Karthikeyan hopes to stay in F1

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: Narain Karthikeyan is hoping to take one of the few remaining seats in F1.

Links

Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Karthikeyan hoping his F1 career not over (Reuters)

“India’s Narain Karthikeyan has not given up hope of racing in Formula One next year despite there being only two clear vacancies remaining and a long list of rivals for them.”

Steve McQueen?s Le Mans overalls sell for $984,000! (Adam Cooper)

??A set of overalls worn by Steve McQueen in the Le Mans movie has been sold at auction for an amazing $984,000 including commission fees ?ǣ making them the most expensive item of motor racing related memorabilia we?re ever likely to see, excluding complete cars.??

Nico Rosberg via Twitter

??My outfit for last night?s Mercedes GP Xmas party. Spectacular party! http://pic.twitter.com/cNBgHqix??

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

More thoughts on F1′s potential in America, this time from Aka_robyn:

I really don?t know what to think about what?s going to happen with F1 here in the US. I would love to believe the next United States Grand Prix is going to be a raging success, but I?m not sure I understand why there isn?t more of an extensive fan base to begin with.

Why don?t I know anyone here as fanatical as I am? Most people I know are utterly clueless about the sport, to the point where some don?t even realize the cars don?t look like normal cars.

Their ignorance about it is pretty comprehensive, even though the last United States Grand Prix was only in 2007. Plus, as I know I?ve said before, NASCAR makes many people here reluctant to have anything to do with motor racing in general.
Aka_robyn

From the forum

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Onofre Marimon was born on this day in 1923. A contemporary of Juan Manuel Fangio, Marimon drove alongside his countryman at Maserati in 1953 and 1954.

He scored his second podium finish in the 1954 British Grand Prix and had effectively become team leader after Fangio moved to Mercedes. But Marimon was killed during practice for the next race at the Nurburgring.

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68 comments on Karthikeyan hopes to stay in F1

  1. Tommo N7 (@tommothfc) said on 19th December 2011, 0:06

    ”Karthikeyan Hopes for F1 seat”
    TROLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL, in other news, pigs fly, BNP convert to Islam, and a cat becomes President.

  2. Journeyer (@journeyer) said on 19th December 2011, 0:13

    Lucky for Narain, it’s free to dream. But they’d really appreciate it if he paid for it.

  3. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th December 2011, 0:31

    Great COTD. It’s actually similar in a way over here in Australia. Motor racing is looked down on because it’s what all of the ‘bogans’ (sort of like a chav I suppose) watch. V8 Supercars has a large following over here, and unfortunately, the minority make the rest of us look bad. And motor racing isn’t very popular on the whole in Australia anyway, so everyone just assumes F1 is the same as the V8 Supercars.

    I’ve noticed in the UK that F1 is one of the biggest sports in the news and considered glamorous and full of rich toffs, but here it’s the opposite, unfortunately, and a lot of the time I feel silly for admitting to being an F1 fan.

    • Macca (@macca) said on 19th December 2011, 1:03

      I do agree with what you say @damonsmedley, however I think the attitude towards motor sport is slow changing in this country. I remember the only motor sport you would get in the paper was a double page spread when the grand prix was on but now there is generally a page or 2 every week.

      And with the introduction of SPEED, a dedicated motor sport channel, we are able to see a lot more racing live. It is slowly changing.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 19th December 2011, 3:12

        You have SPEED in Aus now? That’s cool. SPEED is great in concept, but far too little F1 coverage for a dedicated Motorsport channel. I guess that’s what we get in the land of NASCAR.

        • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 19th December 2011, 11:40

          I wouldn’t even call SPEED a Dedicated Motorsports Channel here in the USA anymore. Don’t get me wrong I love NASCAR & don’t have a problem with the coverage it gets as it’s out “Home Sport” but the sheer amount of stupid shows that aren’t Motorsports related that they air anymore just makes the channel a joke. I love the Automotive “How-To” shows, and the Car Review/News shows, and even shows like American Trucker are alright. But reruns of “Pimp my Ride” “Stuntbusters” and “Dumbest Stuff on Wheels” dominate their schedule now to the point of what used to be the most-watched channel on my TV doesn’t even rank in the top 5 anymore.

