Review of first third of 2006 season
No sooner did it start, F1 2006 season is already six races old, we thought it would be a good idea to do review of season and write our observations on teams and drivers as they stand now
On current form, Renault and Ferrari look leagues ahead of the field. Given the fact that Alonso is not scared to push the car to limits in its second engine cycle , summarizes the strength of Renault Package
At Barcelona the team messed Montoya's qualifiers and JPM messed with teams race in case of Mclaren. But till that moment when Norbert Haug looks eye in eye with his drivers and tells them that his engine will last over two race distances, and its upto them to push the car to limits , Mclaren are pretty much done.
With current engine and team attrition crisis , & new challenge of working with Bridgestone next year, I think the team needs to shelve any ambitious plans at the moment , just focus on one race at a time
Honda and Toyota, is case of lots of small things that need to be worked on, that includes the car the and the strategy ,while ingredients are there , that mystery element is missing, Early podiums last year gave Toyota a great impetus last year. In 2005 this time Jarno Trulli was second in the World championship point, which was the tonic that kept the team upbeat. In case of Honda, it’s that one elusive win which can do the trick to boost the team, a mayhem in Monaco giving either Button or Barrichello a bonus win maybe that mystery ingredient,
For Williams it’s again the question of reliability of package and also need of driver who has “had been there done that" Webbo is yet to climb that final step. Working as a privateer has again its drawback when it comes to funds. Though Sir Frank Williams played a smart move by signing Concorde agreement and signing with Bridgestone this season, especially the latter move will give team initial impetus in 2007 campaign
BMW needs to be patient with their current driver combination which is doing good job in getting whatever scrapes left by the big boys. Mario Thiessen needs to give JV another year, that guy is definitely providing lots of inputs to the development of the team.
Red Bull is no more creating the Bullish atmosphere that they created when they took charge of the “ailing cat” last season; its BMW has taken their spot. Though the picture looks rosy, with Adrian Newey working on their 2007 car, Ferrari customer engine leaves a small element of doubt in recipe of success.
Like the cars Renault Ferrari drivers look in top form, maybe inexperience of Massa to drive for a top team and lapse of concentration in case of Fisico are the factors which separate them from Alonso and Schumi
Now that Renault has committed long term to F1-future , they will put serious effort to steal Räikkönen from Mclaren/Ferrari , In case this bid fails we have a hunch that Flavio will put his weight around securing Mark Webbers services to the team, Mark is in a way in mould of Alonso/ Kimi who knows to put in those consistent time , lap after lap over race duration , not in the mould of racers who can make a good overtaking move ,but then smallest distraction can throw them off track.
GPMA agreeing to sign Concorde agreement for long term will see lots of driver deals becoming public in next 3-4 weeks time. If indeed Kimi moves out of Mclaren, Juan Pablo may get a lease to his F1 career, but not necessarily that preferential treatment in Mclaren, This man needs to compare notes with David Coulthard ,who had similar experience in Häkinnen to Räikkönen transition. Only difference is Montoya is much more watch able driver, with him on track there is always a level of expectation, hope that fans can look forward to on race track.
Massa is another driver who will be impacted with this Kimi-Schumi saga , He and Montoya are sailing in same boat either Mclaren and Renault can use them as stop gap arrangement ,or maybe both the teams can take a gamble for next season trying their rookies , anyways with new tyres to work on they can as well work on building up phase next year. But the gargantuan amount of money at stake, maybe these teams may not trust their car in hands of rookies.
But then that’s F1 the surprises never stop, the off track tidbits are more appetizing than the on track entrée most of the times J