Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Comments on the Italian GP

Wow! What a race. First off, Kimi qualifies fastest by a good margin but gets penalized 10 places on the starting grid due to an engine change (stupid rule). This puts JP and Alonso in P1 and P2. Another interesting thing was that Antonio Pizzonia was starting in place of Nick Heidfeld due to the latter being under the weather. Pizzonia hadn't been in a car for 3 months yet was called up on Saturday to race on Sunday. He started 16th on the grid but brought his Williams-BMW in at 7th place.. Additionally this was the first time that all the cars were running at the end of a race since 1960-something, not counting that sham of a race at Indy. That's not to say there weren't some bumps and bruises along the way. Especially the first turn. But the real action was in the strategies. Unknown to everyone outside of McLaren-Mercedes he was running on a very heave full load. The plan was for him to have a one stop race. After being held up by slower traffic for a good many laps he was able to push his car up to 2nd behind JP. He then went in for his one and only scheduled pit. After taking on a good load of fuel he came back out in 5th but looking very good as all the others in front of him would have to pit sometime. Unfortunately for him his left rear tire decided it didn't want to play anymore. It started to come apart on the past tread so three laps he had to pit for a tire change. This dropped him back to 14th and from then on he was out of contention for winning. The real fun came a few laps later when JP's left rear started degrading in the exact same way as Kimi's. The team knew that if they brought him in it would be all over as there were less than 15 laps left. So JP stuck it out and kept on going. He had a large enough lead so that he was able to back off and still win the race. Alonzo, though, was charging like a madman. he ended up just behind JP at the flag. This extended his lead in the drivers championship but the McLaren boys cut into the team championship and look in a very good position for Spa the next weekend.

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