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What others are saying

Another deserved win for Michael Schumacher and Ferrari. They just didn't have any competition. The lower track temperatures may have helped them but the other teams should be prepared for all situations.

A few highlights;

  • Michael Schumacher drove a faultless race. He does appear as determined as ever to win but we need to see some competition whether from his team-mate or another driver to see him under some pressure. Rubens Barrichello showed us again that he can't match Michael.

  • Jenson Button drove well and managed to score a podium for the second race in succession. Takuma Sato also did well by finishing in the points and minimising his diversions off the track.

  • Jarno Trulli somehow gave up a podium finish while Fernando Alonso impressed in the race but for the second race in a row gets his qualifying all wrong.

  • Ralf Schumacher continues to remind Frank Williams with reasons not to re-sign him for 2005 while Juan Pablo Montoya lost a podium place due to gearbox failure. Still he was no match for Ferrari. 

  • McLaren are starting to look like Minardi. What is the point of spending all that money if one of your cars cannot finish 7 laps despite having a much younger engine. One feels sorry for Kimi Raikkonen who did a stunning first qualifying lap despite his very limited knowledge of the track. Coulthard drove as slow as he could and yet his McLaren failed him.

  • Mark Webber managed to get a point thanks to the failure of a number of cars ahead of him. His blocking of Alonso appeared over the top.

  • Toyota have once again managed to finish both their cars. It must be a record for them. They now need to improve the performance. 

  • The Bahrain facility looked impressive and the track did provide several overtaking opportunities.

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:

Ho hum, the FIA thinks the cars are too fast and is thinking about slowing them down (again) ... good grief ! It was the FIA's (and Bernie's) aim to put all the emphasis on the action in the pits so the TV would like it that resulted in the cars being the narrow bodied aerodynamic manned missiles they've become ! I'm no rocket scientist but instead of slowing the cars per se, why not limit the number of refuelling stops they can make ? The constructors won't like it (they'll have to enlarge their fuel tanks, which will make their cars bigger, which should make them heavier, which in turn will slow them down). In addition, we won't have to put up with the embarrassment of seeing things French (the refuelling rigs) shown up as inefficient and/or defective (witness the increasing number of refuel problems the teams experience with these hi-tech masterpieces). Voila ! We may even end up with safer pits at the same time ... And while we're on about limiting pit stops (and thereby returning the racing to the tracks), has anyone noticed that the number of attendees at the races has decreased as the number of pit stops has increased ? Perhaps the crowds have grown weary of seeing one of your manned missiles flashing past in the lead one minute then being eleven places (or more) back the next, for no apparent reason (unless they're right in front of one of your TV screens and happened to see the pit stop). Hmmmmm ... you're the numbers man, Bernie, think about it ! ... Laurie H - Australia

Ok, I think the race was great. Of course because Michael won, but also because the other drivers really made it interesting. I think the new track is great, new challenges. look forward to the next race. Ferrari are doing brilliantly this season, keep up guys. Michael, you rock! ... Jay W- South Africa

One certainly feels for Kimi and his aspirations for bigger & better things. But wait ... where will he get a flashier (or more expensive) factory ? Or pit facilities ? Or motor home ? Or better paid merchandisers and marketing people ? Or even better quality merchandise ? Or any of the myriad other things that Ron Dennis seems to have no hesitation on spending HUGE amounts of money on. Perhaps having the biggest, best, and most expensive 'peripherals' doesn't automatically qualify you for a place at the front of the grid ... accordingly, perhaps someone ought to try persuading Ron to spend less on flashy shirts and (with apologies to Herr Haug) more on engines ... Laurie H - Australia

First, I'm afraid Andre may be right about the race being for third place, although it is still early and nothing is ever sure in racing. 
I'm puzzled about the confusion in the BMW Williams team and simply amazed at the Illmore/Merc disaster haunting the McLarens --maybe they should make a deal with Ferrari, too. But wouldn't it be embarrassing if the much touted "19" couldn't even keep up with Peter Sauber's clones?! On that score, let me remind people in F1 that Roger Penske, the biggest winner EVER in Indy cars has had the guts to realize he's bought a turkey and completely re-tool in the middle of a season. Maybe the legal language in F1 makes such gutsy moves impossible? If so, it's too bad for racing, isn't it? 
I second the remarks about Klein and am very happy for Jensen, of course. And the fact that Kimi had to actually fight with Klein says all that has to be said about the Mac! 
I sure hope, for his sake, that JPM's contract gives him lots of money because it doesn't look like he's going to get much car. Maybe Kimi will switch to Sir Frank's stable? Ah. F1, never a dull moment. 
On to San Marino, where, if the racing gods still have a sense of humor the whole day won't be painted red - Jim W - USA

Hi All, I hate to gloat but I just have to, again! 
The Ferraris are just like a rock! The fastest, the most reliable and just the best color. They have, without a doubt, THE MOST POWERFUL ENGINE and THE MOST RELIABLE ENGINE TOO! 
It was NOT sad to see both the McLaren and Williams cars falter badly! Bad engines, bad cars and not the best drivers! Their cars are just too slow, they break and they are just not that good! 
More power to BAR! They are not at the top level yet. But both drivers are performing very impressively! Great team work and effort. 
Ferrari should shoot for 17 out of 17 race wins! I think there is something not completely right with Rubens. The Ferrari Team is the standard by which all F1 Engineering must be measured against! 
I don't know what to make of the so called brake problems incurred but that is an area for all the teams to improve. When you carry more speed you need more brakes to stop. Great race! 
>>>>>>> Forza Ferrari! <<<<<<< See You In Victory Lane, Frank P. USA

