Atlas F1

Readers' Comments

Updated: 11 June 1997 Spain Issue

The Canadian Preview issue of Atlas is devoted to the people of Quebec in their contribution to North America for what has been one of the greatest venues for a Grand Prix event. As F1 fans, we are aware of the numerous discussions that have taken place regarding the future of a Grand Prix in Montreal. We at Atlas would like to take this opportunity in celebrating Quebec's involvement with the Canadian Grand Prix by our small effort in design of this preview issue. Thank you, Quebec for your culture, hospitality, and professionalism towards Formula One racing fans.

Paul Kaizar

I have a comment concerning your GP of Canada page. Seeing as this is the CANADIAN Grand Prix, I'm wondering why there are no maple leafs? I did, however, notice the fleurs des lis (the symbol of Quebec) all over the page. Quebec is still a part of Canada; they have not seperated yet. And though French and English are both official languages in Canada, the maple leaf is the symbol that is on our flag.

I would urge you to update the site with maple leafs AND to keep the existing fleur des lis. After all, the GP will be held in Montreal in the province of Quebec, and Jacques Villeneuve is a native of Quebec. However, Quebec is in Canada, and Jacques Villleneuve is also a Canadian. The page, as it is, does not reflect that the upcoming race is the Canadian Grand Prix. In the past, your pages have all had the national flag of the host country displayed. I think that it would be prudent to include the Canadian symbol or flag in the Canadian GP's page.

Thank you for your time. I hope to adopt my suggestions.

Vincent Tong

I can not believe that you represent the Canadian Grand Prix with the province of Quebec's symbol on your home page. This is NOT the grand prix du Quebec. This is very wrong and very upsetting to 89% of Canadians. Please correct immediately as many CANADIAN atlas fans are extremely furious with your interpretation of are country and are race.

Chris Green

Just wanted to congratulate you for the magnificient layout for the Montreal Grand Prix. It is your best to date. Keep up the good work.

Serge Lachapelle

Dear Atlas,

Great site, fantastic pictures from that F1PictureNet website, it's the very best on the internet.

Anyway, I'd just like to say that I wish that these current F1 drivers were half as interesting and as charismatic as the drivers in the 60's and 70's. Ah, if I'd been around to work with these guys. Unfortunately, I have to work with all these current F1 PRIMADONAS of the 90's and it's not fun, it's hard work. They've all had a very successful personality by-pass and the whole sport is fast becoming a money making machine for the parties involved.

Come back Colin Chapman, Graham Hill, Ronnie Petersen, Gilles Villeneuve, Tom Pryce, James Hunt and the rest of you.

We need a bit of colour, a bit of individuality, keep up the good work, Alesi, Irvine, Panis, Berger, Magussen and the Jordan team.

See you in Montreal.

Brian Williams


I'd very much like to hear thoughtful opinions as to why the Ferrari was so much further behind the Williams cars in Spain. Ferrari had been, at least in the previous 1997 races, right up on, if not able to pass the Williams on the track. Now Schumacher is seventh on the grid and lucky to finish in the points after a great drive. Why? I'm generally aware of the complaints about the track's surface and the long corners. But why was Ferrari hurt so badly by these facts as compared to Williams and others? Or are there other factors I don't know about?


Jeff Fisher

Hat's off to ITV!

I just want to thank the folks at ITV for the noticeable improvement in TV coverage of the F1 races. Spain was great, off went Jacques and we got to watch the real racing for 2nd thru 8th places. (And this is coming from a huge Villeneuve fan!) Every now and then they "checked-in" with Jacques to keep us up to date on his progress by mostly remained with 'the pack'. This is a great improvement over last year when we were bored to death watching Damon Hill circle the track on his own!

Way to go guys (& gals) at ITV, keep up the good coverage!

Andy Wilson

This is in response to several letters slamming Damon Hill. While Damon Hill has always had his problems trying to cut under other drivers in truely non-passing places, he is still a very good driver. Damon has proven himself to be of upper tier talent. True, Schumacher is the premier driver in Formula One. Frentzen, on the other hand, has not shown much regardless of being new to Williams-Renault. He has exprience in this sport. Look at what Villeneuve did last year as a rookie!!

I do feel for Hill in respect to the fact that he is the ONLY DRIVER NOT TO FINISH A RACE!!! Nobody deserves that at all! I feel that the Yahama engine needs to be scrapped.It must be VERY disappointing to have your car constantly break down, or try so damn hard to make something happen that your stick your nose some- where it should not be. Tip of the hat to Hill for sticking with it! TWR should probably check into another chief mechanic or switch to Formula One motorcycles!

