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F1 Season about to kick of: Australian Grand Prix

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    F1 Season about to kick of: Australian Grand Prix


    I dont know how many F1 fans we have here on Gupshup but I for one - cant wait till tomorrow's qualifying anf the Australian Grand Prix itself on Sunday. This should be a great race, and may even turn out to be a race full of surprises. The Ferrari's and Mclarens should be quicker than the rest of the field but this time the Williams BMW team should'nt be too far of the pace. Williams is using the new Michelin tires this season and it'll be interesting to see if they've managed to close the gap to the Bridgestone runners during the testing season. Ralf Schumacher should be on the pace as usual but it'll be interesting to see how Juan Montoya does in his first F1 grand prix. I saw him race in CART and win the INDY 500 - this guy is really talented and it'll be fun to see how he and Ralf get along!

    The surprise of the testing season had to be the astonishing pace of the Prosts - especially Jean Alesi. They`re using last year`s Ferrari engine along with Ferrari gearbox and suspension. And with the times they`ve set during testing, this could turn out to be a great year for Prost. Like I said..I cant wait for the season to get under way tomorrow!

    #2
    Michael Schumacher is my favorite to take the title, because undoubtebly he IS the best driver at the moment, if not of all time....

    ------------------
    Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.
    Why so serious ... ?

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      #3
      Schumacher is a great driver..best of all times.. i doubt that

      He is probably the best drive out right now and is probably supported by the best machine as well
      The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

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        #4
        I think he may be the best - better than Senna in my opinion. Senna had the ability to go quicker than everyone else in the wet -that automatically means you`re a better driver than the others who are way of the pace in the wet - Schumacher is the same. When it rains, he pours it on. Anyway, qualifying is about to start in a couple of hours. Should be interesting. Im predicting another pole for Schumacher and Ferrari

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          #5
          Looks like Rubens B is in pole. FERRARI rules OK! Hope this year is more than a two horse race. I usually watch the start and first few laps and then sleep through till the pit stops and then again till the end - F1 has generally become extremely boring over the last few years. The only thing that seems to bring some excitement is misture of rain and sun. Anybody disagree?

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            #6

            Great Qualifying session! Schumacher is on pole once again. And Barrichelo is second so its an all Ferrari front row. Whats amazing is that the Ferraris for the first time seem to be QUICKER than the Mclarens. Great qualifying by the rookies - but once again the 3 time World Champion proved he is still the man! Should be fun tomorrow..

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              #7
              Bad new for all Schumacher fans, but good news he went away unhurt....

              Schumacher survives high-speed crash

              MELBOURNE, March 2: World champion Michael Schumacher blamed a fault in the design of the Albert Park street circuit on Friday after walking away unhurt from a spectacular high-speed crash in free practice for Sunday's Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

              The 32-year-old German was pushing hard for an improved time in the closing stages of the second session of the day when his car spun, touched a kerb and then lifted off after making contact with a "step" on the edge of a gravel trap.

              After two dramatic rolls, his Ferrari came to rest by the barriers and Schumacher was able to climb out, slightly shaken but not hurt.

              He stayed there to help the marshalls supervise the rescue of his vehicle before returning to the Italian team's garage.

              "There is a bit of a step just there and that is why the car lifted off," said Schumacher after emerging from the pits.

              "I was in the car getting ready for a really big impact, but it was not as big as I expected it to be. It was quite a soft impact in the end."

              He said he had walked the circuit on Thursday and noted that there were raised lips around the edge of the gravel traps which he felt were hazardous.

              Schumacher said that he would now raise the matter with race officials.

              "I know exactly what happened and now I am going to talk to the officials about it. I will go to see them because I think it needs to be repaired for this weekend," he said.

              "It was lucky for me that the impact was not heavier - it could have been worse."

              The accident happened on the sixth turn of the track when Schumacher was braking from a speed of about 220 kph.

              "I did not see the yellow flags until quite late in that corner. I had to hit the brakes hard which meant I lost the back end of the car," he said.

              "I did not see them early enough to brake smoothly. The car hit the step and because of that it took off in the blue gravel trap. Luckily, I think the car can be repaired. It is not too bad."

              Ferrari said they were concerned about the condition of the car and would not confirm it would be fit to use on Saturday until they had carried out a thorough examination.

              The team revealed they had brought only three cars to the race.

              Schumacher said he had been concerned about the different levels of the grass and the gravel traps in the run-off areas and hoped the officials could do something about them.

              He added that the accident in which Brazilian Luciano Burti, in a Jaguar, went off earlier in the session demonstrated the problem.

              Schumacher said: "It's not really good enough. I saw it yesterday and something needed to be done."

              Ferrari team chief Jean Todt said they had drawn the problems of the stepped lips to the attention of the clerk of the course on Thursday.

              "We said something about it yesterday and this kind of accident shows what needs doing. We hope they pay a lot of attention to it," said Todt.

              The accident and its aftermath revived memories of Finn Mika Hakkinen's life-threatening accident at the 1995 Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide, and also of the meticulous attention to safety detail shown in the past by Brazilian Ayrton Senna.

              Schumacher, a member of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association, is also a leading worker for safety in the sport.

              His accident marked an eventful opening day, run in warm sunshine under perfect blue skies, with the leading drivers producing much faster times than those seen last year.

              Brazilian Rubens Barrichello was quickest with a best effort of one minute 28.965 seconds in his Ferrari, a time well inside the qualifying lap record set by Canadian Jacques Villeneuve for Williams at the 1997 Australian Grand Prix.

              Italian Jarno Trulli was second in his Jordan in a time of 1:29.267, with Schumacher third fastest.

              The McLarens of Briton David Coulthard and Hakkinen were fourth and fifth fastest.

              All the new boys acquitted themselves well with Spaniard Fernando Alonso, 19, on his debut for the newly-purchased Australian-owned Minardi team, finishing 17th quickest out of 22.

              Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya, making his first appearance for Williams, was 15th.-Reuters
              http://www.dawn.com/2001/03/03/spt8.htm

              ------------------
              /* ^You mess wid me....I mess wid U^- AlCapone *\

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                #8
                Michael Shumacher wins it!!!. However, it was a somber event as one of the track-marshalls was killed by a flying derbry after Villenue-R. Shumacher crash.

                Overall, great race for Ferrari with 14 points in the constructors champonship pool as Barrichello finished third.

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                  #9
                  Yeah the Ferrari is clearly the car to beat this year and Michael Schumacher took another class win. But really, that crash b/w Ralf and Villernerve was heavy as it can get. When I saw it, I knew someone had to be hurt. Thankfuly Ralf walked of reasonably unhurt and so did Villuerve but unfortunately 11 fans were hurt and a marshall was killed. This is the second death of a marshall in recent memeory following Italy's crash b/w the Jordans and Mclaren. It looks as if Villernerve tried to out break Ralf into turn 3 and Ralf was already braking as late as possible..by the time Villerve came out of the slip stream he had already clipped the back of Ralf's Williams and caused the accident. It was another over mabitious move by Villuernve but a racing accident nevertheless. Check out these videos of what happened - its lucky that these 2 guys came out of this in one peace - http://www.f1.ru/video/index_e.html

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