2012 Indian GP Highlights Maturing Buddh Int’l Circuit

Buddh International Circuit - India's Racing Arena - Venue for the 2012 Formula 1 AIRTEL Indian Grand Prix

This coming Sunday, October 28th, 2012, the F1 Circus continues its racing prowess with the running of the 2012 Indian Grand Prix.  This is being held, in only its second year, at the Buddh International Circuit, in New Delhi.


The race will be run through laps 60, each being 3.19 miles (5.13 km) in length.  There are 11 corners, 7 to the left & 9 to the.right, driven in a clockwise direction.  It’s good to see another F1 race with 2 DRS zones; the first on the front straight through the start-finish line & the second on the even longer straight between Turns 3 & 4!  This new circuit debuted in 2011.  Many note that the track surface undulation are a major striking characteristic.

2012 FORMULA 1 AIRTEL INDIAN GRAND PRIX - Buddh International Circuit

The Buddh International Circuit features a thorough mix of slow speed turns and high-speed straights, with severe braking at the end of these same straights.  Pirelli has chosen their PZero Silver Hard and PZero Yellow Soft tires to help deal with the heat & subsequent traction/wear issues.

Pirelli F1 Tires for 2012 Indian GP - PZero Yellow Soft & PZero Silver Hard

Earlier this afternoon I had a brief visit with management at the Lion & Rose Pub (Alamo Heights).  We will be watching the previously captured 2012 Indian Grand Prix, starting at 3:30PM, this Sunday.  Besides the F1 action, I will be sharing Circuit of The America (CoTA) updates & the variety of F1 Fan activities  These will be taking place in the environs of Austin, Texas from November 14th thru the 18th.  There’s SO much more to a Formula 1 weekend than just practice, qualifying & the actual race.  Check out Austin Race Events for a comprehensive calendar of many events you may not yet be aware of…

Austin Race Events — The Unofficial Grand Prix Social Calendar

The SAF1C Race Watch Party will be a good time.  In addition, there will be a new variety of F1 Fan swag to win in the F1 Trivia Contest!  I look forward to a good turnout & sharing our Formula 1 racing passion.  See you Sunday at 3:30PM !



P.S. – For those attending the 2012 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix just south of Austin, TX & are looking for a practical overnight stay solution, consider camping.  Review this informative article about the F1Nightly.com Campgrounds.  That’s my solution for F1 weekend overnight lodging & transportation!

Korean GP May Dust Up the F1 Driver/Team Standings

This Sunday will be the 2012 Korean GP, but first I will confirm our next SAF1C Race Watch Party at the Lion & Rose Pub.  There was pitifully little feedback from fans of SAF1C, but there was just enough response for me to continue this series of parties.  :-)

Lion & Rose Britsh Pub - Union Jack logoTherefore, the SAF1C Korean Grand Prix Race Watch Party is scheduled for this Sunday (10/14) at 3:00PM at the Lion & Rose Pub (in Alamo Heights).  I confirmed this yesterday with the L+R management.  Although I am sending this out last minute, I would hope for you to consider watching this F1 race with me & other like-minded F1 race fans.

2012 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix bannerWatching the practice & qualifying sessions for the Korean GP, I cannot understand why this track is never used for any other racing events throughout the year.  As such, it was a dusty, slippery challenge for all the Formula 1 drivers – traction was at a premium!

Michael Schumacher blows through a dusty corner in practice for 2012 Korean GP - Courtesy of Associated Press

This is only the third year of competition at this Tilke-designed track called the Korea International Circuit, at Yeongam, South Korea.  Its design was created with passing opportunities in mind.  Multiple long straights, with slow, wide but tight turns should help to keep the competitors’ running order in a constant state of flux.

2012 Formula 1 Korean Grand Prix track circuit diagram

Qualifying spoiler alert:  With the Red Bull Team front row, we saw Webber pull off the pole position in the last few seconds of Q3, snatching it away from Vettel!

Other news:  The SPEED staff found out, just late yesterday, that Formula 1 will not renew broadcasting in the USA with them.  This starts next year, after 17 fulfilling years.  F1 plans to switch over to NBC.  It was somewhat emotional reading through Will Buxton’s Tweets about the heart wrenching roller-coaster he was experiencing!  Here are his most recent thoughts about his passing SPEED opportunity.  This is a GOOD read…

Formula 1 continues to be a dynamic sport, always surprising us at every turn.  The San Antonio F1 Club hopes to see you at the Lion & Rose Pub (Alamo Heights) before 3:00PM, tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, 1o/14/2012)!  I don’t want to be surprised by a lack of turnout…



Japanese GP Figures to Challenge at Suzuka & No Party!

The Suzuka circuit is unique on the Formula 1 season calendar.  Its “figure-8” track configuration, I think, is the “most fair” for a race car’s set up.  You have a mostly equal amount of left & right turns.  Many say this track is very demanding of both car & driver, having been designed originally as a test track facility by Honda in 1962.  It has hosted the Japanese GP since 1987.  This Formula 1 race is round 15 in the 2012 series.

