Prost GP and
Bridgestone: Well. How about that? A car that was
thought to be a flash in the Monte Carlo pan has
outright and in very normal circumstances, come an
extremely good third. The soft Bridgestone tyres
carried him to the finish, on the same lap as
Villeneuve and without a scratch. Le Professeur
mustn't be able to believe his luck as the points
start rolling in and he is ahead of his old team,
Williams-Renault in the standings. They went about
their business quietly and extraordinarily
effectively and one of the most under-rated - or is
that ignored? - driver in the championship drove a
careful and smart race.
Yes, he's still a winner. He must have been going
right off (Australian colloquial expression
meaning "Trying rather hard") in that
cockpit. He has narrowed the gap between the
Arrows-Pig and the No. 3 Williams-Renault of his
former team-mate to far less than two seconds and had
the thing up to fourth at one stage. His replacement
at Williams did no better than that. For that car to
run in the points is a major achievement by any
driver, and Mr Diniz is not doing too badly either
with his comparatively modest talents. Of course, the
Yamaha V10 had the last say.
Not so much a winner (for the purposes of this
article anyway) as a damn lucky boy. He fluffed it in
much the same way as he did in Melbourne, trying to
play the hard man and off he went into the gravel.
Cleverly, someone behind him decided that a Grand
Prix is not complete without a first-corner accident.
Although Villeneuve rejoined with a screaming
foot-to-the-floor run through the gravel, all in one
piece and not too far back, it helped that most of
the cars were still negotiating the new chicane at
the Senna Ess not put there by the safety committee.
The restart must have been like a two-year contract
from Renault, sorry, Mechachrome, falling from the
from Villeneuve) who qualified in front of Frentzen:
Figure out for yourself why these people are winners.
Frentzen: I have a horrid feeling he's going to
be a regular in the losers section. He did his Friday
trick of being fastest and then got walloped by
Villeneuve in the Saturday qualifying. He was
outqualified by much lesser machines and people who
are allegedly lesser drivers. He did nothing, and I
mean NOTHING!!!! in the race, didn't
even improve or hold his qualifying place. I find it
difficult to believe that Frank and Patrick are
throwing all their support behind Mr Frentzen as he
is not making use of the equipment with which he has
been supplied. It was a very ordinary performance and
Damon Hill's 1995 season must be looking mighty good
On second thoughts, anyone earning that kind of
money is not a loser. Make him a winner.
Frank Williams and
Patrick Head: Losers in the sense that they
signed Heinz-Harald Frentzen in a time when they were
not supporting Damon Hill as their best driver and
not treating either of their drivers with the respect
they deserved but expecting them both to win races
while their technical director went to a Touring Car
race. The Williams lawyer must already be hard at
work trying to find a clause in the contract that
reads 'sacking useless driver because we thought he'd
be better than Damon Hill, but he wasn't.' I hope for
all their sakes that Frentzen pulls his finger out.
Viewers of the ITV
coverage: Murray sounded like he was bellowing
into a dodgy mobile phone on a tube station platform,
Louise was lost completely and Martin sounded more
nasal than I can ever recall. The pictures, though no
fault of ITV, were awful and it looked like one of
the cameras was being run by a cross-eyed kid from an
adjoining favela. The biggest losers were those
watching the same coverage in Australia who had to
put up with Alan Jones and Dazza (see Postcard from
Melbourne) trying to pad out the time before the
restart and when we lost Louise. It was 3am, I was
tired, the TV had to be turned down low so as not to
wake the rest of the house and I was not in the mood
for that stupidity. We didn't even see the champagne.
Dazza lied and said they'd lost the satellite, when
in actual fact there was something more important on.
A General Hospital episode that was about
fifteen years old, or some such terror.
get a world champion on board and give him a portable
The guy who
designed the Arrows throttle system: Tom must be
making this guy's life a living hell.