christopher heiser <christopher AT heiser DOT net>
Date Published: May 13th, 2002
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Unbelievable, Shameful Austrian Grand Prix

Viewers of the Formula One Austrian Grand Prix this Sunday witnessed quite a spectacle: an eventful race with much action, intrigue, suspense, and ultimately disgust. There were many passes and two full-course yellows complete with the safety car. The first was for an engine failure that left BAR driver Olivier Panis stranded on the main straight. The second caution came when Nick Heidfeld's front left brake disc exploded going into a corner at close to 190 MPH. He spun to the right, launched over a burm, flew right across the nose of Williams driver Juan Montoya and slammed rear-end-first into the side of Takuma Sato's Jordan. The crash was dramatic to say the least, and it's clear that Sato narrowly escaped with his life. It appears that he sustained brusing to his right knee and was otherwise unhurt. The safety of the modern F1 car is incredible.

But the end of the race was marred with an even sure to rock the F1 world: Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello, who dominated qualifying and the entire race, was made to move over for Michael Schumacher on the last lap. I of course find this repugnant, as I did in 1998 when McLaren pulled the same stunt in Australia. It cheats the fans and cheapens the sport. The world press has been unanamous in condemming this travesty, and Ferrari have been called before the FIA to explain themselves. I hope the FIA does something about this once and for all. F1 has always been about the best driver in the best car, and not about team orders. It's a shame that Rubens doesn't have enough pride to tell Ferrari to go fuck themselves.

by Christopher Heiser on May 13 13:48
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