05/07/2012

What's happening this weekend?

Formula One
Formula One is back in action this weekend at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix.

Historically, Indians have always gone well at British circuits; Narain Karthikeyan is incredibly fast around Brands Hatch and he'll be hoping it's the same story at Silverstone. Both his team, HRT, and their closest rivals, Marussia, have upgrades this weekend so we should be in for a good battle between the two teams. Heavy rain is expected right through the weekend and that could play into Narain's hands as he looks to finish 14th or better (to be his best finish of the season).

Here is what "the fastest Indian in the World" had to say:

Narain Karthikeyan (HRT driver):
"I've got very good memories of Silverstone as I've raced a lot there in the past in junior categories, it's one of my favourite tracks on the calendar and a place I expect to do well. Copse and the Becketts complex are special corners and are up there with the most exciting ones in the championship but I don't know the new part of the circuit as I didn't race at Silverstone last year so it will take me a few laps to adapt. After a positive weekend in Valencia, with a good performance in qualifying, I’m hoping to continue from there and build on it in Great Britain".

As for Sahara Force India their aim will be to have both cars in the points, but given the pace of the car in the last two races - a podium is a real possibility. Once again i will be placing bets on that in the hope of winning big money; although the points for the team will mean more! :-)

Constructors championship (5th-8th)
5) Mercedes (92 pts)
6) Sauber (60)
7) Williams (45)
8) Force India (44)

Quotes from the drivers & Mr. big boss are below:

Paul di Resta (Sahara Force India driver):
"I think we arrive at Silverstone feeling positive. The performance level we showed in Valencia was a boost for the team and if we can build on that ahead of Silverstone I'm optimistic we can continue to put on a strong show. The guys back at the factory are working hard to give us some developments in time for the weekend so hopefully we can find a bit more performance. It's the track that makes you really appreciate what a Formula One car is capable of, especially the aerodynamic grip through the quick corners and the change of direction. Everybody talks about Maggotts and Becketts, but there really is nothing else like them anywhere in the world. I also enjoy the new section and every year we go back there it gets better and better. The new layout has definitely created some more overtaking opportunities, especially with the introduction of DRS, so it's been the right move".

Nico Hulkenberg (Sahara Force India driver):
"I have good memories from Silverstone, both in GP2 and Formula One. It is one of those classic races that bring a smile to your face when you think of some of the corners. I actually describe it as an 'old-school' circuit because it's narrow and you have to be really committed and brave through the quick parts of the lap. It's super-fast and great fun when you hook up the perfect lap".

Dr Vijay Mallya (Sahara Force India team principle):
"We always try to put our best foot forward at Silverstone. It's where our factory is based and it's our second home race of the season. It's also one of the most atmospheric events on the calendar thanks to the passion of the British fans who always show tremendous support. For our team, it's definitely a highlight of the season. We arrive back at Silverstone off the back of our strongest performance of the year. In fact, the 16 points scored in Valencia are the most we have ever scored in one weekend. Those points have proved to be very valuable, bringing us within a point of Williams and just 16 adrift of Sauber. So we are catching up with our nearest competitors quite quickly. Now we need to keep up the momentum. As for the drivers, they both performed brilliantly in Valencia. Paul was the only driver to pull off a one-stop strategy, which was a tremendous effort, while Nico's fifth place was his best finish in Formula One. I believe this will be a great boost for Nico and it's just the result he deserves after some unlucky races this year. We will have some developments for the car this weekend and we will certainly give our all to try and come away with another strong result. I think our performance in Valencia showed just how much we have learned from the tough lessons of Canada in terms of understanding the tyres and being aggressive with the strategy. The aim this weekend is to deliver a repeat performance, pick up points and keep pushing hard to move up the championship table".

Don't forget this is the teams' second home race so a decent result will be fantastic for the guys who work hard at the factory in Silverstone and often get overlooked when the drivers are being praised!

Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup
This is a series we've never covered before however there is an Indian really slugging away trying to pick up points.

Shahaan Engineer is currently 17th in the championship (out of the massive grid of 39 drivers) on 26 points. The championship is that close that one win could take Shahaan upto 5th place overall!

This weekend are races six, seven & eight at Oschersleben in Germany.

Results so far this season for Shahaan are as follows:

8th, 8th, RET, 31st, DNS.

The advantage gained with two great results at the start of the season has eroded away with the results in the next three races and so Shahaan will want to get back to top ten finishes this weekend.

Note: in this series the top twenty drivers score points.

Formula Pilota China
Once again, another new series for Auto India Sports coverage.

Indian driver Raj Bharath is part of the series for Indian team Meco Motorsport. Elsewhere on the grid, Auto India Sport's old friend, Parth Ghorpade takes part with Filipino team Eurasia Motorsport.

After three races so far this season, the drivers results have been:

Ghorpade: 2nd, DNF, 5th
Bharath: 8th, DNF, 4th

Note: all races so far were at the Shanghai International Circuit, China, with a grid of 14 cars.

Ghorpade currently sits 4th in the championship on 19 pts wheres Bharath is 7th overall on 9 pts.

Clearly results have been promising so far with 50% top five finishes for the Indian drivers, let's hope a double podium happens this weekend! :-)

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