Winners & Losers from San Marino   HomeContentsHelp




Winners And Losers

San Marino Grand Prix, 1997

Villeneuve - Loser

The Winners

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: Oh, what joy, what bliss. He did it. All on his own. Didn’t put a foot wrong. Lovely. Frank almost looked happy. (jump to Losers)

Michael Schumacher: Great race, took it right up to them, stayed with them, gave Heinz-Harald a fantastic scare on the last lap. The Ferrari is finally coming good and doing the business for which it is intended – making Michael Schumacher look good. Jean Todt is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Eddie Irvine: It just gets better and better. Eddie ran a good race, staying out of trouble and giving the tifosi some fun after they watched the number 5 Ferrari pass. His duel with Fisichella was a classic bout and worth the air time it got.

Damon Hill: For stuffing it up Shinji Nakano’s behind. Hill has always been diplomatic to the point of boredom but this time, as when Taki Inoue bothered him at Monza in ’95, he let rip. He was a damnably cranky man, and rightly so. TWR’s reputation must be in tatters and this is Hill’s first (public) dummy-spit, remarkable for the controlled aggression with which it was delivered. Shinji, while being a quiet fellow, was in his way, so Damon gave him a wake-up call and it ended in tears. My first reaction was that of temporary brain fade, but I think Damon tried to avoid him, but then thought, "What the hell, I’m going nowhere." Here’s why he was a winner: he was completely unrepentant. Well done, Damon, those pesky backmarkers won’t get in your way again, and Tom definitely got the message, I would venture to say.

Giancarlo Fisichella: For willing to stay behind an expiring Mercedes-Benz and brilliantly jumping out of the way when she finally blew. He deserved a podium after Ralf’s shenanigans in Argentina, but he still got a good result and some airtime for the Peugeot engines. Keep praying, Eddie, keep praying.

Johnny Herbert: What a champion. He was never very far away from the action and it was a crying shame when the thing let go. Sigh. Poor old Johnny. He didn’t even bother to trudge back to the pits to be molested by ITV (see losers). Not a centenary GP to remember.


The Losers:

Us: When are ITV going to get it right? They were only an hour and a half from home and they still couldn’t get it right. And Australians had to put up with Dazza and Alan hopelessly trying to pad the empty bits. They did their best, but it’s hard when you’re sitting in a studio ten thousand miles away. At least we got to hear Damon chucking a tanty.

TWR Arrows: Hoo-boy, what a mess. Most specifically, that poor bastard who designed the throttle actuator. I’m way out of line, here, but hey, guys, what about designing a new one. Hmmm? Or using last year’s? Or getting your crap together and sorting yourselves out?

Pedro Diniz and his merry band of difficult backmarkers: Get out of the way, you people. Why is Imola a place where people insist on getting in the way? It’s very simple. Ferraris, Williams, McLarens and Jordans are faster. Move out of way, don’t get black-flag (that’s wishful thinking, isn’t it?) or world-champion burying his right-front into your back-behind. The marshals are partly to blame for this as they are not using they’re brains even a teeny-tiny bit. Blue flags appear to be saved for the end when they wave any flag they can get their hands on.

Shinji Nakano: For being in the wrong place, blocking the wrong bloke, at the wrong time.

Stewart-Ford Collectively: Never mind, boys. Your car obviously handles alright and Monaco is on the way. The Ford engine might get you up the hill a few times, but I’d still hold your breath.

Heinz-Harald Frentzen: For bleating about the brakes in the press conference. Don't try to make a point, Heinz, you won. Stop being such a sod. Damon Hill didn't bitch like that and he isn’t bitching now, so pipe down. Even Jacqes Villeneuve wasn't too cranky.

Jacques Villeneuve: Oh, well. Playing the hard man in Australia has cost you very dearly. Now you know how Damon felt in '95.

Benetton-Renault: Jean Alesi, Gerhard Berger, mix in the shadow of Michael Schumacher, Jean Alesi's now legendary stupidity and you have it right there. No more need be said, take from this what you will.

Peter Klamus


San Marino Grand Prix Race Report

Formula 1 Contents