Do We Save SAF1C?

The San Antonio F1 Club (SAF1C) had attempted to facilitate another Race Watch Party at the Lion & Rose Pub.  Unfortunately, there will be NO F1 race viewing  this coming Sunday at the L+R. Pub.  We have been pre-empted by a larger than life soccer match viewing that will take over most of the Pub.  This is the match between Real Madrid & Barcelona at 1:00pm.  Please schedule & program your DVRs for the Japanese GP at the Suzuka circuit on SPEED, for your own F1 GP race viewing pleasure.

I must mention… the number of F1 fans who have actually shown up recently has been pitifully small.  I’m sure those of us who do participate enjoy the experience.  I know I do.  But it takes a lot of effort on my part to coordinate these parties at the Lion & Rose Pub, obtain nice give-away swag prizes, research trivia questions,  & prepare, set up & publicize all of this.  Bottom line, the return on investment is nil or less – my time is worth more than that!  Continuing as we are, I do not want to do!!!

After Sunday’s Japan GP, there are only 5 Formula 1 races left this 2012 season:

  • The Korea GP – October 7th
  • The India GP – October 14th
  • The Abu Dhabi GP – November 4th
  • The Austin USGP – November 18th !!! (Of course I will be there, at the GP, not in San Antonio!)
  • & The Brazil GP – November 25th

So… do we as a group want to continue our Race Watch Parties through the end of this season?  Do we want to look for another venue that is willing to work with us?  I will visit once again with The Lion & Rose Pub management to see if we can get back on their Sunday schedule for the Korea GP on Sunday, October 7th.  Frankly, if I don’t hear any enthusiastic response for continuing this SAF1C Race Watch Party series, then I’m sorry – that will be it!

If you want to improve the probability of the return of the SAF1C Race Watch Parties, PLEASE get with your fellow race enthusiast friends & acquaintances.  Also, follow up with me via e-mail.  We need to show the Pub that our numbers count as a worthwhile event to host.  This is NOT the way I wanted to get involved in the Formula 1 “silly season”!

So, we won’t see you Sunday, but look forward to your enthusiastic feedback from you…



Singapore GP 2012 – Speeding Through the Night!

Singapore GP 2012 - F1 Promo PosterThe 2012 Formula 1 Singtel Singapore Grand Prix is run at NIGHT!  This GP, which premiered in 2008, is the only nocturnal race of the F1 season.  This track is well lit.  But despite the over 1600 spotlights that are employed for lighting, it has an eerie character that seems unnatural.

Singapore GP - Initial laps from 2011 race

The track course traverses the asphalt of Marina Bay, being the third & last true street race of 2012.  Although this event is run at night, it has the oxymoronic challenge of very high track & ambient temperatures, along with high humidity.  In addition, Singapore is a circuit employing a high-downforce configuration of the already highly stressed F1 race cars.  We’ll see how Pirelli’s choice of the P Zero Yellow soft & Red super-soft tires hold up throughout the race.

Pirelli's choice of the P Zero Yellow soft & Red super-soft tire, for the 2012 Singapore GP

Like Circuit of The Americas (CoTA), the Marina Bay circuit in Singapore is one of the few F1 contests that is run in a counter-clockwise direction.  Sunday’s race will run over 61 laps of the 5.073-kilometre (3.152 mile) circuit, and starts at 8:00PM local time.

Singapore GP 2012 - Circuit Layout & FactsThe SAF1C Race Watch Party will start this Sunday (9/23) at 3:00PM.  As usual, the venue will be the Lion & Rose Pub in Alamo Heights, San Antonio, Texas.  We look forward to your participation & viewership.  Be advised…as always there will be trivia (but not trivial) door prizes.  To better know the answers for the F1 trivia contest you would do best to watch the Formula 1 Debrief, Practice & Qualifying sessions on SPEED.  That is where the questions’ material typically originates.

Singapore GP 2012 - Track Facts & Figures, in the form of a Formula 1 race carLooking forward to see you all this coming Sunday, at the Lion & Rose Pub, for the Singapore GP, September 23, 2012!


2012 Italy GP at Monza – Classic F1 Speed With Italian Flair

The site of the next Formula 1 Gran Prix, the GP of Italy at Monza, is one of the fastest & most favored tracks on the F1 Circuit.  It is revered almost as much as Spa, where the Belgium GP took place last week.

FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO SANTANDER D'ITALIA 2012Our SAF1C (San Antonio F1 Club) Race Watch Party will again take place at the Lion & Rose Pub (in Alamo Heights).  What will be different is our start time, thanks to the beginning of the NFL Football season (meh – not a fan).  We will be watching later, starting at 3:00PM!

