2006 Monte Carlo Grand Prix - Race 7/18

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Monaco steward says decision 'painful'

One of the race stewards at the centre of the Michael Schumacher qualifying controversy in Monaco has admitted that it was a 'painful decision' to punish the seven-time world champion, but claimed there was no choice after finding out that Schumacher had lost control of his car at just 16km/h.

Joaquin Verdegay, who is vice-president of the Spanish motorsport federation and one of the three stewards on duty last weekend, has revealed that all the evidence pointed towards Schumacher having acted deliberately in stopping his car.

He claims that the speed at which Schumacher went off, allied to the sequence of events that led to the car stalling, all pointed to the fact that the Ferrari driver had tried to deliberately block his rivals by leaving his car on the track.

"It was a painful decision because we could not make a mistake and put the reputation of a driver at risk," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"We don't know if the entire manoeuvre was deliberate, but in that spot he had certainly not done anything like it throughout the weekend: he braked over 50% more heavily than on the other laps.

"Then he performed some absolutely unnecessary and pathetic counter-steering, and that lasted five metres, until there was no more chances of going through the turn normally.

"He lost control of the car while travelling at 16km/h! That's something completely unjustifiable. And the engine shut off because he wanted it to, by losing enough time before hitting the clutch. And the excuse that he did not engage reverse because there was traffic doesn't make sense."

Verdegay added that if Schumacher had actually hit the barriers then the stewards would probably have given him the benefit of the doubt that the entire incident was accidental.

"If he had damaged the car we would have probably filed the matter as an error. As it is, to 'park' it that way, you only do it deliberately," he added.

"We've only applied article 116 of the sporting regulations: if a driver affects the results of other drivers by committing an error, you can cancel all his lap times."

16km/h ?? :eek:

Damn these high speed tracks... ;)
 
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Briatore: Webber's stocks are up

Renault team boss Flavio Briatore sung Australian Mark Webber's praises on Sunday, after the Williams driver had a podium finish snatched from his grasp in the Monaco Grand Prix.

"Webber was more surprising than anybody, he did an incredible job," said the Italian, who manages Webber and is looking for a replacement for Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso next year.

"Today, the shares in Mark go up. It's like the stock market. It was down and now it is up again," he told Reuters.

"Frank (Williams) has the option but I'm pretty much sure that Webber is a good driver. If he has the right car. Today he was very good."

Webber is coming to the end of his second year at Cosworth-powered Williams, who have yet to exercise their option to keep him.

The Australian was on course to repeat his third place in Monaco last year after lining up on the front row of the starting grid and racing at the same pace as Alonso and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen.

His race ended after 48 laps with an exhaust failure when hot gases burnt through wiring looms.

With Raikkonen retiring shortly after, Webber would have been on course for second place had his car proved more reliable.

"Obviously bitterly disappointed," said Webber, who feared it could be a while before he had another chance to shine in such a fashion.

"It's a one-off, this track is unique," he said. "In Barcelona we finished a lap behind and in this race we were strong.

"We've got to fill in the holes on the golf course that we're weak at and there are still plenty of them out there...we've got to get to the flag, that's the biggest thing that we've got to work on.

"There is no rewind button and all the hard work we did over the last few days is invisible now."
 
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Haug defends McLaren after fire melts Kimi

McLaren-Mercedes' Norbert Haug has defended the team after Kimi Raikkonen suffered two near-identical mechanical failures in Monte Carlo.

The second, Mercedes' competition director reckoned to 'RTL', cost the Finn victory on Sunday.

''The heat shields near the exhaust are obviously too closely together,'' Haug said, explaining why fires doused the Finn's power both on Thursday during practice and in the race.

Haug said McLaren, which introduced the new cooling system at Monaco, was right to push the envelope in the chase to return to victory.

He explained: ''We have to push. ''You may criticise us and say that our cooling systems should have been better, but if you do not push to the extreme then you will not catch up in F1.''

Haug, meanwhile, played down the possibility that the problem could re-occur at Silverstone in two weeks.
 
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No deadline for Kimi decision, says McLaren

McLaren has not set a deadline for Kimi Raikkonen to make up his mind about 2007, according to team bigwig Martin Whitmarsh.

The Woking based squad's 'F1 CEO' revealed in Monte Carlo: ''No -- we are concentrating on the races.''

