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Your thoughts on the '02 Australian Grand Prix  

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Australian Grand Prix Page

This season, we give you a chance to 'Have Your Say' following every race starting with the Australian Grand Prix.
What did you think of the first corner accident, who's fault do you think it was ? Should the race have been restarted ? What did you think of the tyre battle ? and what did you think of Michael Schumacher's dominance ?
Of course you can comment on other aspects of the race - Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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What others are saying:

With the Australian Grand Prix I feel that mark Webber Did fantastic under the conditions, though i think the battle for the lead would have been better without the accident at the start, we didn't really know how the new F1 cars competed. Mika Salo really should have had fifth, the Toyota did excellent under the conditions, being its first grand Prix - Josh - Australia

Toyota will be the surprise team in their first year - Steve - Australia

Well this is directly related to the GP in Melbourne but it is...Word about Mr Steve Nichols, former Jaguar designer who was off-lodged after the new R3 he designed had flaws with its front wing, and speed as well... This apparently is the car EI dragged into the points in Melbourne. 
Apparently, this isn't the first time Mr Nichols has been under the cosh, he produced the radical Ferrari F92A but this flopped badly and Nichols was soon off to Sauber.. Am not being critical of Mr Nichols at all, if anything I respect his accomplishments which include 15 wins for the Honda powered McLaren's driven by Prost and Lauda .. Am just shocked at how he could possibly put the Jags at the back of the grid ......  Godwin T - United Kingdom

In his eagerness to not allow Montoya to get the better of him, Ralf had been too trigger happy. Shows a bit of immaturity there. We all know that the races are not won or lost just at the turn 1. He'd already pass big brother from 3rd on the starting grid to 2nd behind Barrichello. Though I do not agree with RB's tactics, as only one blocking tactic is allowed by the rules, however, Ralf could have used more discretion to ensure a more memorable race than it had turned out. He should have lifted, let the pole man have his way, and if he (Ralf) was really confident about himself and the car, could have easily caught up with RB and passed him, like big brother did with Montoya. May Ralf could pick up a few more pointers from Michael - Roi M - Indonesia

Well done Jaguar & Minardi. OK, so the attrition rate was high, but you have to be there at the end to get points; something neither Jag nor Minardi did consistently last year. Could it be that the first corner incident was a result of Ferrari team orders? Is it not likely that RB was instructed to let Schumy past whilst at the same time holding up the rest of the field? And wasn't it in trying to execute those instructions that RB first blocked RS, several times, and then slowed prematurely? Far-fetched? Do you REALLY think so? - John T - Australia

Those first corner accidents are always stupid. What are both of them thinking? That they were at Hungary or Monaco? Although I'm a big Barrichello's supporter I think he'd be clever to back off and pass Ralf two or three laps later. The way it went the younger brother did a great job to the older, who is already 10 points ahead his team mate. I'd like to suggest a theme for a 'Have you say': If one of the damaged cars belonged to Michael Schumacher, would the race be red flagged? No doubt it would (Last year at Hockenheim the race was stopped following a similar incident. The topic of the week then asked that question. Click here to read the responses for that topic - Ed.) - Andre B - Brazil

Great race! The seven lap battle between MS and JPM was great, but the outcome was never in much doubt. That wasn't even Ferrari's good car! 
Ralf and Rubens both say "It was just a racing accident.", but I think Ralf was watching behind and Rubens may have tried too hard to protect his lead. 
Kimi put on quite a show, coming from the back after having the nose cone replaced and ending up third. 
Poor DC! Just when things are looking up the car breaks. McLaren had better get their act together or they are going to end up second or worse again. 
I do not understand why the race was not stopped. After a similar accident at I forget last year, the race was stopped to "clean the track". This was almost the same thing, so why wasn't the race stopped? I doubt the outcome would have changed much, but let's be consistent. 
If this is a preview of the season it should be great! - Jeff S - USA

I honestly thought it was fifty/fifty fault as far as Rubens and Ralf go. They will both have to be on their best behaviour in Malaysia for sure. I also thought the race should have been red flagged, but that was probably from a selfish viewpoint, in that so little action then occurred on the track and we could have ended up with even less than eight at the end. Montoya is really worth watching though, and it was nice to see such names as Minardi and Webber in the points. So all in all I was a bit shell shocked but did enjoy every minute of it in any case. I was also very surprised at how good the Toyota was and also was at how well Alan McNish performed over the weekend as a whole - Linda B - United Kingdom

