Michael is 4 for 4!

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by David Pavlich, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    After San Marino, Michael Shumacher and his vaunted Ferrari team look unstoppable. Even though Shumacher had a bobble during qualifying and Jenson Button did a great lap taking the pole (the big story of the season so far...BAR's leap to the upper crust of F1) Michael started from P2. He stayed with Button until Button pealed of for his first pit stop. From that point on, it was Michael magic.

    Shumacher ripped off 3 blazing laps, pitted and came out in first place 2 seconds ahead of Button. From that point on, it was Michael putting distance between him and the rest of the field.

    Shumacher's ability to turn up his performance on command reminds me of when Sampras was in his prime. He'd be down 0-40 and rip off 3 aces and go on to win the game.

    Mclaren has been the big bust with Raikonen getting his first point today and thre DNFs prior, the new Williams is fast, but not in the same class as the Ferrari, at least now. Renault is still looking good, but still not quite enough straight line speed.

    BAR looks to be the best of the rest for the moment (I wonder what Jacques is thinking?). They did have an engine hand grenade with 4 laps to go (Sato), so there is a little concern at BAR. However, it's 2 podiums in a row for Button and he's tied with Barichello for 2nd in the points standing.

    Michael will try to tie Mansel at the next race for the most races won to begin a season...5.

    Michael is the only driver to lead more than 4000 laps, he's led all but 17 laps this season, he's been on the podium 126 out of 198 races he's entered, and has averaged 5.44 points per start.

    The season isn't over and a lot can happen, but unless Shumacher is injured, it looks as though it will be his 7th World tiltle and 6th Constructor's title in a row for Ferrari. The reliabilty of the Ferrari has been incredible.

    One other big story to come out has been the lack of attrition considering the one-engine-for-the-weekend rule is now in force. Through 4 races, this has been the lowest attrition rate in F1 history. Amazing when you consider that these engines are turning between 17,000 and 19,000 rpm.

    Update: I made an error in the standings. Button is not tied with Rubens.

    David
     
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  2. david aames

    david aames Professional

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    Where do you get to watch F1?
     
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  3. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

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    How would he get injured?
     
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  4. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

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  5. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    Speed Channel. However, it's blacked out in certain areas.

    David
     
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  6. ProStaffTour90

    ProStaffTour90 Rookie

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    That was Buttons third podium in a row, Bahrain 3rd, Seoang 3rd, Imola 2nd.

    I really hoped he'd go to Williams next year, but there seems to be no need the Honda looks like being a better car!
     
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  7. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    After last season I thought Williams and McLaren would mount a serious challenge but NO! Bar Honda increasingly look like the team to take the challenge to Ferrari.

    Moantoya needs to stop complaining and start racing. Michael always gives 100% even when he didn't have the best car; he always attends the race briefings to give input to help the engineers improve the car. All Moantoya does is publicly criticize the car and the team, a great way to get the rest of the team giving 110% for you.
     
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  8. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    My mistake! You've got to wonder if Jacques has viewed any of the last 3 races and said "hmmmmmmm"?

    It was only a matter of time before Honda figured out the engine and got BAR into shape. I'm sure there's a little concern about Sato's kablooey, though.

    David
     
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  9. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    With JPM leaving Williams, he doesn't give a hoot if he criticizes the team. However, you've got to wonder if Ron Dennis is thinking that maybe his addition to Mclaren will be as wonderful as he thought it would be.

    I wonder if David Coulthard will retire? I like him. I hope he sticks around and gets with a good team.

    David
     
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  10. ProStaffTour90

    ProStaffTour90 Rookie

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    Yeh, i like good old square head, used to be my fav driver before Button came on the scene!

    I expected the Renaults to also mount a challenge this year, after the backend of last season, Alonso was on fire, but they also seem to have gone backwards like McLaren and Williams!

    Also reading the paper today, Ross Braun was quoted after the race, when asked about who can replace Schumy when he retires "Obviously we will have to look at the drivers at the time when Michael retires but Button will be very high on the list"

    I'm glad Button looks to have finally established himself (i suppose all he needed was a decent car! The british commentators were excited during his first season, saying how great he would be "The next Mansell" etc. but it looked like he would just be an "alright" driver after not making that much process, but jees, now he's a fixture on that podium!

    Also interesting that Michael is full of praise for him, i can't remember him actually saying stuff like that about any other drivers!
     
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  11. Redferrari350

    Redferrari350 New User

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    Yipee!! Michael wins again!
     
