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Ferrari Finishes One-Two at German Grand Prix

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The German Grand Prix proved interesting on a number of fronts. The Bridgestone/Ferrari combination showed again that the Japanese tire giant has taken a substantial step up in performance of late. Even the new "experimental" Michelin tire did not have the necessary pace.

The Renaults showed that they do require the "outlawed" mass damper system they have employed for the past 18 months, as the car was not its normal settled, easy-to-drive self (with Fisi schumacher1_lg.jpgcalling the car un-drivable in his second stint), it also seems to have caused blistering to the tires on the car during the race.

McLaren also showed they have found some performance from somewhere. It's not as much as they need, but it's a clear step up, and last but not least Honda have found the level of pace that they showed in the early stages of the season.

raikkonen1_lg.jpgDid all of these factors then make for a good race? Well no, the Ferraris ran off and hid after the mistakenly short fuelled Kimi Raikkonen had to pit on Lap 10.

So if we ignore the scarlet cars, what do we make of the rest of the bunch?

Well, although Kimi was short fuelled, and then had a stuck wheel during the first pit stop (for the second week running) he fought through and came 3rd. This was a great drive by the Fin, and he showed why so many teams are fighting for his signature at the end of the year.

Pedro de la Rossa showed decent pace as well, however his engine packed up on him early on in the race.

The pitting of the leading McLaren allowed the Ferraris to take the first two spots and have an unhindered race to the flag. However the other teams running on Japanese rubber showed it was the tire of choice, with both the Toyota and Williams cars setting good pace.

Barrichello suffered an engine failure on Lap 18, causing him to retire from the race, leaving only button to make points for the Japanese Honda team.

Button was now running in third behind the quickly disappearing Ferraris. He pitted on Lap 15, showing just how much pace the Ferraris had in the bag. Alonso was losing ground in fifth to teammate Fisichella when both he and Massa pitted on Lap 19.

villeneuve2_lg.jpgLap 30 brought a big crash from Jacques Villeneuve, who looked to have something in his suspension break as he was mid corner. The car seemed to lose its front end and come to a halt in the barriers leading onto the home straightaway. Both him and teammate Nick Heidfeld had separate coming-togethers on lap one with other cars. This could have been the root cause of the failure. Nick Heidfeld had already retired after the lap one incident, meaning both of the German BMW cars were out of their home GP.

Fisichella started to struggle with his Renault, allowing Alonso to catch up and overtake him in the stops. Button, Raikkonen, and Mark Webber were in a battle for the last podium step.

trulli1_lg.jpgThe weekend of the Toyota driver Ralph Schumacher got worse, he was penalised with a drive through penalty for speeding in the pits. However, Trulli — after starting from the back of the grid (penalised for an engine change) — had made his way into the points scoring positions. 

The three way race for the third step came to an abrupt end when Webber's Cosworth engine let go, allowing the race to be between Jenson and Kimi.

The race had one final climax, with Trulli coming on fast behind the obviously suffering Renault of Fisichella. The Renault however had just enough pace to fend off the Toyota assault until the end of the race.

podium1_lg.jpgThe final kick came after the race, when the stewards deemed the rear wings of the Midland Toyota cars to be flexing, and disqualified them from the race. As they only finished 13th and 14th there were no points involved, however it seems that even the smaller teams are now trying out the 'flexi' technologies the larger teams have obviously been running.

1.  M.SCHUMACHER  Ferrari      1h27m51.693s
2.  MASSA         Ferrari      +0.7s
3.  RAIKKONEN     McLaren      +13.2s
4.  BUTTON        Honda        +18.9s
5.  ALONSO        Renault      +23.7s
6.  FISICHELLA    Renault      +24.8s
7.  TRULLI        Toyota       +26.5s
8.  KLIEN         Red Bull     +48.1s
9.  R.SCHUMACHER  Toyota       +60.4s
10. LIUZZI        Toro Rosso   +1 lap
11. COULTHARD     Red Bull     +1 lap
12. SPEED         Toro Rosso   +1 lap
DQ. ALBERS        Midland      +1 lap
DQ. MONTEIRO      Midland      +2 laps
R.  WEBBER        Williams     +8 laps
R.  SATO          Super Aguri  +29 laps
R.  VILLENEUVE    BMW          +37 laps
R.  BARRICHELLO   Honda        +49 laps
R.  HEIDFELD      BMW          +58 laps
R.  DE LA ROSA    McLaren      +65 laps
R.  YAMAMOTO      Super Aguri  +66 laps
R.  ROSBERG       Williams     +67 laps

