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What others are saying

What a way to end the 2004 season. A thrilling race from start to finish that had everything.
Juan Pablo Montoya, love him or hate him, had one of his good days and drove a brilliant race and deserved to win. Well done to Kimi Raikkonen who got very close to winning. Next year we'll be enjoying far more of these duels.

A few of the highlights:

  • Juan Pablo Montoya drove a great race and - as usual - had a several successful overtaking manoeuvres. Team-mate Ralf Schumacher had a decent race but was overshadowed by Montoya. This Grand Prix was the last for both drivers with Williams. 
  • Kimi Raikkonen drove an equally brilliant race but there can only be one winner. David Coulthard by contrast had a poor race and didn't finish in the points as he gambled on dry tyres at the start. This race was Coulthard's last race for McLaren. 
  • It was rather disappointing to see Rubens Barrichello start from Pole and end up in third a fair way behind the 2 leaders. The good thing though is that he actually finished at his home race for the first time since 1994. Team-mate Michael Schumacher had a disappointing race by his own standards but given that he started 18th and finished 7th, that result isn't too bad actually. 
  • Fernando Alonso continues to make the best of the the package he's got. For him the gamble of going out on dry tyres actually worked and he finished 4th after starting 9th. Team-mate Jacques Villeneuve seemed to have improved slightly but still didn't manage to score points. He also took the risk of fitting dry tyres at the start but couldn't keep up with Alonso later on. Villeneuve leaves Renault after a 3 race stint.
  • Takuma Sato finished 6th in the same position where he started. He had the potential to finish higher but made a mistake under pressure allowing Ralf Schumacher to take 5th. Team-mate Button suffered an engine failure early on in the race and retired. It is surprising that the start wasn't aborted given the amount of smoke coming out of Button's car at the start. 
    BAR finished second in the championship which is a huge improvement over their 5th place finish in 2003. We now have 5 top teams which is great.
  • Felipe Massa had a good race and was in the lead early on. He managed to score a point and finish ahead of his team-mate Fisichella. Sauber have improved a lot since the start of the year and it is good to see them mix it with the top team. This was Giancarlo Fisichella's last race for the team.
  • Jarno Trulli finished 12th ahead of team-mate Ricardo Zonta. There were some encouraging signs from the Toyota during the weekend but in the end they are not yet fast enough. Trulli has benefited from racing with Toyota in the last 2 races of the season while Ricardo Zonta remains with the team as their test driver. 
  • It was a sad ending to Jaguar with Webber and Klien hitting each other resulting in Webber retiring and Klein finishing 14th. There were high expectations from Jaguar when they entered the sport but failed to deliver. Lets hope the team gets bought by a well funded buyer. 
  • Jordan and Minardi made up the numbers. The new rules and the limited testing proposals (if approved) may give them a better chance next year. 
  • The TV coverage was once again poor. There were many on track action that was missed. That needs to improve. 

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:

Can Montoya and Kimi be a teammate? Both want to win. Their focus is more on personal victory not team. And later on they will blame each other and Montoya will start telling people he is being treated differently in the team and Kimi get best car everytime... hahhah... cant wait to hear that... Montoya is not suitable for McLaren corporate image... McLaren is very professional.. Unlike Montoya...
For Jacques, he's a joke... its not your time anymore... In addition, poor me as a Sauber fan... Peter... forget him get Nick or Klien... keep Massa but slap him a bit... he got some Montoya characteristic... 
I really hope that we can skip season 2005 and jump to 2006, got two new team... midlandf1 an dubaif1 team... would they perform... its kindda intresting to see those Arab engineer in field... they are used to heat... Maybe should get some Middle East driver also... sure, they can sustain the heat... they live in the dessert... intresting...
Get new TV director please... stupid angle and alway stupid timing for commercial... Tan - Malaysia

Byron, to my view the answers to your questions are yes and yes. Webber and Williams surely can. Williams have already shown they can win a championship and have at least kept on showing over the years that they can win races. Webber has impressed in both teams he's been in, and a closer look at his attitude towards his work shows Schumacher-like dedication and determination, skill and speed, diplomacy combined with discipline, ... But they WILL not win the Championship. Either Michael, Kimi or Juan will. McL-Merc is on the up again, and the big unknown factor could be Davidson in a BAR. Both spell s-p-e-e-d - Soeren M - Germany

Another season passes with domination by Ferrari/Schumacher - yawn. There is something wrong with a sport when victory is gained by means other than the basics of the sport itself - money. In truth, Ferrari/Schumacher's success has little to do with either party - they simply have the best money gatherers. We see Ford/Jaguar leave the sport - who's next? Ferrari may end up being their own worst enemy and ruining the sport completely. Let's face it, as it is, who really cares. I'll bet there's even the odd Ferrari/Schumacher fan that thinks the situation is a joke. Anyway, I only have 2 questions for next season. Can Webber win the Championship in his first year in a worthy car and, indeed, can Williams supply a "worthy" car. If Ferrari have another season like this I think I'll lose interest altogether and only return when either Schuey retires or the wheels fall off Ferrari due to complacency or something! :) - Byron F - Australia

Bullseye ... TV coverage was awful. For example, when Kimi almost overtook Juan Pablo at the last round of pit-stops, I was happy to hear about it, because there was nothing to be seen on screen ... a fight for the lead, but they preferred to instead show a little bit of lack of action midfield. Sure money can't buy everything, but buy a better director of TV coverage it can. Jacques' showing was again poor. Maybe he is the first driver to get ditched next season right after moody Ralfie has to leave those ambitious, committed guys at Toyota - they are just not Ralf's style, they take no consolation in whatsoever apologies one can come up with to explain this failure or that lack of performance. 
Let's have a poll: what about a press release-restriction until march combined with a FIA-rulechange-restriction for 100 or 200 years? We could at least see some surprises come Melbourne and March and at last see some racing once everyone gets used to the regs for some decades so that even teams NOT called "The Scuderia" have a chance of winning the Championship again. 
Yeah I know, I really sound pissed off. Guess what? I am - Soeren M - Germany

All in all not a bad way to end a fairly good season. Although Ferrari dominated, there was a bunch of exciting things going on behind them. This is the second race in a row where the T.V. coverage was less than stellar. If FOM (Bernie) wants to get better T.V. ratings maybe he should look into training some of the directors so we are not watching the pit crews waiting for a car when there are important battles going on on track. 
Now if the rest of the teams can get their game up to Ferrari's level maybe next year will be more interesting - Jeff S - USA

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