Whitmarsh added: ''We don't believe it is necessary or useful to set a deadline.''

Raikkonen, 26, is linked strongly with a switch to Ferrari next year, but McLaren have made it clear that - should he want to stay in silver - they favour him over Juan Pablo Montoya as a teammate for incoming Fernando Alonso.

''We are patient people and we will see how it develops,'' Whitmarsh continued. ''The most important thing for the team and Kimi are results.''

Mercedes' competition director Norbert Haug, meanwhile, denied that Raikkonen's continuing run of mechanical breakdowns in Monte Carlo has damaged McLaren's prospects of hanging onto the 'iceman'.

The German told 'sid': ''I'm sure he is not jumping up and down with glee (about the result), but he will when he thinks about the speed of his car (at Monaco).

''If we make another step forward with our performance, perhaps he will decide not to leave the team too early.''

McLaren, like many teams, will this week test at Barcelona in Spain.
 
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Q & A with Jean Todt on the Monaco GP

The Monaco Grand Prix weekend was not easy for the Ferrari team: the controversy of Michael Schumacher on Saturday, their worst qualifying result in the history of the sport, and a bigger gap to Renault and Fernando Alonso at the end of the race ensured the Italian squad will want to put the Monte Carlo race behind them as quickly as possible.

Team boss Jean Todt gives his take on the weekend's events.

Q. Can you summarise this weekend for us?

JT: It's definitely been a disappointing and frustrating weekend, mainly when you have a winning potential and when you finish fifth and ninth with cars. If there is a Grand Prix where you have to be in a good position at the start it is Monte Carlo, so of course it is not very pleasing to have one car starting from the pit lane and the other car starting from the last position on the grid.

Saying that, there are explanations for all that. Felipe made a mistake in Q1, and if you make a mistake in this context, that's the price you have to pay. That was different for Michael.

Michael was on pole until he lost the car in the last corner and then the stewards decided that, after eight hours of discussions, they decided that he was due to leave from the back of the grid.

I know, as I said to your colleagues before, it was a big strong wind outside of the team, amongst the Formula One world, about Michael, stating that he did that on purpose so we have tried to demonstrate the evidence that it was a racing incident and it was not considered.

So we did not have any other option considering that we did not have the possibility to appeal, either, so we did not have any other option but to accept it and to try to get the best out of the situation. I would say that the more encouraging thing, the more rewarding thing that we confirmed that the car was very competitive.

It was confirmed that the tyres supplied by Bridgestone were very competitive and we could see that on other teams using Bridgestone tyres. So it remains the possibility of doing very well for the end of the championship and it's what we will try to do.

Q. Where will go from here with regard to the penalty that imposed on Michael. Is there anything more you can do or do you just draw a line under this and move on?

JT: There's nothing we can do. The weekend is over, no right of appeal, so we just have to move forwards.

Q. Do you think this is going to have a lasting impression on Michael, with regard to his future?

JT: Fortunately we are seeing things without having to take that into consideration... we know where we are. Every two weeks we have the opportunity to comment on the good, the bad, so it's no surprise.

We know where we are and the last very important thing is to know where you are and to know with whom you work, inside and outside, so we don't have any surprises. Sometimes some more disappointments, sometimes some good reaction, good surprises but generally speaking we know where we are.

Q. Michael's reputation before, we've seen him do things like this before, the FIA have found he did it deliberately, and he cheated yesterday didn't he?

JT: That's your opinion, that's the stewards' opinion, I agree. You know, when you're in front of a judge, or in front of a tribunal but it doesn't mean that the opinion is always right, so it could be a lengthy discussion and it will not change your opinion, it will not change our opinion, it will not change his opinion, it will not be the first time either.

At the end of the day, if you want to get deeper into what is Michael, who is Michael, what he does in Formula One, for Formula One, outside Formula One, it's up to the people to judge.

When you have some people, maybe like you, who will think that he's nobody, and some others may think that he's somebody. Myself, I am privileged to know him very well and I respect him, I admire him, and I think he's one of the best persons I've ever met. But you know, fortunately, that's a pre-judgement but again, we cannot avoid people thinking what they want.

Q. Have you been surprised by the reactions?

JT: Yes, I must say I was surprised. I was surprised but we are in a world where people very easily over-react. On my side, I try not to over-react and try to understand exactly what is happening. Saying that, Michael has, in the past, done some mistakes. He has admitted that he's made some mistakes but I don't know any driver, having been World Champion, being in a position to say he never made a mistake.

