Thursday, December 15, 2005

Comments on the Chinese GP (Finally!!!)

It only took, what, two months.

The race wasn't bad but was hampered by being only one week from the insane, fantastic, unreal Japanese GP. Compared to it, this one was boring. It wasn't completely boring, though. The day started off with an ominous sign. During the initial "get on the track" laps Minardi's Christijan "No, I really am an F1 driver" Albers ran over Michael "Is the season finished yet?" Schumacher's Ferrari. Both drivers had to scramble for their backup cars. This wouldn't really have effected the outcome of the race, though, so it just ended up an interesting footnote. The only thing that had any meaning for this race was the outcome of the Constructors Championship. Renault was leading McLaren by 2 points going in. And while the team kept downplaying the championship as immaterial, they brought in a specially built engine just for this race.

The race started with an all Renault front as Fernando "I'm so happy" Alonso and Giancarlo "Why I can not win?" Fisichella lined up P1 & P2. Right behind them was the winningest loser of the season, Kimi "Mumble" Räikkönen, who put his McLaren-Mercedes in P3. His teammate JP "It's never my fault" Montoya was in P5 just behind Jenson "The Invisible man" Button's BAR-Honda. The only other thing of note was Takuma "The one point wonder" Sato tucking his BAR-Honda in P17. Taku had a miserable season. With all the promise of 2004 he just was such a non-entity this year it's questionable whether he'll have a ride for 2006.

So anyway, on to the race. The start sees Alonzo blast out in front while Fisi blocked everyone else. Kimi was pushing hard but couldn't make it around the Italian. JP was able to pass Jenson to take up 4th. This seemed to be a fitting order as the only two teams with anything to gain looked like they would be battling it out. It didn't quite happen that way, though. Actually the first move of any consequence, other than Alonzo whipping out a 15s lead, was that the first one out of the race was Michael. On lap 22 he just spun his Ferrari into the gravel. It was a disappointing, yet fitting, end to the season.

Then just 2 laps later JP runs over a drainage cover and trashes his ride. This pretty much sealed the Championship for Renault. But it wouldn't be a walk, it seemed. The Safety Car was brought out so that the track workers could fix the big hole that JP left behind. Thus Alonzo's lead was brought back to nothing. But when the SC came off it was as if the slowdown never occurred. Fernando blasted out to a double digit lead again. Then it was deja-vou all over again.

Narain "I am wondering" Karthikeyan decided he didn't like his Jordan-Toyota today so he splashed it all over the guard wall and across the track. It was a bit disturbing, though, as the Jordan just seemed to disintegrate throwing parts of the car off that shouldn't have come lose at all (the nose cone, tires, suspension). This brought out the SC again and once again Fernando's lead got all sucked up. After the track was cleaned and the race restarted it was deja-vou all over again again as he launched into another >15s lead. From there is was Good Night Irene as the Spaniard never lost the lead for the rest of the race. Kimi was able to jump over Fisi into 2nd and some really good driving from Ralf "Damn-it, my name is not The Other" Schumacher got him from P9 to 3rd. Fisi dropped into 4th and there they would all stay to the finish.

One good bit of work that went virtually unnoticed was Christian "Mister" Klien bringing his Red Bull from P14 to 5th. Other notables were Rubens "I think I'm better than Michael" Barrichello languishing back in 12th, Jarno "What? There's more than 2 gears" Trulli starting P12 and ending up 15th, Felipe "I'm a Ferrari driver!" Massa going from P11 to 6th and the complete suckage of Taku who ended up out of the race on lap 34.

So that's how it all ended. The season could be summed up by what Fernando was sining as he crossed the finish line...

"We are the Champions"

See everyone in 2006!

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