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The Real Race 
Round 11 - France  

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8 'n' Pole
2006 World Cup

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So close, yet so far away. Michael was just 0.023 seconds off making me right, and showing that the combination of JPM and lots of horsepower can't do it every time.

The reality is, with a gap that small both can feel very satisfied with their times, unlike a few others. I've never seen such a strong field in contention for the Also Ran award. This was probably the most exciting session of the season, certainly the best dry track one. There were hero's and � errrr ... non-hero's everywhere.

Yoong even managed to be both simultaneously. His best ever qualifying performance, inside the 107%, 19th and 'only' 2 seconds behind Webber. Pity it took the farce at Arrows to nobble Frentzen and Bernoldi plus the crash of Fisichella to achieve it. But even he proved me wrong today, I was sure he would fail to qualify on this very technical circuit. Perhaps he's having driving lessons? 
Webber is our qualifying hero again today, for more reasons than just having outpaced his incompetent team mate. He was ill-prepared to go out, had one clear run and still managed a very credible time in the Minardi on this circuit.

It's a damn shame that the Arrows drivers and the team are being stuffed around the way they are. None of them deserve the situation they are in and irrespective of the cause, Tom Walkinshaw must either fix the problem or pull the team.

Today was a clear and crushing victory for Michelin. Seven of the top ten cars were on Michelin tyres with Heidfeld in 10th being the best of the non-red cars using the made-for-Ferrari Bridgestones.

The French GP 'Also Ran' Award.

So many duds, so few trophies. Where does one start? Ralf, we knew that he would be found wanting when the pressure was on, and he proved that again. David must be getting used to being outshone by flying Finn's, or perhaps he just can't do anything about it. Jarno proved yet again that he can't decide whether he is on the way up or down. Pedro was a long way down on Eddie but having only completed 2 runs (versus Eddie's 4) I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. Not so Alex, he was just bad.

No, David's performance earned him nothing more than an honourable mention, Ralf and Alex have to fight it out for top honours so, in the closest battle to date, our Also Ran for France goes to the man who least lives up to the high standards set by his brother, our first three times winner, Ralf Schumacher and Alex can rest easy knowing that he is guaranteed to win more also rans before fading away into obscurity as one of F1's least best driver ever when Daddy's cash runs out.

The French GP Qualifying Heroes

1. Mark Webber, 2. Eddie Irvine, 3. Juan Pablo Montoya

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The Real Race - Drivers Standings - Round 11

Grid Driver Car Team Wins Losses Best QualiPoints
1 JP. Montoya 6 BMW WilliamsF1 (M) 7 4 1 76
2 M. Schumacher 1 Ferrari (B) 8 3 1 70
3 R. Barrichello 2 Ferrari (B) 3 8 1 55
4 K. Raikkonen 4 McLaren Mercedes (M) 7 4 4 20
5 R. Schumacher 5 BMW WilliamsF1 (M) 4 7 2 42
6 D. Coulthard 3 McLaren Mercedes (M) 4 7 2 18
7 J. Button 15 Renault (M) 4 7 6 1
8 J. Trulli 14 Renault (M) 7 4 6 1
9 E. Irvine 16 Jaguar Cosworth (M) 6 5 9  
10 N. Heidfeld 7 Sauber Petronas (B) 9 2 5 2
11 O. Panis 12 BAR Honda (B) 5 6 9  
12 F. Massa 8 Sauber Petronas (B) 2 9 7  
13 J. Villeneuve 11 BAR Honda (B) 6 5 9  
14 T. Sato 10 Jordan Honda (B) 3 7 14  
15 P. de la Rosa 17 Jaguar Cosworth (M) 5 6 11  
16 M. Salo 24 Toyota (M) 11 0 8  
17 A. McNish 25 Toyota (M) 0 11 10  
18 M. Webber 23 Minardi Asiatech (M) 11 0 18  
19 A. Yoong 22 Minardi Asiatech (M) 0 11 19  
 DNQ H. Frentzen 20 Arrows Cosworth (B) 10 1 10  
 DNQ E. Bernoldi 21 Arrows Cosworth (B) 1 10 12  
 DNS G. Fisichella 9 Jordan Honda (B) 7 3 6 1

QualiPoints are awarded in the same way points are awarded to the top 6 drivers in a race. (i.e. 10, 6, 4, 3, 2,1)

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