Yesterday, Michael simply made a mistake as a driver, but it was not something twisty or unfair towards his competitors, but, as I said, it would be a lengthy discussion. Everybody can give his opinion.

I know that the majority of the people around were saying that Michael did it on purpose. I feel… you know, when you are facing judges or tribunal, it's what is called the benefit of the doubt and nobody could really demonstrate.

And we tried to demonstrate with the information that we had with telemetry data we had that it was a driver's mistake, it was not taken into consideration. My opinion is that it was a benefit of the doubt. It's what happens. It's over.

Q. If it had been the other way around and Alonso was on pole and the same thing happened, would you have thought that was a strange manoeuvre he did. What would your opinion be?

JT: It has happened so many times, you have a driver who is on a quick lap, he has a yellow flag and simply the lap is *FUBAR'd*. Saying that, I admit that Alonso was on the quicker lap when it happened. There's no doubt about that, but you know, I feel that the severity of the penalty was exaggerated - my opinion but again, that's over.

Q. People say maybe he made a mistake and he locked up, but people don't understand what he did with the steering wheel, how he ended up in the barrier and why he didn't try and get out of that situation.

JT: He explained all that at length and we had the telemetry evidence which allowed us to understand. We have, in detail, all the evidence of this special episode.

Q. People don't understand how, every lap around here, especially in the race today, Michael was probably in a situation like that two or three times a lap, and we never saw him stopping or hitting the barrier today. How did he lose it….

JT: And what happened in Australia. Simply, I don't think you can have a driver who can say I never lost my car.

Q. It's very bad sportsmanship, once the stewards had made this decision, for you to then criticise the FIA and call the stewards incompetent.

JT: I said that I don't share their opinion.

Q. I think you were critical last night in your statement.

JT: If it's your opinion, it's your opinion but I don't change a word of what I said.

Q. Have you lost faith in the FIA's stewards?

JT: You know, if there's a team which is respecting the FIA and, I would say, following the FIA's decisions, it's Ferrari. Saying that, we cannot always be of the same opinion. Yesterday we have to accept their decision, but we don't share their decision.

Q. But in future, can you trust them to make the right decision, in your opinion, after this?

JT: Of course, of course. Each thing is different. When you discuss with people, you can agree with some people sometimes and you can disagree some other times. We did not agree about the heavy consequences they imposed on Michael.

Q. But one thing I cannot understand, the data you call evidence and you gave them this evidence. If you call the data evidence, how can it be that there are two opinions about the data? Is it not clear?

JT: It's very easy to have a microphone… on your side, or my side, to criticise, to make some judgements. I have been sitting in a car for 15 years. I was on the other side of the barrier and probably that has given me an experience to understand a bit better and to see what can happen in the mind of a driver and probably it's something which is interesting.

Saying that, as I often said, I cannot control the mind of people if they want to have their thoughts, their opinions, their ideas. It's up to them, but saying that, they cannot push us to have their opinion.

Q. As a show window for the sport, and Ferrari and Michael have been hugely damaged this weekend, image-wise.

JT: We have the drivers. Michael has been very much criticised. The team has supported Michael and I don't see where Ferrari should be damaged in what has happened over the weekend, but again, that's our opinion.

Q. How do you explain that there was nobody out there saying 'I don't think Michael did it deliberately.'

JT: I was told today, I did not watch TV, I was told today that it was a kind of question raised to a German TV about the decision and 75 percent were against the decision of the audience and 25 percent was in favour, so….

Q. But I'm talking about the paddock, it's a little bit surprising that there was nobody saying that here.

JT: But again, you know, the paddock, we already spoke about the paddock. I cannot make the paddock change its mind. I wonder if all the people who were judging in the paddock are in the position to judge and should not think about themselves first. You know, very often I am asked about some events which are happening and I think it's not in my position that I have to judge it.

Q. There are a lot of people in the paddock who have driven Formula One cars and won World Championships who are very critical of what happened and they understand a lot more about what happens in a car than any of us do, and they all share the same opinion.

JT: I mean, some of them probably. But as I said, we could speculate for three hours.

Q. You know Michael very well, how do you see this all affecting him?

JT: You know, he's a human being, he was not happy, he was very disappointed about this whole issue, but now he has to put it behind him and to think about it. Today he did a great race in difficult situation and now he's looking for the next race.
 
