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Michael to clinch the title at Spa!

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Hungary is over now, Ferrari have both the Constructors and Drivers Championships won and the promised threat from the competition never eventuated. While Alonso convincingly won the race for the best of the rest, that was a different race to the one the two red cars were in. Hungary is one of my least favourite circuits and this race showed yet again why that is. By its very nature F1 is processional but Hungary 2004 takes that to new heights. Not only was there very little action on the track we didn�t see even the usual pitstop strategy driven overtaking this time round. The cars lined up, went round and round and then the drivers who survived to the end gathered the points they would have got had the race been stopped at the end of the first lap. Thank god Spa is next!

Ferrari will win again next week and Michael will have his crown. Love him or hate him, you cannot fail to respect the sheer professionalism of both the man and the team. The coming together of a fully focussed team and a fully focussed driver can be bad for the sport. During my time as a follower of F1 we have seen the cycles of supremacy run from team to team but there have always (or usually) been two drivers who could win within that team � then came Ferrari and Michael. Rubens is a very good driver � certainly the best team-mate MS has ever had - however Ferrari have given 100% of their effort to make the car suit Michael and that has paid huge dividends in results and exposure.

It will be far more interesting next year behind the red cars though. Two of the second tier teams (I still class McLaren Mercedes there despite this seasons results) will have near equal drivers and if the silliness surrounding Button goes Williams� way then three teams will have internal competition. Watching the head-to-head between Alonso and Fisichella, Montoya and Raikkonen and (perhaps) Button and Webber will give the sport a shot in the arm that has been missing for way too long. I will be particularly keen to see Mark Webber teamed up with a first string driver. Mark has been very impressive down the back with ordinary teammates � how will he perform against a proven performer up the pointy end?

JV is pushing very hard for a seat next year however I will be amazed if one transpires. He would have to be a long shot at best and looks the least attractive option any of the teams could take. He won�t get into a winning car and the best he could hope for is BAR, where he had a very poor PR relationship and was beaten by Button in his last season. His unwillingness to work the sponsors and poor relationships with management won�t help either. Any other team that might consider him (Sauber seems to be the sole option) will not be running up the front and will therefore have to put up with his lack of ability to stay motivated in mid-field. No, Jacques is a non-starter I think. As will be Mika, unfortunately.

Of more interest at BAR will be the fallout from the Button affair. Honda found out about the Williams deal from the media and Honda is Japanese. Face is a very strange driver of all things Asian and in that Honda is very Asian indeed. Watch this space to see whether one BAR head is enough to satisfy them.

Max has managed to win yet another reprieve as boss of the FIA and is again talking about beyond next year. That saddens but doesn�t surprise me, despite the negative impact I believe he has, and will continue to have, on the sport. Given the inability of the team principals to agree on the colour of the notepaper to be supplied at their meetings it�s odds-on that Max�s plans for 2005 will transpire, hopefully in time for the teams to throw a car together that meets the new specifications before Melbourne next year.

Talking about damn fool suggestions (why did that pop up when I was thinking of Max I wonder?) Tony Purnell must have one eye on Max�s job when he eventually self-destructs. He, Purnell, has already started making dumb proposals to get noticed. Lets see, it goes something like this � lets draw lots for the starting order and hold 2 mini-races to determine qualifying positions because F1 is getting boring due to a lack of overtaking on Sundays. Err, Tony, if they can�t overtake equal cars on Sunday what hope will they have in these mini � events on Friday or Saturday. You might as well forget qualifying altogether and just draw lots for grid positions like Bernie wanted to do at one time. Sure you will see the top teams carving through the Jordans and Minardis but lets see a Renault overtaking MS in a racing move. Nope, I�ve said it before; Qualifying weren�t broke � go back to what worked.

MS to win Spa, Belgium and yet another crown, roll on 2005!

The Quali-flyer

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