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  12. topspin

    topspin Semi-Pro

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    Booooring

    Well it's turning out to be yet another really boring season. Ferrari has a really good car again this year ($$$ helps) and everyone else is falling behind rapidly.

    As for Villeneuve, I have no idea what he thinks about BAR suddenly having got it right. For sure it must be frustrating to have helped that team since it started and then not be able to reap the rewards because of an arrogant team manager who basically needed to save some money.

    Honda is well known for taking their time and working slowly but very progressively. Well this year they finally got it right. Too bad all the engines they had for Villeneuve sucked by being way under-powered and unreliable.

    What really makes me laugh is when people try to say that Villeneuve wasn't a good driver because he never got the success that the drivers are having now. Well that's ignorance talking because button didn't have results last year either. The car got improved a lot during the off season.
     
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  13. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    Villeneuve was bad for BAR. When he still had a seat at BAR he was the 2nd highest paid driver after Michael but did little for the team. It's widely known Villeneuve joined BAR for the $$$. At Williams he drove the best car but he struggled to win the Championship against Michael.

    When it was known Villeneuve was leaving BAR no other team wanted him.
     
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  14. topspin

    topspin Semi-Pro

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    Actually you're way wrong. Villeneuve helped BAR a great deal. The car would not be anywhere close to where it is now if it wasn't for him. He was paid a lot because everyone who knows anything about F1 knows that he is as good if not better than Michael and he commanded a certain salary that British American Tobaco was more than willing to pay him. So they did, and big deal, what would you have done? The team did look promisingn with Honda and Reynard being involved. But it was those guys that dropped the ball and basically discouraged Villeneuve so he became disinterested and lost the passion to drive the way he had with Williams.

    Now at Williams, sure it was the best car, just like Michael has the best car today. He struggled??? LOL He would have won his 1st race ever in F1 in Australia if not for a mechanical problem. Damon Hill had been there for years and yet Villeneuve challenged him for the title up until the very last race in Japan.

    In 1997, the 2nd year, the fall of Williams was in sight as the car simply did not perform as reliably and Villeneuve was in a fight for the title with Michael who was in his 2nd year at Ferrari and making rapid progress. Villeneuve won the title beautifully and Michael's cheating attempt did not work for once.

    Villeneuve did not leave BAR, they did not renew his contract because they have no loyalty towards someone who helped them get to where they are today and wanted to save some $$$. Other teams did want Villeneuve like Renault. But Flavio Briatore knows that his team is not ready for a driver like Villeneuve and does not want him to waste his time like he did with BAR. So he's waiting to see what happens at the end of this year since there should be good seats available at Williams and McLaren.

    So get your facts straight before you post.
     
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  15. AAAA

    AAAA Hall of Fame

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    In 1997, the Williams car was the best on the grid by far. They had 11 pole positions while Ferrari only had 3. 11 vs. 3 is quite a performance advantage. Despite the superiority of JV's car the championship went down to the wire. This was due to JV's insistence of using his 'own' setup for the races and ignoring the ideal setup as determined by team engineers. He in short struggled because he chose his 'own' race setup.

    Due to his shall we say 'individual character' Williams 'let him go' after he won the championship.

    As world champion, JV and his manager used his strong bargaining position to get a huge wage and have BAR build a team around him.

    Unfortunately after years of over-spending and few results to show for it BAR needed to control the excessive spending. Chopping JV was one clear way to cut costs without reducing the development budget for the car. Loyality had nothing to do with it. It was all about making the car the most competitive it could be within the new financial framework.

    And No Renault did not want JV. At the end of the season the F1 supremo himself Bernie Eccelstone had talks with ever team to try and get a seat for Jacques but nobody wanted him.
     
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  16. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    Uh....5 for 5...

    David
     
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  17. topspin

    topspin Semi-Pro

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    You got some things right here, but you still got some things wrong. First of all, JV was not "let go" after he won the title in 97. He raced with Williams for another year. Surely you must remember that. 98 was a bad year for Williams and continued to show the decline of the car since 97. Yes this touches on your 1st paragraph where you claim Williams had the better car because of pole positions. Well poll positions are not the sole indicator of the quality of a car. The car must also be reliable and the Williams was showing signs of quality going down in 97 and was later confirmed with the awful 98 year. Ferrari was not quite as fast for pole positions but they had a solid package that was quite reliable and getting faster, so they had quite a competitive car and that's why the title came down to the last race.

