In what was the most disappointing Formula 1 race ever, dreams of clinching the Eighth Championship title crashed for Schumacher after the second pit stop at the Suzuka Grand Prix. Can’t help thinking if I jinxed it ? There is very little magic that Ferrari-Schumacher can pull off against the Renault-Michelin team at the last race of the season - the Brazilian Grand Prix. We HATE Alonso’s smiling face and anything BLUE now.
Sid called up excitedly and said “Ma’am, are you watching the race? This is the best race ever. I mean ever.” I wasn’t. Thanks to an unscheduled power cut, I missed the entire race.
The Chinese Grand Prix proved who still rules the Formula 1 circuit - Ferrari and Schumacher! Only a man with nerves of steel, full of passion for racing, articulate driving skills and that connection with the machine can do what Schumi does. Racing never got better. With 2 more races to go, its going to be a nail biting finish. On second thoughts, I’m a little superstitious now and am contemplating if I should watch the ones at Suzuka and Brazil or not - so as not to jinx. When this is all done, we’ll have a Ferrari party
Little did I know that Schumacher was going to announce his retirement at the end of yesterday’s race. If I had known, I wouldn’t have chosen to arranging clothes in my wardrobe over watching the first 20 laps. What a waste! As though not to jinx this race, V did not jump in excitement when Michael came ahead of Kimi after the first and second overlaps. But can one contain emotions when the Spaniard Alonso was out because of an engine failure? Ferrari-Schumi had clinched it and the remaining laps were a mere formality. Just about everything went well for the team at Monza except Massa’s emergency pitstop. The remaining 3 races will provide all the drama one can ask for and much more than that!
What makes me immensely sad is that we missed our last chance of watching Schumi live this year and that it would never happen again! The adrenalin rush to watch F1 live is no more there. Statistically, the best driver so far F1 has had and will probably ever have, it will be sad to see the legendary Schumacher with 90 wins and 7 championship titles behind him, bid goodbye at Brazil. The only comforting factor is that it is Kimi who replaces him next year at Ferrari.
I know what I’m going to do the weekends when the next 3 races happen at China, Japan and Brazil..
It was racing at its best at the 2006 season’s first race at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Reigning World Champion Fernando Alonso of Renault clinched the victory followed by Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen taking the second and third places on the podium.
With the scarlet Red Ferrari’s occupying the front row, Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa made an impressive start leaving no trace of the dismal 2005 season. Massa rose to the challenge acting as a barricade preventing Alonso from inching towards Schumi. However, it was not to last for long as the Spaniard cleverly maneuvered overtaking Massa and was behind Schumi’s tail in no time. How I wish Massa had hit Alonso on the eighth lap.
What changed the race was lap 39 when Alonso went in for his second pit stop lasting a precise 7.7 seconds. As he emerged out of the pit lane, Schumi’s Ferrari and Alonso’s Renault were looking at each other. Schumacher had to back off and that sealed the race with Alonso never looking back easing his way to the Chequered Flag.
However, the true star of yesterday’s race was Kimi Raikkonen. You got to give to this Finn. It takes nerves to start from the end of the grid and make it to a podium finish. Call it pit-stop, refueling strategy, call it team work, call it whatever you want. But this is one driver who has never let down the McLaren’s and puts up a fight making his way through the pack of cars from 22nd to 13th position within 3 laps. Makes you wonder, if it really matters to him where he starts from!
It was a mini race of sorts for every position with Jenson Button, Kimi and Montoya vying for the 3rd,4th and 5th places. Rosberg and Klein for the 7th and 8th spots.
This season looks promising as we have 4 strong teams - Ferrari, Renault, McLaren and Honda. Williams is not too far either. Unlike last year, it is a competitive season with good reliability of the machinery of all the 4 teams, fast cars, great strategy and amazing drivers.
What/who to watch out for in the Malaysian Grand Prix:
I hate to admit that it was a mixed feeling last evening to see Schumacher not winning. But I’m happy for Ferrari and Schumacher. They have made an impressive comeback. Go Ferrari!
