Race Blog
Monaco 2008

The Champions League

“Well, where are you watchin’ it?”

On the Wednesday night before the grand prix, for just a few hours at least, Formula 1 issues are pushed aside by the Champions League final.

All over the Principality motorhomes, bars, faux-English pubs and testosterone-stuffed American-style diners are crammed full of beer-swilling blokes enjoying the game… or maybe not, depending upon their allegiance.

One similarity between F1 and football is the desire by every team to be in that elite little band competing for the major honours. For those just outside this group the rewards for extra competitiveness can be immense, but so often prove just out of reach.

The latest squad to crash the party are surely BMW.

So much in top-level sport depends on your dedication, rigour, planning and professionalism – and the team from Hinwil seem to have all that it takes. Dr Mario Theissen and his lieutenants have obviously been pulling everything together to mould into shape the right blend of talent and speed necessary to hunt down Ferrari and McLaren.

Over a short period of time the spine of the team has been strengthened and a solid platform from which to attack has been built, resulting in a number of podium finishes. But, as both Arsenal (and, more recently, Chelsea) have found to their cost, that last massive push needed to attain the ultimate prize is as much in the mind as in resource.

Once Kubica took the lead in Monaco on Sunday, one couldn’t help but think, whatever their strategy, that a BMW win wouldn’t ensue. Not because Robert doesn’t possess the talent or the team the guile; but simply that the crack outfits employed by their nearest rivals would prevail.

Maybe sometime soon it’ll be time to put the final piece in the puzzle and go for a ‘galactico’ signing to spearhead the attack.

“You must believe.” It’s a well-worn cliché but no less true for being oft-repeated. Sometime soon BMW will.

Now please take a few minutes to enjoy my pictures from the 2008 Monaco Grand Prix by clicking on the ‘Formula 1’ link at the top of the page.

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