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Monaco GP: The best race this season...

I don't just say this because MS didn't win, but because it was closer than any other race, with five cars (at the beginning) who could have won it.

With the three big crashes, there was plenty of excitement as they shook up the field, and I think everyone was surprised and relieved to hear that no-one was hurt, in any of the incidents.

And the eventual dash to the finish was superb! Jenson pulling back more than six seconds in the last 14 laps. It was a shame that the Minardi appeared on the last lap, otherwise Button might have made it stick at Rascas.

Good to see a new winner in Trulli too, and I'm sure it'll make him faster in races to come.

Anyway, back to the incidents. My opinions:

Sato blow up: Sato should have been called into the pits. For three laps I was shouting at the tele to pull him in, because you could see that his engine was about to go, what with the smoke and sudden lack of pace. Maybe the FIA should consider keeping track of 'car-to-pit' telemetry to make sure that less cars caboom on track...
Anyway, Fisichella... I mean, going at race pace through a cloud of impenetrable smoke... what an idiot. Anyway, he deserved to be out of the race... maybe not upside-down though...

Alonso in the tunnel: The way that I saw it, Ralf lifted, which was a very dangerous thing to do. Even if his intentions weren't to kill Alonso, which I suspect they weren't, it wasn't a particularly clever thing to do. And 'not particularly clever' drivers aren't who everyone wants to race against...
Must say, credit to Alonso for giving Ralf the finger as he spun backwards into a wall at about 100mph.

Shumi in the tunnel: The highlight of the race, and unfortunatly, I don't think I can blame Shumi for it. But I also can't blame Montoya, he tried his best to avoid another 'not particularly clever', but entirely valid, move. Montoya chucks out the anchors and moves to the right to avoid Schumacher, who reacts by... driving into him. Oh well, made the race more interesting...

Lotus

PS. Oh yeah, what do you think?
 

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First GP I have watched this season and only then because I was hungover and shivering from celebrations the evening before and couldn't do much more than mong out on the settee (pay attention kids - it's not big and it's not clever...
)

Thought it was very entertaining when I had been expecting a procession.

Sato's engine worried me too, ITV mentioned that it might just be burning off excess oil (something about parc ferme regs meaning that teams overfill to be on the safe side, Alfa Romeo road car style) but I really think he should have pulled in earlier with the danger of oil spillage and the inevitable smog from a blowup.

As for Fischi my initial reaction was that he was an idiot to carry that much speed into the cloud (I noted on the replay a car emerging in the bottom left corner of the TV screen just before Fischi hit DC and it was really was a case of the car coming from nowhere - couldn't see any of it and suddenly it is just there) but then I wasn't impressed with the marshalling as the race progressed (the mixup over red and yellow, lack of blues, marshalls standing on circuit) and it isn't outside the realmsof possibility that he received no yellows and had no warning.

As for Schumacher senior, well he should have known better than to fanny around in the tunnel on a bright day and got what he deserved IMO. I noticed in his post-race interview (read it on yahoo) he tried to shovel all the blame on Montoya and claimed it cost him second... yeah, right with the pace that Button showed in the last laps. Dream on. I wasn't too impressed with him crawling on with a front wheel hanging off when there is a run-off immeadiately after the tunnel exit where he could have dumped the car and avoided leaving any debris on the track.

All in all a very entertaining GP. Some drama, some seething sportsmen, grandstand finish. What more can you ask for from sport?

Coop
 

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Gary Skipp
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That was the greatest GP in a long long time.

It was totally Michael Shumachers fault in the tunnel.

Whats he doing brake testing in the dark at 180 mph anyway? He's only got himself to blame. If he did need to braketest, he coulda at least done it somewhere in daylight.

Same opinion for Ralf really, he caused the crashby suddenly slowing. I can't see why else Alonso would give him the fingers, unless it was just a convenient way to vent frustartion.

They should have called Sato in, I agree, but he did the right thing when it did go. Plus, I'm giving him props for bumping Michael out the way at the start


The Battle between Truli and Button was great, I enjoyed it immensely.

