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Reader's Comments

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 pointy end.

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 right.

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

The Quali-flyer
The Real Race Archive

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Reader's comments:

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) - The Quali-Flyer

I'm trying to know if you are becoming a humorist or a poet ja, ja. Good! - Alberto R - Paraguay

Well Alberto,

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 someone.
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

Cooky replies

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

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