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from India Insight:

“Mother Monster” Lady Gaga set to surprise India with F1 show

By Annie Banerji

Curiosity peaked as international pop icon Lady Gaga kept the media waiting before her press conference In New Delhi. Would she don cow-like headgear (to commemorate her visit to India) or would she be wearing a dress made of stuffed animals again?

Usually known for her artistic public appearances coupled with an outlandish fashion statement, the “Born This Way” singer, whose real name is Stefani Germanotta, kept it safe -- wearing a rather conservative Indian-designer dress and her hair dyed in the tricolours of the Indian flag, perhaps keeping in mind India’s conservative and religious social fabric.

The multi-Grammy award winner is in New Delhi on a four-day trip to perform for India's maiden Formula 1 Grand Prix at an invitation-only show in a five-star hotel after the final race on Sunday.

“I have built a special stage for this show that I’m doing for Sunday. It is unique for India and it has never been done anywhere else in the world. I will be incorporating also the collaborations I did with Indian DJs to the performance,” Gaga said at a press conference on Friday, promising to surprise everyone with her show.

from Left field:

Helping to pay your way in F1

MOTOR-RACING/Indian Narain Karthikeyan's return to Formula One, along with Renault's retention of Russian Vitaly Petrov and the imminent arrival of Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado and Mexican Sergio Perez, has put the issue of the so-called 'pay driver' -- a man whose place on the grid is rightly or wrongly considered as much down to the amount of sponsorship he brings as talent behind the wheel -- firmly back in the spotlight.

There are those who bemoan the situation, lamenting the lack of opportunities for the talented but hard-up aspirant, but that is not a new phenomenon even if it was more muted in the era of manufacturer dominance.

from Russell Boyce:

Asia – A Week in Pictures 10 October 2010

North Korea opened its doors and the internet to the World's media to allow a glimpse of the parade which marked the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party. More importantly, it gave the world its first independent look at the protege Kim Jong-un. China based Chief Photographer Petar Kujundzic took full advantage of the opportunity.  The warmth of the picture of the women soldiers smiling - a rare glimpse into the world from which we normally only get formal, over compressed and pixelated images.

KOREA-NORTH/

North Korean female soldiers smile before a parade to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the founding of the Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang October 10, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic

from Left field:

The F1 title race, in old money

GERMANY/McLaren's Formula One champions Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have both sought solace in the scoring system after recent setbacks.

But in fact, if they did the maths they might feel a little bit sore. Applying the 2009 points to the 2010 results so far, the title battle would actually be even tighter.

from Left field:

Formula 1 starts 2010 with a headache

MOTOR-RACING/RENAULTFormer champion Niki Lauda did not mince his words last year when he said that Formula One's Singapore Grand Prix race-fixing scandal demanded the heaviest of punishments to restore credibility.

A Times headline called Brazilian Nelson Piquet's deliberate crash at the 2008 race "the worst act of cheating in the history of sport."

from Changing China:

Reuters reporter catches a ride with F1 champ Button

 

Beijing based Reuters Sports Reporter Nick Mulvenney gets the ride of a lifetime in the passenger seat of F1 Champion Jenson Button's race car, for a whirlwind tour inside Beijing's iconic Bird's Nest stadium. 

Video credit: Kitty Bu and Wang Shubing

from The Great Debate UK:

Gates closing for commercial partners in sport

Simon Chadwick- Professor Simon Chadwick, Director, Centre for the International Business of Sport, Coventry, UK. The opinions expressed are his own. -

This summer’s Tour de France was truly historic: the race finished without anyone having returned a positive dope test. Monumental! In a sport seemingly beset with drug problems, professional cycling appeared to have turned the corner, started over, seen the error of its ways, cleaned up its act etc.

from Left field:

Suspended sentence for Renault — does the punishment fit the crime?

piquetThe news has just come in from Paris, where Renault have been handed a suspended ban from Formula One, while their former boss Flavio Briatore has been banned from all F1 activities, including driver management, and ex-technical chief Pat Symonds is barred for five years.

So the immediate result of the inquiry into race-rigging at last year's Singapore Grand Prix is that Renault can stay in the sport, provided they stay on their best behaviour for the next couple of years, even though the offence was described by the FIA as one of "unparalleled severity".

from Left field:

Schumacher pulls plug on F1 comeback

HUNGARYA disappointing day for fans of Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, with news that the German has had to call off his proposed F1 comeback.

As the seven-times world champion said on his website:

"Yesterday evening, I had to inform Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and Team Principal Stefano Domenicali that unfortunately I'm not able to step in for Felipe (Massa). I really tried everything to make that temporary comeback possible, however, much to my regret it didn't work out. Unfortunately we did not manage to get a grip on the pain in the neck which occurred after the private F1-day in Mugello, even if medically or therapeutically we tried everything possible.

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