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What others are saying

Another faultless drive from Ralf Schumacher to take his second win in a row with convincing style as his team-mate uncharacteristically gives up and settles for second. Michael Schumacher fights back and impressively manages to regain 3rd with the 2 McLarens finishing 4th and 5th ahead of the impressive Mark Webber, the disappointing Rubens Barrichello and the lucky (for a change) Olivier Panis. 

A few of the highlights:

  • Ralf Schumacher may have been handed the win at the Nurburgring by Kimi's failure but here he stamped his authority on everyone including his team-mate. It seems that Ralf like the Williams car has made a huge improvement!.

  • In contrast, his team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya didn't appear to be able to match Ralf all weekend and surprisingly gave up the chase dramatically after the 3rd pit stop.

  • Michael Schumacher fights back hard despite his struggle with the Bridgestone tyres and benefits from the problems with both Kimi and David and snatches 3rd back.
    However the Ferrari dominance was clearly shattered at Magny-Cours with Michael over 30 seconds behind Ralf towards the latter stages of the race.

  • Kimi Raikkonen suffers more gremlins though this time not fatal and team-mate David Coulthard for the first time this season appears to match his much younger team-mate. That is no consolation for McLaren though who now appear in desperate need for their new car and it has to be both fast and reliable.

  • Mark Webber finishes in the points in 5 of the last 6 races clearly establishing himself as the 'best of the rest' and getting very close to Trulli from the top 8. 

  • Rubens Barrichello showed us that even a Ferrari can be lapped, something none of us would have thought possible at the start of the season.

  • Olivier Panis scores a point at his home GP thanks to a double retirement from Renault at their home GP!

  • With just 1 major test before the summer testing ban, things don't look bright for the Bridgestone runners!

  • With a potential 4 way Drivers' championship and a 3 way Constructors' Championship, this season is turning out to be one of the most exciting in recent memory, thank to the huge improvements by Williams, McLaren and Michelin!  

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:

Formula 1 was never this interesting in last 3-4 years. 
There are several reasons for that. 
1) MS is being challenged by more than one driver. So it will be great to watch how he is going to crush all his opponents for his 6th title. 
2) RS is finally living up to his potential and is being CONSISTENT. 
3) DC is not in his familiar spot. He usually would be in second position at this point of the year, very close to Michael and then would give up from here. 
4) The most hyped driver of recent times JPM is being sidelined and more talented drivers like Kimi are being highlighted. 
My best bet is still MS winning the championship but there will be many changes in positions 2-7 in the remainder of the season - Vandana - India

Hello All, Hope everyone is enjoying the show! 
This is all expected. Formula One like everything in life is cyclical and at any given time advances are made and lost. Ferrari are in need of a step (both car and tires). Williams, Mclaren and the others have done a great job of rethinking their entire cars. Huge sums of money have gone into the entire process. 
I like the struggle we see. The fight is not boring. In the end I think if the Red cars can make a small step they will win both driver and constructor's title again. I think they still have the most powerful engines and their straight line speed is proof of that (aero aside). 
A rethink of the barge boards, wings, chassis specs, motor size, etc. should done for the future. Many things can be improved. Make it more a drivers championship yes but do not want to loose creativity by the builders. 
Silverstone? My bet is M. Schumacher will win with Raikkonen in tow, Williams will be 3rd & 4th, Rubens 5th. We shall see - Frank P - USA

I for one am very pleased with the resurgance of WilliamsF1! 
Early this year it was something to hear everyone including BMW trashing Williams. What a joke. They are only the 3rd highest ranking team in F1 history. Only Patrick Head who said Williams would challenge this year seem to keep the faith. After all F1 is not a one race series and its not a one car series. The circuits change and the cars are developed from race to race. 
I am also impressed by Ralf's hot streak. He seems to have one every season, but unlike his brother, he can't seem to sustain it. But I have to admit he thoroughly kicked Juans' ass both in qualifying and in the race. I wonder who else thought Ralf had the lighter (read less fuel) car only to find it was Juan who pitted first in both races (EU and FR)! Thus showing Ralf to be genuinely the faster of the two by several 10ths! Good job, now Frank and Patrick please send one of your letters to Juan! - Dave W - USA

It's nice to have races on consecutive weeks, but it's almost like I wasn't ready for it when Friday morning rolled around. And I thought Qualifying was a little boring this time around. It was odd on Saturday. The Front-runners going first, and staying at the top of the charts, and the Minardi's going last and no one cared at that point. And the mid-feild guys just sort of stayed mid-field, yet ran 2 seconds faster than Friday. 
Anyway, I don't think JPM "layed off" so much. I think he was just playing it safe a little while also passing back markers. It sounded to me like JPM was struggling a little with oversteer, and in the past, when he pushes while having oversteer, he has spun the car, lost positions, and made his boss mad. Having Michael Schumacher behind him already; What would be the point of gambling? JPM is the type of driver that operates better with a little bit of understeer. He seems to like to run deep into corners and abuse the brakes while he muscles the car through corners. Lets give Ralph some credit. He seems to excel with with a well balanced car, but can't deal with a car that he has to muscle. Quite the opposite of his team-mate. 
I'm happy for Panis. Surpised by Mark Webber. Sorry for Coulthard, and that poor Gas Rig guy. And in-different towards Barichello. It must be hard to start every race thinking,  "I must finish behind Michael, while protecting his back-side" - John N - USA