Dear Atlas,

I have been meaning to take issue with your recent correspondent's miserable ramblings on Jacques Villeneuve, and Sandra Sperounes' recent letter in support of him prompts me to add to that support.

It's hard to know where to start, but let me try.

First of, his speed, maturity and self-confidence might have blown a few people away at Melbourne... but it shouldn't really have been a surprise. If it was, you simply weren't paying attention. His work in North America, winning the Indy series in style, should have warned you.

So someone says that "the soft-spoken rookie became the tough-talking veteran" and you smell the sin of pride? That's not head swelling; certainly he's had a mild and occasionally recurring case of hoof in mouth disease, but nothing too serious for someone young enough to make a few mistakes yet. And your harping on about Frentzen gives Frentzen more respect than many people think he's really earned. He'll get there, but on the basis of the past few years in F1, he ain't earned it yet.

You say that Villeneuve just "wants to go faster, regardless of the security". The facts simply don't bear that out. He just doesn't want rules that will artificially slow the speeds of the cars while simultaneously messing with braking distances, overtaking possibilities, cornering speeds etc.. Are we really going to enjoy watching cars that behave more like F3 cars?

And to bring up Frentzen's comment that Jacques "doesn't know how Formula One can be dangerous" is simply beneath contempt. His father was killed, for crying out loud, doing this stuff.

F1 isn't only about speed. It's about drivers and their skills, it's about designers and engineers and bleeding edge technologies. The irony, of course, is that when all is said and done, these people have a track record of making cars faster and safer, regardless of what the regulations have to say about tyre width, engine size, wing measurements etc..

I suspect that when next season rolls around, Vileneuve will still be driving something that is blindingly fast... and your corespondent will doubtless be disappointed.

Yours truly,

Nigel Brachi

Dear Atlas,

Well, about number 1 seat and number 2... You know what I mean.

We all have heard rumours that Hill will drive a Prost car soon. So, how deep really is Nakano´s pocket? How deep is Prost´s? Will Prost respect deal with Mugen which includes to have incompatible driver in car 2? Certainly not. He is a man who knows what he wants. He is cold-blooded business-man. How about Ligier-Prost-Jordan-Honda-Peugeot-plot?

Well, Im Finnish. Im concerned about where will Finnish drivers go from here? Hakkinen has only one way - down. Salo - he speaks much more than he does. In a Finnish interwiew he said that every team is a possibility for him. Really? He is predicted to drive Ferrari - I doubt it. He also mentioned Williams. I doubt it. Benetton? No way. Jordan? I doubt it. Prost? Never. McLaren? I doubt it. Maybe Arrows-Honda Mugen next year. He is still Finnish, like myself, but his mouth interferes with his aerodynamics.

Did you watch Hill´s last race? When he came out of Arrows-Yamaha (blown), he was not dissappointed. He thinked "This many laps? Im satisfied."

I could continue forever, but I quit now, because I know you will recieve a lot of mail...

May the best win (that never happens),

Petri Ikonen

Regarding comments by Nuno Becker... Mr. Becker obviously doesnt remember how, in the 1994 season, Benneton had an illegal car which even Senna couldn't catch (he was driving a Williams as well remember), and by the end of the year Hill beat Schumacher in the rain at Suzuka. Also, in 1995, Hill lost the lead of the championship through many mechanical faliures, in Monaco, Spain, Hockenhiem, Canada, Brazil, etc., not even counting the shunts with Schumacher. He also suffeed from having to fight his teammate whereas Schumacher didn't. Take all that out, and Hill could have been champion for the last 3 years.

Adam Jones

All you seem to get is "anoraks" bitching and moaning about how F1 could be changed, or improved. F1 evolves. It has done so for decades and will continue to do so. The guys who are at the top aren't there because they are stupid, these guys know whats good for the sport and have had a lot of experience in it. This is why it's still so successful -- even after many changes throughout the years. We'll soon see who the real fans are when they sell of F1 to the public. Then, all the "anoraks" will have their say and action all there ideas as shareholders

Dan Kirwan-Taylor

I was dumbfounded to read the crazed writings of Nuno Becker in your Reader's Comments section. I thought the days of Damon Hill bashing were now over and then I find a lone voice in the wilderness trotting out the same style of biased observations he feels are being heaped on $chu. Reading this one would have thought there was a British conspiracy to build up a talentless British no-hoper at the expense of the true champion, Mr. Schumacher.