Related Posts: 2006 - Formula 1 countdown
The 2006 Formula 1 season begins in Bahrain tomorrow. For the past few years, Australia was the privileged one to start the season. And it used to be the first week of April at Bahrain.
I can’t tell you in so many words how bad I’m feeling to be not able to make it to Formula 1 this year. All because of my oversight and poor planning. Never realized it was already March and too little a time to let Dad get us Visa. So I’ve been pleading with him to fill in for us today at the qualifiers and tomorrow. He gets free tickets through ALBA. According to him, not many people are into Formula 1 in Bahrain, so the spectators are usually Europeans! If dad did go, I will post a few pictures!
The countdown is on and I can’t wait. Precisely, 1 day,10hrs and 25 mins for the race to start. A lot of changes in the teams and their drivers this year. New teams, old drivers in new teams, new drivers in old teams. 11 teams in all with the addition of Super Aguri.
BMW-williams - Williams
BAR Honda - Honda
Sauber - BMW Sauber
Minardi - Toro Rosso
It would be interesting to watch Barichello drive for Honda. India’s Narain K is no longer a driver for Midland (earlier Jordan). Anyways, our loyalty to Michael Schumacher hasn’t shifted. Go Schumi! We would love to see you and Ferrari get back the championship title this year.
If last weekend’s Japanese (Suzuka) Grand Prix presented a nail biting finish, then this weekends’ Chinese (Shanghai) Grand Prix was no less. By crossing the chequered flag first, Alonso completed this season in style. The silver lining to Alonso’s win was the constructor’s title for Renault. After all, that was the big enchilada for Renault at Shanghai.
Montoya’s exit mid-way through the race was a huge disappointment for McLaren who stood a good chance of clinching the constructors Trophy. They were our personal favorites too. Kimi is a classy driver. From starting 17th on the grid to finishing first on the race or overtaking on the last lap to clinch the title, is the sign of a real champion. I mean who does it?
Cruising at over 300 Kmph, Alonso’s cool-headedness and determination to make it amidst 2 safety car periods is worth talking about. But I do believe that Fisichella had a lot to contribute to Alonso’s victory. At the start of the race, he so selflessly tucked himself in between Alonso and the McLaren duo Raikonnen-Montoya. Now that’s Strategy and team work!
Personally happy for Ralf Schumacher who took a somewhat improbable third place with a brilliant pit-stop strategy. Think of wreckage and the last 2 Grand Prix(s) come to mind. Karthikeyan’s wreckage was the worst this season. And somehow Shanghai
I’m glad this season is over for 2 reasons. For one, we don’t have to put up with Alonso’s wins. Secondly, see M.Schumacher struggling with his not-in-shape Ferrari. One T-shirt in the crowd read “Schumacher, who?”. If you are thinking that our loyalty towards Ferrari has shifted, then you have got me all wrong! All the unbroken records of the past 5 years held by Ferrari-Schumi have been broken this year. That’s sad.
We will have to wait another 6 months for Ferrari-Bridgestone-Schumi to make a comeback. Won’t we? They can do the magic all over again!
The U.S Grand Prix race began at 11:30 p.m. IST. So I didn’t see it. When I woke up this morning at 6:00 a.m., I muttered to Vivek, “Who won?” referring to the race last night. He instantly replied, “You wouldn’t want to know?” The first thought that crossed my mind was I had missed some real action and that Schumacher came first. I was right on one account - Schumacher did come first but as I learned later, it wasn’t much of a race at all.
Trouble started at Indianapolis Grand Prix on Friday when Ralf Schumacher crashed. When I heard this, memories of what we witnessed in person at last year’s Grand Prix came back to me. Ralf was rushed to the hospital last year after crashing. He wasn’t hurt that bad this year. But no one fathomed the extense of damage the reason of his crash could cause this year.