          As far as Motorsports throughout the rest of the world. On a message board I’m on there were people talking about how F1 won’t work in America because we’re an Oval Track country just like Oval track racing won’t work in Europe & Australia. I then went on to point out how Australia actually has a pretty hardcore following for Dirt Track Oval Racing; Sprints, Midgets, NZ Stockcars, Late Models, Modifieds and various classes based on actual production cars. And Europe has many Short Tracks too both dirt & paved in which a variety of different classes of cars run, not to mention Touring Series like the European Latemodel Series, the Pickup Truck Racing Series & the FIA Sanctioned RACECAR Euro Series which uses cars extremely similar to those used in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series & has even been a featured vehicle in the ROC for a few years now (though I think the series might not run ovals yet). Heck even South Africa has a 1.5mi NASCAR style Oval. Point being that just like North American/NASCAR style Oval Track racing is slowly spreading in popularity across the world, F1 if the time-frame lets will grow in popularity in the USA. American Open-Wheel Racing is slowly but surely hitting an upswing, Indycar is getting a new car, I believe the IndyLights series is as well, more and more people are getting involved with the various JR Formula/Club Racing either as fans or participants, & Sprint/Midget racing is experiencing one of the biggest booms in young upcoming talent there has been in 20+ years. Even American Road Racing in general is gaining steam, sure the ALMS is slowly dieing but Grand-Am is in the midst of a refresh, there is a planned DTM series, the V8 Supercars coming over for a race, heck even most NASCAR fans are calling on the Sanctioning Body to add more Road Courses to it’s top-3 series. So given the time I think F1 can find a massive foothold here in the USA.;

          I feel too that both US Races will be on FOX instead of SPEED (Practice/Qualifying will probaly stay on SPEED) which will help gain some interest from people that don’t usually watch. Hopefully SPEED actually sends the Play-by-Play guys to both races (likely) and carries all the Practice Sessions instead of just the normal FP2 as well.

          With the 2012 Austin race weekend being the same one as the NASCAR Season Finale for the Top-3 Series I feel like it’ll probaly get screwed over in the Mainstream Sports Media, however depending on if ESPN takes the Broadcast rights for the Cup Series Practices & Qualifying that weekend it should open-up SPEED to broadcast every F1 on-track session live (fingers crossed).

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th December 2011, 23:57

            @fisha695 An apology on behalf of all Australians for inflicting Rupert Murdoch on the world. Rupert as you may know is an Australian media tycoon now an American citizen for tax (or no tax) reasons who’s organization owns Fox corp. The Murdoch family motto is ” you never lose money by under-estimating the intelligence of the reader/viewer” . Like you I used “Speed” as my default TV channel until Fox bought it and turned it into the Nascar/(un)reality/game channel now its only the F1 and Moto GP that keep it on my viewing list. Let’s hope that the Discovery organisation does better with “Velocity”

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 19th December 2011, 15:51

        @Macca @US_Peter I didn’t even know we had SPEED! I thought it was only an American channel. Is it on pay-TV or something? I don’t know anything about pay-TV because I’ve never considered getting it. I watch F1 and Cricket on the TV and the rest of the time it’s switched off, so pay-TV would be wasted on me completely.

    • APSANCOC said on 19th December 2011, 5:15

      Agree. Bogans watch V8 supercars, drive and crash their lowered low profile tyred falcons or commodores, make the news, wear wifbeaters, drink VB, and V8 Supercars is promoted to them.

      Most think ah… F1 is like V8 just less Australian.