Well, the racing was good as long as you didn't watch the leaders. I too am becoming a Klein fan. It's funny because when they signed him, I hated it. I was so against the idea of another pay driver, but this guy is good. 
The two teams that intrigue me are Williams, and McLaren. Williams seems to have a great car, but the team seems to be operating like a dis-functional family. I can't understand the thinking of Qualifying on a heavy fuel load. Especially on a new track, in the middle of the dessert where conditions are ever changing. And Frank Williams gets mad because both of them made mistakes on their Qualifying laps. You asked for it Frank. And then Ralph makes that rookie mistake and hits Sato. 
Then there's McLaren. It reminds me a little of the Jaguar R3.I remember when Niki Lauda decided to jump in the R3 during testing. He got out of the car and said "It has a little understeer entering the turn, and then at the Apex it suddenly developes over-steer which doesn't allow you to apply the power out of the turn like you would like." And Eddie Irvine said the same thing over and over, until he finally got on the podium in August sometime. And now I here David Coulthard Complaining about the same thing. Mid-corner oversteer. Not good. And how can Kimi be that un-lucky? Burn up a brand new engine after 7 laps? What a mess.
Jenson Button seems to be the real deal, as does BAR. Sorry Jacques, you should have beat him when you had the chance. Did you see the brakes glowing on those Honda's late in the race? Ferrari didn't seem to have that problem. 
And then there's Toyota. Well at least they both finished as you said. Last year at this time they were fast but couldn't finish. This year, they seem to be able to finish, just not too quick. 
I was really impressed with the Bahrain track and facility, and I am surprised at how much I liked it. John - USA

Well you have to take your hat off to them. They really do have their act together but it is rather sad that "F1" now means "Ferrari Won". 
Fantastic to see BAR and RENAULT coming to the fore. Button and Alonso seem to be leading their teams in the same pattern set by the Master himself. Webber is doing much the same for Jaguar but I am afraid he does not please me when he races so hard that he is questionably blocking. Mind you the Master did the same I guess and it is kinda Australian!!?? MacLaren vs. Minardi? How embarrassing and I am afraid that Ron has to wear the blame... too much time building that "not too great" Mercedes Supersport and not enough time where he belongs!! Something has to give!! I cry for Kimi I really do! And I bet Mr J-P is wondering where he is taking himself? He better make sure that he does not stuff up his chance this year coz Frank does have the car!!! - Ian M - Australia

I am almost a Fan of Klien. It may be only 3 races, but most importantly, he has shown that he could bring the car home & that he could perform much better than the other so called good drivers. This, in a Car that most people write-off. He hasn't scored Championship points yet, but he sure has scored points with F1 Fans. At a time when lots of people are calling F1 boring (not to me), it is nice to see some good racing, even though it was at the back. Klien's duel with Raikkonen was fantastic. The good thing was that Klien didn't get carried away and run himself off the track. Sato did a very good job too. Would like to see Alonso do better. To me he's the next best after MS. Ralf needs to go back to school & Webber.... I hope he's not heading in a wrong direction. We saw him get carried away in Malaysia & His blocking of Alonso in this race wasn't good. Lets hope he gets it right the next time. 
I am not one who always blames the car when the engine blows-up, but it looks like McLaren has got things terribly wrong. With Montoya joining them next year.... well.. let's hope Ron's other business is in Wrecking! 
I can't help but agree with Andre of Brazil that the race is for third place. Cheers - Ryan T

Frank must be fuming.. If Kimi was driving a Williams we might have a fight for the championship, but what the heck, if you ignore the red cars the racing is quite good fun to watch.
I think Klien has quite a future ahead of him. It seemed like quite a lot of the race was very exiting. Too bad the most exiting thing Michael did the whole weekend was ride around the track on a scooter. When will someone get it together and give him a race? I know Frank is trying, he gave Montoya a car with more fuel than the Ferrari's, yet it was faster in qualifying. Too bad 'excuse' Montoya can't get it around the track without making a mistake.. 
I don't know about Ron though.. It's not hard to believe he's already given up this year. Let me get this straight.. Kimi blows up an engine before qualifying (ten places down) then, without qualifying (back of the grid) runs less than ten laps and blows up another one? (in spectacular fashion, I might add) Oh, and he blew up an engine in the last two races as well. This is McLaren we're talking about, not Jordan (who managed to get both cars to the end). This is a travesty of the highest order. I though they were trying to win races, not put on a 20 second fireworks display..... 
It was nice to see Jensen get P3 again. Just think, with McLaren and Williams unable to get through a race weekend without some kind of car problem or driver error, he could get third place every race. Renault who?........... Tom H - USA

Well, well, well... you know when a guy is not only lost but without any notion of which planet he's living in when you read Ralf's affirmation that he was driving at the same pace as the Ferraris. It's a shame... 
It's a pity that Montoya couldn't get to the podium. His car's failure gave points to some pilots that didn't deserve them. Like your always favourite Webber, for instance. It's the second race in a row that he tries to take Alonso out of the track. 
So, you're right: Barrichello couldn't match Schumacher so far, but who would be able to do it? Kimi, Montoya, Alonso, Webber: you name it. It is just wishful thinking. 
Even though I am a big Senna and Piquet fan I have to admit, the German flies. And his car and crew never fail him (34 races in a row without failure, if I'm not mistaken). 
So, let's start thinking about 2005 'cause the fight in 2004 is for the third place - Andre B - Brazil

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