14 of the 20 cars on Michelin tyres decided to pull out after the formation lap on tyre-related safety grounds. For the first time in years, all the 6 cars that started went on to finish. A lot of accusation against Ferrari and if it was right on their part to have continued with the race. Ferrari have now climbed to a joint second place for the constructors. All the fingers have pointed at the Ferrari+Bridgestone combination for Schumacher’s poor performance this season. But it is that combination that did it at Indianapolis. And like Barichello said at the Press Conference, I thin Ferrari should not feel guilty and neither should they have pulled out of the race. It is Michelin’s problem!
Ferrari is back in action and there is still scope to pull it off! Go Ferrari!
Schumacher and Ferrari did it! Or should I say the others did it for them? The Montreal Grand Prix on Sunday was one race worth watching live. Enough entertainment for every dollar spent for 90 minutes for all those present to watch the race live. We were so thrilled to know that Schumi will start the race at No.2. 2005 Grand Prix season hasn’t been good for the Ferrari team at all - this has been a year of mechanical failures, fuming tyres and failed gear boxes. Both the men and the machine have not been in shape.
Jenson Button made an impressive comeback for BAR Honda by taking the pole position. BAR Honda was banned for the previous 2 races - Europe Grand Prix and the Monaco Grand Prix. As the 5 red lights came on flagging off the race, we witnessed the most sluggish start ever by Michael Schumacher. Jenson Button wasn’t very impressive either. The Renault team of Alonso and Fisichella just flew past by that made us wonder what are button and Schumi upto. Turns out the track wasn’t very good for the first 2 positions and speculation is that Schumi had a lil trouble with his gear box. Whatever the reasons were, after a reasonable start, Schumacher was careful not to make any unforced errors and resorted to a 3 pit stop strategy. He was never too fast or too slow and stayed at position 6. After lap 35, there was no doubt that position 1 was jinxed. Fisichella, Alonson, Montoya and Button (who were ahead of Schumi) dropped out for various reasons. Alonso comitted the same error as Narain. The way Button kissed the wall reminded me of Ralf’s accident at the Monaco qualifying race. Button’s error, advantage Ferraris. Schumi took full advantage of the safety car and bridged the time gap between him and Kimi Raikonnen. But he wasn’t fast enough and finished second.
The most impressive racing was by Rubens Barichello. Having made a pitlane start - the first in his racing career, he went on to finish 3rd. Isn’t that amazing? This man has got that the spirit to fight and to fight till the end. 2 Ferrari drivers to a podium finish - not bad at all! Go Ferrari! Those of you living in the proximity of Indianapolis, please do go see the Indy GP next Sunday -19th June 2005.
The Formula One Race today at San Marino is one I would have loved to see in person. Fernando Alonso did it again for the 3rd time in a row this season but the star was clearly Michael Schumacher. They were separated only by 0.2 seconds — so one can imagine how electrifying the race must have been. Towards the end of the race I was almost sitting at the edge hoping Schumacher would pull it off.
The start was a little disappointing when I learnt that Schumi was again in not in the top 3. But he proved yet again that he is a class apart with his strategy and good driving. The decision to go in late for his first pit stop and the way he overtook Jenson Button and the Williams car was simply superb. It was indeed a brilliant performance to clinch the 2nd spot having started at position 13. If only the new rules were not in place and Schumi had an option of going for a new engine and new tyres for the next race, he would gone all the way and Alonso would have remebered this race for a lifetime!
It was told that of the 120,000 spectators present to see the race, 119,000 were Ferrari fans. And at times, the cheering of the Ferrari fans downplayed the F1 noise It should have beeen fun. I hope to see some good racing in the following weeks. After all as the commentator said today, Michael Schumacher - Ferrari - Bridgestone is the winning combination and they are back with a bang!
I’ve been told time and again by a NASCAR fan that Formula 1 is for sissies. But I feel the other way round and it takes guts to drive a F 1 car. Narain Karthikeyan has put India on the Formula 1 map by becoming the first Indian ever to drive in a F 1 race. He made India proud this Sunday at the Australian Grand Prix. But it was the Renault team that ultimately stole the show with Fisichella and Alonso taking the 1st and 3rd places respectively. As always when Schumi is out, Barichello is there to save the face of Ferrari. I hope Schumi wins the Malaysian Grand Prix.