Now I will admit to being British but I live in the United States, a place sadly devoid of F1 but thankfully not partisan in any direction. I do not consider myself a Damon Hill fan. I believe Schumacher is an outstanding driver, probably the best of the current breed and of the modern era. So lets stick to some fact.

First of all 1994. It was a difficult year for Williams. The car was superior in power to a Benetton but not in handling. Before his death, Senna demonstrated that. So, relative performance is a little misleading. Without the ban, I expect that Schumacher would have won without the cliff-hanger in Australia. But, he did break the rules while Max Mosley did not single-handedly impose a ban. What is hard to dispute, once they got to Australia, is that Schumacher made a mistake and then managed to take Hill out once his own race was finished.

1995 stands for itself. Benetton had the same engine as Williams but most probably an inferior car. Schumacher was brilliant while Hill made mistakes (and most probably lost his '97 drive with Williams in the process).

While I am sure that Bernie and Max were keen to revive the fortunes of Ferrari in 1996, I have the feeling that a fresh challenge and buckets of money were the drivers behind Schumachers move. He did a great job but it is hardly a single-handed task. Ferrari has by far the biggest budget in F1 after all. Hill did all that could be asked of him that year. If you look at Frentzen and his problems coming to terms with an unbeatable car then I think it puts things into perspective. No car drives itself and a car that suits one driver can be mystifying to another. Berger and Alesi have completely difefrent driving styles to Schumacher so their performances are at least in part understandable also.

But what really made me laugh was the summary of Hill in 1997. At last count his car has broken itself 5 times in a race so far, he foolishly hit Nakano after starting from the pits (car problems again) once and he was involved in a multi-car incident at Monaco (along with practically the whole field having at least one incident, Schumacher drove brilliantly but even he was lucky after his one mistake to find the only place with an escape road). I dont think Hill's early baths are quite what was being implied... and most sane followers of F1 have more time for his skills now than they ever did when he had a Williams. I might add that Ferrari still lead Williams in the Constructor's Championship. That never looked like happening last year, so I dont think it is true to claim they are cruising on without feeling the loss of Hill for whatever reason.

As I said, Schumacher is the best of the current crop. Hill is probably one of the best of the rest. Prost certainly thinks so and he of all people can judge best.

Chris Rose

I am really surprised how many people can hate Damon Hill. Why? Is it because he is not arrogant like Schumacher or Villeneuve or that he is human and not a machine without any respect for the others like so many other drivers? Just look at the facts, Damon should have win the title in 94, of course Schumacher car was no legal and of course his way to drive in Australia was the perfect example of being fearful. There is too many cameras in Forluma 1 to not beeing able to see how it happened. And I will put it that way: You believe that the Williams was better than the Benetton. How can you explain that: even the great Senna was not able to follow Schumacher in the Brazilian G.P.? So true, that he made a mistake, you know, the kind of thing that people are saying that Damon do, but not great drivers.

In 95, everybody saw that the Williams team was incredibly poor in strategy and pit stop, Damon did well, but everything was against him, his team also, since the first race he did for the team, Frank Williams always wanted to put him away. Schumacher in the other way, was, and still is, the king in his team.

Some people like to compare Hill to Schumi, how they did in great team and how they are doing in less good ones. You want silly comparison: Frentzen beat Schumacher in sports car, Frentzen is beaten by Villeneuve in Formual 1 and Hill beat Villeneuve. So, using such a idiotic idea, you can say that Damon is a lot better than Schumacher. It is impossible to say who is better than the other in the same team regarding to the difference of treatment and the luck. Between teams it's impossible and between years it is completly ridiculous.

I know one fact, Damon is the champion, Schumacher was champion, and personnaly, I enjoyed 94 and 95, they were great years of rivalry between the two best drivers of the time. I only hope that both of them will have a car to win again next year.

Patrick Verdant

I have been following Formula One for several years now, and find it both fascinating and disappointing at the same time. The competition between drivers and teams is very great and this makes it very exciting for viewers of the GPs. The big negative is that many talented drivers never make it because they don't have enough sponsorship and end up with some inferior team. Tyrrell is an excellent example of the problem, it has two of the most talented drivers in formula one, Mika Salo and Jos Verstappen. The main attraction in formula is the competition between drivers and not that between teams. In my opinion both drivers of Tyrrell are far more talented than most of the drivers in the top teams, yet they finish at the end of the pack not because of talent or will but because the other less talented drivers have better equipment. In my opinion the rules of formula One have to be adapted so that the outcome of the race more closely resembles the ability of the drivers.

