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Alonso takes emphatic win at Monza

NEWS STORY
09/09/2007

Due to a certain amount of over enthusiasm, not to say outright bloody lunacy, yesterday's GP2 race was littered with incidents, necessitating the appearance of the safety car on three occasions.

It is to be hoped that this afternoon the far more experienced F1 boys will prove to be far more mature in their approach, especially at the first two chicanes on the opening lap. Despite the many changes to the circuits here, the Autodromo Nazionale is still regarded as one of the most dangerous tracks on the F1 calendar, particularly during the opening lap.

Assuming the boys do behave themselves, it would be reasonable to assume - based on the evidence thus far - that this afternoon should be a stroll in the Parco di Monza for the McLaren boys, and in particular Fernando Alonso. Despite the nonsense that surrounds this weekend's event, with some websites only just stopping short of reporting that Ron Dennis has been dragged away screaming by police and locked up 'Midnight Express style' in a Monza jail, the World Champion has been looking pretty handy this weekend.

That said, this is Monza, and with the added 'oomph' of the Tifosi behind them, perhaps Massa and Raikkonen can raise their game, and prevent McLaren taking what looks like a certain 1-2.

Then again, maybe BMW can spring a surprise, and take the mighty leap from 'third power' to 'race winner'.

Sadly, thanks to the emasculation of the circuit, not to mention the current engine and points rules, it is entirely possible that this afternoon's race will be another one of those high-speed processions we have grown used to in recent years. Though hopefully behind the leaders we should see some decent battles between the midfield teams.

With Belgium coming up next week, many drivers will be keen to save their engines, while the end of the European season also means the teams will have less opportunity to develop parts for the remainder of the season. Therefore, today could be crucial in terms of the outcome of the championship - ignoring the forthcoming meeting of the World Motor Sport Council.

BMW look to have secured third place in the Constructors' Championship, but Renault will be keen to close the gap. While Red Bull's reliability gives cause for concern, the battle for fifth is still open, with the Milton Keynes team and Toyota hoping to give Williams a run for its money. Then there's the little matter of Super Aguri and Honda, with the Brackley based outfit determined not to be left in the shade by its little cousin.

Thus far, Spyker's much-anticipated B-car hasn't been that impressive, however, it's early days, and if nothing else the Silverstone based would dearly love to finish ahead of Toro Rosso.

As the drivers take their place on the grid, the crowd leaves no doubt as to who gets its support, both McLaren drivers are greeted with whistles and cat-calls.

It's understood that Kimi Raikkonen has a "stiff neck" following his accident in yesterday's free practice session, but that doesn't prevent him giving Martin Brundle the cold shoulder when the driver-turned commentator attempts to grab him for an interview.

Despite the intense heat, there is a group of fans dressed as bears and gorillas, obviously a reference to Kimi Raikkonen, who recently wore such a suit to a party.

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