Davidson's fine day ends in chaos of damaged parts

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The Independent Online

Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear eats you. Yesterday, Anthony Davidson and the bear came away equal on points.

The Principality is a wonderful place for a race track. Do not believe anyone who tells you otherwise. Sure, the road is cramped, hemmed in on both sides by metal barriers and bumpier than a roller-coaster.

Yet somehow Monaco works, partly because of its lustrous history and partly because it is the favourite watering hole of the rich and famous. And it also works because it is the ultimate challenge, and a place where drivers can be seen rising to that challenge at close quarters. When people tell you Formula One is boring, send them here.

Watch Michael Schumacher on a quick lap, shaving barriers and tenths of a second, lightly smoking his Ferrari's tyres as he skims round millimetres from disaster and the superlatives overwhelm the word boring.

For all but two minutes yesterday afternoon, Davidson was in that zone. He banged in the fastest time - and then crashed his Honda after sliding wide in the first corner.

"I'm obviously extremely disappointed to end the day like this after running so well in both sessions," he said. "I made a small mistake when I locked up the inside front wheel."

The wheel in question was ripped off, together with his car's front wing. His day was soured further when Alex Wurz beat him to fastest time in his Williams-Cosworth.

There, exposed in damaged components, lay the frustration behind the thrill of Monaco. Honda's Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will race on Saturday and Sunday, but Davidson has only a practice-day test role. And another year in which to stew over the error any one of his 27 rivals could have made.