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.
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