    I do like that you know about JV's own setup. From what I remember, it was a positive thing that the team later adopted even for Damon Hill. JV learned a lot of stuff in Cart and brought a lot of knowledge to F1. You think that setup caused him to struggle? Well I'm not so sure, he likes the car setup a certain way and I'm not going to argue with that. There are so many other factors that contributed to his "struggling" in 98 anyway.

    BAR wanted JV as a driver to please Honda. The wage paid was in lign with his talent and success at that point in his whole racing career. Clearly it was not a good move for JV or for BAR. They are much better off with cheaper younger drivers until they can get a decent car on the road. Now after years of development and tuning by JV, they have a good car but they turned their backs on JV. Very low class indeed. If they wanted to keep him, they would have had no problems finding the money to pay his salary. The reason they didn't sign him is because Richards is a control freak and clearly he and JV did not "get along".

    Renault wanted JV only if they had a competitive car, and they didn't. Bernie wanted JV to stay of course, and clearly there were no openings in the top teams. So it's not that no1 wanted him, it's that there was no room.

    But hey, the scoop is that Williams does want him back and that he will start to test for them soon. So Schumy might be retiring this year because he will be afraid of having a real competitor on his hands next year.

    BTW, what a snoozer of a race in Spain, **yawns**. F1 is going down the tubes.
     
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  18. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    Actually, there was a lot of good racing behind Michael in Spain.

    This race also showed that as much as Montoya is trying to create something between him and Shumacher, JPM and his ride are not up to the challenge.

    Maclaren is going backwards, Renault is still down on power (good chassis, but poor straight line speed), and BAR is fast, but still has to prove itself over a season.

    Michael's gift is the way he can up the ante. Trulli's first pit stop was a full second quicker that Shumacher's, but because Michael has the ability to light it up when he needs to, he got out of the pits ahead of Trulli and proceded to walk away from him.

    If Michael passes Senna for the P1 record this year, I suspect he'll retire.

    David
     
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  19. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    Max Mosley's rule changes can't come soon enough. I think he's almost entirely on the right track but he must ban refuelling as well as tyre changes. As long as there are pit stop strategies involved, many drivers won't bother even trying to overtake on the track (see MS in last 2 races).
     
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  20. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    That's a good idea for tracks where there is actually places that passing can take place, but many of the tracks are virtually impossible to find a place to overtake without becoming a danger to the other drivers. Therefore, the P1 qualifier will have a HUGE advantage...which means if it were this season, the Michael bashers would be complaining that there needs to be refueling and tire changes to give the others a chance.


    Mosley has a big uphill challenge, for sure.

    David
     
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  21. ProStaffTour90

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    What! banning refuelling and tyre changes! :shock:

    Do you actually want to see a car finish the race!

    If this had to be done, the cars would be soo heavy and the tyres so thick to be durable enough to last the whole race, i could keep up in my 1.3 litre Peugeot 205!
     
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  22. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    PST90 - It's only in the last 15 years or so that scheduled pitstops have featured at all. Refuelling has only been legal for a few years.
    F1 was much more fun when the cars didn't pit as the drivers had to nurse the cars to the end a bit. Someone who went out really quickly at the start of a race would often murder their tyres or wear their brakes out (due to the heavy fuel load) and so from 30 seconds ahead of the field midway through the race their pace would slow and the cars behind would catch up and overtake - much more exciting than the present situation where pretty much every driver's pace is constant throughout the races. Now once somebody is in the lead it's usually because their car is fundamentally faster and there's not much chance of anything changing. As for unreliability, that makes it more exciting too. It was actually worth watching the whole race if you knew there was a fair chance the leader would conk out with 5 laps to go. As for the "no overtaking" argument, I'm sure it is harder than in the past but Montoya has managed several good moves in the last few years and I think many drivers (Ralf?) either don't know how to do it or have given up trying. Perhaps many drivers are afraid of the extreme blocking moves which the likes of MS perpetrate. Swerving across on straights to block overtaking would have been unthinkable in the past as a collision would have led to a massively dangerous accident - newer, safer cars have taken away that fear from the drivers.

    Hopefully Mosley can get the teams to radically reduce aero downforce to enable the cars to follow each other more closely and help overtaking. Don't forget that up until the late eighties there was a fair amunt of overtaking done even at Monaco (mainly into Mirabeau and Ste Devote) with cars wider than they are today so it's not impossible even at Monaco.
    At the risk of sounding like an old nostalgic (I've been watching F1 since the BBC started showing it in 1978 I think), it really was much better then and pitstops are the single biggest reason for it's demise.
     