Last year the Ferrari's dominated and everyone said it was boring. Now that the championship is evened up, everyone is saying that it is rigged. The conspiracy theory proponents should understand that car companies such as BMW, Mercedes, and Ford spend a lot of money on F1 racing and they are not there for the haircut. They are in it to win. 
If the bosses at Mercedes found out that McLaren were throwing the races and letting their arch rivals BMW win, then there would be very harsh words said. Ron Dennis knows who is paying the bills and would not be so silly as to throw a race. If he did, then I am sure he knows the consequences would be severe and he would be shown the door. The same would apply to the other teams. 
So I suggest that everyone sit back and watch the rest of the season unfold. Hopefully it will go down the wire at the last race of the year - Lindsay C - Australia

I must admit that I was impressed with Ralf (for a change!). Perhaps he is very good when the car is perfect otherwise he struggles whereas Montoya is the other way around. Don't know but I think their dominant performance in France is more of a one off rather than the norm as just a week ago they were certainly behind McLaren (Kimi).
Ferrari are getting held back by Bridgestone and also their own lack of moving forward. The sudden improvement of Jaguar and Toyota and the falling back of Jordan and Sauber is another indication of the superiority of the Michelins.
Natraj, for sure F1 is about money but having teams perform well on certain tracks is by no means comparable to the match fixing of the cricket world. (but if Williams struggle at Monza then I may rethink!!) - Graham R - Australia

Yeah, I'm agree with fellow Australian Byron. 
Perhaps, there isn't evident team orders like in Ferrari or others, but it is clear that there is some kind of agreement among drivers or drivers and P. Head, that it doesn't permit to put in risk the Constructor's championship, so I think the William's drivers already know what to do when the things get closer, as JPM doesn't get overtake Ralf during the very slow pitstops he has (vs Ralf's, JPM loss more than five seconds), he knew he has to gave up. 
I only hope when things be different Ralf do what he has to do, and the comunication system works! - Ricardo - Colombia

I suspect it is a ploy by the top teams to keep the TV viewership in place, yielding them TV revenues. How else can you explain the way things have been moving - it was McLaren first for a few races, then Ferrari, now Williams - does it not appear as though it is all fixed? 
I simply cannot understand how the Ferrari package (especially Bridgestone) can now under perform? 
It smacks of rigging and fixing, just what what is happening in the cricket world. To Max, Bernie and all those it is finally money - Natraj - India

Ralf shows that with his experience and the knowledge that he has THE car beneath him, he may be as good as his brother almost. Let's not forget about that wheel nut stuf up in Montoya's pit though. Was it an accident or did Frank want to make sure that Ralf stayed ahead. And I'm sure he was told to let Ralf have the win after the 2nd stop! Not only did he do this, he did it to an extent that I think indicates that he was very dejected and unhappy about those orders too. 
He is still a good chance to be champion this year as well. We know that "backing off" is most definitely not in his nature so I think team orders were certainly the reason! 
Montoya is no Barrichello and won't like playing 2nd fiddle at all. This could be a major factor at Williams over the rest of the season with a possible growing rift. 
Michael does well with what he has and again demonstrates his toughness to milk a so so car for all it's worth. Ditto for Mark Webber. 
McLaren were very disappointing. This was a great chance for them to close right up on Ferrari and Kimi to catch Michael - failed on both counts. 
The Renault again shows that a higher revving and more robust engine is more important than a slightly lower center of mass. 
Roll on Silverstone! Go Ralf! - Byron F - Australia

Fantastic race once again. 
If Williams are not dominant now I'll eat my hat. Mind you they have been getting stronger since Austria, remember who blew up while leading and clearing out. Ralf has driven well lately, he has really surprised me. If he can go this well then Montoya will win one or two as well I'd say. Montoya will sort it out sooner or later. 
I still think Michael will win the title but Williams BMW will win the constructors. When now more than ever Ferrari need Reubens to score good points for the constructors he's effing hopeless. Even if the new McLaren is competitive it's very late in the season. The summer test ban won't help either. 
David matched Kimmi here, he always does well here, expect his usually mediocre performance next race. 
Anyway you look at it this weekend had everything, cars impounded, a Minardi on provisional pole, and Williams BMW big, back and bad - Cooky - Australia

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