesn’t assign blame for crashes), it does capture one of the most important aspects of driver performance, and it can…

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The EDM epidemic.

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I’m not going to begin this with a nice introduction. Rather, I’ll just get to the point. Its appalling, its sad, its frustrating and its painful. Something I, and many many other electronic music enthusiasts, hold so dear to our hearts, is being butchered and sold in pieces to the masses who can’t tell shit from Shinola! Its an epidemic and it inadvertently leaves us “old-timers” angry.

Music is just music, so why not enjoy it and leave all the anger aside, you say? Well, when music ceases to be music and becomes a mere vessel for corporate greed and posers/imposters corrupt the scene with all sorts of disgusting stuff, the anger just doesn’t want to be left aside. Each week, the charts are inundated with piles of steaming dog shit that hordes of morons lap up like Jesus bread, which in turn encourages even the guys who’ve done so much better in the past to contribute their few ounces to the pile. Its a vicious circle of grim.

From being a Friday night regular at some of the hottest trance nights in Europe to being stuck with the budding EDM scene in India, a lot has changed in my musical life. Now, don’t get me wrong. Its great that dance music is finally a thing in India, but, the problem is, its merely a lamer reflection of the pathetic scene in the US. Same shit, different place. There’s just no soul in it, no connect, no silent conversations among total strangers about some incredible moment within a track. I’ve had tears, goosebumps, total blackouts, more times than I can care to count, on the dance floor. I’ve seen a lot of fellow fans fall to the floor in submission after they had nothing more they could signal or shout or express, like they’ve just had the strongest cocaine shot in the world from thin air! That’s what its about. That’s the music doing all the talking and dealing. Not once, ever, had I seen a DJ pick up the mic and scream “put your hands up” or some crap in the middle of a build-up. That’s just retarded beyond comprehension! Not shocking that its led many to call it Electronic Douche Music..

Just a few years ago, the best trance night in London was a very un-posh, industrial looking club with nothing more than a DJ booth, a dancefloor, a bar, a standard sound system and a few lights. But what happened in that little space, every Friday night, was pretty darn special. It was the music. That was all that mattered. Almost each person inside that room for those 6 or 7 hours, was there just for the music. Some of the biggest (and most respected) names in dance music started their DJ careers in that very room. And no, I’m not talking about the massive douchebags of today you might be thinking of.

Having said all of that, my bone is not with the EDM fans of today as no one can blame them for not knowing what real dance music actually is. They just haven’t seen it. I wouldn’t even say they haven’t known better, as “better” would mean I’m comparing the music of those years to the music of now. It just can’t be compared. It was dance music. Now its just pop music, a majority of which seems to have been produced by the same guy, on the same day, in the same mood. That Daleri mashup? Yeah, sums it all up pretty effectively.

My bone is with the industry itself. Its become this massive money-spinning business that’s churning out “music” that’s no better than mass-produced consumer durables in factories all over Asia. Music is not a commodity. People need to make money, of course they do, but good artists were making money even before this whole EDM blow-up. Gigs were packed with fans in the thousands in those years too. But the music was honest. The artists were real. Their art was real. A small percentage of today’s top names are still doing the real thing and that’s about the only hope there is for the scene right now before it returns to the underground and cleans itself.

If you’re an electronic music fan and got into the scene recently, do yourself a favour and go listen to some of the stuff prior to 2009. Save yourself from the “charts” and dig up some lesser known stuff. You’d be amazed at what you’ve been missing out on! Ask someone who’s been into this for more than a couple years to point you in the right direction. Its not just music from those years, there’s a lot of music being made right now that still has that soul in it. There are more than a few producers who are still making amazing stuff that is far detached from the “EDM” you know. Look beyond the quarter-mil-a-gig guys and there’s gold lying out there waiting to touch your ears. Don’t be fooled by the feverish hoarding and ridiculously hyped up names that are nothing more than poster boys/girls of corporate marketing. Don’t put your music in the grocery bag. Put it somewhere closer to your heart.

Thanks for bearing with me..

Cheers!

Some great reads on this issue:

EDM – the worst thing that has ever happened to electronic dance music?

