Start saying your prayers!!

F1 chief Max Mosley has announced that from 2008 onwards, now hold your breath, Microsoft (yeah, you read it right, Microsoft) will be the official supplier of engine control units.

Now that takes the word “crashing” to a whole new level. Doesn’t it!!

Also, going by Microsoft’s record the 2008 season may well begin in 2009 if all goes well following the Vista way!!

And don’t even get me started on BSOD 🙂

Four Greats. One Great Weekend!!!

The exit of Argentina from the Football World Cup 2006 meant that my interest in it was over and I focused again on the other two sports I love. Cricket and F1. And interesting stuff happened in both over the weekend.

In F1, the US Grand Prix brought a sense of deja vu as only 9 of the 22 cars finished the race with Nico Rosberg being the only one out of points. The first corner on the first lap was a mess and resulted in the elimination of a lot of cars (including the “ever unlucky” Kimi) and yellow flag for around 6 laps. As soon as the yellow flag was removed another accident removed a few more cars from contention and brought back the yellow flag. Felipe Massa (who is a great driver on his day) was in the lead then held on to it till the first round of pitstops where Schumacher drove the Ferrari like crazy on the entry and exit laps (like only he can) to reclaim the top spot. He then drove a brilliant race from there on to gain a 12+ seconds lead before the final lap. I have always felt that one of the greatest strengths of Michael Schumacher is the way he drives is car in and out of the pits and the way he blazes his way away just after the pitstop with the new rubber on the car. Also, the fact that the Indianapolis track is better for the Bridgestone helped Michael’s case. Alonso’s Renault seemed a bit off colour and the guy had to give up his third place on the starting grid to team-mate Fisichella after showing resistance for a couple of laps.

After the race Michael has cut down the Spaniard (reminds me of Crowe in The Gladiator) Alonso’s lead to 19 points with 8 races to go in the season. It also brought up a Ferrai 1-2 after a year (the last one being at the last Grand Prix fiasco here last year). Also the Contructors Championship lead has been cut down to 26 points.

In cricket, Jayasuriya and Tharanga tore into the English attach to chase down 322 in 37.3 odd overs and the way Jayasuriya was going (152 off 99 balls) a 400 run target wouldn’t have been difficult at all. To add insult to injury, it completed a 5-0 whitewash of England in England. Also they erased the long standing 285 run opening stand held by Ganguly and Tendulkar to 286.

The best event, however, was a very sweet Indian victory in the West Indies. This is only the second Indian series victory in WI and has come after 35 long years. Also it is a first actual Indian test series victory outside the subcontinent (Zimbabwe was a farce, though the victory against Pakistan was of much better quality) in 20 years and has finally erased the dubious record of sorts. Kumble was ecstatic after taking the last wicket and the joy of the Indian team was there for all to see. Dravid and Kumble’s batting and Sreesanth and Bhajji’s bowling in the first innings and Dravid’s batting and Sreesanth and Kumble’s bowling in the second were the highpoints of the Indian team. Dravid (the Man of the Match and the series) was a manual on how to bat on a difficult wicket. I have been a great critic of Dravid the captain and a great fan of Dravid the batsman. This test match (and the series on the whole) again showed why Dravid is easily one of the finest craftsmen in the trade and explained his being called “The Wall”. Also, the test highlighted the utility of Anil Kumble to the Indian team and I sincerely hpe that the Indian selectors (led by the irrepressible Kiran More) would see sense and keep him in the scheme of things for the WC2007. Kumble bowling India to victory reminded me of his valiant attempt to bowl with a broken jaw. It almost seemed a poetical justice that this man gets the final wicket lead India to a victory that will be remembered for some time to come.

A low point in the test, however, came just before lunch on the third day when Lara missed a Harbhajan ball that spun miles and turned around and mockingly applauded the curator for making a turner despite his request for a pacy one. The fact that the amount of spin on the ball would have put Indian tracks to shame did not seem to go down well with the WI captain. Agreed that Lara did not get the team and pitches to match his demands but that does not justify his on-field behaviour. There are forums to express such displeasure and the cricket field is the last one of those. Also it once again shows the difference between Tendulkar and Lara. Tendulkar by his behaviour and demeanour has achieved the status of a demi god while the mercurial Carribean batsman is still a mortal. Through out the series the only glimpse of the great Lara was in the third test when Lara anchored the WI and averted an otherwise clear defeat. I hope Lara realizes his mistake and apologises for his naive behaviour on the field.

