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(DANIEL MAURER/Associated Press)

Brazilian Felipe Massa is shadowed by Spain's Fernando Alonso -- the eventual winner -- during Sunday's Formula One European Grand Prix.

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(DANIEL MAURER/Associated Press)

Brazilian Felipe Massa is shadowed by Spain's Fernando Alonso -- the eventual winner -- during Sunday's Formula One European Grand Prix.

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MIKE BRUDENELL

Formula One exciting once again
Tight, competitive racing resurfaces

When it's good, it's very good.

I'm referring to Formula One, which, in terms of actual racing, has been very spotty, I would suggest, over the past decade.

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Michael Schumacher and the mega-rich Ferrari organization so dominated the sport after 1996, if someone did make a pass on the German ace, such as Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) at Brazil in 2001, commentators went wild.

On Sunday, in the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in Germany, there was passing, and excellent racing, and some of it in the rain.

Perhaps it wasn't the vintage stuff of Canadian Gilles Villeneuve (Ferrari) and Frenchman Rene Arnoux (Renault) in the 1979 French Grand Prix at Dijon, or the battles between Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in the '80s and early '90s, but it was exciting, which, after all, open-wheel racing should be.

Fernando Alonso (McLaren-Mercedes), Spain's two-time world champion, stalked Brazilian Felipe Massa (Ferrari) over the final laps, overtaking him in a bold thrust, and then ran away for the victory.

In recent years, F1 has become an "I-can-outspend-and-outsmart-you" series, which some people may find fascinating. I like my motor racing fast, close and with at least a hint of financial sanity and simplicity.

If the remaining seven rounds of the championship can produce the likes of Sunday's racing, however, I might again be persuaded that F1 is king.

GOING FOR IT AT MIS: Kiwi Scott Dixon will seek a fourth consecutive win -- an Indy Racing League first -- when he starts in the Firestone Indy 400 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn on Aug. 5.

Dixon won his third straight race of the 2007 IndyCar Series at Mid-Ohio on Sunday to add to his victories at Watkins Glen and Nashville.

Dixon, who drives for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, finished 16th in the IRL race at MIS last year after running out of fuel on Lap 44 and needing to be towed to the pits for a refill.

BACK TO BELLE ISLE: Helio Castroneves, who finished third to Dixon over the weekend, will be in Detroit today to run his Team Penske car around the Raceway at Belle Isle.

The first on-track activity on the island in six years, Castroneves' compatibility test will be conducted on the new 2.1-mile circuit, which the Brazilian driver and two-time Indy 500 champion will compete on during the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Sept. 2.

The test is closed to the public.

GO AND SEE: This weekend, your racing writer will compete in the endurance go-kart race, the fifth annual Jackson 24 Hour Race for Charity presented by Shop Rat, at Jackson Speedway.

I'll be running for the Michigan International Speedway team, which finished third in 2006.

The Jackson 24 starts at 8 p.m. Friday and finishes at 8 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine.

Food, an open bar and activities for kids are available at the track, which is located at U.S.-127 and Page Avenue in Jackson.

For more information, call 517-787-6100.

Contact MIKE BRUDENELL at 313-222-2115 or mbrudenell@freepress.com.

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hathamic

Ummm, No. It's not.

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:07 pm


Sgt. Saunders

sure its exciting.....if you live in Paris......kinda like Soccer....oh I mean FOOTBALL! lame...NASCAR AND NFL BABY!!!
we dont care about foreign doods....only foreign cars here....

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:04 am


The Dearborn Observer

I've been an F1 fan for 30 years, and have always wished that the FREEP provided better coverage. My major concern is that Bernie Eccelstone, with his rule changes, is moving F1 closer to NASCARs "spec car" approach which will ruin F1.

I say go back to the rules philsophy of the 1930s; some type weight window (it was 750 kg maximum back then), an overall size limitation, an engine displacement limit, then "run what you brung".

Hey FREEP, how about a seperate F1 forum?

Posted: Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:37 am


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