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What others are saying

Three in a row for Michael all starting from Pole. He is on a mission. Despite the drama in the pits he kept his cool and made up for the time lost. Michael is now just two points behind Kimi in the Championship and McLaren need the new car if they want to challenge.

A few of the highlights:

  • This race showed that the F2003-GA driven by Michael Schumacher is dominant on power tracks.

  • Kimi Raikkonen recovers from his DNF in Spain and continues his trend of finishing on the podium.

  • Whilst Michael has won 3 in a row, Rubens Barrichello has finished 3rd 3 times in a row!

  • Both Juan Pablo Montoya and Fernando Alonso drove superbly until they both suffered from engine problems. Montoya could have won while Alonso could have finished 5th despite starting from the pit lane.

  • This race has shown a big difference in the performance of team-mates, Michael over Rubens, Kimi over David, Juan Pablo over Ralf and Fernando over Jarno. Why ?

  • Jenson Button finishing 4th for BAR. Are they starting to show some promise ?

  • Olivier Panis suffers his 5th retirement from 6 attempts, none of which were of his own doing. Jacques Villeneuve struggles with problems for 4 out of the 6 attempts yet their team-mates are having a reasonable run. Is it just bad luck ?

  • Sauber have dropped to 7th in the Championship yet it is still early in the season. Despite having the Ferrari engine, they are neither fast nor is their engine as reliable as it was when run by Ferrari.

  • The double restarting of the race, given that da Matta was already at the back, why the second abortion ?

  • The scene of the cars lined up on the right hand of the track was bizarre. Could we see a race with the majority of the cars starting from pit lane ? 

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:

Hells Bells Cookie, forgive me for asking the (un)obvious: Is your comment about MS not being able to handle stress tongue in the cheek? Am I missing your point ? - Johan M - South Africa

Yes it seems that Michael (chop) can't handle the pressure, just look at the way he's been affected by it in the last 3 races. Also did you see him panic during the fire [joke] in the pits, yeah the bloke just can't handle stress. 
Also BMW might just shut up about the fw25's chassis deficiencies, I mean heavy fuel load, leading the race and clearing out, up she goes in a pall of smoke, careful what you wish for as it could bite you in the ass. 
I don't like the new rules either but bitching about them solves FA. 
Webber knows and likes the Monaco track regardless of whatever crap you may have read about the subject. 
I think if JV keeps shooting himself in the foot he'll have no toes left. Jenson (who I don't rate) blows him away while testing, qualifying, racing and being interviewed, give it up Jack. 
Monaco just might be a lottery though the tifosi will be in fine form after the race win - Cooky - Australia

Jim W from the USA says that Mark Webber is new to the streets of Monte Carlo. However, Mark actually won the F3000 race there in 2001. He also set some pretty fast times in the Minardi last year. Check out for more info - Lindsay C - Australia

I have to agree completely with Byron from Oz! 
Starting Grid means --and why is this so hard to figure out?-- the place you start from. And if there's supposed to be some kind of mystical charge by locking a car up the minute it rolls to a stop after qualifying, then lock the cars up and require them to go around the track at least one lap before they can return to their minders and get gas, or change the settings on the wings, or change the tires, or put another driver in them or repaint the sponsor's name or paint the sponsor's name (if it is tobacco or something equally legal but bad for you, like for instance alcohol or skiiing or surfing or pre-marital or extra marital sex) out! 
I mean: COME ON!! CAN WE ALLOW THE CARS TO RACE, PLEASE!?! ("Race" that means compete to see who is fastest.) Why is that so hard? It DOES NOT mean, who is fairest (that's only in fairy tales) or who is nicest or who is the most representative or the most correct or any other %$#@&* thing! That's why I watch a race: to see who WINS. Not to have my politics or my morals affirmed. Also not to be entertained with a fiction. If the FIA keeps up they will succeed in removing not only racing from Formula One, but sex and death and speed. But not money. Oh no. Money is sacred. 
That aside it was a beautiful race. The best drivers finished at or near the top. The podium was a good cross section of the best drivers. The better driver, by the by, finishes the race. There will always be fast or faster or even fastest drivers who somehow just can't seem to finish. That's one of the most interesting things about racing. Kimi is one of those who are fast and finish. So is Michael. So, I hope, is Fernando. Rubens and Ralph are fast and finishers, but not usually winners. That's not so hard to understand, really. It is hard to accept. Like life. But what is the alternative? 
B.A.R. look like they are coming back from the tomb! And Jag, too. Can they come back all the way? Remember last year: Eddie Irvine put one of those green tubs on the podium at Monte Carlo. Just think what Mark and the Pizza man might do! Trouble is, they're both pretty new to the streets of the little principality where it's one strike and you're out. 
Let's pray that Kimi out-qualifies Michael and gets a jump at the start. Now that will be a real race! - Jim W - USA

As Villeneuve fan since he entered F1 back in '96 I was devastated to see Jacques latest retirement after a strong run. Just what does he have to do to get a decent finish? I think now is the time for him to call it a day at BAR and walk away. Renault would be a good bet for 2004 - Martin - UK

