March 07, 2004


People complain about Michael Schumacher’s domination of Formula One, but decades from now they’ll all be telling their awed grandchildren about watching Schumacher demolish the entire field in Australia in 2004. It was a brilliant drive, and defied pre-season opinion -- which had Ferrari struggling to maintain their advantage. Maintain? It’s been increased, massively. Early in the race, somebody near by me checked his stopwatch (he was timing Schumacher) and said: “That can’t be right.” But it was; on his first flying lap, Schumacher had broken the lap record. Just after the midway point, he turned a lap faster than he’d managed in qualifying. The field will close in as the season continues, but who now would bet against a seventh Schumacher world title? Not me … and I earlier picked Raikkonen to win.

Posted by Tim Blair at March 7, 2004 10:55 PM

Pity about Webber, though.

And what on earth is wrong with the McLarens? I'm sure they'll get better as the season progresses, but I don't think anyone expected them to come from Melbourne with just 1 point.

Posted by: Damian P. at March 7, 2004 at 11:45 PM

Here in Spain the whole country has gone nuts with Alonso. They don't like F1, they just like that a Spaniard is doing fine. Nice start by Alonso in Melbourne. I think Montoya will be angry (er, angrier) for a few days.

Posted by: Golan at March 8, 2004 at 12:12 AM

All I can say is thank got for speed vision on the digital cable. It was nice seeing the best auto racer in the world of any auto sport today blast the field. Mark up another championship for team read.

Posted by: wayne at March 8, 2004 at 04:01 AM

"...but who now would bet against a seventh Schumacher world title? Not me … and I earlier picked Raikkonen to win."

Before the race, I made a friendly wager with a friend of mine who's an enormous Schumi fan. I chose Kimi to win the driver's championship, he chose Michael (of course)--loser buys winner a steak dinner at an expensive restaurant. I'm afraid I'll be kicking myself for the entire season over that move.

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at March 8, 2004 at 04:20 AM


Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at March 8, 2004 at 05:03 AM

My prediction: Seven will be Michael's lucky number this year. He will sit on seven poles, and win seven races....resulting in: seven world championships!

Posted by: rinardman at March 8, 2004 at 06:16 AM

Has Alonzo even crossed the finish line yet? I stoped caring about F1 a couple of years ago, but live in a house full of Tifiosi. If not for the sheer dominance of the Ferraris and the means by which they attain it (read: spending twice as much on it as anyone else) F1 might be interesting.

Posted by: Vexorg at March 8, 2004 at 06:35 AM

i thought they could have more ethic divercity and have heaps more lebanese drivers that wo9uld be fully sik. then they could shoot it out for world title

Posted by: Bilal Skarf at March 8, 2004 at 08:30 AM

It was all over on Schumi's second flying lap in first practice on Friday. First flying lap was a 1:26.6, breaking the previous lap record. Second flying lap was a 1:25.1, shattering it by over 3 seconds.

All this without seeing the circuit all year and in a new car. Staggering. He is without a doubt the most talented F1 driver, ever.

Pity he's a turgid teuton.

Posted by: tortfeaser at March 8, 2004 at 08:49 AM

Sorry guys but my opinion of Shoe Maker was set in the Adelaide grand prix in 1994:

"Hill tried to pass the German (who only had three wheels at the time - why didn't he just pull over????) but Schumacher turned into his path ( WTF!). The Benetton was launched up onto two wheels and then went nose first into a tyre barrier. Schumacher was out but Hill's suspension was damaged and he crawled round to the pits where he retired. Michael Schumacher was the World Champion."

I am sure it was pure coincidence that if Damon had gone on and got any significant position in that race - with Mike not finishing at all - (from 1st to 3rd I think) he would have taken the world championship. Pure accident of course.... bah! accident bah!

Posted by: Rob at March 8, 2004 at 12:56 PM

Rob, nice guys always finish last.

Posted by: Dan at March 8, 2004 at 04:53 PM

Rob, don't forget Jerez '97, where Schumacher drove into Jacques Villeneuve in a deliberate attempt to put him off. This time JV continued and MS retired, but it once again showed MS's true character.

Posted by: Other Rob at March 9, 2004 at 01:48 AM

Ralf Schumacher unbeatable, ha! I beat him every time on PlayStation2's Grand Prix Challenge.

Posted by: Merrian Webster at March 9, 2004 at 06:00 AM