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  23. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    And of course there's the brakes. Jackie Stewart drove a modern F1 car about 5 years ago and said the brakes were the biggest single difference since his day (not the grip!!). Mosley is planning to introduce standard brakes which hopefully won't be nearly as good as they are now. Longer braking distances will give the cars more chance to outbrake each other into corners.

    Apparently Bernie Ecclestone wants to change the qualifying format again to a system of two half hour sessions with the combined best time form the 2 sessions being on pole. What we need is the grid jumbled up more, not less.
     
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  24. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    5 for 6. JPM, a lapped car and not fighting for position, ran into Shumacher and ended his day. Michael may not have had enough for Trulli, but getting punted by a lapped car is pretty shabby.

    David
     
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  25. ProStaffTour90

    ProStaffTour90 Rookie

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    Well he ran the risk, and the safety car has to take some of the blame, Ferrari didn't actually hint at any wrong doing by JP and so the matter is over i think, he was unlucky, and your right, don't think he could have caught Trulli OR Button!
     
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  26. katarddx

    katarddx Semi-Pro

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    I really hoped he'd go to Williams next year, but there seems to be no need the Honda looks like being a better car![/quote]


    No, no, no... Williams will suck next year... R. S i leaving for sure, Montoya already left....Maybe, Raikonen will come...
     
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  27. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    I think we'll see Jacques Villeneuve back in a Williams in 05. There's a story in a UK paper today that Hakkinen wants to come back and drive a Williams in 05. Can't see it myself though.
     
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  28. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    I've got the VCR set for practice tomorrow. Wouldn't it be great if F1 ran on the old Nurburgring? We can only dream.

    David
     
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  29. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    6 for 7! The best first stint I've ever seen.

    JPM takes out another driver...this time it's his teammate. Honda has another hand grenade, but BAR still looks like the best of the rest.

    David
     
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  30. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    David , do you think Michael can race and win with his tires balance off by 10grams
     
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  31. PistolPete

    PistolPete Rookie

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    Jeff Gordon in F1 in the future?
     
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  32. Redferrari350

    Redferrari350 New User

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    No, I like to see a real "good ol boy" drive an F1 machine like Sterlin Marlin. That'd real funny.
     
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  33. PistolPete

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    Haha Sterling in a F1 car, that would be rediculous. I saw Gordon drive a F1 car last year on SPEED when him adn Juan Montoya switched cars. Juan Montoya drove Gordon's 24 car and Gordon drove the F1 and didn't do that bad.
     
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  34. Russell Finch

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    Jeff Gordon went within a second of Montoya and impressed everyone who saw him. I saw an intervie with him recently and said he wouldn't switch at 32 but hinted that if the chance had come along earlier.....
     
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  35. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    Yep! I've seen him overcook a corner and flatspot at tire severely and still smoke the field even after removing a bunch of rubber from one tire.

    David
     
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  36. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    7 for 8! If there's a better team out there for putting together a race strategy, I'd like to see it. 3 stop strategy has been the conventional wisdom with very short first stints the norm. Ferrari found a reason to change to a 2 stopper and came 1-2 (Williams and Toyota were DQ'ed for a brake duct violation, which knocked Ralf Schumacher from 2nd).

    I must also toss in a pile of kudos for that great American iron, Corvette. The Compuware team finished 1-2 in the GTS class at the 24 Hours of LeMans today. Gotta' love the pushrod V8s!

    David
     
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  37. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    8 for 9! It's great watching history in the making!

    David
     
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  38. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    I'm glad you like it David because I'm really bored by it. Sato could have won at Indy but for BAR not pitting him under the safety car. The other teams just keep screwing up when they get the chance to beat MS.
     
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  39. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    Sato MAY have had a chance, but if you check the lap times when Michael was on it, noone could match him, not even Rubens who had P1.

    David
     
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  40. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    MS does have a track record of making mistakes when he's pressurised and Sato is young, wild and aggressive enough to make MS nervous if he gets close enough. Hopefully he or Button will really mix it with the Ferraris in next couple of races.
     
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  41. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    If what you say is true, it's damn few mistakes. He's 6 times WDC and has won 77 races, led more laps than anyone and has more podiums than anyone. And the only race he lost this season is because a lapped driver punted him.

    He's the picture of calm if you ask me.

