How to tell teammates apart - France

Based on the work of the late Randy Malbone.... Once again, poorly placed car numbers and helmet-obscuring cockpit padding have made it virtually impossible to distinguish between teammates while watching races on TV. I hope the guide below ...

Based on the work of the late Randy Malbone....

Once again, poorly placed car numbers and helmet-obscuring cockpit padding have made it virtually impossible to distinguish between teammates while watching races on TV. I hope the guide below is useful in reducing this problem.

Please note that this information may change during the year, and that drivers occasionally make re-starts in cars with their teammate's marks. In '96 Jordan abandoned distinguishing marks after the first few races. It would seem they have done the same this year. If anyone else has additional or new info, or better descriptions for what I've said, please e-mail it to me at: davew@smug.adelaide.edu.au

Jordan and Arrows appear to present two identical cars apart from their drivers' names and numbers. Either there were no differences or I didn't see them. I'm sorry if I missed them, O.K.? :-)

For whatever reason it seems that the teams have gone out of their way this year to make numbers completely impossible to read from head-on, and have generally made distinguishing marks even less obvious (and you didn't think it was possible!) So taking careful note here maybe the only way of distinguishing the drivers (don't take Murray's word - on Friday he told us Ralf Schumacher was one of the greatest rain drivers of all time!)

Jan Magnussen has finally been replaced, by Dutch driver Jos Verstappen, who I think will do a better job than Jan was able to. What I don't understand is how Jan. who seemed to have enormous talent based on results in junior categories, wasn't quick in F1. As long as "Jos The Boss" fans don't act stupid, I welcome Jos back to Formula 1. I reserve the right to change my opinion, however :-)

Conspiracy theorists are at work as usual, blaming the aborting of the 1st start in France on Michael Schumacher's poor start. There are only a few problems with this: Michael's start was average, not poor (he kept his place, neither gaining nor losing a place); his record on restarts is not good - the restart generally sees a worse start for Michael than the 1st one; and the start was actually aborted before the cars left the line, however a software error led to the start taking place by accident. Still, they continue to come up with new theories...

Anyway, here's the current list : (or how to tell two apparently identical cars apart!)

Williams: 1 Villeneuve : Red front wing struts, black headrest 2 Frentzen : Red front wing struts with a fluorescent yellow triangle at the base, red headrest

Ferrari: 3 M Schumacher : Black/white front wing 4 Irvine : Black/white front wing, with a white square at each outer edge of top front wing element

Benetton: 5 Fisichella : Red-orange nose tip 6 Wurz : Light blue nose tip

McLaren: 7 Coulthard : Red "man" on top front wing element 8 Hakkinen : Black "man" on top front wing element

Jordan: 9 Hill : Has a (mainly) dark blue helmet 10 R Schumacher : Has a (mainly) fluorescent yellow helmet

Prost: 11 Panis : Blue deflector on front wing endplate 12 Trulli : White deflector on front wing endplate

Sauber: 14 Alesi : Red mirrors, red cockpit padding and headrest 15 Herbert : Yellow mirrors, yellow cockpit padding and headrest

Arrows: 16 Diniz : Has a (mainly) dark blue helmet 17 Salo : Has a (mainly) white and light blue helmet

Stewart: 18 Barrichello : White cockpit padding and headrest 19 Verstappen : Blue cockpit padding and headrest

Tyrrell: 20 Rosset : Orange strips on fins on side of nose, orange stripe on lower section of monocoque near cockpit, orange "20" on each side of airbox intake 21 Takagi : Green strips on fins on side of nose, green stripe on lower section of monocoque near cockpit, green "21" on each side of airbox intake

Minardi: 22 Nakano : Black top front pushrod, dark blue bottom lip of rear wing 23 Tuero : Orange top front pushrod, dark blue bottom lip of rear wing with an orange mark at each outer edge of the bottom lip

Dave --

------------------------------------------------------ David Wright, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

The Michael Factor - http://surf.to/the.michael.factor Ralf Schumacher - http://www.smug.adelaide.edu.au/~davew/RS

davew@smug.adelaide.edu.au | http://www.smug.adelaide.edu.au/~davew/ schuey@geocities.com | http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/1560/

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Jos Verstappen , Michael Schumacher , Jan Magnussen
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Benetton , Minardi , Jordan