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Author Topic: What the papers say  (Read 2358 times)

Offline Wizzo

What the papers say
« on: March 13, 2006, 02:02:40 PM »
'Jenson Button arrived at the Bahrain Grand Prix intent on taking his maiden victory in 100 attempts but his quest spluttered and failed within ten seconds of the lights going out yesterday. A fault, diagnosed as an "oscillating clutch", had bogged down his start and he was helpless as cars rushed past him towards the first corner. It was no more than a momentary glitch in his £1 million Honda, but it was the difference between success and another grand prix that passed without a sniff of victory.

'If only Button could have engaged battle with the two leaders. He is reaching his peak, underlined when he swept past Juan Pablo Montoya's McLaren twice to show the supposedly most combative driver in Formula One that he, too, knows how to overtake. His drive was faultless but from too far back to count.

'Yet the pace of his Honda demonstrated that this is a mouthwatering season in prospect. With Alonso, Schumacher and Räikkönen, Button is a contender and there are still more drivers who could impress. None more than Nico Rosberg...a star in the making' - Kevin Eason, The Times.

'This was a race Button expected to win.

'That Button was able to demonstrate pace equal to the pre-race hype and the cars in front, and brilliant judgment to twice pass the king of overtaking, Juan Pablo Montoya, compounded the frustration. Mistakes are simply too costly in this company.

'While Honda wrung hands, their principal rivals rejoiced in an afternoon of remarkable entertainment. If the season continues as it started, F1 will have no trouble pulling in the crowds. Alonso mesmerised in his flawless pursuit of Schumacher, which ended when he parked his rear wing on the Ferrari's front end as he exited the pits for a second time.

'Raikkonen's signature carve through the field, 13 places in five breathless laps, demonstrated that none is as adept at the knife-through-butter act at 200mph-plus. Nico Rosberg sprinkled stardust over the circuit on debut, setting the fastest lap and ending his first race in the points.

'The major stakeholders in F1 have spent an age wrangling over the future of the sport. This race convinced the only constituency that really matters, the fans, that the future is bright.

'Alonso was the leading actor in Bahrain, but you would not put your mortgage on a repeat in Malaysia on Sunday. Schumacher, Raikkonen and Button are all capable of hitting the front and staying there - Kevin Garside, The Daily Telegraph.

'This was a superb race with wheel-to-wheel battles raging right down the field.

'The German had been slightly handicapped by losing one lap's top-up fuel credit in qualifying after one of his laps was outside 110% of his pole-winning time, reducing by one the number of laps he could run up to his first refuelling stop. This new rule might just have been enough to cost him victory.

'The defining moment came on lap 36 of the 57-lap race when Schumacher ducked into the pits for his second refuelling stop. The Ferrari was stationary for only 8.8sec, resuming third behind Alonso and Jenson Button's Honda. For the next three laps Alonso piled on the pressure before coming in for his own second stop in 7.7sec' - Alan Henry, The Daily Telegraph.

'If Bernie Ecclestone was into writing screenplays, he could hardly have bettered this one.

'This was motor racing in the grand manner, mano a mano, as we used to see with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost, two top sportsmen at the height of their game. It was also as gentlemanly as these things can ever be.

'If this was a preview of what we can expect for the rest of the year - with a four-way fight between Renault, Ferrari, McLaren and Honda - F1 fans are in for a roller-coaster season' - David Tremayne, The Independent.

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