Fastest lap: M.SCHUMACHER  1m16.357s

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  • I know this post is rather old, and please don’t categorize this as spam due to the related link to my ferrari category, but after reading this article it makes me really sad knowing that Ferrari will likely withdraw from F1 if the FIA introduces a budget cap, just because they have a high turn over and haven’t suffered much due to the economic crises, well alot of companies have therefore I’m indecisive on who to side with, as both parties have good points, I just really don’t want them to leave.

  • Agreed, there are a few drivers in the US series’ that could make it in F1, but there all European anyhow.

    Just face it, besides the Andretti family Americans are just not good street racing drivers.

    However there have been very few really good Nascar drivers from Europe, so the reverse is partially true.

    America’s best hope may lie with persuading Danica Patrick across, as she may get good sponsorship backing being the ‘girl’ and placed in a decent team. That is unlikely though, the requirements of an F1 driver over the IRL/Champ Car series is huge, yes they go quicker on an oval, but don’t pull the G-Force and expend the energy an F1 driver does.

    Saying that Scott Speed has got the possibility of a decent drive, as the STR team will get this year’s V8 RBR02 and that is not a bad car, it will also get the trickle through of the Adrian Newy RBR03 aero advancements, and if the rumour is correct a Ferrari engine, so it may be good.

    He is inexperienced, and has shown speed at times, so I say give him another season, the demands of the European F1 circuit are drastically different to those of USA and GP2, he may just need to acclimatise.

    Plus he has Red Bull as his backer, and there not shy of spending a few quid.

  • JR

    DJRadiohead: Do you think Speed is doing well for a rookie or has his performance been fairly undistinguished?

    I would say that Scott Speed’s performance has been relatively undistinguished by F1 standards; and I base this as much on his GP2 record as his first year in F1. Generally the guys who end up winning championships have shown blinding speed and had dominant seasons in the lower formulae. Scott Speed finished third in the GP2 championship last year, but he never won any races. He wouldn’t be expected to win many points in his current team in F1, but he should at least be annihilating his teammate, which he hasn’t done. It’s just barely possible that he’s a late bloomer, but at this point I’d say the odds are against it, especially as European racing is not big on second chances.

    Scott Speed might have a good future in ChampCar or sports car racing, or he could parlay being the only American in F1 into a decent living as a mid-pack driver, but I don’t expect him to be World Champion – that was looking of reach even to Juan Pablo Montoya before he left the sport. Honestly, I don’t see any U.S. World Champion on the horizon; but then real talent is so quickly promoted now that you don’t usually see them coming more than a year or two before they hit F1.

  • Glad you have joined the F1 watching world. People don’t realise half of the enjoyment of F1 is the behind the scenes politics, which is why I try to include the relevant references in my weekend reviews when I can.

    This week it was obviously the Mass Damper system outlaw, then not outlaw, then affraid to run by the Renault team. However they have said that they will run it next week, pop along to f1-blog.co.uk for all the nitty gritty if you want to learn a little more.

  • I am a novice with F1, this year being the first I have paid any actual attention to it. I’m glad you’re writing these for the site.

    Allow a stupid (and novice) American question. Do you think Speed is doing well for a rookie or has his performance been fairly undistinguished? I have no idea what the general learning curve for F1 drivers tends to be.

    Schumacher sure appears to have all the momentum to unseat Alonso. Can’t wait to see how it unfolds.