News before the Principality’s big race dominated the headlines as much as anything that happened on the tight circuit itself. Former driver Eddie Irvine, sitting on a E60 million fortune, is considering buying out his former Jordan team which is struggling under new owner Alex Shnaider. Meanwhile, 74-year-old former second-hand car dealer, Bernie Ecclestone, is thinking about giving up his position at the top of the sport, a move that would be welcomed by all and sundry. New team Red Bull are dreaming of signing Michael Schumacher and Valentino Rossi but while that scenario will remain a fantasy, race qualifying will revert to its old modus from the European Grand Prix at the end of this month. Grid positions will once more be determined on the Saturday before the race.
The Grand Prix itself was dominated by Kimi Raikkonen, who finished best in qualifying as well as the race. Williams’ pair Mark Webber and Nick Heidfeld chased the McLaren driver home while Renault’s championship leader Alonso, had to be content with fourth place. Champion Michael Schumacher failed to finish.