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Italian Grand Prix Page

Ferrari dominated yet again. The promise Williams showed in qualifying disappeared a few laps into the race. Sure the both Williams' cars retired but even if they hadn't, they would have best scored 3rd and 4th.

A few of the highlights (in addition to Ferraris domination):

  • Michael indicated that both himself and Rubens gave it all in the race until Rubens emerged in front following his second pit stop. Do you believe that was the case ? Do you think that the 2 will race each other in the final 2 races of the season ?

  • Irvine's podium finish, some described it as a Jaguar miracle. They had a terrible season but looked like improving in the last few races. Have Jaguar made a big step forward or was is it mainly luck that got them there ?

  • Jarno Trulli is usually criticized for his poor race performance. By starting from 20th position after stalling at the formation lap and finishing 4th, has he silenced his critics ? Or should he thank his superb launch control system that helped him move from 20th to 12th in one lap ?

  • Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were both penalised for causing collisions. Raikkonen lost his fastest time in qualifying while Massa will lose 10 places on the grid at the US GP. Did they deserve such penalties and if they did, shouldn't Raikkonen also be penalised 10 grid positions ?

Your thoughts ? 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:  

Initially, I was thinking that the 10-place penalty is a bit harsh. But then again, drivers will keep doing those stupid things they do unless they are given a penalty harsh enough to make them think twice. And I agree wholeheartedly with some of these guys when they say that the DRIVER and not the TEAM should be penalized. First of all, the driver controls the car... or should be able to control the car (if they can't, what are they doing in F1?), thus, if Massa decides to move to, for example, Jaguar, then the Jaguar he's driving should be moved back 10 places. And so, we now see Peter Sauber replacing Massa with Frentzen so as "to avoid" this penalty. Honestly, this is unfair. Massa should still be penalized in Japan if he does decide to race there. 
And Raikkonen... hmmm... tough one. Cuz from what I saw, he had no idea that Sato was still on a flying lap. (What about using the mirrors, you say?). Yes, Kimi could have used his mirrors, but then, when people normally do 3-lap runs, and occasionally, 4 laps, he could MAYBE be excused for that mistake. Maybe... And yes, Kimi should have seen that Sato was in travelling faster than he was. So... But the penalty? The 10-place penalty would be a bit too harsh. 5 places should have done it for him.... Reese - Philippines

The penalty to push down 10 grid places is to punish the DRIVER from driving dangerously. If the team drops the driver in the next race then the purpose is served. Would Massa ever want to miss a race? I don't think so. He most probably will never want to repeat his mistake.
So in all probability if Massa were to race in Japan, he would not be penalized.
However I do not think this penalty will be enforced if the team made the same mistake (like the Toyota/Jaguar incident in the pits), there will be a different penalty I assume. If though they did enforce this penalty then like John pointed out the Car would be penalized no matter who drives it. - Vishy - India

John L, as far as I have the ruling, Massa WILL be penalised even if it is next year. The only way that he can get off not being penalised is to never race again. 
He will, in his next F1 race move down 10 grid positions, whenever that may be. And I think it is correct that Massa be penalised and not Sauber because Massa caused the accident not the car or team. Whether the penalty was justified is an entirely different matter (and I am not saying that I do not agree with the penalty). What I do not know is what happens if in his next race Massa only qualifies 11th or worse. He then only moves down 9 positions. Is the penalty then deemed as having been served or will he have to loose another position in a following race. This penalty system is bound to raise other problems too. For instance, what happens if Alex Yoong gets penalised in this way? And if he does it more than once. He can't move down to lower than last. Is he now exempt from this type of penalty? Or will they allow so many incidents and then bar him from racing? We'll have to wait and see. And yes I agree with you, there is probably a good reason to penalise Kimi as well. Shame, and I like the guy a lot - I feel like a traitor - Johan M - South Africa

Raikkonen should probably also receive a penalty. What I am having a problem with, is that Sauber is benching Massa in favour of Frentzen to GET AROUND the penalty!! 
What they (FIA) should do is change the rule so that this can't happen - in other words, Massa is the #2 driver on the team, so Sauber's #2 car is demoted 10 positions, no matter WHO is driving. If they are going to impose a penalty, MAKE IT STICK!! 
Conversely, they could also impose the penalty the next time Massa is in a race. But, the penalty MUST be served in the calander year that it occurred, which would mean that the demotion would take place in Japan in this case - John L - USA

I think it's not entirely Ferrari's fault that Formula One is in the "sorry state" it's in today. If I remember it right, they here barren for the better part of 21 years. And now, they seem to be getting almost everything right. We can't blame them for being where they are now. After 21 years of really dismal performances, I believe they deserve where they are today. And to add to that they lost the Championships to Jacques Villeneuve and Mika Hakkinen (twice), when they were already super competitive, at the last race of the season. 
As Jean Todt said, this is something they do not wish to experience again. As I distinctly remember someone say, it's wasn't Ferrari's fault that they took the fun out of Formula One (they were only doing their job, after all). It is up to the other teams, particularly Williams and McLaren, to bring the fun back in - Theresa R - Philippines

My prior comments regarding the BMW engines not being the most powerful engines are totally correct! The straight line, top speed by the Ferarris were the fastest at this very fast, top end hungry race track! There race speed of the Ferraris was as blindingly fast as ever. Pulling away at a close to second a lap and another one / two finish! 
The other teams had better do more than just radical chassis design! Obviously Ferrari has both the best Chassis and the best E N G I N E ! 
Lets hear more about that wonderful engine! - Frank - USA

Wow� I�m looking for reader comments after the race and no one has anything to say. If anything, it�s a sad testament to the state of F1 racing today� 
One would think that after Michael Schumacher won his world championship that he and Rubens Barrichello would have shaken things up a bit and given the legion of race fans a ``run for the money`` (Which he promised BTW at the press conference following the debacle in Austria). Alas, odds are that we�ll be stuck with this poor excuse for racing until the end of the season with nary a hope for improvement next year. With audiences in steep decline, attendance off by as much as 40% at Monza (despite the Tiffosi faithful), and foreign broadcasters dropping simulcast rights for next year, F1 is in deep doo-doo. It has become such a BIG money machine (nothing wrong with that!) that the current situation is untenable in the near future. Something radical must be done to stem the hemorrhage of viewers and money else F1 will turn into a farce of itself (CART anyone?). Crazy idea?

There was an interesting article in today�s local paper (Montreal LaPresse) inferring some back room machinations to get Jacques Villeneuve in a Ferrari drive for next year. Apparently, Uncle Bernie is acutely aware of the predicament facing F1 and willing to do just about anything to restore some semblance of competition to get back lost viewers. He recognizes that, apart from Mika Hakkinen (who has retired for good), the only contemporary driver to MS who could give him a serious challenge is JV. Don�t laugh; it�s been done in the past with the great MS himself (at Jordan and then Ferrari). But will MS want to face the challenge? Will we, the 100 million strong legion of F1 fans throughout the world be allowed to watch another riveting rivalry like the one between the late great Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost? Or are we doomed to watch (in my case fall asleep in front of) an increasingly boring Sunday parade in the foreseeable future? I suggest that we all send a letter of support to Uncle Bernie making it clear that we, the viewing public, expect no less from him than a serious shake-up. Conversely, we should also all send a letter to MS challenging him to accepting a real competitor at Ferrari, not some ``happy to have a ride � will you be my friend`` second fiddle teammate. What do you think? - Al - Canada

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