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Barcelona test start delayed

The start of the this week's test at the Barcelona circuit has been delayed until Wednesday following the teams' decision to re-schedule their programmes.

Nine of the eleven teams - Renault, Ferrari, McLaren, Honda, Toyota, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Williams and BMW - are scheduled to begin their preparations for the British Grand Prix this week.

Renault and Honda were to start working on Tuesday, while the rest of the squads were scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

The four-day test, however, will become a three-day one, kicking off on Wednesday, after the two Michelin-shod teams decided to postpone the start of their programme for unspecified reasons.
 
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Horner hints at new deal for Coulthard

David Coulthard has been given the firmest indication yet that Red Bull Racing will retain him next season, following his podium finish in the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Silverstone-based team have consistently said that no decision on their driver line-up will be taken until later this summer, which has left Coulthard facing an anxious wait to find out his future.

The Briton has made no secret of the fact that he wants to remain at Red Bull Racing next season, so he can drive the Adrian Newey-designed RB3.

But it now appears that his desire will be fulfilled, with sporting director Christian Horner saying that he sees no reason not to continue with Coulthard.

"We won't be making any decisions about drivers until later in the summer but I am very happy with the job he is doing," Horner told the Press Association. "He and I get along very well and if the relationship is working and it's right why stop it?

"He is tremendously fit and let's not forget Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill were older than he was when they won their World Championships. He still has a lot to offer and whilst he is still motivated and performing why should he stop?

"David's quality within the team is recognised. Does this result change our opinion of him? No, because we knew what we had before we came here.

"We are not going to make any decisions about drivers until the summer but as I say, if it's not broken do not fix it."
 
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F1 team consider $128m sale offer

Midland's Alex Shnaider is now weighing up a solid offer to sell his Formula One team, according to reports in Holland.

Dutch publication 'Formule 1 RaceReport' claims that Michiel Mol - of Christijan Albers' sponsor Lost Boys - met with Russian-born Shnaider at Monaco, where the $128m offer was reportedly made aboard the 'Midlandia' yacht.

'It is an interesting offer,' Shnaider is quoted as saying, 'but in my heart I am not yet ready to sell.

'Sometimes I wish I would never have received this offer!'

Lost Boys' Mol is understood to have granted Shnaider some time to consider the offer.

He revealed: '(Shnaider) told me that he does not want to make a rushed decision.'

So...$128million for MidlandF1 - thats apparently over double what he paid for Jordan...

Is it worth it though? Will they just use it as a very expensive billboard campaign or will they actually try to win races?
 
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Lapierre ruled out of Silverstone

Nicolas Lapierre has escaped serious injuries, the doctors ruling out any broken vertebrae after his crash in the GP2 race at Monaco yesterday.

But the Frenchman looks certain to miss the next round at Silverstone in two weeks' time.

Lapierre's Arden car was hit from the back by iSport's Tristan Gommendy. He was launched into the air, hitting the barriers on landing. The Frenchman was taken to a local hospital, where he remained overnight for observation.

Following a more thorough examination today, the doctors have advised Lapierre that he has a small compression of two vertebrae, his manager said.

"Nicolas has compressed two vertebrae, nothing dangerous, just annoying, and it's a question of how long it will take to heal," Didier Coton said.

"He's in very good condition - all in all, he was very lucky, really. It's a small compression, and he's in a very good shape otherwise. So It's more positive than I thought in the beginning."

Coton said, however, that Lapierre was unlikely to make recovery in time for the sixth GP2 round, in two weeks.

"Silverstone is definitely ruled out, in my opinion," Coton said. "Nicolas has to do an X-Ray again in a week's time, and I think then the doctors will be able to say more precisely how long it will take to get back into the car."

So...no broken vertebrae which can only be a good thing.

Could be back in the car in a month or so then.

Hooray!
 
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Alonso slams Schu

Fernando Alonso has finally uncorked his mouth to reveal his true feelings about Michael Schumacher's Rascasse-moment.

The Spaniard, after having his pole-potential flying lap thwarted by Schumacher's parked Ferrari at Monaco, was reportedly told by his Renault team to zip his lip.

''Say nothing,'' a Renault press coordinator was heard to tell the 24-year-old after qualifying on Saturday, ''and we'll sort it out behind the scenes.''