Once the dust settles India must realize that the victory has come against a comparatively inexperienced and weak WI team and that bigger and tougher battles lay ahead and that to prove themselves many more such victories are required.

PS: Also the past weeks sporting events consisted of news concerning two more greats. First was the exit of one of the best tennis players (and my all time favourite) Andre Agassi from Wimbledon. Next was the superb play of the legendary Zidane against the mighty Brazil to take France into the semis of the FIFA World Cup. I wish I could write about those too.

Random Post

What am I doing posting on a Friday night (did I add this one is from the office!!)?? I have no answer. I am waiting for a friend to finish his work before heading home. Also I will be in office tomorrow 🙁 interviewing people to work with.

Neways, some random pieces to talk about.

Sensex crashed almost 10% in the past two days and we are feeling the heat. But we did not care much when we did make obscene amounts of money when it went up like crazy. Did we??

Schumi came in second at the Spanish Grand Prix. Big deal. He still remains, to me, the biggest threat to Alonso’s (who, by the way, is a very sore loser) title defence.

The Da Vinci Code was delayed and not released in India because the government and the Christian organisations want a disclaimer. Bull shit!! I mean the book has been around for a lot more time and then the clergy was sleeping on their asses. They wake up now and want the movie banned (along with the Muslims!!).

India won (well almost) the first ODI against the WI. 17 sucessful chases in a row. And Dravid as a opener. Must say despite my hate for Chappel, he should get credit for creative thinking.

I have been working my ass off for quite a few days now and don’t expect respite for some more. But there are a lot of things to get done. Shit man!! So much to do and so less time 🙁

End with a quote from “A Beautiful Mind“.

Conviction, it turns out, is a luxury of those on the sidelines, Mr. Nash.

Veni, vidi, vici

It is the proverbial rise of the phoenix from the ashes. After a very forgettable 2005 and not so rosy first 3 in 2006 most F1 pundits had written off Schumacher as well past his prime. But a new engine and 2 successful racing weekends the champion is back and up to all challenges coming in his way. Imola was described as a flash in the pan by most but after Nurburgring, the tifosi is up in arms and the Ferrari F1 team looks like a strong contender for the season once more. The Renault, led by Alonso is still doing well but now must divide its attention between Kimi and Schumi.

Schumacher seemed in sublime form as put in a lot of consecutive fastest laps to over take Alonso after the second pit stop. He kept Alonso under pressure right through the race and never let the difference grow more than 2.5 secs. Thousands of Schumacher fans were probably praying hard for the second race engine of the Ferrari to last through the entire race and if that happened they knew there was no overtaking the master. Thankfully, it did and Schumacher took the chequered flag with ease. Alonso did well, however, to see off the challenge by Massa (who took his first podium) during the last few laps and keep his second place and gain a valuable 8 points. Life wasn’t easy for Massa too with Kimi breathing down the neck of the Brazilian till the end but Massa held his nerves and saw the both the Ferrari cars on the podium, a sight that most F1 fans had almost forgotten.

Another interesting fact in the race was that 9 out of the 22 on the grid did not finish the race. 7 of them retired from the race with engine problems, which to me raises a lot of questions about the two race engine policy of the F1. Also disheartening was watching both Alonso and Schumcher drive well below what they can because both of them carried a race old engine and did not want to push it too far. Combined with a four race gearbox policy this could seriously hamper the speeds of F1 cars with people not wanting to push the car out of fear of the engine giving away!!

Last but not the least, one of the best parts of the race was watching the young Nico Rosberg giving a lot of seniors a run for their money. To me he seems a great up coming talent and given a good car I have not doubt he will soon be a regular on the podium.

On another note, I read “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” over the weekend. It is a short and sweet book and extremely well written. Also came across this awesome quote that I have fallen in love with.

“I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”

I loved the novel and recommend it highly.