Generally speaking it was a boring race after the initial excitement. Not enough cars, which were too spread out on the track. Michael (again) could not be faulted after his one lapse of concentration. I applaud the decision not to restart the race, although its a pity someone didn't have the foresight to pull an MS and park in an unsafe position! It was interesting to see the reactions from the two principal's of the crash - Ruben's definitely stretched the legality of blocking moves and Ralf was carrying so much speed into the corner that he probably would have hit the boundary fence at Albert Park if he hadn't tagged the Ferarri first. They really should just share the input in what can only be considered a 'no-fault' racing incident and not make the same error's next time. Apart from showing the superiority of the MS/Ferrari duo the attrition in the opening minutes removed the opportunity to reflect on the relative performance of the rest of the pack. One must wonder though how Kimi could fail to stay with JPM and then reel off a fastest lap? Congratulations to Minardi, despite the circumstances the points will be a real boost to a team who's total budget probably wouldn't pay for the champer's MS will spray this year. Webber's drive would have to rank as the highlight of the entire race. Given the lack of Diff pressure Mark had during the race his performance was all the more credible. I would be astounded if Minardi see another point this year but I don't think that those will be the last points MW gets in his career. Even Yoong surprised with his 7th place, but he showed as expected that he cannot match Mark's speed or racecraft. Congratulations to Toyota as well, although I was not impressed with Salo's drive. He has way to much experience to be making rookie mistakes like that, given his speed advantage over the Minardi he was guaranteed the extra point within a lap anyway. Roll on round 2! - Geoff H - Australia

I am not so sure that Rubens is blameless. He certainly did carry out blocking tactics. While I do agree with Godwin that Ralf carried too much speed, he (Ralf) might have lost it in the first corner on his own and most of the other cars would have passed safely had it not been for Rubens's blocking moves. And Rubens cannot claim that he was not aware of Ralf's whereabouts. He knew exactly where Ralf was and what he was doing. His own blocking moves suggests that. No, Rubens must also carry some if not most of the blame - certainly not all of it. 
When Mika Hakkinen announced his sabbatical last year I was of the opinion he is on his way out because I could not see what he could come back to. The surprise of the race was the Toyotas who, according to the commentators, were the cars on track with the greatest straightline speed. I can now see that with somebody like Mika to set the car up for the corners as well and drive it like Mika can, these cars have a lot of potential and possible podium in less time than what was ever expected. He could even go to the Renaults and be competitive. Whether he will win a championship in these cars I don't know but it makes for interesting thoughts. Lets face it Mika Salo and Alan is not going to challenge any of the frontline drivers in equal cars. 
As for restarting the race, I was not close to the scene, I was not even anywhere near Australia. To my mind, If Charlie Whiting said the race must go on, then the race goes on. No arguments. Somebody says different, then they must yank him out of there and take his place. Excellent race by Michael. This is the man! - Johan M - South Africa

Firstly, I wanted to express my disgust at the first corner incident on Sunday's Fosters Grand Prix...I definitely think Ralf was a bit too ambitious and I thought what he said in the interview after the race suggested that he was at fault. No sign of agitation from his side whilst Rubens was evidently furious at the incident. The onboard picture seemed to show Ralf was still upshifting gears as he was homing in on Rubens rear wing and if he really had all that speed, then he should have used his skills and tactics to cover the outside of Rubens and maybe nail him at the exit of that corner, its a great shame coz eight cars got cleaned up in that corner. On the brighter side however, I think Renault F1 team will be the biggest surprise of 2002, word is that they have worked on a revolutionary new v10 engine and have gone with the 111 degrees angle for more downforce and grip like Ferrari and Mclaren. The engine was built under the surveillance of Renault French director Jean Jacques, and if anyone watched Jarno Trulli before he unfortunately spun and lost control, you will bare witness to this. Ferrari claimed to be running a lot of wing, but didn't they all ? I thought the Renault was quick in a straight line and will show more promise once the aero-package for qualifying has been up-dated and modified. Also Renault have a championship winning history in F1 but as a supplier, but just watch the Renaults this season and I am sure you will all be pleasantly surprised!!!! - Godwin - United Kingdom

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