At least it was consistent. Italy was not only one of the more boring races
of the season it was the single most boring telecast. All the excitement came
from the championship table, not the racing. Why is it so hard for directors
to understand that 2 hours of following one red car around the circuit does
not make good television? Even if it is Michael Schumacher in a Ferrari in
Italy! Malaysia's telecast was bad but at least they had the excuse of being
incompetent. Somewhere between the disjointed 3 second switches at Sepang and
the 2 hour tribute to MS of Monza is a perfect balance. Hope both of them find
it next year.
I've had to laugh at a few of the comments made since the race regarding
JPM's efforts being hampered by back markers. He couldn't do anything about
Michael for the 70% of the race that he was in touch with the Ferrari but
suddenly he was going to be able to catch Schumacher and then pass him at the
end ? I don't think so!
Juan Pablo came second when he was unable to get Michael in the first half
of the first lap. That was the best result he was going to be able to achieve
and it takes nothing away from his talent that he did so. In F1 today (well,
for the last decade actually) overtaking an equal car requires a mistake from
the driver in front. Only when a driver has a significant car or positional
advantage is it possible to overtake. Juan Pablo didn't get in front of
Michael at the start because he didn't have one of these advantages and he
wasn't going to get in front at the end for the same reason. Michael makes
mistakes too but it's a rare occurrence and he wasn't going to make any at
Monza. Montoya should take a leaf out of Raikonnen's book and just accept that
second was the best result he could have gotten on the day.
Ralf must be exhorting his Doctors to fix him quick. After a fairly
impressive and tradesman-like performance in Monza there is a certain test
driver who Mr Schumacher Jnr wants to see off the racetrack as soon as
possible. Had he competed in Monza I can't see Ralf doing any better than
holding his starting position like his replacement (and in fact the 5 front
runners) did, and he is both vastly more experienced and vastly more
expensive. Sir Frank, I'm sure, will have noticed.
Of the drivers up the front Kimi and Michael have impressed me more than
Juan Pablo. Sure the Williams was a dog in the early part of the season but it
was a current breed of dog on French tyres. Kimi's results in an old car (and
last season's car is old in F1 years) and Michael's efforts with Bridgestone
tyres are both commendable. Ralf is much closer to Juan Pablo in terms of
points than David or Rubens are to their team mates and that must take some of
the gloss off Montoya's performance.
Two races left and one or both championships has to go down the wire to
Suzuka. With three drivers still statistically able to win (realistically Kimi
won't do it with the current scoring system favouring first Michael then Juan
Pablo) and one track favouring each of the two leaders it will be a
fascinating finish to the season.
I'll be brave (or dumb) and stick my neck out. Schumacher will win his 6th
championship at Suzuka and Sir Frank will take home the prize he really
covets, the Manufacturers Gong. Funny how the prize he most wants is the one
that carries the most bucks into next season, but I guess that's F1 in the