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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Drive of a champion

This was one race which “could” have been a classic, had the back markers not messed it up, and had Alonso not been in prime form, for as it turned out, Alonso was unstoppable. He drove a brilliantly controlled race, and made it look like cakewalk, when the Kimis and Juans and Buttons were battling it out amongst themselves. Towards the end of the race Alonso said something like “I am relaxed” on the team radio, which goes to show how very well he controlled the race and how easy it was for him to literally cost towards the end. Ron Dennis might want to think Kimi had a shot at winning the race, but that’s was never a possibility of that ever happening.

This was a race of attritions and the team, which suffered the most, was Williams, because Mark Webber did look to be in a position with a shot at the podium. Ferrari lost both the cars but those were mainly due to driver errors. Montoya had several moments and eleven laps from the end of the race he crashed out on the last corner, in the same fashion as MS did albeit JPM controlled the car from hitting the barriers, but the anti stall mechanism kicked in and stalled the car. That was the end of McLarens challenge for a second podium.

Fisico… oh Fisico, two seconds a lap slower than Alonso and the world knows it, thanks to his race engineer. Why they chose to air it is beyond me, but I think this is not the best way to go about motivating your driver, and this is certainly not the “team-is-behind-Fisi” approach.

BMW Sauber had a strong showing, and the ever consistent and quick Nick scored some big points today. I some times feel that this guy is ignored way too much, and his performances never bring about the reaction from the media or fans, which a Kimis of Schumacher’s would. JV drove well, and made the most of his one stop strategy with a well-deserved points finish.
Toyota were on podium, and Ralf drove a fine race with a three stopper, plus a drive thru to earn a well deserved podium.

Special mention of the Super Aguri Team for bringing both the cars in, especially Taku San who kept the factory Honda of Rubens Barrichello behind him for what looked like a lifetime. This guys knows how to elk out the last bit of performance from his car. Way to go Taku San!

DC got a rude reminder from Honer to overtake Scott Speed who was ahead of him during the last stages. Whether MR. Honer thought that DC was having a job ride in Albert Park is anybodies guess, but reminding an experienced pilot that he needs to OVERTAKE a pilot who has an F1 experience of 3 races is IMHO very stupid if not tactless.

Well as things stand now, Renault and Alonso are repeating what happened last year, and this year that have a stronger package and unless the upgrades from Woking flow in thick and fast McLaren will have to settle with being the number two team yet again.

My Moments of the race:
1. JPM crashing out
2. Sato holding a string of multi-million dollar budget cars behind him.
3. Fisico & DC being reminded by their pit’s to turn it on.
PS: DC was awarded the 8th palace because Speed overtook him under yellows.

Race Results:
Pos. Driver Team Time Points
1 F. Alonso Renault 1:34:27.870 10
2 K. Räikkönen McLaren + 1.829 8
3 R. Schumacher Toyota + 24.824 6
4 N. Heidfeld BMW + 31.032 5
5 G. Fisichella Renault + 38.421 4
6 J. Villeneuve BMW + 49.554 3
7 R. Barrichello Honda + 51.904 2
8 S. Speed Scuderia Toro Rosso + 53.817 1
9 D. Coulthard Red Bull + 53.983
10 J. Button Honda + 1 laps
11 C. Albers Midland F1 + 1 laps
12 T. Sato Super Aguri + 2 laps
13 Y. Ide Super Aguri + 3 laps

Did not finish
14 JP. Montoya McLaren + 11 laps
15 T. Monteiro Midland F1 + 17 laps
16 V. Liuzzi Scuderia Toro Rosso + 20 laps
17 M. Schumacher Ferrari + 25 laps
18 M. Webber Williams + 34 laps
19 C. Klien Red Bull + 53 laps
20 J. Trulli Toyota + 57 laps
21 N. Rosberg Williams + 57 laps
22 F. Massa Ferrari + 57 laps


Blogger unsui said...

Hey Nice post mate ...
My driver of the race was JV, really needed a skill to
a) keep out of all the mess
b) All drivers were having trouble with grip, and he kept pushing it incessantly

Make your call ?

Totally agree on Renault(Alonso) dominance, the guy is really having purple patch,reminds me of Ferrari & Schummacher in 99-04 season, keep on winning races if they sleep in cockpit , and just wakeup to crack a joke or two with pit crew once in a while

8:01 PM  
Blogger Nilesh said...

JV's drive was a good demonstration of a clever strategy with consistant pace. Frankly, he would'nt have figured in our list had he not made it into the points, and the reason he made it into the points was because of the failured of the people ahead of him to finish the race, some because of their own mistakedna and some due to car related problems. But what matters is that JV was there to take advantage of that, and thats what experience is all about. I see him improvin race by race, and the bossed at BMW would ve glad they retained this guy :-)
What do you think of the Cossie V10 ON STR kicking the Ferrari V'8 in Ferrari and RBR black and blue? :-)

9:39 PM  
Blogger unsui said...

Where JV started , around same place, Massa got messed with Klien and took off Nico.In incident full race like this , and on narrow circuit like Albert park, driving mid-field race is always treacherous deal & with those factors in mind , not getting tangled up was smartness shown by JV and so he is my man of the race.

About V10 kicking RBR butt , yes that was something to watch in Y'day race. Its not that DC doesn't know he can't lose to STR,Horner getting anxious about it was bit too much.that put DC in line with Fisi , Fisi was really a case of occassional lapse of concentration he faces and I felt its Ok to keep pinching his butt occassionally (same thing happened in last leg of Sepang ,when his engineer was telling him don't drop it Alonso is putting fast laps). Montoya and MS taken on same corner, was unfortunate, for years that last corner kerbs is taken similar fashion in Oz but it didn't cause trouble like this. ( it used to be the T5 & T9 turns).T9 which took Schummi last year took lots of victims this year , while T6 where Kimi messed up last year was where Webbo went off track this year in Qualifiers.

Ralf Schummi didn't figure out my my driver of day list was because of reasons you have given for JV(he himself conceded that post race),failure of cars in front.

While the immense lead of Alonso on field was nullified by yellows, the two midland cars botched up on last two restarts ,whence Kimi could have had chance to catch up with Alonso. It was good gesture from Gasgoyne to go to Midland Pitwall and convey the message.(whats happening with Mclaren Pitwall guys )

Most stupid act of Week was : Our Great T Monteiro in Final Qualifying session guffawing on Webber who had off track moment at T6. the jerk was laughing, when fact was he couldn't even manage to take his car to session 2. But then thats Montiero :(

10:08 PM  
Blogger Nilesh said...

I agree about the Monterio thing 100%. Its amazing how they (Monterio & Albers) help up the entire field and were not black flagged.
I don’t completely agree with you of awarding JV the driver of the race, for the reasons mentioned by you, but I guess there were no other drivers who deserve either (Ralf?).

1:30 AM  

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