      One difference between the series though is how commentators refer to the drivers, in America from what I’ve seen you hear about the 22 car driven by ______ (i.e. number first, driver drives car), in F1 it’s as if the car is part ofthe person sayt Alonso going down the outside. While in Australia watching V8′s it is ‘Is GT gonna take teh posiution from Murph.’…

      arghhh stupid Hate V8′s

      • Skett (@skett) said on 19th December 2011, 14:09

        I didn’t realise you guys had such a dislike for it. I’ve seen a race or two and I have to say the racing is pretty good.

        • Yeah, I meant to say, I’ve enjoyed what little I’ve been able to watch of V8 Supercars, and I was pretty excited when SpeedTV here in the US decided to show the Bathurst 1000 live — that is, I was excited right up until the point when they actually delayed coverage of the Japanese Grand Prix to show the end of that race. Then I was filled with rage! Just another example of how SpeedTV manages to do just about everything wrong where F1 fans are concerned.

          • Fisha695 (@fisha695) said on 19th December 2011, 19:34

            I don’t see how SPEED did anything wrong at all regarding the Bathurst/Japan clash. Broadcasting racing is a business and there are contracts they had to honor. As a Motorsports Fan I’d rather see a live race finish then it be cut-off to go to some other race, especially when Bathurst was a closer race then any F1 race in like the past decade.

          • If they had to show a V8 Supercars race that had any chance of clashing with F1 (and I have to question that decision to begin with), then what I wish what they would have done instead was cut to the grand prix already in progress once the V8 race was finished. Later on, they could have shown the grand prix in its entirety for those who couldn’t care less about watching a race live. Instead, they rendered the entire SpeedTV broadcast useless to those of us who *do* want to watch the race live. (Luckily, there are other means available. I hear.)

            Another option might have been to plan ahead and have part of one or the other streaming online while the other was being shown on TV; this is something they have done in the past with 24 Hours of Le Mans, if I recall correctly. (Don’t know how that would work with the specific contracts, though.)

            I guess if you’re mainly a general motorsports fan, I can understand why you wouldn’t care. For many of us, though, this was not just “some other race,” and if you follow live timing, Twitter, etc., live during every grand prix, what SpeedTV decided to do was infuriating and just yet another symptom of how F1 is treated on that network in general.

          • Macca (@macca) said on 19th December 2011, 23:10

            Clashing would not be an issue here in Australia.

            When there are 2 races on at the same time, which quite often happens with IndyCar and NASCAR, we have a red button service which allows us to choose which race we want to watch.

            We have only had Speed on Pay TV for around 12 months but I have to say they have got most things right so far.

    • That’s interesting — I’d been wondering about the images different motorsports (or motorsports in general) have in other countries. It sounds like V8 Supercars is to Australia as NASCAR is to the US in some respects. The stereotype of the average NASCAR fan here is, ah, not too flattering. I asked a friend of mine (not a racing fan) to give me the first words that came to mind when I said “NASCAR,” and she said “beer, redneck, loud.” (“Loud”? I wonder what she’ll say when F1 comes to New Jersey!)

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th December 2011, 0:11

        @aka_robyn . Like Nascar the routes of Aust.V8 racing started with cars you could buy in the showroom and drive on the roads, but like Nascar has become a money driven sport (business) and the cars are becoming parodies of the real thing, but at least they race on roadcourses. Speedway (dirt oval ) racing has been very popular in Australia in the last century but is rare now.

  4. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 1:07

    I don’t know what made me laugh harder – Nico Rosberg’s costume, or Narain Karthikeyan’s pronouncement. The only reason why he got the HRT gig this year was because of his connection to Colin Kolles; ever since he left Formula 1 the first time, he’s been racing for Kolles a lot. But now that Kolles is no longer in Formula 1, I’d say he’s got a snowflake’s chance in hell. That being said, some classical interpretations of hell are not made up of fire and brimstone, but of ice and despair. In an interview with a Belgian radio station overnight, Jerome d’Ambrosio suggested that there may be as many as four seats still available for 2012.

  5. manatcna (@manatcna) said on 19th December 2011, 2:34

    I don’t suppose he suggested which four?