Comical moments:

Baumgartner (I think) being overtaken by the safety car on Lap 1 after the re-starts.

That marshal chucking his flag away.

The marshal cheating death at Lowes.

All the marshals waving green flags for about 3 laps after the start.

James allen using the the worst similie ever comparing Panis to 'a boy in the park on a trike waiting for his grandpa to give him a push'
 

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I think Monaco is totally unsuitable as a GP circuit.
I'd really miss it if it were removed from the calendar but, as somewhere to hold a race for high speed open wheeled cars, I can't think of a worse venue.
 

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"Like riding a bicycle in your bathroom", as Nelson Piquet said.

However, I don't think this means a lot, as Piquet is a very rich man who could afford a house with a very big bathroom (possibly not the size of Monte Carlo, mind...), and even a small bike to ride in it...

I must say, every year I wonder how not more people are injured at that circuit... They are less than six inches from the armco at some points doing 180mph. Not funny if you sneeze...

And then there are the crazy marshalls... standing INFRONT of cars braking heavily for a hairpin...

Oh well, fun race you've got to admit.

Lotus
 

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QUOTE I can't think of a worse venue

I can, 95% of the current tracks !

" Like flying a RC plane in your living room " I dont know who said that .

Richard
 

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Funny that Brundle, Blundell etc, do not want to see Monaco change any more than it has; already making it too easy/safe?

Regarding the Schumacher/Montoya incident: I must admit, it did appear that Michael brake tested Montoya & as if that's not enough, follow up with a squeeze, pushing Montoya into the Armco - just as well it backfired.

James
 

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Scott Brownlee
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Always thought the only way they could stop MS winning them all was to take him out. Loved the off camera moment in the pits when you could clearly hear his helmet hitting the pit divider as he threw it across the garage. Passion, that why he's the best!

Scott
 

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"I must admit, it did appear that Michael brake tested Montoya..."

Isn't it funny how history repeats itself?
I thought it was so nice that the FIA stewards cleared both Juan and Michael of any wrong doing.
I really wonder when the FIA will grow a backbone and go after Schumi for his on track shenanigans. Maybe, they have a three strikes and you're out kind of rule if you're the reigning world champion.
 

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Gary Skipp
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QUOTE (Tropi @ 23 May 2004, 21:37)I think Monaco is totally unsuitable as a GP circuit.
I'd really miss it if it were removed from the calendar but, as somewhere to hold a race for high speed open wheeled cars, I can't think of a worse venue.

I'd aggree.

Especially considering all thet poppycock Ecclestone came out with against removing silverstone because it didn't comply with crazy regulations he must have made up on the spot.

I know for a start Monaco doesn't have a 1km straight followed by a hairpin. Does it even have a 1km straight?

Plus, theres the facilities stuff, I'm sure its the worst equiped out of all circuits.

A least it proves Ecclestone doesn't have an argument for removing silverstone or any other GP on these grounds.
 

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I wonder if there are any statistics for true overtaking successes per race. That is ON the racing track, not in the pits, not under blue flags and not due to retirements. I'd hazard a guess at VERY low numbers indeed - I think I might have seen 3 at Monaco. The 'excitement' of the late 'duel' between Button and Trulli was based on nothing at all - totally superficial. All Trulli had to do was stay on the road, which is pretty much what he said himself after the race was over!

Yes, it is an incredible backdrop for a race, but as an actual circuit for some of the most powerful cars on earth to actually COMPETE with each other, it's abysmal. This 'race' is all about money and glamor with virtually zero reflection of actual prowess of cars or drivers. Grid position, followed by crashes and pitstops are what decides the result and I find that totally unsatisfactory.
 

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Unsuitable as Monaco is as a GP circuit, I have to say that I found yesterdays race really entertaining. Its been awhile since there was that much action in an F1 race.
 

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Monaco is a disaster waiting to happen; 24 cars doing 170mph, in a tunnel, under
a hotel?

But the drivers seem to love it, love getting into the zone and putting no more than spit between them and the armco - that in-car qualifying lap of Trulli's was stunning, scary and awe-inspiring, all in one. But as a race it is dull, dull, dull.