(Yes I am an Aussie and by default, a Webber fan, then a Jaguar fan...) 
Big kudos to Pizzonia for getting up to 9th. After the run of bad luck he has had to date it is good to see that he is able to drive the Jaguar closer to it's potential. 
Bad luck to Webber with the 10s penalty, however I think that he may have been pushing his luck though for the rulemakers to not notice him refuelling, regardless of the fact that there was a second restart. The penalty was harsher than I would have thought reasonable. 
Ban refuelling!!! - it is becoming more trouble than it is worth. I always felt that refuelling was a potentially dangerous move. Seeing the fire on Shumi's car, how much worse could things have been if just one other failsafe failed? 
To say nothing of the frustration that teams are experiencing when the rigs jam and don't perform to expectation - Adrian - Australia

Congratulations to MS for this perfect weekend, but after watching his serenity when his right ear was on fire and Montoya's engine blowing at the same moment he was putting pressure on Kimi one can imagine that he might has sold his soul to somebody used to hot places... Andre B - Brazil

I really enjoyed this race! From the Time trials to the end of the race. And I think the thing that made it was the coverage. I love the qualifying shots they showed. for example, Michael Schumacher gets it sideways under braking, catches it, and in spite of the mistake still manages to hit the apex, and goes on. We see the replay. And then they show the Maclaren team watching the replay, and you see their reaction. Classic stuff. 
I'd say it's good that Panis and Villaneau are no longer team-mates. As neither of them seem to able to buy a finish. In Jaques case though, he seems to push a car to breaking. 
As a Toyota fan, I'm disappointed. I think that they should have opted for the Thursday or Friday practice. All that testing they did prior obviously means nothing. all those great testing times. So What! At least, if they tested Friday, Damatta could learn the track. And it seems to me that Christiano gives the team their best opportunity. Eddie Irvine said that Panis was not going to be the answer, and I would have to agree. I would rather see Mika Salo at this point. 
All in all, it was a fun race to watch, (which I watch on Tape, as they usually start at 4 A.M. California Time.) Hats off to Austria for being a great host. - John N - USA

Good race, bad luck for Ferrari, but it doesn't affect them too much. Even if Juan Pablo had not retired, I'm sure Michael would have been able to catch him, however, we know that if you want to overtake Juan Pablo Montoya, you need another Juan Pablo Montoya....the duel will be postponed for later. 
Good race for Jaguar not only for Webber, but Pizzonia´s improvement, I hope he gets some points soon. 
Alonso, He was having a good race until lap 41, but if he keeps making mistakes he will become a zero just as fast as he has been called a hero. Anyway, I think Alonso and Trulli will have a good performance in Monaco. 
I predict Monaco will be the most exciting race so far The new rules will help a lot. the grid place will be the most important thing, and if you get pole, have a good launch system, and get ahead of the pack leaving turn one, the victory will be very, very possible - Chris37 - USA

Firstly, well done to Schuey and Ferrari. Complacency is their only real enemy at the moment. Oh, and those refuelling nozzles :) 
Now for the harsh words! Clearly, amongst the F1 rulemakers there are some posterboys for democracy ie anyone can make it in a democracy, no matter how stupid! Toyota stalls on starting grid. Oh, lets not make him start from the pits. Lets give them a chance to stuff it all up again! Bingo! Also, let's let people start from the pits that are toward the back of the grid and refuel - thus undoing the entire principle of the current qualifying/race starting rules. Let's let them start from the milkbar just across the road from the carpark! 
Here's a tip for the rulemakers - "Starting grid" ie this is where we START from! So at the moment we can start from the pits to gain advantage? No wonder they wouldn't put da Matta into the pits. This would be an advantage instead of a penalty! 
And then we have the hilarious situation with Webber/Jaguar. "Yes Mark, you can start from the pits and immediately refuel your car, but if there is a red flag on lap 1 and we do a 2nd parade lap, TOO BAD! Have a nice little 10s penalty for fun!" Truly funny stuff that! 
Oh well, at least the idiots fixed their stuff up with the wet weather tyres. Come to think of it, it seems Webber is the guinea pig for all these rule changes/stuff ups. 
Just one other thing. It seemed to me that the TV coverage was a little over concerned with pit fires, refuelling nozzles, ugly heads and a whole host of other things that had nothing to do with the action on the track. Following close battles occurring on the track with any continuity seemed to be no priority at all! I was a little bored of the replays of Schuey's pit fire after the 54th replay from the 16th different angle! Those 30sec close ups of the fuel nozzles being looked at by the Ferrari crew were a joke! "Wow, look at those nice shiny metal bits!" 
Anyway, that's my rant for the week :) Great drive from Webber - hope to see him on the podium soon. Jaguar seem to be finally getting close to where they should be. Good to see both performance and reliability from them at last. The sky's the limit! - Bryon F - Australia

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