Honda F1 website

JUNE 1, 2003

Swedes and turn-ups

The Monaco Formula 3000 race was a wild affair with some lurid driving involved and a most extraordinary ending. While the action was happening behind the leader Bjorn Wirdheim, the Arden International driver seemed serene as he led from flag to flag - or at least nearly flag to flag. As he came up to the finish line Wirdheim slowed down and pulled across to salute his team and as he was waving and the team celebrated it suddenly dawned on him that he had not crossed the finishing line. At about the same moment Nicholas Kiesa was coming up to finish the race. Wirdheim floored the throttle to get to the line but Kiesa got there first, leaving Wirdheim and Arden looking rather silly. Wirdheim, to his credit, took the blame for the incident but said that overall he was still happy as his lead in the championship was consolidated despite losing two points.

Wirdheim's championship position was strengthened because two of his rivals were involved in a controversial incident when Ricardo Sperafico drove Giorgio Pantano off the road, despite the fact that he was a lap behind. The Italian was furious and the Brazilian was later black-flagged for causing an avoidable accident. There was a second controversial incident when Enrico Toccacelo (Jordan Junior Team) suddenly slowed for no obvious reason at the top of the hill and Vitantonio Liuzzi had no chance avoid hitting the back of the car and had a spectacular accident as a result. At the time Toccacello was due to pit for a penalty for passing Liuzzi illegally for third place...