2006 F1 season

I followed F1 races through this no-posting period and there was plenty of interesting things to see. First, Ferrari resurected themself. First they win in Imola, then they win the European GP - Schumacher masterfully drove both races and defended from Alonso. I might also add that Alonso is amazingly cool-headed driver - he tries few times, sees that is not possible and decides against the risk. He has shown last year that he is great driver and now he shows a lot of common sense.

Not that I like that in a driver - I’m there for excitement, not reason :). Current shitty points system really drives the driver towards such behavior. I much prefer the MotoGP points system.

Spain GP was Alonso’s second dream come through. He is a champion already and now he won - and what a dominant win that was - in front of his home crowd. No one could touch him, no one was even close. Ferrari took 2nd and 3rd and shows that they are very strong again.

McLaren is still in the (now) 3rd league. Not enough speed, not enough strength. Kimi did the funniest moment in the race: he saw on the screens around the track that current camera view is one from his cockpit and waved to the TV viewers. Lunatic, total lunatic. It would be said to see him going away to Ferrari. He also did the best move on the race - initial drive from 9th to 5th between two Toyotas was masterful and very brave thing to do.

Monaco was surprisingly entertaining until the 20 laps from the end when first Webber’s car broke and soon after Kimi’s as well. Montoya was stuck 7 cars after Alonso and thus unable to make a move and the race was decided then. Lots of close driving which was exciting to watch. And of course, how not to mention that idiotic thing Schumacher did in the qualifiying. It was plainly obvious that he did it on purpose, something telemetric data confirmed and was rightfully punished. The best moment of the race - David Coulthard finishing third and then wearing Superman outfit. :) Ferrari got much better in the second part of season and Schumacher did not have to try such stupid tricks - he only had to do what he does best - drive. Everything was really going for them from that moment…apart from few hickups.

Montoya, Alonso, Superman and Briatore

Another surprisingly great race was Hungary GP. Usually a boring race on the track with little overtaking chances proved to be a hell as all the favourites dropped out and Jenson Button finally won, in his 113th race start. The saddest thing for me is that I did not even watch it. I was in London on business and went for a stroll on the Thames bank, thinking that in such motor-crazy country as UK is, there would be no problems to find a bar that is showing the race. To my amazement, I realized that most of the bars are not even open and those that were do not have a TV set. The dumbest thing I saw was that few bars do have TVs, but they are not on and when I asked can they show the race, they said no. One place did have a TV on but they were showing horse riding (not even horse racing) on Sky sports. No one was watching that, but they refused to turn to any channels with the F1 race. There I was, ready to spend my money on lunch and drinks, but they did not even think to change the channel. I mean, really…

Monza, the Italian GP was the place of the biggest announcement in recent F1 years. After more than a decade in the sport, the most famous F1 driver is going into retirement. Along with that, Ferrari announced that Kimi Raikkonen signed a 3-year deal. I strongly believe that Kimi would have stayed in McLaren if Schumacher did not retire, but there you go. I’m sad that my team lose such a good driver, but on the other hand hope that good fortunes that Fernando seems to have with him will not evaporate when he moves to McLaren and there would be something to be happy about. Because this year there was nothing, regarding McLaren. Monza had its bad marks too - Alonso was punished for allegedly blocking Felipe Massa in qualifying even though he was at least 200m in front of him and was actually pushing to the max because he had to start his flying lap before the time runs out - which he did 2s before the end of Q. But, it’s a Ferrari home ground and I’m not suprised that their complaint was taken as true. Schumacher won, Alonso retired due to engine failure and all was red and rosy for the reds.

In China, Renault was again the class of the field and again they beat themself. The same guy that fucked up Alonso’s chances in Hungary did it again here - Alonso lost around 12s in the pit because the mechanic on the rear right tyre had problems to screw it in and it was those 12s that Alonso missed to overtake Schumacher who won this race and jumped to the 1st place in the standings due to one win more than Alonso. That debt however, was repayed in Suzuka. Ferrari was the dominant force, but 12 laps before the end Schumacher’s engine died and Alonso won. With 10pts advantage, only a miracle can snatch the second Championship title from his hands.