25/10/2011

F1 Weekend Preview!

Obviously this weekend preview will be different from all the others we have done; this one is much more special as F1 gets ready for the first ever Indian Grand Prix!

With just India, Abu Dhabi and Brazil to go this season Force India are in a very tight constructors battle.

Here is how things stand with three races left:

Constructors Championship (5th-8th)
5) Lotus Renault (72pts) 
6) Force India (49pts)
7) Sauber (40pts)
8) Toro Rosso (37pts)

Clearly the two aims for this race will be to keep 6th place (by outscoring Sauber and Toro Rosso) and possibly close the gap to Renault in 5th place however that will be a very tough ask.

In order to catch Renault by the end of the season, Force India need to outscore them by 7.67pts per race; considering a 5th place bags 10points it's still possible but we would require lots of non-points finishes for Renault.

When Force India were formed back in 2008, owner (now co-owner) Vijay Mallya stated that he wanted to be on the podium at the Indian GP - while that is still possible (never say never in F1) it does look unlikely. However a top five finish would be a performance to remember and with a little luck that can happen. A double points finish will also be a very good performance. Infact, deputy team principle Robert Fernley echo's my thoughts via his interview on Force India's website here.

Meanwhile in the drivers championship:

Drivers Championship (9th-16th)
9) Vitaly Petrov (36pts)
10) Nick Heidfeld (34pts) 
11) Adrian Sutil (28pts)
12) Kamui Kobayashi (27pts)
13) Jaime Alguersuari (22pts) 
14) Paul di Resta (21pts)
15) Sebastien Buemi (15pts)
16) Sergio Perez (13pts)

It is clear to see that it is very tight - especially for the two Force India drivers.

Adrian Sutil will be looking for a 6th place (8points) to leapfrog the no-longer-in-F1 Nick Heidfeld and close the gap to Vitaly Petrov for 9th whereas Paul Di Resta could also do with a solid 6th place to leapfrog Kamui Kobayashi and Jamie Alguersuari (presuming those two don't score).

As for the two drivers of Indian nationality; Narain Karthikeyan will be racing this weekend in place of ex-Force India driver Vitantonio Liuzzi. This is a very important fact - there will be an Indian racing at the first ever Indian GP!

Meanwhile Karun Chandhok will take part in FP1 however he will not take part in the race this weekend. This decision is very disappointing for Indian fans ... personally i find it ironic that the busiest driver this weekend (with media and PR) will not be taking part. Furthermore this Grand Prix would probably not be going ahead without Karun and his father Vicky.

Karun is clearly disappointed that he will not race at the first ever Indian GP. His attention now will have to turn to becoming the first ever Indian driver to win a F1 grand prix - if he gets a good enough car, it is possible; although it may be a few seasons time until that happens.

As i mentioned above Karun has done alot of PR work this weekend - too much to write about infact; but here are the best features:

Karun talking to speed.com about his thoughts on the historic race

A guide to the Buddh International Circuit with Karun by Renault Sport F1

The cars have not yet taken to the track and already we have news about a second F1-spec track to be built in India - good times for Indian motorsport but let's focus on this weekends race for now.

This is all set to be India's proudest moment in motorsport; so much work, so much effort will all be showcased at this race. This is the weekend where everyone in the F1 fraternity be it drivers, engineers, sponsors or media descend on Nodia for an international sporting event. This is the weekend where all eyes will be on India. This is the weekend where we showcase what we have to offer; and this is the weekend where we will feel pride and passion for our great nation.

We have all waited so long for this moment and now we can reap the rewards.
Are you ready?
It's time!

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