India looks all coloured and geared up to witness the spectacular event with F1 races kicking off in October next month. In a country where cricket springs life back to a billion, F1 seems to be outgunning cricket by buzzing the right note. It’s all in the sound they say and indeed music to the ears, to see the cars in the paddocks roaring to their might.
A rare photography exhibition was held in Delhi, which displayed photographs of F1 racing that dates back to 1957 in order to promote the event to the masses less aware or perhaps ignorant about the atmosphere F1 racing creates. The exhibition aims to create a local interest in the sport.
Country Head, Donald Anderson, Shell Lubricants, told he hoped the Indian GP would be the turning point for promotion of racing in the country. He told India does celebrate events like cricket and football to an extent, but he felt encouragement for motorsports could also be promoted. Shell Lubricants did co-host the event with Ferrari, automotive company.
It is celebration time for Shell Lubricants as they complete a partnership spanning 60 years with Ferrari.
The photographs on display include that of Mike Hawthorn who claimed the 1956 title in a Ferrari D50. The photos also include Ferrari’s mechanics with recent challenger at Chinese GP in 2011. The exhibition journeyed across time and relived the evolution of Formula One.
The exhibition also takes us to a voyage with photos of Juan Manuel Fangio in 1950, and also displays the era of Ferrari’s highly successful driver, Michael Schumacher, and now the Spaniard Fernando Alonso.
There are a total of 25 classic photographs depicting lifetime victories for team Ferrari. It showcases the most memorable 150 wins for Ferrari, twelve F1 Drivers’ title and ten Constructors’ crowns Ferrari has won so far.
The photographs also highlight Ferrari’s first win with Jose Froilan Gonzalez on July 14, 1951 at British GP and another photograph of Enzo Ferrari, Chairman of Ferrari taken on April 23, 1966 where he was overseeing the race track at Monza (Italy) when Ferrari were testing their new Ferrari car. These are indeed priceless images.
Another noteworthy attraction is photos of Michael Schumacher from August 2001 at Hungarian GP. Michael Schumacher won 5 consecutive titles with Ferrari and also has 5 successive constructors’ titles under his name from 2000-2004.
Current driver for Ferrari, Fernando Alonso’s photographs were also favourites in the exhibition.
Project Manager for F1, Ian Albiston, described the photographs as a journey for Ferrari’s technological development over time.
There are also photographs showing various models they’d come up with over the years as safety was a prime concern from a manufacturer’s point of view.
Albiston says racing earlier was dangerous in that drivers only had a small percentage to get out alive in one piece, and describes the 70s era as one where there were a lot of fire incidents reportedly causing accidents on the tracks. He says now there has been a major change in safety with seat belts, headgears and other protective gears.
Lastly, when Albiston was questioned about his insight to the upcoming Indian GP, he says things had been set for the event and Ferrari is enthusiastic about the Indian GP. He tells the race would be interesting as some of the Indian drivers would also be participating.
Indian drivers, Karun Chandhok and Narain Kartikeyan, who drive for Lotus Renault and Hispania would most probably be racing in the Indian GP.
By the turn of events, F1 seems to be picking the right buzz with committed people working hard to make the event a success. There are Amber Lounge events known for their all night glamorous parties, an event sure to be attended by a number of celebrities all over the world. India would have its share to experience a world class event and certainly organisers can learn about the event for hosting F1 races in the years to come. Opportunity must be seized as there are huge profits hosting an event like F1 from an organiser’s point of view provided Indian GP adheres to FIA guidelines and termed safe and exciting for future racing events.
The event must be drawing a lot of crowd, particularly to cheer for Vijay Mallya’s Force India Mercedes and hopefully if Chandhok and Kartikeyan participate in the event. Chandhok has a bright chance to be in the race as the Lotus Boss may try him instead of Jarno Trulli who’s having a hard time with the car’s steering and a bit slower than teammate Heikki. Nonetheless, Trulli is a great driver and Chandhok’s participation solely depends on the team’s decision. Meanwhile, all the teams would want to win the first GP in India, however, looking at the way Red Bull are cruising along with Vettel, they are the favourites for now, but again it’s about racing and seizing the opportunities and can be anybody’s day if the car behaves well on the new track.
However, it would also be interesting to see how Ferrari does given Fernando Alonso’s ability to drive anywhere. Both McLaren and Ferrari are well behind Red Bull’s pace where Vettel’s heading for victories by almost 10 seconds or more. With Vettel needing to be on the podium only once to clinch this year’s Championship, Red Bull would hopefully be celebrating in Singapore. It would also be exciting to watch former Ferrari man Michael Schumacher who never displayed any signs of aging at Monza and showed he truly was a world class competitor where he was blocking a much better car in McLaren Mercedes driven by Hamilton.
Given that the Indian GP track was new to many drivers and teams, we can expect an exciting weekend that includes the practice sessions, qualifying and the main race on the last day. Strategies adopted by all the teams racing for the first time here would also be interesting. All in all, with Metallica all set to rock Delhi and India when they play coupled with the racing fever abuzz among us, we expect a cracker of an event.