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Sports worldwide
Author: Niket Gandhi
In cricket, the India-England Test Series ended on a somber note with India winning it convincingly by 1-0 but it also saw the re-emergence of the English opener Andrew Strauss scoring a century in each innings in the 1st Test at Chennai. This test also saw India chase down a mammoth 387 and Sachin Tendulkar India’s premier batsman score a century and take India to victory. The 2nd Test at Mohali resulted in a pointless draw.

December also was witness to the downfall of Australia, who lost the Test Series against South Africa 2-1; their first home series loss in 17 years. The loss to South Africa at home and India away and the dismal performance of opener Matthew Hayden brought about the downfall of this southpaw and he graciously retired from Test cricket. He was considered Australia’s greatest opener and it’s a shame he didn’t get a proper farewell, now only if Rahul Dravid would take a cue from this. Also, West Indies and New Zealand were involved in the first Super Over in Twenty-20 Cricket, with West Indies winning the thriller thanks to Gayle’s heroics.

Moving to football, Liverpool FC held their top spot in Premier League Football until Manchester United FC displaced them this Saturday to be on the top. Also Manchester United continued their golden run in the year 2008 to go on and win the FIFA Club World Cup in turn becoming the first British Football Club to do so. Cristiano Ronaldo had an eventful month crashing his Ferrari and then going on to win the FIFA Player of the Year award becoming the first player from the Premier League to receive this award. FC Barcelona held on to their spot on the top at the La Liga all due to the heroics of Argentinean superstar Lionel Messi.

Vrooming to the World of Motorsports particularly Formula 1, it saw the launch of Ferrari’s latest beast from the stable the new F60 labeled CUTE by Felipe Massa. The new car has far fewer aerodynamic appendages on its bodywork compared to its predecessor, due to the rule changes designed to cut downforce and promote more overtaking, with the driver now able to make minor front wing adjustments from the cockpit. The F60’s suspension and layout has also been completely reconfigured as a result, in order to maintain optimum weight distribution.

Mclaren also released the beast Lewis Hamilton is expected to tame the MP4-24.The MP4-24's KERS device has been developed in collaboration with McLaren and Mercedes- Benz High Performance Engines, which has been developing and refining the system for almost two years. The device enables the car to recover energy under braking, store the energy for a lap and release it when the driver presses a button on the steering wheel.

With a fully optimised KERS device's output capped at 400kJ (discharging 80bhp boost for 6.7s per lap), the development team's primary focus has already shifted to further improving the unit's integration within the chassis in order to minimise performance loss elsewhere within the package. An optimised KERS package can be expected to deliver a 0.3-0.5s gain per lap.

The new rules for the 2009 season are:- • Along with changes to bodywork, vehicle weight and tyre size, the document includes details of a "Kinetic Energy Recovery System", or KERS. This is a regenerative brake device that is designed to recover some of the vehicle's kinetic energy that is normally dissipated as heat during braking. The recovered energy could be stored electrically, in a battery or supercapacitor, or mechanically, in a flywheel, for use as a source of additional accelerative power at the driver's discretion. • After being banned since the1998 Formula Season, slick tyres will be provided by Bridgestone in 2009. • There will also be a cap on team budgets starting in the 2009 season on which a decision is taken on the 31st of this month.

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