Okay, Button closing down Jarno was very exciting in a Mansell/Piquet/Silverstone way and gave me a breath of excitement I'd all but forgotten F1 was capable of. But it was all a bit academic, as he was never going to be able to pass the lad and with the barriers so close, who would really wish to 'force an error'?

And as for threatening Silverstone and its pit facilities when the trucks are parked way down the road at Monaco, well, says it all really.

[Edit]
Is it me? Or are we a fickle lot? I mean, wasn't Kimi heralded as a man with monstor cojones for diving through someone's smoke a year or two ago?

And Coulthard going on about Sato? Please. If he's dropping a trail of oil, then sure, black flag the guy but doing an Ivor the Engine impersonation isn't a crime. I reckon there was just as much face-saving going on when they pulled Kimi as altruism. I mean, ANOTHER Merc engine going bang in public?

And Schumi trundling around with three wheels on his wagon? Should have got a slap for that damn fool behaviour.
 

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The most amazing thing of all is this search that is going on for the £250,000 diamond that went missing after a Jaguar lost a nose cone.

Could you believe that the 4 Jaguar cars each had a diamond in the front of the nose as part of a sponsorship deal.

Which PR guy dreamt up that stunt then?

On the other hand (Wankel like scepticism here) loosing the diamond has created more publicity for the sponsors than they could ever have wished for!


Who is going to be the first jeweller to sponsor a slot car event I wonder? I bet that one would be popular!



Moped
 

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QUOTE virtually zero reflection of actual prowess of cars or drivers.

Hi Meco, I see what you are saying, although not sure i'd agree with the above point. Monaco for all of it's faults is still a true test of driver skill, along with Le Mans & the Indy 500. Why do F1 drivers mention that it is one track they wish to win above all others?

Ok the Button/Trulli duel wasn't the same as Mansell & Senna, however at least Button went for the win - despite the overwhelming odds. At the risk of crashing, increased chance of a mechanical breakdown due to pushing, whereas he could have just sat back and cruised to the finish, but he didn't.


James

P.S. The diamond was real? You have got to be kidding!! oops!
 

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QUOTE Why do F1 drivers mention that it is one track they wish to win above all others?
Doesn't some driver or other say that about nearly all the circuits at some point?


A cynic might explain Monaco by the fact that it invariably pulls in a huge number of extremely rich and influential people. People who are in a position to provide massive sponsorship. Monaco is about wheeling and dealing and therefore it is critically important to put on a 'good show' for them. Not for anyone else, for them. It's their money and influence that keeps the wheels turning and they like Monaco, not so much for the race, but for everything else..
 

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No doubt that money has had a massive influence; keeping Monaco on the calendar otherwise it would have long gone.

However, Monaco from a drivers point of view, still offers an enormous challenge & test of endurance made easier with the technological advances; namely automatic gear shifts (witness Senna's famous onboard qualifying footage from 1990 to Trulli's) but no less a challenge compared to other tracks on the current calendar.

Finally, yeah drivers/teams wish to perform well for other reasons; probably one race that probably draws the biggest industry/team big wigs more than any other.

If you were going to drop a track for reasons of dull watching etc, my vote would go to Hungary before Monaco!

James
 

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QUOTE (Tropi @ 24 May 2004, 22:37)A cynic might explain Monaco by the fact that it invariably pulls in a huge number of extremely rich and influential people. People who are in a position to provide massive sponsorship. Monaco is about wheeling and dealing and therefore it is critically important to put on a 'good show' for them. Not for anyone else, for them. It's their money and influence that keeps the wheels turning and they like Monaco, not so much for the race, but for everything else..
I agree, Monaco is insanely dangerous and a car failure with an F1 coming down the hill to Mirabeu or up the hill to Massenet (both these spellings are probably wrong) where the car would hit head on into a barrier at unabated speed doesn't bear thinking about.

Monaco is about business for F1 and Monte Carlo - sport doesn't enter into it.

David
 
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