nof1l.gif (4731 bytes)

F1 Merchandise

How long do we have to put up with . . . .   
17 July 2002 Volume 4 - Issue 21   

blank.gif (809 bytes)
blank.gif (809 bytes)
Main Page
Formula 1 News
2016 F1 Schedule
2016 F1 Line-up
2015 F1 Results
F1 Teams
F1 Drivers
NewsOnF1 Mobile
10 'n' Pole
Register - Submit
F1 Regulations
The Forums
Live F1 Coverage
Motorsport Shop
Motorsport Calendar

F1 Merchandise UK
F1 Merchandise USA

F1 Tours
F1 Tickets
F1 Diecast
F1 Videos
F1 Games
F1 Trivia
NewsOnF1 on Twitter
MotoGP Tickets
Past Formula 1 Seasons
2015 F1 Results
2014 F1 Results
2013 F1 Results
2012 F1 Results
2011 F1 Results
2010 F1 Results
2009 F1 Results
2008 F1 Results
2007 F1 Results
2006 F1 Results
2005 F1 Results
2004 F1 Results
2003 F1 Results

2002 F1 Results

2001 F1 Results

2000 F1 Results

1999 F1 Results

1998 F1 Results

1997 F1 Results
2010 World Cup
Contact Us
Your Say
Diagnosis & Prognosis
By the Heretic
Controversy Corner
The Real Race
By the Quali-flyer
F1 Testing
F1 Team Reports
8 'n' Pole
2006 World Cup

Download the
powered by Alexa

Those damn fuel nozzle failures.

Some may feel that the random effect of not being able to refuel during a pit stop adds spice to the race but I find it absolutely frustrating.

To me a race is a competition between teams, which includes the skill of the drivers, strategists, and pit teams. To see all of this turn to custard because a fuel hose played up and forced an extra unplanned and unscheduled pit stop is aggravating to say the least.

In this particular instance it is unlikely that Ralf Schumacher would have finished on the podium if the nozzle on his fuelling hose did not play up but it could as easily have happened to Montoya and he did finish on the podium.

Why is it so hard to develop a reliable refuelling system? Why are the FIA putting up with something so woefully inadequate? Why are the teams not demanding a better service?

The British Grand Prix was won on tyre performance. Had it not rained I suspect that Barrichello would have been lucky to finish in the points, let alone in second place, and Villeneuve would have struggled to get into the points too.

Michelin do not have remotely reasonable intermediate tyres and this was obvious as soon as it started raining. In heavy rain, when full wet tyres are required, they may not be at that much of a disadvantage but in the conditions at Silverstone they had no defence. David Coulthard tried every tyre they had without success. Montoya was the only Michelin driver to finish in the points and he did that against all odds by driving a set of full wet tyres until they were slicks!

At Magny Cours the start is a reasonable distance from Grande Courbe (a double bend fast left hand curve) that leads into the 200km/H (124mph) Estoril right hander which gently eases out into the over 300 km/H (186mph) straight to Adelaide a tight 80 km/H (50mph) sharp right that again leads into a fast infield section where the slowest turn (8) will be taken at around 160 km/H (100mph) before braking down to 80 km/H (50mph) again for Chateu d�Eau. A short straight gets us up to the 80 km/H (50mph) lead onto the straight.

The start has a reasonable chance of being uneventful as the cars will really only slow for Estoril and by then they should have sorted out their relevant positions but if it does go wrong speeds will be very high which will result in serious accidents.

Although the short straight out of Chateu d�Eau may allow for overtaking of slower cars it is only on the pit straight that I believe we will see any real overtaking. The rest of the circuit to Adelaide could see some serious drags for supremacy again.

Although I believe that we could see Williams on the first row of the starting grid, this circuit suits Ferrari, and particularly Michael Schumacher, best. They seem to have the top end speed to hold Williams at bay and are much faster through high speed corners which dominate this track.

Fast corners are also where Michael Schumacher does best so I think that he will be very hard to beat.

Williams will qualify well because it seems that the Michelin tyre is very good for the short, extreme stints that qualifying is. Montoya is very good at timing his run while Michael Schumacher seems to struggle to find a clear track for a full lap.

I do not think that Williams have the overall package to win. They may start strong but will probably lose grip after four or five laps which will last for long enough to hand the race to Ferrari. I could be wrong. Michelin may have solved the problem. But I doubt it.

McLaren may do well. They seem to have a chassis that suits the Michelin better. But I suspect that they still do not have the grunt to compete with Williams on the very fast sections of the French Grand Prix. Engine reliability is also likely to still be a problem.

Despite their poor performance in Silverstone I suspect that Renault may do well in front of their home crowd. This team is getting better and better and should be hounding McLaren.

BAR, Sauber and Jordan could do well if it rains again � only because they are on Bridgestone. The Ferrari engine in the Sauber is showing its age and Honda are still not delivering for BAR and Jordan.

Jaguar and Arrows should be struggling at the back again. Amazing that these teams are evenly matched. Arrows is virtually broke and Jaguar is spending telephone numbers and if it rains there is a chance that Frentzen could do extremely well, even finish in the points, while all the money that Jaguar applies is unlikely to be able to match that. Shows the difference a driver makes. Shows how little difference money can make. Shows how a very bad engine can level the playing field.

Toyota are still learning and seem to be a little down on power which is unlikely to get them anywhere in France.

That leaves poor old Minardi which, although they have had some luck in getting funds allocated to them, can only be regarded as a platform for new drivers, like Mark Webber, to show their worth. Expect to see them fighting off last place with Arrows, Jaguar and Toyota.

The real question is will it be hot enough to give the Michelin runners a chance? If it is very hot it is possible that Michelin may have some advantage over Bridgestone and Ferrari could be threatened by Williams and even McLaren. If it rains it is likely that Ferrari will come first and second again followed by a BAR, Jordan or Sauber as I think it is unlikely that Montoya could repeat his performance on slick wet tyres and get away with it and to expect any sort of performance from Ralf, unless the day is perfect for him, is unlikely.

If the weather is ideal I predict that Montoya will qualify on pole again and Ferrari will overtake him in the pits to lead the race to the end. I do not believe that Michelin have enough hot/fast track advantage to make a difference for more than a few laps.

Agree or disagree ?
Please submit any comments you have on this commentary below

Your comments and the Heretic's reply could be published on NewsOnF1.

Email address:


Previous Heretic Issues
The Heretic's Season Preview
Main British GP Page
Main French GP Page

Back to Top


Official 2004 F1 Season Review

Autocourse 2004 Annual

F1 World Championship Yearbook 2004

The Official Tribute To Ayrton Senna
1960 To 1994

Formula 1 Technical Analysis: 2003

Chariot Makers: Assembling the Perfect Formula 1 Car

The Science of
F1 Design

The Complete Book of Formula One: All Cars and Drivers Since 1950

Formula 1 Books

Race Driving Books

Race Car Design Books

Magazine Stand

Ayrton Senna

Past Formula 1 Drivers