THE GREAT EDM DEBATE

EDM is the new American bubble

Some ugly truth behind the hyped up smoke screens:

PRODUCER FACTORY: THE LOWEST REACHED POINT IN EDM SO FAR

Some byproducts of the EDM business:

EDM Culture Bears Fashion Fruit

The Five Reasons YOU Should Invest More Time Into Your Blog


Everyone has a story or a song or an experience that once immortalized through blogging, will produce comfort or force thought or a reaction, somewhere around the world. Investing more time recording those experiences, assures that our imaginative creations, valued opinions and wealth of knowledge will find audiences to enjoy and learn from them, long after we are gone.

Read: The Five Reasons YOU Should Invest More Time Into Your Blog

By: Kendall F. Person (thepublicblogger)

LIFE – the greatest gift each of us ever received.

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E
verybody has a view of life, how they want it to be, how they always planned it to be and how they are working towards it. I’ve met countless people who are focused on building “the perfect life”. Sounds good and innocent, doesn’t it?

So what is this “perfect life”? What makes it perfect? A good job? A good house? A nice car? A perfect partner perhaps? Maybe.

Some people have all of that, yet when I ask them what’s the one thing they wish they had, the answer, more often than not, is a blank stare or confused silence. I used to wonder why that is? As I went through life myself, trying to follow the norm, the path to the “perfect life”, I unconsciously started to veer away. Day by day, week by week, I began to figure, life is not what most people try so hard to set in concrete. Life is like the beach sand – constantly moving, constantly shifting, changing shapes, dry now, wet later and dry again. It never stays set. The more you try to set it the way you want, the more it rebels and frustrates you by becoming what you didn’t want.
Don’t try to control it, tame it or force it. Let it be. There’s a beauty in how it moves. There’s an element of surprise in it all the time.
You never know what its going to look like after a few hours. That keeps you interested. Build your little sand castle and enjoy building it. Just don’t expect it to be permanent. Nothing is. It won’t be perfect. Nothing is. Perfection is a myth. Life is about this epic journey of randomness & unpredictability, not about the destination. Its in constant motion, all the time. Its a journey. Enjoy the journey, live it with an open mind, take your own path, build your little sand castles along the way and keep moving. The moment you get stuck at one, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment as the castle will get washed away, eventually. Keep moving, build something new, listen to a bird sing and smile. Don’t hang on there too long as the song will stop and the bird will fly away on its own journey. Say your goodbye and keep moving. We as humans have been blessed by the most creative and intelligent minds. Appreciate it and make use of it. Following set paths is an insult to that intelligent mind. Make your own.

Life is really not complicated at all and making your own path is not the Herculean task most think it is. It is, in fact, the most natural thing to do. We’ve been hammered so hard by the rule-bound industrial society that this natural act has been masked and buried. Dig it out. It is inside you. It is inside each one of us. Its liberating, and,  can solve almost all your worries and life issues. Its not bravery, its just life. Live it. That’s all you really need to do. If you can allow yourself to do what comes naturally to you & makes you happy, you’ll never have complaints.

Don’t look to do what others have said you must and you won’t have to find someone or something to blame later. You won’t have to “prove” yourself to others and won’t have to constantly nurture this false bubble of “achievement” when all you’re achieving is stagnation in a pond we call “society”. When most of the fish in this pond get to the same size, they try to find new ways to prove their worth. No one proves anything and all we get is a mess of clashing egos and pointless competition.

Right about then, if you pop the question “..what’s the one thing you wish you had”, you get the blank stare and/or the confused silence we began with.

Life can be really simple yet exciting and satisfying if you only allow yourself to live it.

A tribute to the unsung heroes of motorsport.

Caution: Some images in this article might be disturbing.
 

Mark Robinson (38) was a highly knowledgeable F1 fan who had been visiting the Canadian GP since the early 80s.
Image Courtesy: Facebook

Motor racing is a risky sport, no one needs to be told about that. Its dangerous not just for those who participate in it, but also for the hundreds of officials and staff on support duties at such events. Last Sunday, at the 2013 Canadian GP, we were faced with a rude and brutal reminder of this very fact.

