Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Return of The King

Michael Schumacher has returned to F1!
Yes he has agreed to replace Felipe Massa for the rest of the year. This is the most unbelievable news any F1 fan can ever dream of.
Can you imagine that this means we will get to see the 'god' of F1 driving around the Singapore circuit? People will now start to buy their F1 tickets just to see him.
We will get to bear witness to probably the greatest F1 driver ever and in turn become part of history!
Schumacher's decision to come out of retirement is due to the unfortunate accident to Felipe last week. The good news is that he is doing alright in hospital and recovering well. His doctors have said that he has started to walk around the room and also the injury to his left eye is not that bad at all. That is truly the best news yet.
As for Schumacher, his return to F1 at the ripe old age of 40, is also partly due to his loyalty to Ferrari. Hell, I don't care if it's due to his loyalty to his armchair as long as I get to see him drive even once.
Suddenly the value of my F1 ticket just sky rocketed.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hungaroring F1 Qualifications

Wow what a qualifier! Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. I was watching it live on TV yesterday and it all started very promising. We even have a new driver for Toro Rosso, Jaime Alguersuari. He is now the youngest F1 racer in history. We'll talk more about him another time. Now back to the yesterday's events. First of all, I know I say this on behalf of all F1 fans around the world when I say our prayers and thoughts are with Felipe Massa and his family. I truly wish him a super speedy recovery. Watching his car stationary against the tyre wall made me initially think that it was just a normal F1 situation that we have all seen often enough. But when I noticed that Felipe wasn't moving in his car, I knew something wasn't right. The TV crew didn't show what happened until a little later. That's when I realised the seriousness of the accident. I replayed the incident again and again in real time and could clearly see something hitting Felipe on the head. And as it did, you could see that it knocked Felipe out cold. It was later revealed that it was a spring from his countryman's Rubens Barichello's car.
Image F1site. Felipe suffered a fractured skull and some cuts to his face. It is understood that he has undergone surgery and he is stable. That is surely the best news. As for the rest of the qualifications, what can I say, there was a touch of humour when it ended. Seeing the drivers walking around asking each other where their stand was on the time sheet was a bit of a crack. It turned out there was a 'tecnical fault' with the timescreen. Pity the stewards. It was later revealed that Fernando Alonso got pole and Vettel and Webber 2nd and 3rd respectively. Can I dare say this? What the hell, I'm going to. Didn't I say that I expected Alonso and Renault to show up soon? I said this just after the last race. Will I still be proven right again? Should I be a betting man then? I guess we have a few more hours to find out the final result.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Excitement of July

July has always been a very special month for me. I look forward to it every year but at the same time I wish it wouldn't come around too fast. You see, July is my mum's birth month - the 23rd to be exact - and we always make it a point to celebrate it. Though usually it's always only specifically a family affair. But this month however, it's going to be a little extra exciting. We are in for a rather busy month. That is if you are also an avid amateur astronomer like myself. To get things rolling, space shuttle Endeavour blasted off into space on the 15th. Their mission, to dock with the International Space Station and deliver the last piece of a Japanese laboratory called Kibo. They should be docking some time later today. They're scheduled to stay on the ISS for 11 days. You can track the Endeavour and the ISS at Tracking Endeavour and The ISS. Remember, this IS in real time! So if at the right time of the night they pass over your region, do step outside and try to have a look. They aren't that difficult to detect, especially the ISS. You can spot it with your naked eye. It looks like a very bright star but it doesn't blink (twinkle) though it tends to wobble. And it moves pretty fast. The International Space Station image You should also try out Here you just need to click your current observation location on a map and you'd immediately be given a listings of the satellites that would be visible to you then! Cool Huh? Another really great event taking place would be on the 22nd. That's when the longest total solar eclipse of the 21st century will take place. That's right, if you miss this one, you better wish you are alive on the 13 th of June 2132! THAT is NOT a typo! image Of course there will be other total eclipses, but non will last as long as this till 2132. This will last for about 6 minutes and 39 seconds. There are various websites that would be showing this live if you are not on this side of the planet. If you are , it's between 8.40 a.m to about 9.44 a.m. local time. The maximum eclipse at 9.11 a.m. The next show in store for this month would be 2 meteorite showers. The first, Delta Aquarids would be between the 28th and 29th. You should be able to see about 20 bright yellow meteorites per hour. The 2nd is called Capricornids and that would be on the 29th till the 30th. Amazing, 2 shows overlapping each other! Here's what a fireball might look like. I have personally seen a few like this myself. image Arne Danielsen/ The Capricornids is of a slightly lesser frequency. About only 15 meteorites per hour. And you'd need a really dark night, but for those with patience, this is well rewarding for they are known to produce brilliant fireballs in the night sky. Anyhoo, if you can't see them, you can still hear them at So there you have it. A really amazing month ahead. Do find the time to enjoy these great events in the sky. Think about it, it's free! And God designed it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