    David
     
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  42. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    There's no way he would have won Monaco this year - Montoya or no Montoya. He's been under virtually no pressure in most races this year. At Imola when Button had put in a good qualifying lap MS overcooked it onto the grass and he's done it various times over the years in races. Martin Brundle often says during his commentaries that MS is vulnerable under pressure.
     
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  43. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    So...how many times has Martin Brundle been on the podium? Or how many driver's championships has he? Has he led more than 400 laps let alone 4000? And where is Brundle now?

    It reminds me of Greg Rusedski saying that Pete Sampras had lost a step. Let's see, Rusedski finished 1st how many times? How many slams? How many titles?

    The best part is, Sampras smoked him the next time they played. Pete said he didn't need that extra step when he played Rusedski. That was just about the perfect gotcha!
     
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  44. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    Brundle is now commentating on British TV and winning awards for his work. He points out MS' occasional mistakes under pressure as being the only chink in his armour - he's not putting the boot in and claiming he was a better driver as you seem to imply. As a very experienced former F1 driver he's far better placed to comment upon drivers' strengths and weaknesses than you or I.

    MS does make a few mistakes and I expect Sampras had lost a step but they were both still good enough to win.

    Just because somebody has won lots of titles/races doesn't mean they are perfect and we shouldn't have to pretend they are.
     
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  45. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    Apparently Michelin are suggesting that F1 cars should only be allowed one set of tyres for both qualifying and race. They argue that as well as the benefit of cost reductions for the teams, the tyres will have to be made of far harder compounds than at present in order to last that long and this will mean virtually no "marbles" off line which will help overtaking. It will also mean less grip giving reduced cornering speeds.

    Sounds promising.
     
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  46. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    I never claimed that Michael is perfect. What I find funny is how many people use "ifs and buts" to try to make him out to be a lesser driver than he is. Results are what matters. NOONE has done better. It's that simple. He came to Ferrari when it was a second tier team. Need I say more?

    David
     
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  47. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

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    Don't you find it strange that a tire company would make such a suggestion? It seems to me that Michelin, which is far and away the most used tire in F1, would want to make as many tires as it can. Or maybe Michelin doesn't think that it can contend with the Bridgestone/Ferrari combination so, just as it is done in NASCAR, everyone has to use the same tire.

    What next...everyone has to use the same chassis? The same engine? Bad idea.

    David
     
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  48. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    I suspect that Michelin, like Bridgestone are in F1 mainly for prestige, PR and marketing purposes, none of which would be diminished by the changes they have suggested. If they were merely cranking out a few dozen very hard tyres for each race their manufacturing and R+D costs would be greatly reduced.

    I instinctively agree with your last comment but I think there's a strong groundswell of opinion in and around F1 that the electronics and aerodynamics have taken over and that driver skill needs to be given more prominence. In some ways, equalising the cars shows us who the best driver is. If you look to the past however, in 1979 we had most of the field powered by the Cosworth V8, the Ferrari had the 12 cylinder engine and there was the 1.5 litre Renault V6 turbo. Each engine suited different tracks best so we had a variety of winners. Now they're all V10 and have very similar designs so the cars tend to perform relatively similarly on all the tracks. Perhaps the modern tracks being more samey contributes to this too. It's a tough one for the people running the sport to sort out but I think anything which encourages overtaking like Michelin's idea is to be encouraged. The only down side I can see is that if aerodynamic grip is radically reduced then reducing mechanical grip with the use of hard tyres may make it harder for the cars to follow each other closely around corners and overtake into the next one.
     
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  49. Russell Finch

    Russell Finch Rookie

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    I don't deny that MS has an excellent record and is comfortably the best of his era but he has benefitted from astonishing reliability. Many world champions of previous years suffered mechanical breakdowns in 6 or 7 races per year so didn't have the chance to amass as many wins.

    I think it was in the sixties that any driver who drove 5 years of F1 had a 50% chance of being killed. Pretty hard to create records from that great cockpit in the sky.
     
    #49
  50. David Pavlich

    David Pavlich Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    1,203
    What an amazing performance! After the first round of pit stops, the commentators thought that maybe Ferrari miscalculated the pit stop strategy.

    As it turns out, Michael was able to turn in a pile of blistering laps gaining a second or more a lap over Fernando and make FOUR STOPS and still win comfortably.

    It was only a few weeks ago that when the 3 stop strategy was the conventional wisdom, Ferrari did a 2 stopper and again outdid the other teams. Truly amazing.

    David
     
    #50

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