Miron Costant

At the end of 1994 the British media tried to display Michael Schumacher as a cheater, a driver that was only able to win using fraud. Worse, he was sold as a stereotyped arrogant mean "Djerman". Almost anything he then said or did, was seen as a manifestation of his well known bad character. On the other hand, according to this media, what a magnificent personality and superb driver was the local boy Damon Hill !... All this due the fact that even being prejudiced by Hill's countryman Max Mosley who imposed him absurd and unfair penalties, Schumacher still managed to win the 1994 Championship ( in fact, in the same unorthodox way Prost and Senna have done before). The rest is history : for the year 1995, William's engineers built a even better car - the fastest, more aerodynamic F1 car ever. Hill lost again anyway.

Then next year Ecclestone managed to put Schumacher behind the wheel of a lousy Ferrari ( blowing engine in the parade lap, remember ? ), and so finally Hill managed to make it. Producing a overwhelming wave of joy, pride - and relief - all over England. Later the real value of each of the two drivers become more clear when both changed teams: Schumacher had conquered two driver's and one constructor's world titles for Benetton, and achieved 19 victories - followed by a big zero after he left the team. On the other hand, since he made the team, Ferrari virtually saw a resurrection, with poles and victories again. But after Hill moved, Williams continued being the team to beat as ever - going from strength to strength . And while last year Verstappen got some points for Arrows in his third race, in the current season Hill got an early bath in all the six races until now. Hill's real picture emerged: that of a second class driver who was lucky enough to get a seat in a Williams F1. It's clear now that Hill's championship have more to do with his mount than with his driving skills. 1994 is long gone and nowadays Schumacher is the dominant personality in F1. He acquired the stature Senna and Prost formerly had. For example we saw in the last Spanish GP how he received the attention of Ronaldo, the Brazilian player considered the world's best, who declared frankly to root for the German, notwithstanding his countrymen Barichello and Diniz. While - far from the English public - poor Damon Hill kept strolling almost anonymous in the paddock, wearing a T-shirt with a pathetic "World Champion". Maybe waiting for some little boy to ask him for his autograph...

Nuno Becker

When we used to watch formula one in the " Prost-Senna " era , we had in front of us two different styles of racing between the two protagonists : 1-The very aggressive ,too little calculating style of Senna ,who always sought to get the biggest difference in pole position and the biggest gap in the race between him and the other driver in second position (without judging the consequence , e.g. Monaco 88) 2-And in a very different approach ,the " professor " with his boring conception of the race made of just finishing ,but this wisdom in finishing races gave him 52 wins in his career.

I don’t know we really won eventually ,because it is so difficult to compare records . you know , Senna won in 88 , but the sum of the points would have made Prost champion. BUT Senna was a legend in his own lap-time and that’s what the fans remembered and loved . we all knew that Prost was very fast ,but the emerge of Senna in McLaren made us evaluate our definition of this word.

If we examine briefly the post-" Prost-Senna " era , which began in the early 94 ,we can individualize Michael Schumacher as the new boss of formula one ,winning 2 championship titles and 17 Grand Prix wins in 2 consecutive years . But everyone admits (even the most furious german fans) that 94 and 95 were the two most boring seasons in formula one . Why ? Because always we had the certitude that Schumacher will win eventually , even if he was in the 16 th place on the grid , and that Hill will lose even if you get all the other drivers off the track . Not to add that the qualifying session was so silly to watch , Schumacher seeking a race setup in his drive for pole position and Briatore replying that the race takes place on Sunday afternoon .

Suddenly ,in 96 , qualifying sessions were once again enjoyable to watch and nobody can deny that with each Grand Prix we waited to find who’s going to take 10 points , till the last one in Suzuka where the championship was sealed. One strong word lies behind this turnover in modern formula one : JACQUES VILLENEUVE

It is Jacques who took pole position in his Grand Prix on a new circuit in front of the veteran Hill , showing to all the world that on a circuit where nobody has set foot , HE is the best . It is also Jacques who took pole position in Spa , the jewel track of formula one , where he never drove before. Finally it is him who pushed Hill till the end destroying all the other drivers(including Schumacher) in Estoril last year . Wether we wanted it or not , Jacques brought a new spirit to formula one .