F1 Nürburgring

'The Webbed one' has done it! No I don't mean Spiderman. After 130 races, Mark Webber has finally got his first victory. None too soon either. This was long overdue. Oh, and did I mention that he did it in style? This is a man whom everyone wanted to see win. He is as humble as they come. I remember walking past him in Singapore last year and I almost didn't notice him. By the time I did, he was a little distance off. But I did manage to take a couple of snaps of him. He walked past Ling and myself with a few of his engineers and he just looked like one of the crowd. Well anyhoo, like I said, this man deserves this victory. And to think that he was punished along the way for knocking into Barrichello's car at the start. Despite his drive through penalty, he still caught up and maintained his lead to the end! To hear him screaming with happiness in the car to pit radio at the end of the race was pure delight. He was thanking everyone and anything under the sun. Good one Mark! I honestly hope we get to see more of these different drivers winning along the way. But personally, I want to see Barrichello get one more victory. The old man of F1 deserves it. His outburst towards his team after this last race was a little uncalled for but he soon cooled down enough to compose himself afterwards. Yet, I feel , he should get at least one more under his belt. So, Germany's F1 gave us a lot to remember. The fact that it almost started to rain was another thing. Imagine if it did. I was actually hoping for it. Wow that would have really played havoc on the drivers and the pit crew. I could almost see them scrambling around to get the right tyres on the cars. Remember Raikonnen and Ferrari in Malaysia? Man did they screw up or what! I just can't wait for the action to come to Singapore. Oh and by the hoo, I would be receiving my tickets some time this month and I'd be unveiling them here on this blog. So stay tuned! I'd get my cat Gizmo to help me unwrap them.

Mark Webber and gang in Singapore.

F1 Part 2 of season 2009

Wow! What can I say? This has got to be one of the best F1 seasons that I can remember. The second stage of this years F1 season started almost exactly as the the first stage ended 3 weeks ago; Red Bull 1 and 2! Just when we thought that Brawns F1 was going to run away with the 2009 championship, someone threw the spanner into the works. And remember you me, I predicted some time back that it will take two races before we see the other teams change things around? Well I don't like to blow my own horn, but I was right! This is the way F1 should be. Where teams do their darnest to get things right and to maintain the competition. Not the same teams winning every race every couple of weeks. Yes it was great to have been there to watch Michael Schumacher dominate F1 with his pinkie finger alone. And we have to remember that we are the privileged few who witnessed history in the making as he broke records after records. One day, our kids and their kids will still be talking about him and if we're still around , we'll be able to say that we were there and we saw him! He is still there sometimes, like last Sunday, giving us his usual charming smile through the cameras. But to have one team or even two winning every race week after week was getting boring. Hell, even the pundits wouldn't bet that Michael wouldn't win. The podium use to be a very common place for the usual suspects. Well, this year I don't see Ferrari, I don't see McLaren, I don't see Renault. These guys are in fact struggling to get back to the top. I don't mind, cos that's where the excitement in F1 is! Now we see Brawn and Red Bull. Who even cared of them before this season? In fact Brawn never really existed before this season (they were under Harry Porters Magical Invisible Cloak called Honda). As I said this is the most exciting season in a long time. But here is my prediction again (no don't take it to the bank). I believe that the other teams will catch up with Red Bull. Brawn will win another race along the way for sure but I feel it is going to be Fernando Alonso with his Renault that will strike back soon. I even suspect that one of the McLarens might score a podium soon. Anyhoo, it doesn't matter. I'm just rubbing my hands with glee and anticipating the next race. This is Fun!