Mark Robinson (38), who volunteered as a marshal for Sunday’s race, slipped under the wheel of a crane as it was carrying Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber from the track, which had crashed in the final laps of the race.

Image Courtesy: globalnews.ca

Robinson, reportedly, dropped his radio while walking with the crane and reached down to pick it up. The crane/tractor operator could not see him and as a result, ran over him. Robinson was airlifted to Sacre-Coeur Hospital by helicopter after being stabilized by race-track trauma nurses. He was declared dead in hospital. An absolute tragedy that could only be described as a freak accident.

The previously posted image of the incident has now been removed as it was seen as an insensitive gesture towards the incident. It was included in the article solely for purposes of bringing attention to the dangers of marshaling but many people didn’t see it that way. I respect those opinions and have taken the image down.

Marshals volunteer for this work out of their love and passion for motorsport. Their work is absolutely critical for the running of any motorsport event. They routinely put their lives at risk to ensure smooth and safe running of racing events. They’ve saved numerous lives over the years and many have lost their own lives in the process.

F1 went through a major overhaul of safety regulations in the 90s after the horrendous weekend at Imola ’94. Everybody knows what happened there. As a result, deaths have been rare in F1. The last time a marshal was killed was in 2001 and this is only the third fatality since 2000. An absurd, but very unfortunate, incident. According to his friends and colleagues, Robinson was a highly knowledgeable F1 fan who absolutely adored and almost worshipped the sport. He’d been attending the Canadian GP since the early 80s. As expected, almost all the teams and drivers have expressed their grief and shock over the incident.

An official enquiry is underway:

The Commission de la sante et de la securite de travail (CSST) said Monday that six months—give or take—would be needed to complete the report. “Our inspectors were on the site last night and looked at the overall situation and what they will try to figure out over the next couple of days is what exactly occurred,” CSST spokesperson Jacques Nadeau said on Monday, adding that interviews with fellow volunteers would be forthcoming. “They probably know exactly how he went under the tractor that was carrying the car,” Nadeau said. “But we need to let them cool off and let them find their senses. Our main concern is that the workers are in good health.”

FIA president Jean Todt issued a personal statement on behalf of the governing body:

“I would like to share my profound sadness, and that of the whole FIA community, following the tragic death of the circuit worker, who was working as a volunteer marshal at the Canadian Grand Prix,” Todt wrote. “My thoughts, and those of the FIA members, are with the worker’s family and friends and we all wish to extend our sincerest condolences, as well as our support, in these most tragic of circumstances. This tragedy has affected us deeply, and the whole of motor sport is profoundly touched by it.“In volunteering to be a marshal, he had made the choice to give his time, his knowledge and passion in the service of motor sport. All over the world, it is men and women like him who make possible the organisation of motor sport events. Without these thousands of volunteers who give their all selflessly, motor sport would simply not get off the starting line. I and the FIA want to share with each and every one of the pain resulting from this death, a hurt that unites us all today.”

Silverstone marshals have planned to pay tributes to Robinson when the F1 fraternity reconvenes at Silverstone later this month.

In the event of this tragedy, all I can say is – marshals deserve a lot more credit and recognition for the work they do for free. Putting your life at risk for something that you love is not something all of us could do. My thoughts and condolences remain with Mark’s family, friends and colleagues.

And to every brave marshal out there – you guys are the unsung heroes of motorsport!

Pirelli, Mercedes, FIA, FOM & a whole load of politics.

Let’s talk tyres, yet again.

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This whole Mercedes/Pirelli test controversy from Spain is about political games, not about Mercedes gaining any advantage at all. Its about the FIA and FOM facing off each other to expand and drag on what happened back in 2010 with the Michelin vs Pirelli decision.
Mercedes are the mere scapegoats that other teams want them to be in order to get lucky in some way and garner some points and/or testing mileage.
From my understanding, there is no controversy as such. Mercedes have gained no advantage from the test as according to Pirelli’s information (confirmed by Ross Brawn too), Mercedes had no identity of the tyres being used or the compounds being tested. It was a bit of a blind test in that, as far as Mercedes go, they only provided the car, driver(s) and the support personnel. They did not collect any tyre specific data.
What is going on now is, the FIA want to assert their power over the FOM and might try to use this to penalise Pirelli and (maybe) disallow them from being the supplier next year on grounds of technical breach of regulations.