    I still reckon two or three.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 2:50

      Well, the second Williams and second HRT seats are open. So that’s two that are accounted for. As for the other two, there are a few theories:

      1) Jarno Trulli’s seat at Caterham. Apparently Caterham thought Trulli was asking for too much for one season when they re-signed him for 2011, but felt that two years for the same price was a better deal, and Trulli agreed. It is believed that anyone who can pay the outstanding balance on his salary can buy him out of his seat.

      2) Pastor Maldonado’s seat at Williams. The Venezueland congress is currently debating the legality of the contract between PDVSA and Williams, since PDVSA is a state-owned company and no public funds can be paid out without the approval of congress. If the contract is deemed illegal, Maldonado could well be without a seat.

      3) One of the Marussia seats. This may only be open to Vitaly Petrov. Marussia are apparently happy enough with Glock and Pic, but Petrov may be able to buy one of them out of their seat. There is no word on who would go to make way for him, but I seriously doubt any other aspiring driver could do it.

      4) Kamui Koabayshi’s seat at Sauber. This was originally a rumour that appeared in Swiss tabloid Blick, suggesting that Jules Bianchi would buy Kobayashi out of his seat. Although the team debuned the rumour pretty quickly, Kobayashi has since been rumoured to have been spotted at Williams HQ in Grove.

      5) Felipe Massa’s seat at Ferrari. Massa is perpetually said to be facing the axe, and while there was nothing to rumours of Roserg replacing him, there is now talk that Sutil could take his place. I find this to be very thin, especially since Ferrari have been watching Sergio Perez very carefully, are are said to have offered Robert Kubica track time with a test chassis, so no-one in their right mind would sign up for a year knowing full well that they will be bumped out. The only way I can see this playing out is if Ferrari decide to take a gamble on Perez and bump Massa, knowing that Kubica will be available in 2013 if running Perez doesn’t play out as expected.

      Other than that, it’s anyone’s guess.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 19th December 2011, 3:14

        My guess would be Williams, HRT, Trulli’s seat for sure, and Maldonado’s seat maybe. Also as you said, a Marussia seat could be open, but most likely only to Petrov.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th December 2011, 4:14

        Very interesting. But this:

        so no-one in their right mind would sign up for a year knowing full well that they will be bumped out.

        I think a driver like Sutil needs to convince people of his ability in a faster car, so a single year at Ferrari would be better than nothing. It may also be the only option he has, and possibly (probably I reckon) his only major shot at ever winning a race. It does, like you say, sound unlikely anyway though.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 4:27

          If you sign up for Ferrari, you want to stay with Ferrari. Why on earth would someone want to race with them for a year?

          • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th December 2011, 4:31

            For the reasons I put. I think any driver who might be struggling for a drive and isn’t top tier would be grateful to spend even a year with the most prestigious team, who always have a good chance of having a run at the championship. If those reasons aren’t enough, then being in a competitive car is a chance to prove himself properly, unless the contract is too focused on being 2nd to Alonso.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 5:00

            It’s a question of whether or not Ferrari a) are looking to get rid of Massa and b) consider Sutil a viable prospect. If Massa is being phased out, then I think it’s far more likely that Ferrari will take a gamble on Sergio Perez. They got caught with their pants down by the advent of driver development programs – there was a time when they would have been the ones to find Sebastian Vettel – and so they’ll be looking to prove that they can find talent. They’ve already got a solid driver in Fernando Alonso, so they can afford to take a calculated risk with Sergio Perez. If this happens, there would be a natural opening at Sauber that Sutil could try and slip into – unless Ferrari placed Massa or Bianchi there. I think Sutil is far better off trying to land that second Williams seat than he is in bidding for Massa’s drive.

          • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 19th December 2011, 9:19

            Why on earth would someone want to race with them for a year?

            How can you seriously say this? Every driver would want the chance to drive a race-winning car (unless they either already have one, or the future prospect of one), and most want to drive for Ferrari as well. Of course, getting into Ferrari next to Alonso is a potential career-killer, but I don’t think a driver like Sutil would turn the opportunity down.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 9:27

            How can you seriously say this? Every driver would want the chance to drive a race-winning car (unless they either already have one, or the future prospect of one), and most want to drive for Ferrari as well.

