This was going to be yet another attack on Bernie and Max, but I decided
that this would be better held till after the meeting with the teams, when all
the damn fool items should be tabled. Driver aids to stay for the season,
wonder what else they will change?
If I�m not going to discuss the idiocy of the bureaucrats then whose
idiocy can I discuss? Ah, The drivers. Who is performing, who isn�t, and do
the points reflect this?
Coming down from the top, Michael is getting off to a bad start but it
would be foolish beyond belief to write him off just yet. He made a very
uncharacteristic mistake at Sepang. Any other driver making that same error
would have been forgiven on the basis that �nobody is perfect�; Michael
has to be. He is still the man to beat and, in my opinion, is still favourite
to take out a record 6th Drivers title in 2003. Ferrari and Michael got their
strategy terribly wrong in Australia and their tyres terribly wrong in
Malaysia. I�ve never liked Michael but, as a driver, I do still hold him in
the highest regard as the best of a generally good bunch. Rubens again is
along for the ride and the Ferrari will provide him with a lot more points and
podiums before the year is out but alas, no championship.
Kimi is maturing and must be ecstatic to be on top of the table. Who knows,
I bet he even smiled in private and said more than 6 words after winning. He
is, without doubt, the best driver at McLaren today and after this win will
not look back. He will provide the most legitimate threat to Michael this
year, unless JPM suddenly finds a chassis set-up that works. David is a
tradesman, very quick but without the natural talent of the Finn. No
championship for him this year either.
Montoya is again showing just how bad Ralf really is. Points
notwithstanding, Ralf has been abysmal. He has failed to come to grips with
either the car or qualifying and has won points by being very conservative and
surviving where better drivers have failed, either through car failures,
strategic errors, or both. We don�t know how much fuel Montoya had at Sepang
because he pitted early with a damaged rear wing and topped up � I believe
he was not significantly lighter than Ralf there, as he wasn�t in Melbourne.
The Williams seems to have a terrible chassis, JPM at least can drive through
that shortcoming. Juan Pablo needs to get the car sorted if he wants a crack
at the title. Ralf needs to get himself sorted if he wants a seat in a blue
and white car next year.
Damn shame the Also Ran died with the rule changes, Ralf�s performance at
both venues in all sessions on all days would have guaranteed him 2 so far.
The Renault are coming into their own. Trulli is performing well, Alonso is
more than living up to the hype and the car steers and stops brilliantly. They
will need to find a shitload of power though if they want to stay up the
Sauber, ho hum. Somebody has to pick up the points that were added for the
cars not good enough to be up the front I suppose. Frentzen and Heidfeld will
gather a few of them over the season. I had always been a fan of Frentzen but
I believe Nick has his number so far. BAR? The less said the better � both
Button and Villeneuve are putting more effort into their own rivalry than they
are into racing. They must be both trying to compete for Eddie Irvines old
crown as the mouth of F1. Eddie Jordan meanwhile seems to be following down
the well-trodden path of Prost and Walkinshaw. Fisichella might be quick and
Firman might not, I don�t think the car will ever be competitive enough for
us to find out.
Webber and Pizzonia have both made mistakes but the team has made the
bigger ones. I don�t think the car is as quick as it should have been but
the drivers both get a passing grade so far. Jos won�t ever be a world
champion. I don�t think he expects to be but he is out there trying, adding
a few bucks to the team�s coffers and generally doing what he�s supposed
to. Wilson is still an unknown. Minardi seem pretty good at picking one driver
a year. It�s too early to say if Wilson will measure up to the Webber�s
and Alonso�s. Panis and da Matta are touring around, developing the cars
into a team and, so far, not doing anything terribly wrong or brilliantly
So, bottom line, Alex has gone, Ralf seems to have decided to seize his
title of the least performing driver in the circus and Villeneuve and Button
want to be remembered as talkers not fighters. Gee, I wonder if anyone will
miss Ralf or David in 2004?
My best guess (and it is my soapbox) puts MS at the top of the tree after
Japan 2003 with Kimi and, if the car gets sorted, Montoya fighting it out with
the other red car for second
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That was a well thought-out article. I completely agree with it. I am a
Schumi fan and I would really like to see someone challenge him before he
retires. Kimi is maturing very fast and if his car supports him, he could very
well be a threat for MS. He is too good and if not this year, he will be the
champion in next 2-3 years - Vandana - India
Thanks for the support.
If you're looking for competition for Schumacher, Kimi and Juan Pablo
are the only one's in the queue I think. And yes, I too believe Kimi will be
the next World Champion (after Michael decides he doesn't want it any more)
I'm trying to know if you are becoming a humorist or a poet ja, ja. Good! -
Alberto R - Paraguay
Folks laugh when I try to venture an opinion and cry when I try to wax
lyrical, guess that makes me a ........ Quali-flyer!
Referring to your article ala my soapbox, Kimi is good too f**king good for
his own good, as he's messing with my guys you see. I'm a JPM and Schumi fan (Schumi
the driver not the man) and they are my guys, trouble is it's hard not to like
talent when you see it and he has it ,but I don't like it not one bit. You see
he has ruined the natural order of things, the evolution of things, Williams
was going to get a good good car and JPM was going to succeed Schumenstein,
but no Ron had to make progress with the 17d didn' t he and it looks like the
18 will leave the FW25 standing still so it looks like the ICE MAN cometh into
his own. I don't like it but it may be so dagnabit.
One more thing, do you honestly think David will be without a drive next year,
maybe I'm stoopid but that was the inference wasn't it. I don't rate him but
he could probably buy a drive next year when Ron punts him or test for
Can you hear the discontent my good man, in old Blighty at that statement.
cheers Cooky - Australia
Erudite as always! Kimi is good, there's no doubting that. If there is
a driver on the paddock poised to pick up MS's mantle it has to be him. JPM?
Real quick, great engine, sorry about the chassis boys - maybe next year.
I believe even David will accept by the end of this season that 2004
still won't be 'his year' and he'll bail out. He has been a very good number
2 and deserved his seat at McLaren but he's never accepted that he isn't a
Champion. Rubens has willingly gone along with his number 2 position at
Ferrari, David has always had excuses for his. Being a Scotsman one must
assume David has kept all his pennies and doesn't need to drive to eat and I
can't see him going to a lesser team, nor can I see Ferrari or Williams
making any offers. No, I honestly think David will retire at the end of this
season, although I also believe that if he wanted to stay the second seat at
McLaren would (justifiably) be there for him. That would still leave one
seat available in a top 3 team for a good back-up driver to a very good
Number One. Wonder who'll get that particular drive next year when Sir Frank
gets sick of losing? - The Quali-flyer
Damn I wanted JPM up front but I suppose the ICE MAN cometh.
So you think David's big brain (I believe Coulthard has the highest IQ in F1)
(still can't drive but) will sink his own ship ?
picture this, It's 2005 - Bernie and Max are both gone so F1 is back
to sort of as it was last year, damn shame they still haven't fixed
overtaking though. Michael's gone, Ralf's forgotten, who else could be the
new King? JPM (who is starting to age himself) will at least keep Kimi
honest from his pretty new red car.
And yes, I think once David gets it through his head that he will
never be a champion then he will go - The Quali-flyer
Pole and see how your predictions stack up against the others. Register