When Pirelli were announced as the new supplier at the end of 2010, a part of the (somewhat odd) statement from the FIA read:

“..the sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA”

This might be relevant to the current situation as anybody can guess what it could mean.

FIA (or at least Jean Todt) wanted Michelin but the commercial rights holder wanted Pirelli. Bernie won that round. Who has the power over decision on tyre suppliers still remains unclear. The FIA sure wants to have a strong say in it.

Pirelli didn’t want to garner any more negative publicity or storm over tyres and hence kept the test out of media knowledge, but, it seems to have backfired.

We might have some news in Montreal.

Formula 1 & its so-called “pay drivers”.

There has been a lot of drumming recently about pay drivers and how they’re degrading our beloved sport. But I have one question: Who exactly do you call a pay driver and what is this formula that equates a sponsored driver to an incompetent one?

Some are of the opinion that you can buy a F1 race seat these days. I find that statement to be inherently false. Every driver has to go through the lower series and prove themselves with more than decent results to even have a crack at F1 regardless of sizeable sponsorship. No cabbage can just show up with a wad of cash and land a F1 race seat. That’s just not possible. The level of talent though, is another story and its certainly not measurable in terms of sponsorship money. Each individual case is different and I don’t think that a generalisation is correct or fair.

No pay driver can survive in F1 if he can’t prove his worth. They could very well get into F1 with sponsorship money, but staying there is a whole different ballgame. Look at Senna as a good example. Yes, it makes life harder for the experienced drivers who often have to leave due to lack of sponsorship, but then, if a driver has proven himself to be good enough, no team would let go of him. We can argue that the likes of Kobayashi, Glock, Kovalainen or Sutil deserve a seat, but if you look at it from another perspective, none of these drivers could achieve the big results that would guarantee them a competitive race seat. Seems unfair, given most of these drivers hardly ever had a winning car (though some did and still couldn’t bring home the results) but that’s how sport is. You have a very limited time to make your presence felt and early impressions are very important. Make no mistake though, every driver who manages to break into F1 is immensely talented, but there are some that go another step ahead and that’s when they become an Alonso or Hamilton or Vettel. I could count more than those three when it comes to champion material (Hulkenberg comes to mind), but the point is, if you have enough in you, ideally, you wouldn’t need huge sums of sponsorship money to get a team to keep you or hire you (in most cases).

Nico Hulkenberg secures GP2 Title

The thing is, if you have made enough good noises in the lower/feeder categories, a team shouldn’t have to think too hard or look at the size of your sponsorship wallet before signing you up. Of course, every single driver needs some sort of sponsorship or it would just not be possible for them to get through the whole routine that starts at an early age with karting and the eventual progression leading to F1 but that’s not the sponsorship we’re talking about. In today’s motor racing world, it would seem like you either have to have some pretty solid, glowing results on your CV or some decent results and solid sponsorship. But, that’s not always the case & there are always exceptions and unusual situations. So, its not fair to tag someone as a pay driver and automatically infer that he would be no good. People were saying similar things about Checo when he got in with Telmex money, look at him now! People said Maldonado was a useless pay driver until he proved how fast he was and that race win was no fluke. Although he managed to turn it all into an overall negative with his over-aggressive driving and countless crashes, he’s certainly not useless.