            Because they’d know that, no matter how well they raced, it’s unlikely they would stay with the team in 2013.

            Besides, I don’t think there’s anything to these Sutil-to-Ferrari rumours. Most of them seem to be started by Ferrari fans who are sick of seeing Massa trundle around in sixth.

          • Why on earth would someone want to race with them for a year?

            Ask Giancarlo Fisichella! ;-) He race for them for less than half a year.

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 21st December 2011, 7:09

            @prisoner-monkeys, I think there might be quite a few drivers that would sign up for that year at Ferrari, or even a couple of races.

            Just look back 2 years to 2009. Fisi gave up a ride in a car that could get on the podium regularly in current form for a couple of races at Ferrari and a retirement in the Ferrari sports car team.

            And looking back, it does not sound like that bad a deal for him (still winning). A lot better than what Trulli got, for example (career slowly fading into obsurity at Team Lotus/Caterham).

  6. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 2:39

    The official website for Velociudad Zárate (which led yesterday’s round-up) has changed. Gone is the plan for a circuit that is go-kart track on steroids, and in its place is this Bahrain-Sepang hybrid designed by Populous (the first that did the Sivlerstone upgrade). Perhaps the most notable feature of the circuit is the way it is 4.7km long (meaning a Grand Prix would be ~65 laps long), instead of Hermann Tilke’s more-favoured 5.5km length, though I’d say this is because the circuit is clearly designed to fit within a rather restrictive perimeter. I’m all for another race in South America, but I’m just a little concerned that this is going to turn into another Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez and be agonising. In fact, back in 2007, Keith nominated it as one of the ten worst circuits Formula 1 ever visited:

    It was named after the legendary Argentinian road racer Oscar Galvez, who on his day could teach Juan Manuel Fangio a thing or two. But in its final incarnation as an F1 track the Buenos Aires circuit was no longer worthy of the association.

    The fast loop out into marshland and two enormous straights were chopped off completely and a tight new infield constructed. It even had that cursed addition of practically every mid-’90s circuit – a stupidly tight chicane which they then had the effrontery to name after Ayrton Senna.

    And I think “Velocuidad SpeedCity” is a stupid name. So I’m going to refer to it as “Velociudad Zárate”.

    • matt90 (@matt90) said on 19th December 2011, 4:23

      Perhaps 1 too many tight corners, but from turn 9 on it looks fantastic to me. Perhaps if it wasn’t for the switchback 8 and 9 it wouldn’t look so busy. My only worry is the straights being perhaps a bit too short, like you said due to the small plot.

    • Casanova (@casanova) said on 19th December 2011, 8:38

      I think “SpeedCity” just comes from wanting an Anglicized version of the name – it’s an attempt to translate the punning name Velociudad – from velocidad (speed) and ciudad (city).

    • KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 19th December 2011, 11:17

      At least it would be something different, judging from the profile the longest straight would be something a bit over 600m instead of the usual Tilkedrome’s 1+km. Unfortunately, it does look like it’ll be another relatively flat circuit… 4.7km track with Spa-esque elevation changes would be something nice :P

  7. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 19th December 2011, 3:00

    Wouldn’t be surprise if he gets one as many said that these days money talks in F1.

    • verstappen (@verstappen) said on 19th December 2011, 14:12

      @WasiF1 Why not give him the seat for India + 2 free practices in other races for say $2 million?

      I don’t think it’ll cost a backmarker that much in terms of Championship points and money, maybe they can even wait untill the last possible moment to make the final desicion.

      And while Kartikeyan may not be a lighting example, it possibly helps interest in India and F1 does need new markets.

