Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Silverstone & Hockenheim

After the rather boring procession that was the French GP at Magny-Cours, the British and German Grands Prix have both been rather entertaining -- with passing and everything. It could even be argued that the German GP was made more entertaining by the new rules introduced this year -- the first time that has happened.

But first to Silverstone, where a mad spectator managed to get onto the track and go running down the straight while cars came at him rather fast. Astonishingly the drivers missed him, and the only injuries he sustained were as he was hauled off the track by the marshals. He was wearing a kilt and while there was initial speculation that he was a Scottish Nationalist, as he was removed from the track his kilt flipped up revealing rather bright green underpants. the obvious supposition at that point was that he was Irish, and indeed he turned out to be an Irish priest who wanted everyone to read the bible. His entry on the track sent everyone to the pits, however, where their order was scrambled, leading to a lot of real driving to put the leaders in front. In the end the race was won by Rubens Barrichello, who (oddly enough) won the last race where a protester got onto the track, in Germany a few years ago.

On to Germany, where a number of front runners had difficulty with single-car qualifying for some reason, leading to a scrambled grid, thanks to the new rules. Then Ralf Schumacher made a bit of a bonehead move early in the race and took out three of the points leaders (including himself) and suddenly there was a credible race for the points-paying places as slots opened up. Montoya led the race flag to flag, but from places 2-8 there was a lot of actual racing for position.