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Sunday, April 23, 2006

April 23, 2006

Smile returns to Tifosi

Stunner of Qualifier by Schumacher and smart thinking by Ferrari strategists saw emotional Michael to conduct Inno Di Mameli to the joy of Tifosi Fans.

While rivals had hoped that 1:22.795 second laps which saw Michael grab pole was maybe result from running light in qualifier, Michael drove for 20 laps before his first pit stop (Jenson button who was P2 in qualifiers with 1:22.988 pitted on 12th lap) showed that Schumi had done good job in qualifier. First pitstop however proved to be Ferrari’s undoing , with the new tyres graining for Ferrari, hopes for Renault revived with Alonso cutting into Michael’s lead at rate of near a second per lap. Then came the key moment when Renault strategists decided to pit Fernando for his final stop earlier than planned on lap 41 and get him ahead of Ferrari in pit this would have proved to be masterstroke ,but that was not to be, Ferrari thought on their feet got Michael in for a quick pitstop while Alonso was still making his outlap. Result was with 20 laps to go Alonso found himself behind Michael. In repeat of 2005,,however with roles reversed  and two smalls mistakes by Alonso when he  ran wide meant Michael saw the checkered flag 2.096 seconds ahead of Alonso.

Gainers: Montoya who couldn’t use his car in Final free practice and had to switch to T car did a good job to qualify at P7 drove sensibly and won his first podium of season ahead of team-mate Räikkönen  who ended fifth starting 8th on grid.
Webber was another gainer who made most on the race start to get past Kimi and drove strong race to get 3 points for Williamsf1 team
Massa did a good job in first stint of race when he held the field for Michael ,but one yellow flag and surprising lackluster performance of Ferrari in first stint meant team-mate couldn’t make most of help from Massa.

Losers: Honda Duo Button and Barichello couldn’t capitalize of qualifying at sharp end of grid , while Alonso and Massa jumped Barichello on 1st lap. Button and pit crew messed with his second stop when Button raced out with his fuel rig still in car. Reminds me of number of similar screw ups the pit crew did with Sato in 2005 season.

Toyota Duo of Ralf Schumacher & Trulli : While Trulli retired on 5th lap with steering column failure,Ralf couldn’t make much of his P5 qualifier and ended race on 9th position. Best thing that the duo did was not holding a train of cars behind them for which they had become specialists of sorts in last season.

Eighteen month drought is finally over for the Maranello team, question now in minds of fans and rivals will be,is this a mirage or have Ferrari finally found the oasis after  going around for more than a season

Times01 M. Schumacher Ferrari 1:31:06.486
02 F. Alonso Renault + 2.096
03 JP. Montoya McLaren + 15.868
04 F. Massa Ferrari + 17.096
05 K. Räikkönen McLaren + 17.524
06 M. Webber Williams + 37.739
07 J. Button Honda + 39.635
08 G. Fisichella Renault + 40.200
09 R. Schumacher Toyota + 45.511
10 R. Barrichello Honda + 1:17.851
11 N. Rosberg Williams + 1:19.675
12 J. Villeneuve BMW + 1:22.370
13 N. Heidfeld BMW + 1 laps
14 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1 laps
15 S. Speed Scuderia Toro Rosso + 1 laps
16 T. Monteiro Midland F1 + 2 laps
Did not finish
17 D. Coulthard Red Bull + 15 laps
18 T. Sato Super Aguri + 18 laps
19 C. Klien Red Bull + 22 laps
20 Y. Ide Super Aguri + 39 laps
21 J. Trulli Toyota + 57 laps
22 C. Albers Midland F1 + 62 laps



Blogger Nilesh said...

Couldn’t watch the race, but form the various reports which are pouring in, its obvious that apart from the Massa Schumi (no-one-overtakes) battle, the race was pretty much a drab, something which we have come to expect from IMOLA.
JPM certainly did a good job, finishing where he did, considering where he started (7th). TO do so in the spare car, as you mentioned, was a feat indeed. Kimi got caught in traffic, and if he couldn’t overtake JV at Monza, last year, there was little hope that he would pull overtaking moves on other cars at Imola. Overall the race was OK for McLaren, but I was expecting more, may be a double podium. The European GP will see Mercedes come up with better power plants, and it would tilt the scales in McLarens favor slightly. The WDC seems like a far shot to me already, but no other team is better geared up to win the WCC than McLaren.
I was disappointed with Nicos pace and the Williams which goes so well in qualifying was hardly a force to be reckoned with all weekend. The Cossie is not really helping them is it?
Finally a word for the Honda team. I believe they should get a better principal, as they seem to be getting nowhere under Fry's leadership, and Rubens hasn’t fired yet.

11:27 PM  
Blogger unsui said...

Race was typically a drab affair, Not a single overtaking move neither at top nor in the mid-field.Last years Imola race was thriller as Michael drove really good race, did some overtaking moved at Variante Alta. Nothing here

Montoya's weekend was a mysterious affair with him not getting any track time before his qualifier, and Ron Dennis more ruing about Kimi's bad weekend Fernando Alonso need to watch out where he is heading too.He will be in big soup if Management still have the patronizing affair with Kimi.

Honda racing, they really need some good pitcrew and strategist on them,they have the perennial fuel rig issues,as it turns out even Rubens was victim of it yesterday.

11:52 PM  
Blogger Nilesh said...

Yes, of late Ron has been too much pro Kimi, in his statements atleast. He certainly wants Kimi to stay back, but if one checks JPM's performances of late, he is right up there, since the Ozzy GP.

2:01 AM  

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