      So, it all depends on the circumstances whether I’ll find it a bad idea

  8. Enigma (@enigma) said on 19th December 2011, 5:35

    Drivers like Alguersuari, Sutil, Petrov, Senna, Barrichello, Buemi, Liuzzi, D’Ambrosio and Wickens have no seats and most of them won’t race in 2012. They all deserve it much more than Karthikeyan and I’m really glad Petrov and a few others have money so that they can hopefully out-bid Karthikeyan.

    • Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 19th December 2011, 12:20

      I’ve never thought that I would be cheering on Petrov out-bidding somebody.

    • Its a little unfair though. He returned to F1 after 5 years and we all know how Schumacher fared after his return. In his only previous year at F1, he was considered fast but very error prone( I wasn’t following F1Fanatic then so don’t know what the general consensus about him was).

      So to consider him slow and not talented based on his 2011 performance is equivalent to saying Schumacher was the worst driver of 2010 grid as even guys like Grassi were closer to Glock than Shumi was to Rosberg.

  9. 3v3r10n9 (@3v3r10n9) said on 19th December 2011, 5:49

    That was quick. How can it be April 1st already? What happened to Christmas and the New Year?

  10. I’m an Indian… as much as i’d like to see an Indian driver, i don’t think there are any worth having in F1. For now we have a track, we should concentrate on junior series which will act as a stepping stone for higher formulas and other forms of top tier motor-racing. As of now, there’s little to go by in the way of developing new talent.

  11. ed24f1 (@ed24f1) said on 19th December 2011, 6:22

    I think it’s also interesting to hear, considering the current ownership share of Force India, that Sahara may be bailing out Kingfisher Airlines.

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 19th December 2011, 7:20

    Nice effort from Rosberg, he looks pretty good.

    Regarding Karthikeyan, I don’t doubt the guy is hungry but if I was in his position I don’t think I’d go on tape about it.

  13. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 8:52

    Dimitris Papadopoulos (f1enigma) Tweeted a few days ago, talking about how “some closed cases might re-open”, referring to the possibility of certain established driver line-ups changing before the 2012 season. He’s now naming Kamui Kobayashi as the driver whose seat could become available, because, according to Peter Windsor, Ferrari are “pushing quite hard to squeeze him [Jules Bianchi] in somewhere” and Papadopoulos backs him up, saying that he didn’t want to talk about it too soon, but “I know that Ferrari is pushing like hell for that”. Some people have noted that despite the denials that Kobayashi would leave the team, they only came from the team’s PR department, and not from a named source like Sauber or Monisha Kaltenborn. There is talk that Kamui Kobayashi has been sighted at the Williams factory since, so my read on this is that if it’s going to happen, Sauber didn’t want to announce anything until they knew where Kobayashi would end up; if they couldn’t find a seat for him, they wouldn’t bow to Ferrari’s pressure to give Jules Bianchi a seat.

  14. Alfie (@alfie) said on 19th December 2011, 9:43

    Keith, you’ve put ‘Is F1 becoming NASCAR’ twice. Is it really that important?

  15. You guys are being a bit hard on Narian. Most drivers want to be in F1. Why should he be any different?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 19th December 2011, 10:38

      There’s a distinct difference between wanting to be in Formula 1 and believing you will be – especially when that belief will come at the expense of someone else more talented than you are. There are six drivers on the 2012 grid who did not race in 2011, which means that six drivers who raced in 2011 will not start next season. And all six of them are rated more-highly than Narain Karthikeyan.

      • I don’t know…in fairness, he didn’t say (that I saw, anyway) that he “believed” he would be in F1 next season — just that he’s looking into the possibilities. I didn’t even see him saying he was looking for a race seat. Could he be hired as a test driver somewhere? I feel like I can’t really blame him for wanting to try!

      • Well, he didn’t say that he would be, just that he (or his manager etc) is looking for opportunities to stay in F1.

        I never said that it was likely, let alone a good idea. But I’d be disappointed by him if he didn’t explore every last possibility to stay in F1. As any serious driver would.

        Lastly… Just because he is rubbish, (But not quite as rubbish as I expected in his defense) doesn’t mean he can’t want to be in F1.

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