And , now in 97 , we face a new situation : From one side we have the ever shining Schumacher , driving like Prost in qualifying sessions(trying to get in race what he lost in pole position , a method which proved to be efficient in his challenge with Hill), and can be compared to Senna in races (outstanding starts e.g.: Brazil , Barcelona ; never lifting foot on the first corner ; always seeking maximum gap in the race)

From the other side , we have Villeneuve with his outstanding performance in pole positions ( didn't Patrick Head said that Villeneuve was the only Williams driver who went flat out through " 130R " corner in Suzuka ? ) , and in the other hand having a mixture style of racing ( we can hear Prost when Jacques is talking about a sufficient gap between him and Panis in Barcelona , but showing also the agressivity of Senna in overtaking and in collecting points ( 3 ten points in 97 , and all the points in 96 were podium points < 10 , 6 or 4> ) )

After Barcelona Villeneuve is first in the champioship lead and Schumacher is second and the gap is widening between them and the others. For once Schumacher is facing someone with a new driving style , someone who is not afraid to go to the edge , someone so much powerful psychologically speaking In other words , Schumacher has met his match ,the fans have found the man to beat Schumacher with a very different style of racing , and our great sport is entering the " SHUMACHER-VILLENEUVE " era.

Pascal Raad

Still dwelling on rule changes and making the F1 cars more competitive...

One rule change that I would suggest is to do away with the 10 second stop and go penalty, and just reduce that rule to just a STOP and GO penalty.

I have been watching the Australian V8 super tourers and there was a similar incident this weekend when a driver jump started. He was given a stop and go penalty, which means taking the time to go into the pits, stop, and then go.

The amount of time that a F1 car would take to go into the pits, stop and then go would be around the 20 to 30 second mark. I am sure that that will be a sufficient penalty, and there is no need to add another 10 seconds to the driver's mistake.

Alvin Lim

Forgive me if you don’t agree but I think this is one of the best seasons for ages.

The reason I give for this is:-

How long has it been since every podium has produced a different set of drivers. Not to mention cars???

How long has it been since the drivers championship was led by a different chassis to the constructors championship???

How long has it been since the track was shared by TWO different tyre companies. Not to mention the Podium shared by two different tyres!!!

How long has it been since we have seen 5 cars in a train fighting for a position separated by only 1 second???

How long has it been since an unlikely bottom team manages to get a podium finish??? (Prost - Twice, Jordan, Stewart. And maybe Sauber soon)

How long has it been since the season looks like finishing with EVERY TEAM scoring at least some (very hard to come by) world championship points??? (Even Tyrrell got one)

How long has it been since THREE different Chassis have one a Grand Prix this early in the season???

How long has it been since we have seen two different drivers in the same team choose different pit stop strategy and come close to one another at the end???

How long has it been since so many Grand Prix were ended with so many cars still on the lead lap??? Not to mention the gap first to second less than 5 seconds regularly!!!

When you consider all that Formula One has going for it at present why would you want to change the rules at all??? In my humble opinion Jacques is right... The main reason that Formula One is so exciting right now is because of the increase in Mechanical Grip (coming from sticker tyres, as a result of the introduction of competition) at the same time Aerodynamic grip has remained constant. This allows the car following to invade the OLD 1 second “dirty air” gap behind the man in front that was present last year. What’s more they seem to be able to do it for more that a few laps. Remember back to last year or the year before. Even Mr. M Schumacher could only follow Damon Hill, within the 1 second gap, for 1 or 2 laps at best.

This is no slant on an obviously great driver (I don’t want letter bombs from Ferrari Fans) but a reflection on the over dominance of Aerodynamic grip, not to mention lack of grip from the tyres. Lets not forget that it was not that long ago that tyre widths were severely reduced (I personally still think the cars look funny without the fat rear tyres).

So I am not here to bitch and moan. Some thing has to be done about the increase in car speed. OK lets accept that as read. What can be done??

1. Put groves in the tyres (or reduce sizes further), reducing Mechanical Grip, returning to the dominance of Aerodynamic Grip, putting the cars 1 second apart again. I don’t know if it is just me but I think this is going the wrong way.

2. Make the cars narrower. This could work??? Narrower cars means more Mechanical Grip and Narrower wings means less Aerodynamic Grip. This assumes that the tyres are the same and the wings get clipped as much as the cars. This is not the case under the rules for next year at present.