On the other hand, I’ve seen arguments in for, that new/rookie drivers make too many mistakes or don’t perform as well due to the lack of testing in F1 and they’re thrown into an F1 car with almost no experience or practice. There is some substance to that thought and I would not entirely disagree with it. But, most of these drivers get numerous chances (its a long season) to learn and correct their mistakes. Some do and shine, while others remain error/crash-prone or just don’t improve in pace. So again, a generalisation is simply not possible. The testing ban is not going anywhere and I think its a good thing. It keeps the playing field much more level as opposed to unlimited testing where teams with deeper pockets can obviously gain massive advantages. But it affects everybody the same. Every driver has to live with it. The ones who got in before the ban certainly benefited from it but those benefits only stay in play for the initial period of a driver’s stint in F1. So, that’s not really an excuse for not delivering over an entire season, neither is it the reason why someone else is delivering. Besides, this has nothing to do with sponsorship money/pay driver.

Pastor Maldonado

F1 is a pretty ruthless sport and you get chewed and spat out pretty quick if you don’t move fast enough. Mere performance is no guarantee. You have to stand out. You have to surpass expectations. Yes, the machinery plays a very important role in all of this, but then, if you manage to out-deliver your machinery, it won’t go unnoticed. Irrespective of your sponsors’ dough, these are the things that ultimately count. By no means am I saying that the drivers who lost out were not worthy, its just that the ones who got in might be just as worthy and they bring in some much needed funds and are younger. Its all a game of balancing and signing a driver, old or new, is akin to dealing a hand in poker. You win some, you lose some. Disregarding a driver just for the fact that he got sponsorship money along is just as unfair as saying an experienced driver got kicked out because he was no good. In the same vein, every driver who lost a seat did not necessarily lose out because he had no sponsorship to back him up. None of it is black & white, and this whole generalisation needs to stop.

Maldonado wins 2012 Spanish GP.

Let the driver prove himself before you start making judgements. A pay driver is not equal to an incompetent one and an incompetent driver cannot stay in the sport regardless of how much he (or his sponsors) paid. There’s very little margin for mediocre in this sport and that margin certainly does not get any wider with money.

Five wildly popular yet super-clunky/ugly apps on Android.

jbean_srgbThere are over 700,000 apps in the Google PlayStore but only a privileged few get to levels of insane popularity. These apps have tens of millions of daily users and are an ever-present part of our daily lives, Yet, some of these super-popular apps happen to be some of the clunkiest and/or the ugliest. Why? Well, ask the developers!

Here are the five worst offenders in my humble opinion.

  1. WhatsApp

    This has to be the clunkiest AND the ugliest one on the list. For a service that handles a mind-boggling ten billion messages per day, its a crying shame! It has been stuck on the Froyo UI for years and is one of the finest examples of a super lazy developer that cares as much about UI/UX as I care about Lady Gaga! It works, sure, but everytime I open this app up, my brain screams – eyesore!

  2. Facebook

    The ugly giant. Yes, its used by a billion people over the globe and is one of the biggest and most powerful internet companies and its mobile daily active users just surpassed its desktop daily active users. Yet, somehow, as baffling as it sounds, it is utterly incapable of building a decent mobile app. The Android app (and to a large extent, the iOS app too) just plain SUCKS. Its slow, its clunky, its riddled with bugs and its a usability nightmare. Everything about “how not to build a mobile app” seems to have been followed religiously while building this app. And those symptoms have started to extend to its secondary apps like Messenger, which keeps getting slower with each update and despite handling text messages now, has no sign (yet) of supporting Jellybean’s rich notifications or something like an option for different ringtones for chat/messages and text messages.

  3. Twitter

    Granted, its not ugly. But that doesn’t let it off the hook. Its just as clunky and fail-looking as the Facebook app. Its bug-free for the most part and works fairly well, but still looks like a lazy iOS port and has no signs of anything to do with Android’s Holo UI. Bad design and an adamant attitude towards it – recipe for fail.
    But hey, it at least supports multiple accounts and the push notifications actually work, unlike that blue mess called Facebook.

    They could both learn a thing or two from the likes of Foursquare, Path or the countless other brilliantly done apps. Hell, their biggest competitor, Google+, is one of the finest examples in itself. It looks great and works beautifully on both Android and iOS.

  4. WordPress

    Another one of those apps that could be awesome but is stuck at mediocre and borderline useless. Yes, this very blog resides on this platform. And I might have used the mobile app all of 5 times in over a year! Editing options are a joke, the UI looks like some sort of a flowchart and it couldn’t be any more alien to the Holo UI. It has zero notifications and reading on it is probably worse than just visiting the mobile website on your device’s browser. In short, it does no blasted good to a WordPress user on mobile.

  5. Instagram

    Alright, its not really ugly or too clunky, but, its still one lazy developer who ported the iOS app over to Android and refuses to have to do anything with Android’s native Holo UI.
    (That developer is now, Facebook, btw. I can sort of see where this app is going..)
    It takes a bunch of unnecessary taps to get things done and it does not support Android’s natural, side-to-side, swipe gestures. The 3-dot menu button takes you to another page instead of popping up a nice overlay menu like every other decent app does. For a service with over 50 million Android users (could be much higher, I’m not sure) that’s one lame app!

If you have more popular apps in mind that look/work terribly, chime in with a comment below.

FanVision (formerly Kangaroo TV) quits F1.

Reports suggest that FanVision have ended their ties with Formula 1 following problems in (you guessed it..) contract negotiations with the Formula One group (read Bernie).

As with everything Bernie, it was a money issue. The rather useful handheld device that many fans & team personnel used and loved during a grand prix weekend will no longer be available for Formula 1 services.

Jenson Button with the new FanVision handheld.

The device, while considered by some to be too expensive to buy or hire, was a very reliable and convenient way to keep up with all the action and data during a GP weekend. Although FanVision dropped prices recently, and was also trying to work out deals with promoters to include the units in the ticket price, the consumption among fans was low, albeit improving. But, its now no more. While leagues like NFL and series like NASCAR will continue to enjoy FanVision services, F1 will have to do without it.

FanVision spokeswoman: “As you know we have, for some months, been trying to find the basis of an agreement between FanVision and FOM in order to continue providing the service in F1 in 2013. Unfortunately it is now clear that we are not going to be able to agree terms with FOM and very reluctantly we have to confirm that we won’t be in F1 in 2013. It’s a big blow for us.”

This is the latest addition to a long queue of anti-fan decisions by the F1 group. The 2011 move to paid (dearly) Sky Sports for the British F1 coverage was met with severe criticism and furore from fans and teams alike. Similar moves happened with telecasts in other countries too. That was followed by removal of the free Live Timing app and giving fans only one, paid (dearly again), app. That, unsurprisingly, left even more fans disgruntled. Disappearing European races have already been a major cause for concern.

Where will this end? Well..

Who deserves the 2nd seat at Force India? [Vote]

That second seat. Yes. Its become a mystical place and everybody wants to know WHO? The Silverstone squad is probably enjoying the anxiety and drumming among fans and the paddock as to who’s it going to be.

Here’s a poll to give us an idea who the fans think is the most deserving. Vote your choice by clicking on the driver’s name.

Any reasoning for your choice or if you have another driver that you think is more deserving, please leave a comment. I’ll add the most popular 6th driver (if any) to the final tally.

Update: 

Poll now closed. Thanks for voting!

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1

Kamui Kobayashi

As evident from the graphic, most votes went to Kamui Kobayashi

We hope he makes a strong return in 2014 as his 2013 hopes have, admittedly, been wrapped up.

________________________________________________________________________________

2

Heikki Kovalainen

Heikki Kovalainen was voted as the second most deserving.

Another driver whose 2013 hopes are almost none.

F1 can be really cruel!

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Poll: 2nd seat at Force India must go to

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* Multiple votes will neither be registered nor counted.

What changes in the F1 regulations this season?

Changes for 2013

Some key changes in the FIA regulations for the 2013 F1™ season.

Formula 1 is a constantly changing, constantly evolving sport. Things are never idle here. Even when an F1 car is parked, its almost breathing. Development is virtually non-stop all round the year and most of it happens while the action is off air and it seems uneventfully holiday-ish in the world of F1. New parts for F1 cars are almost produced every 7 minutes, 7 days a week, all through the year. To keep pace with the competition, there’s no other way this could be done. Its relentless and that’s one of the biggest challenges of the sport.

With all this development, that comes from a bunch of some the most talented & clever engineers in the world, there has to be someone overlooking and administering the whole exercise. That someone is the FIA. They also lay down the ground rules for the competition and a new set of regulations (the formula) are put forth before the start of every new season.

Recently, the FIA announced some detail changes to the rules for the next two seasons:

  • From a technical perspective, the 2013 rule changes address some safety precautions as well as allowing for the extra weight of the new generation of Pirelli tyres. The car’s roll structures must meet new standards and new, more stringent crash tests will also be applied. The minimum weight of the car has increased by 2kg.
  • To combat the use of aero-elastic components the static load test will now be applied to all of each team’s survival cells, and the front wing test will permit no more than 10mm deflection rather than 20mm.
  • There has also been a change to the procedure when cars cannot return to the pits under their own power at the end of a track session. The existing rules state that each car must be able to provide a sample of at least one litre of fuel; from now on, if one stops on track, it must provide that quantity plus the amount of fuel that would have been consumed while driving back to the pits.
  • On the operational front, during practice sessions the Drag Reduction System (DRS) can now only be used in the same areas on track as it would during the race. Working hours have also been tightened up, with the personnel curfew now extending from six to eight hours on Thursday night, and the number of permitted exceptions dropping from four to two for the entire season.

The 2013 driver situation at Force India

Force India is the only remaining desirable team with one of the race seats still unfilled. That seat was being hotly pursued by a number of out-of-drive candidates as well as some looking to make a return into the sport. Sebastian Buemi, Jamie Alguersuari and Adrian Sutil are three drivers that were left out of the grid in 2012.

Of the three, Buemi was said to be a serious possibility, while team head Vijay Mallya mentioned in an earlier interview that he would keenly consider Sutil for the seat. But, according to a recent report by Switzerland’s Blick newspaper, the 24-year-old has been informed he is out of the running. He’s now looking to cement his deal with Red Bull Racing with an extension to his official reserve driver role. According to the veteran correspondent Roger Benoit, “Buemi will not comment at this time. First he needs to safeguard his future.. 

Buemi’s former team-mate, Jaime Alguersuari, who was dumped by Toro Rosso along with him at the end of 2011, was also in the running but is now being tipped to move to BMW’s DTM team. He spent 2012 as a Radio 5 Live F1 commentator & analyst. Its a bit odd as Alguersuari had been rather certain of a race seat for 2013 and suggested that a deal might already be in place. But this is Formula 1, after all, where seasons could go full cycle in a day!

That leaves only two drivers, Sutil and the team’s reserve driver (and Ferrari protégé) Jules Bianchi, in the running for the seat.

Sutil would look to make a comeback into the team he spent five years in and knows rather well. This could give him the upper hand in the current duel. The fact that he’s, more often than not, been blisteringly quick on the track and that he had a great 2011 season (only to be marred by a harsh conviction & subsequent boot from his job) could only help him further.

Bianchi’s chances are supposedly being bolstered by Ferrari who are thought to be in talks with Force India for an engine deal 2014 onwards when the new turbo formula kicks in. But there are people who believe he hasn’t impressed the team as much in the reserve role as his predecessor, Hulkenberg.

It might seem like a bit of a luxury problem for Force India, but, its a very key decision for their 2013 campaign as losing someone of the calibre of Hulkenberg to closest rivals Sauber has left almost everybody in the team rather disappointed.

I would expect a decision to be announced within the next week or two, hopefully well before the Silverstone outfit’s 2013 car launch on the 1st of February. Whoever it turns out to be, would need all the time available to gel with the team and prepare well for the winter testing in Jerez (unofficial dates are 5th-8th Feb) & then Barcelona which is barely 50 days away (19th-22nd Feb, 28th Feb-3rd Mar) .

Countdown begins..

2013

2013 FIA Formula One World Championship™ Race Calendar

# Date Race Venue Time (IST)*
1 Mar 15-17 Australian Grand Prix Albert Park, Melbourne TBA
2 Mar 22-24 Malaysia Grand Prix Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur TBA
3 Apr 12-14 Chinese Grand Prix Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai TBA
4 Apr 19-21 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir TBA
5 May 10-12 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona TBA
6 May 23-26 Monaco Grand Prix Circuit de Monaco, Monte Carlo TBA
7 Jun 07-09 Canadian Grand Prix Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve, Montreal TBA
8 Jun 28-30 British Grand Prix Silverstone Circuit, Silverstone TBA
9 Jul 05-07 German Grand Prix Nurburgring, Nurburgring TBA
10# Jul 19-21 TBA TBA TBA
11 Jul 26-28 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring, Budapest TBA
12 Aug 23-25 Belgian Grand Prix Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa-Francorchamps TBA
13 Sep 06-08 Italian Grand Prix Autodromo di Monza, Monza TBA
14 Sep 20-22 Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay Street Circuit, Singapore TBA
15 Oct 04-06 Korean Grand Prix Korea International Circuit, Yeongam TBA
16 Oct 11-13 Japanese Grand Prix Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka TBA
17 Oct 25-27 Indian Grand Prix Buddh International Circuit, Greater Noida (Delhi NCR) TBA
18 Nov 01-03 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island TBA
19 Nov 15-17 United States Grand Prix Circuit of The Americas, Austin TBA
20 Nov 22-24 Brazilian Grand Prix Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace (Interlagos), Sao Paulo TBA

The Random Pallette                                                                                                                               ©2012-13

* TV times will be updated once schedules are officially put out by the regional broadcasters.

# Provisional. (It was supposed to be either the French or the returning Turkish GP, but neither seem likely for 2013 at the moment.)

 
 
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The Nexus program by Google is getting serious.

Nexus

Microsoft.  Remember them?  Of course you do.  They’re everywhere.  You couldn’t care less about their phones.  Windows 8 makes you yawn (for the most part).  Surface sounds vaguely cool, but you just can’t see the point.  It doesn’t matter: you still use their stuff.  Of course you do.  Even if you actively avoid them.  In fact if you work or go to school almost anywhere, you’re probably using Microsoft all the time.

Microsoft’s rivals covet the deep roots they’ve grown in business, education, and government and wish to uproot them and replace them.  No one is trying harder to do that than Google.  Google Apps for Business, Education, Nonprofits, and Government grew up on the web, sneaking in the back door so to speak.  Its primary appeal was being good enough, and at a better cost (if not free).

For all of their success in this area, Google has never owned the stack.  Even the many businesses, schools, and government agencies who chose Google over Microsoft generally still use Windows devices and Microsoft software.  Microsoft, on the other hand, can offer nose-to-toes solutions with nothing Googley involved.  This puts Google at a potential disadvantage if Microsoft closes the gap, and the back door.

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3 annoying things online that you want to hate but somehow can’t.

Image

Yes, its #caturday and those annoying cat photos are back in droves. We all have some things online that annoy the hell out of us. They make us swear silently every time they appear on the screen. But, there are a few things that, despite being god-awfully annoying, are difficult to hate.

Here are the three that enjoy this strange reaction from me:

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The 2012 Indian GP

The 2012 Indian GP is less than two days away and among unanimous praise from all circles of the F1 fraternity, the 2nd edition of the Formula 1 Indian GP looks set to be another major success.

Buddh International Circuit

Among other quotes, some have put the circuit among the like of Spa Francorchamps and Suzuka.

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Formula1

2011 F1 Season Review

The year of the flying Bull and the infamous forefinger. 

 

Another year, another season in the life of F1, another world champion; it was all concluded at Interlagos last week. As usual, there are lots of things to talk about 2011. It was one of the longest seasons in F1 and had the longest race in the 60 year history of the sport – the 2011 Canadian GP.

Its often hard to imagine a season post the Schumacher era where one driver dominated the field the way Sebastian Vettel did this year. Jenson Button started the 2009 season in a similar fashion but it didn’t take long for others to catch up. But this year, not only did anyone hardly manage to catch Vettel, he annihilated the rest of the field almost every single race weekend this year. What happened, how it happened and what’s the secret behind the Vettel steamroller? Read on..

Grab a big mug of coffee and let’s begin where it all began!  Continue reading →