Even after the race, which was won by Alonso given Schumacher's qualifying exclusion, the reigning world champion kept his vow of silence. ''I don't want to say anything,'' he said on Sunday.

With a new day dawned, however, Alonso commented to Germany's 'Bild' newspaper: ''I think Michael's penalty should have been even harder. ''I do not understand his behaviour. It was even discussed in the driver meeting on Thursday that we should be fair to each other.''

Through it all, though, Schumacher has been able to count on the stalwart support of one notable figure - Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger. ''Michael showed us his class again,'' the Austrian, Schumacher's wheel-to-wheel rival until he retired in 1997, said at Monaco on Sunday.

''(Felipe) Massa didn't do a bad job from the back of the grid, but Michael was simply sensational. ''He is going to find it tough to catch up to Alonso, but you never know. The championship is long.''
 

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Through it all, though, Schumacher has been able to count on the stalwart support of one notable figure - Toro Rosso co-owner Gerhard Berger. ''Michael showed us his class again,'' the Austrian, Schumacher's wheel-to-wheel rival until he retired in 1997, said at Monaco on Sunday.

''(Felipe) Massa didn't do a bad job from the back of the grid, but Michael was simply sensational. ''He is going to find it tough to catch up to Alonso, but you never know. The championship is long.''

/wonders how long it'll be before someone lays into Berger for speaking up in support of Schumacher

:)
 

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I would have liked to see the outcome had Michael not pulled that stunt. It could have been a very competitive race with Alonso, Kimi, Webber and w
Schumi all chasing that top podium spot. I know we all have our opinions on whether or not it was on purpose, but the stewards are more qualified to make the decision and their decision, ultimately, matters which isn't what I'm wanting to discuss.

Now, on a similar note, when Honda were caught 'cheating' with their weight issues, all drivers were stripped of their points and not allowed to compete for 3 races. It wasn't exactly blatant cheating as there were issues regarding fuel pressure etc. and without what they had done the car wouldn't run blah. However, how come the rules were more lenient considering it was blatant cheating for Michael? In that he 'theoretically' deliberately went out of his way to sabotage the qualifying?

I'm not here to argue whether he cheated or not, but using the STEWARDS decision that he was cheating, why was the penalty not as severe as it was for Honda?

/I hate having to try and word my posts just so the fanboys don't storm down on us going 'schumi hater' and crap like that. I respect Schumacher and think he is a very talented driver. So leave the balls like that behind and have a mature and informed conversation ...
 

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Mikol said:
/I hate having to try and word my posts just so the fanboys don't storm down on us going 'schumi hater' and crap like that. I respect Schumacher and think he is a very talented driver. So leave the balls like that behind and have a mature and informed conversation ...

I wouldn't even worry about it. For starters, you shouldn't even give a toss about the opinion of someone who has lost so much of their grip on reality that they start e-mailing people with abuse simply because of something that's been said on an internet forum. And secondly, you can word it however you like and someone can still take offense :)

Anyway, to sort of get back to the topic of cheating in F1....stewards decisions have always been inconsistent. For example, on the one hand - Japan '90, Senna wins the championship with a deliberate crash into Prost, result stands. On the other hand - Jerez '97, Schumacher runs into the side of Villeneuve and doesn't take him out, loses all his points and 2nd place in the WDC that year.

And while we're on the subject of Schumacher and stewards decisions: 1994 British GP. Schumacher overtook Hill on the parade lap and was disqualified for it. A little harsh for driving past someone when position actually doesn't matter at all, but it's in the rules I guess. Belgian GP the same year. Disqualified again for his car being too low - why? By all means take the constructor points off Benetton for that, after all they were the ones who set the ride height too low. I very much doubt he got all that much of a performance advantage from it, it certainly wouldn't have won the race for him. In fact if anything it should have made his car a right handful if it was grounding out entering Eau Rouge.....
 

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JRS said:
I wouldn't even worry about it. For starters, you shouldn't even give a toss about the opinion of someone who has lost so much of their grip on reality that they start e-mailing people with abuse simply because of something that's been said on an internet forum. And secondly, you can word it however you like and someone can still take offense :)

Anyway, to sort of get back to the topic of cheating in F1....stewards decisions have always been inconsistent. For example, on the one hand - Japan '90, Senna wins the championship with a deliberate crash into Prost, result stands. On the other hand - Jerez '97, Schumacher runs into the side of Villeneuve and doesn't take him out, loses all his points and 2nd place in the WDC that year.

And while we're on the subject of Schumacher and stewards decisions: 1994 British GP. Schumacher overtook Hill on the parade lap and was disqualified for it. A little harsh for driving past someone when position actually doesn't matter at all, but it's in the rules I guess. Belgian GP the same year. Disqualified again for his car being too low - why? By all means take the constructor points off Benetton for that, after all they were the ones who set the ride height too low. I very much doubt he got all that much of a performance advantage from it, it certainly wouldn't have won the race for him. In fact if anything it should have made his car a right handful if it was grounding out entering Eau Rouge.....

Gah, there isn't a thumps up smiley on here. Interesting post. Cheers :)
 

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Mikol said:
Gah, there isn't a thumps up smiley on here.

icon14.gif
Yeah there is :D

Mikol said:
Interesting post. Cheers :)

No prob :)
 
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I think what most people have failed to notice here, especially those jumping up and down about Schui not being disqualified from the race is this:

By putting him at the back of the grid and him even finishing 5th with a superb drive, there still is virtually no chance of him catching Alonso for the WC. Had he started in the top 5 he would easily have won the race...those Bridgestones looked new at the end compared to the grained Michelins!

So in effect, disqualified or not the punishment has been on the same level, the WC has been put out of reach. Should make some people on here very happy.
 
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Yeah, I think you're right about the championship being sewn up already, the points system now is such that consistency is as important, if not more so, than race wins.

I was taking a look through last year's Autocourse last night on the back of the Kimi's retirements post - both Kimi & Ferdy scored 7 wins but Alonso only had 3 no scores to Kimi's 5. With on track overtaking difficult there is no real incentive to go for a pass if by sitting still you only drop 2 points to the guy in front. I'm not advocating a US style scoring system with eleventy million for a win and bonus points for cleanest car but there needs to be a return to the emphasis on winning races rather than just finishing them.
 
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I agree, the points system is shot. They should implement something like the bike system with a decent gap between 1-2-3 and then they get closer as as they go further down.

It really is silly to not reward the driver for winning, maybe splitting the point system for drivres and constructors would make more sense. The constructor being more consistancy based while the driver being win focused.

Steve
 
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Dennis: Hamilton will be in F1 next year
Ron Dennis believes GP2 series leader Lewis Hamilton will be in Formula One next year, but the McLaren chief said he was unsure with which team the 20-year-old will make his debut.

Dennis has helped guide Hamilton's career since karting and, on the back of his front-running form in GP2 this year, he believes that the youngster is now ready to make the step up to F1 in 2007.

"Lewis's first step is to succeed in GP2 and then we will guide him to the next and highest level," Dennis was quoted as saying to the Times.

"Will he be in Formula One next year? I believe he will be. With which team? I don't know yet."

Hamilton is an obvious candidate to join McLaren next year, but he has also been singled out as a possible future target by Renault boss Flavio Briatore.

Another possibility is with the new McLaren-backed Direxiv team, who are considering entering F1 in 2007.

Dennis said over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend that Hamilton was definitely an option for his team, but claimed it was too early to make any firm commitment about who would partner Fernando Alonso.

"Obviously our own driver line-up is still open in respect of one of the two seats," Dennis said. "Many people ask, is there any possibility of him (Hamilton) driving? Well, it's not impossible but it's just one of the options.

"We don't know whether either of the drivers will stay with us or go, it's just too early in the season to make those sort of decisions.

"When we have to take a decision, we will

Hmm, where though is the big question and one which could be directed at Mercedes - they're lack of a 'B' team limits Hamilton's options.

McLaren - heck of a gamble to go Alonso / Hamilton
Renault - Why Hamilton over Keikki K?
Ferrari - Probably Kimi/MS or Kimi/Massa
Williams - Possible but only if Webber is poached
Toyota - Unlikely to be a space
Honda - No seats
Sauber - BMW taking on a Merc driver? Not going to happen
RBR - Too many other drivers to choose from
STR - See above
Midland - No doubt a seat would be available at the right price but would you want it?
Super Aguri - See above.

It's Direxiv or bust then really and would anyone run a 2007 team without a commitment from the FIA to expand the 2008 grid?
 
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