Formula 1 Insight

Qualifying in Magny Cours

Predictably, the Ferraris had everything tied up in qualifying for the French GP, Raikkonen emerging as fastest in Q3 with Massa a few thousandths of a second behind him. On this showing, the race should be as boring as Magny Cours usually serves up, the only interest being in the struggle for the minor placings.

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen

The one driver who looked remotely capable of threatening the red cars, Lewis Hamilton, was third fastest but, once his ten place penalty is added on, that becomes 13th. In fact, McLaren have been taken out of the equation as a team, Kovalainen, who was disappointing all weekend, picking up a five spot penalty for impeding Webber in Q3. That makes his sixth place eleventh, leaving the the Ferraris with no realistic challengers at all.

Alonso did his best, securing what will be third on the grid, and Trulli was next up after another of his amazing qualifying laps. Neither of them have the pace to get close to Kimi and Felipe, however, and the problem is compounded by the weak form of the BMWs here. Nick Heidfeld was much closer to Kubica's speed thasn of late but both found the car difficult and are a few places further down the grid than usual.

After that it was the turn of the Red Bulls, Coulthard only a couple of tenths slower than Webber and ahead of Glock in the second Toyota. Team mates have done well in Magny Cours, in fact, Piquet breaking into the top ten after the McLarens are demoted, Bourdais right with Vettel and Nakajima only a whisker slower than Rosberg.

It all amounts to a very predictable race unless the rain comes. The Ferraris will rush off into the distance, Hamilton will go from one traffic jam to the next, the Beemers will haul themselves up the board through strategy and Alonso will drive his guts out for very little reward. It is no wonder that all the teams except Ferrari hate this place and I am seriously tempted to take back all that I said about keeping the French GP.

I suppose we could all pray for rain tomorrow...


There is absolutely nothing boring about a strong Ferrari weekend. That is why F1 was created in the first place!

Correct me if I'm wrong, all the teams are familiar with the track and it's layout. So, isn't it all the other teams fault they are getting spanked?
Date Added: 21/06/2008

You're right, Aracer, there's nothing wrong with a strong Ferrari weekend. As long as they don't happen too frequently! I think anyone who isn't a Ferrari fan fears a return to the days when they won race after race and made the season boring as a result. So pardon us if we seem a little too happy when Ferrari don't have it all their own way. ;)
Date Added: 23/06/2008


I understand completely. I remember McLaren and Williams having years just like that during the 80's and 90's. It CAN get awfully boring wondering which teammate will win this weeks race. Of course, it is always more pleasurable when it is your favorite team.

But, Ferrari hasn't done that the last two years. They have struggled at times and kept things interesting, to say the least.

Some say it is Schumie's departure, others say it is Ross Brawn's. I say it is just too difficult to dominate every single year in F1. The level of competition and level of development needed to stay in front are just too great for one team to just have their way every year.

Money is not the answer, if it were, Honda and Toyota would have already won their championships. Ferrari must be a little flattered to hear everyone say they are having a bad year when they only win 9-10 races. Other teams would love to have such an accomplishment.

On a side note Clive, is your other site gone for good? It has been a week since I was able to read the daily news you post.

Date Added: 25/06/2008

Formula1Sport is in total collapse, from what I can gather. The owner was supposed to be transferring it to me but, with it not functioning (and he seems to have given up on trying to fix it), we cannot effect a transfer.

I have decided that it is a lost cause and will be putting more effort into F1-Pitlane instead, including a newsfeed. Hopefully, this should happen very soon.
Date Added: 26/06/2008

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