Italian GP themed Formula 1 track edgeHere’s some visual history of the banked oval portion of the old Monza circuit…

James Garner, straping into his Grand Prix racer

One of my first memories of Formula 1 interest was seeing the classic racing film Grand Prix, starring James Garner (above).  One of the scenes I remember most vividly is the side-by-side racing around the signature banked oval at Monza.  Now, whenever I watch the Italian GP at Monza, I always look for glimpses of that old, abandoned banking.

The decaying drama of the old Monza track banking...

Here’s a video overview of the 1956 Italian GP at Monza, with historic mentions of Juan Fangio & (Sir) Stirling Moss.  This really gives you a good flavor of the original circuit format & challenge of the over 6 mile (10km) track!

The old & new tracks, sadly, co-exist today, with the old lying fallow…being ignored to fade away in memories past.  At the 1961 Italian Grand Prix, the death of 15 spectators was caused by out of control Ferrari driver Wolfgang von Trips.  This was only on the 2nd lap.  Formula 1 organizers saw the banked oval section speeds increasing to those no longer considered safe, for both drivers & their equipment.  That was it for F1 racing on the banked oval section.


Today the modern Monza circuit (Autodromo di Monza) is about 3.6 miles (5.8km) in length.  It’s a very high speed circuit, and is referred to by many Italians as ‘La Pista Magica’, the magic track.  You will see many of these same Italian fans wearing a lot of red – these are the Ferrari fans, well known as the Tifosi.  They will be in great attendance.

It should be a good Formula 1 contest.  Let’s see if more of the drivers can complete the first lap without a race start mishap like at Spa a week ago!




Belgium GP – Formula 1 Gets Back to Business FAST

After 5 long weeks, we are ramping up the second half of the 2012 Formula 1 season.  San Antonio F1 Club (SAF1C) continues our series of race watch parties at the Lion & Rose Pub (Alamo Heights location), this Labor Day Weekend.  We will meet on this Sunday, September 2nd, 2012.  Start time to watch will be 12:00PM – NOON!  Get there earlier for best seating…


We will enjoy the Belgium GP race at the well-regarded Spa Circuit, actually named the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.  This is one of the longer circuits of the 2012 F1 season, at just over 7 kilometers (about 4.35 miles).  There will be 44 laps on this challenging track that is famed for its fast, hilly & twisty nature. Spa is considered a circuit favored by many racing drivers and F1 fans.


This is my favorite section the Spa circuit – the notorious S-turn of “Eau Rouge”.  This is best enjoyed as F1 racing machines strain at a high speed scream, being pitched through that deviating change to uphill kink & then tearing up said hill to the “Les Combes” turn.  See this footage from the 2009 race at Spa.  Wow, scary fast!

There is much history here as Grand Prix racing started as early as 1925, & the first Formula 1 race here in 1950.  This track features higher than the average speeds of most other F1 tracks, which makes for very exciting racing, regardless of the weather.  These pictures contrast the 1965 race to that of our more recent era.

Eau Rouge at Spa, Formula 1 Circuit - Past & Present

Also of note at this event is the fact that Michael Schumacher will be celebrating his 300th (!) GP start.  But, he still has to catch up to Rubens Barrichello, now enjoying his rookie year in IndyCar.  This should be an interesting & entertaining race, especially what with whatever race team development happened over the summer!

See you Sunday – GO RACE !


2012 Hungarian GP Finish Starts F1 Summer Break

Last weekend’s race watch party of the Hungarian Grand Prix was a fitting start to the second half of the Formula 1 season. Lewis Hamilton was able to hang on from pole position to win.  The Hungaroring is known as a track on which it is difficult to pass.

Lewis Hamillton crosses 2012 Hungary GP finish line in victory as McLaren mechanics start to celebrate - Photo courtesy of AFP-GETTY

But then again, many of us were rooting for the Ice Man, Kimi Räikkönen, one of the 2 drivers for the Lotus Renault Team.  We were willing him to pass race leader Hamilton, but it was not meant to be.  Once again, will have to deal with the continued predictions by Steve Matchett of the SPEED broadcast team.

Kimi Räikkönen chasing Lewis Hamilton at the 2012 Hungarian GP

We are now into the second of the 5 week hiatus of no Formula 1 racing action until Labor Day weekend. To help us get through this absence, we are planning on a special showing of the movie/documentary SENNA. This will be in less than 2 weeks on Sunday, August 19th at 12:00PM/Noon, as usual at the Lion & Rose Pub (Alamo Heights location).

SAF1C info & swag table at 2012 Hungarian GP Race Watch Party

For those of you not familiar with Ayrton Senna, & some of Formula 1 racing history, this film will give you some very good F1 background. Also, click the video image below (from the Donnington Park Formula1 race in 1993) to learn firsthand more about Senna’s aggressive and winning driving style.

Donington Park - Senna\'s flying!

We look forward to seeing you then!

SENNA - No Fear, No Limits, No Equal!RACE ON !