3. Add weight to the current cars. This might not be a bad solution. We know that todays cars are providing us with a great season. Adding say 100 kilograms, would slow cornering speed and increase breaking distances.

4. Ban wings all together. Hang on don’t email your disgust just yet. I am only canvassing all the possibilities in order to have a meaningful debate. But hey they had some classic finished before wings, 11 cars separated by 1.5 seconds.

5. Fix the tracks so the cars can go faster. I for one feel that Mr A Senna would be turning over in his grave knowing that his name was on some of the worst pox’s on Grand Prix tracks. Please remove the chicane and put Senna on the fastest corner on the track. If there was a Two Kilometre run off area at the Tamburello corner. Things would be different now. Fast corners do not kill drivers. Walls close to corners do!!! How come the Formula One bosses are rich the teams are too but the tracks are always POOR. Estoril has just been dropped. Why because it could not afford to fix the track! If all the tracks could afford to put large enough run off areas on all corners then the cars could go as fast as they liked.

6. Limit engine size further. I personally don’t agree with this because the current engines are scheduled to stay for the next three years. This is a good thing giving stability to the sport. If you accept the proposition that Formula One is a laboratory for the motor industry. Then the more limitations on engines the less the chance of a brake through new technology being discovered. Super Charging was invented in the first place to win races. Turbo development in the motor industry has stalled since they were banded in F1. Are the teams allowed to use a 3 litter gas turbine engine??? If they were then we would soon see a gas turbine fitted to a road car.. Probably providing fuel economy twice as good as now, saving the planet.

From all of the above, not many options sound very great. I hope the FIA can think of another solution. Max Mosley lashed out at Villeneuve when he spoke out about grooved tyres. Max complained that he (FIA) has tried to reduced Aerodynamic Grip in the past and have not been successful. Well Max “Who’s Fault is that”. If at first you don’t succeed Try Try Again. Don’t do the opposite and give us back 1 second gaps between cars...

Gary Biggs

I think that we all realise that overtaking in F1 has been made almost impossible by the dependency of F1 cars on downforce. Slipstreaming is now a thing of the past; as soon as the following car gets near the car in front, his car loses downforce, and becomes less stable in the corners. Aerodynamics have progressed to the extent that this loss of downforce when nearing another car has become critical. Even Schumacher could not pass under such conditions.

The solution is far from simple. Eliminating wings would, of course, be the best solution. However, wings have provided the best signboard to post advertisements!! as can be seen from any shot of a racing car where the shots are either from in front, an angle, or from the rear.

Is it possible to reduce the total area of wings?? We have triple wings, wings at the front, wings down the side of cars. One at the front, one at the rear with a maximum of projected frontal area might be the answer.

It is really a shame that cars have to rely on passing in the pits - that is really "THE PITS". The last memorable overtaking move was when Villeneuve passed Schumacher last year, and that really made a difference to the race.

As for grooved tyres, yes! I agree with the reader who suggested narrower no grooved tyres. Much easier to check for legality. In all honesty, why do tyres need the grooves??

Arnaldo Botelho

This is yet another reaction to Gary Paul Slegg's comments regarding Damon Hill.

One of the favorite topics for Damon Hill fans (subjects for the Queen especially) seems to be the collision in Adelaide ‘94 - poor Damon has been deprived of the well deserved championship by an unscrupulous rival who had no respect for sportsmanship. The same guys are always trying hard to avoid any mentioning of the British GP ’94 and the events that followed, although , as we all know, that episode caused the difference in points to come to just one by Australia.

Otherwise reasonable people have a tendency to lose rational perception when it comes to the subject of their fanaticism. Damon Hill is lucky to have so many great fans (he may be the luckiest test driver in history after all) with the substantial number of influential F1 officials among them. The sight of Schumacher charging in Silverstone was really too much for them - they had to stop him no matter what. And so there was an unprecedented (and totally ridiculous) black flag and equally unprecedented removal of the season leader from three races, although Michael Schumacher made it anyway.

If Benneton had technical violations (which actually may be true) during that season and if violations were as serious as Williams fans always say - they should of simply disqualified the team, but that black flag was clearly an act of desperation and quite a stupid one. Well, now let us wait and see the world champion to show what he is really made of - not long before he beats some Minardi in a straight fight on the track, or does something even more wild maybe.

Sergey Karpov

Comments? Send them to: