F1 excitement mounts in 2003 season

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Things really are looking up for formula one. The new rule changes introduced this season are resulting in one of the most exciting championship run-ins for years with three main rivals all bidding for the sport’s highest accolade.

This is even more the case following an eventful Hungarian Grand Prix, which now leaves Michael Schumacher, Juan Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen separated by three points at the head of the driver standings.

The momentum has to be with Montoya at the moment after racking up the most points in recent races to close in on Michael Schumacher in the Driver’s Championship.

Michael has had a hard time of things recently after a string of low points finishes and he really looked disillusioned during a lacklustre performance to come home in eighth place, earning just one championship point in last Sunday’s Hungarian grand prix.

What a stark contrast to last year, when he had already wrapped up the championship and seemed to be winning races for fun.

Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonnen turned in a good performance for second place at the Hungaroring to add more steady points to his seasons tally, giving himself an equally good chance to go for the championship.

Steady is indeed the word, as Kimi has delivered consistent points finishes this year, bar a couple of hiccups midway through the season.

This – combined with his two grand prix victories – has resulted in a great opportunity for him.

A word also for Fernando Alonso, after a stunning performance in Hungary to lead the race from start to finish and in doing so, become the youngest ever grand prix winner.

It is of course still mathematically possible for Alonso to win the championship, if he can deliver the same sort of form in the final grands prix, now being 18 points behind Michael Schumacher.

Of course, it would take a brave man to bet on Alonso at the present time.

But back to the championship situation and who’s to say whether Schumacher, Montoya, or Kimi will end up being crowned F1’s 2003 champion?

Don’t write off Michael just yet.

One thing for sure is that he never gives up and he will be relishing the challenge, something he hasn’t had much of in recent years.

Meanwhile, Montoya will be driven like a wild bull against the red of Ferrari, whilst "ice man" Kimi Raikonen has nothing to loose and appears to be feeling no pressure at all.

So off to Italy in two weeks’ time, the home of Ferrari where Michael Schumacher will be hoping for a good result on home territory.

A walk in the park it won’t be, with increased pressure from his title rivals the race could be won by any one of them.

Or maybe Alonso will step up again?

Who would write off brother Ralf, Rubens or DC?

It could be one of the most open Italian Grands Prix for a while in this action-packed season.