Official 2006 F1 Season Discussion

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Brilliant race! Loads of action. I feel sorry for Mark Webber, as he was doing so well, and looked good for a podium, if not a win. I don't like Kimi much, but I would have liked to see him continue so we could have a 4 car battle to the finish. Either way, the final positions were good. Alonso, Montoya and Coulthard all drove a solid race. Great to see DC on the podium again. :D

I feel that Schumacher should have been more heavily punished. What he did in qualifying was extremely dangerous and childish. He got off very lightly, IMO.

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I felt sorry for the people who cars went bang.

Weber and Kimi should of been on the podium and i thought Montoya didn't have much to do for the race near the end.

Fischilla car should of blown up, i thought he did some dirty things at some point to webber. Because on the third blue flag he finaly moved and not long after that webber car went. Probley because he was having to do some harsh breaking and accellation to get fishy to move, if he wasnt' in the way then he would of been able to go full felt and cool the engine from the wind gatherd from his speed

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It was a good race, it's just a shame the reliability of some of the other cars was poor, otherwise it could of been even better! Renault have fantastic pace and reliability, and these days reliability is just as important as pace if not more important.

Unlucky Webber though, he drove brilliantly (Y)

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Big Name Rosberg what plannet you on.

What planet are YOU on? He makes his mistakes occasionally, but for a "rookie" driver he is VERY good. Apart from that, Rosberg is a "big name" in F1 anyway, regardless of Nico.

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I don't know about anybody else, but the Superman Returns marketing guys would be very happy from the Monaco GP. DC got Superman on the podium! :p

But seriously the race was great! Alonso's luck doesn't seem to diminish at all! And Kimi bad luck doesn't seem to diminish at all! Who would expect an engine failure behind a safety car!!! Well it reminded me of Schumi-JPM collision at Monaco behind the safety car. Monaco is always special, something does happen which makes it special. And to add to the ever increasing list of the ill-fated drivers, Webber will be the new man. That guy really needs bucket loads of luck. Just when things start looking good for him in the race, his car gives up. It would have been a great race, with a sure podium place, his engine gave up. Such a disappointment for him, and I must say he did a solid job in hanging with the lead 2 drivers. As for Ferrari their day started bad, starting from the last row on the grid on Monaco isn't the ideal way of starting your race!!! But still the day ended quite well for them. Michael Schumacher's fifth place finish, and Massa's ninth place finish is really solid performance. Overtaking at Monaco is never easy, but still Schumi did a great job. Had Alonso not slowed Schumi down when Schumi unlapped himself, Michael would have taken the fourth place from Barrichello too, who knows might even have taken the podium!!! The gap from DC wasn't so big in the end. Though I'm happy for DC. That guy loves Monaco, and now the RedBull and Superman guys will love him even more. :p Heidfeld and Ralf getting in points will be good for their teams, as both the teammates of both the drivers had a bad race. I would have loved to see the battle between Alonso and Kimi going down to the finish. They both stick-ed like glue to each other during the race, until Kimi's car gave up. :( I really feel sad for this guy :(

Anyways a good and a memorable race, next up is Silverstone. Should again be an interesting race.

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Big Name Rosberg what plannet you on.

Rosberg is a good driver, and for a rookie, he's very impressive. I can only imagine in the following years he's going to get better and be one of those drivers that fight for podium and in the points almost every race.

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Barcelona day one - Ferrari fight back

Ferrari put the disappointment of Monaco behind them on Wednesday as they headed the week’s first day of testing in Spain. Felipe Massa was the only man to dip below the 1m 15s barrier as he outpaced the Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen in Barcelona.

Morning rain at the Circuit de Catalunya limited the eight teams present to minimal wet-weather tyre work, but once the track dried the times tumbled accordingly, with Massa’s best a 1m 14.940s. Team mate Luca Badoer, working on new components for the 248 F1, was eighth fastest.

Renault were happy with their progress and, like many of the teams, were focussing on tyre selection for the forthcoming British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Kovalainen also carried out an extensive data logging programme.

"We had a good first day. The weather disrupted our work early on, but after that, we were able to get our teeth into the tyre development programme,” reported Renault’s chief test engineer, Christian Silk. “The performance of the car looks good - as we knew from the race here just over two weeks ago. We got plenty of laps done in spite of the delay, and look forward to building on this tomorrow and Friday."

Jenson Button was the leading Honda in fourth place, the Briton working on chassis set-up with the RA106. Team mate Rubens Barrichello was charged with an aerodynamic evaluation and then a tyre programme. The Brazilian ended the day in ninth place.

Toyota test drivers Olivier Panis and Ricardo Zonta were fifth and sixth respectively, the latter losing some time when the fire extinguisher in his car began to leak.

"Today's testing went very well with both Olivier and Ricardo completing their

programmes and pushing hard to put in over 200 laps,” commented Toyota team manager, Richard Cregan. “We were mainly focused on getting through a Bridgestone tyre test that we had planned. Due to the rain and wet track in the morning we completed a wet tyre test with Olivier and in the afternoon both drivers continued with long runs to help prepare the tyre choice for the next race. While Olivier did his running in the old car, Ricardo was driving the B-car collecting further data on its behaviour."

McLaren began their test with Pedro de la Rosa (seventh fastest) and Gary Paffett (15th) in the cockpit of the MP4-21. Both men worked on a combination of front and rear suspension and aerodynamic developments.

There was little to split the BMW Saubers of Robert Kubica and the newly-married Jacques Villeneuve. They were tenth and 11th fastest, Kubica concentrating on set-up and a tyre casing programme for Michelin, while Villeneuve carried out set-up and aero work.

A trio of Red Bull cars completed the Wednesday line-up with Toro Rosso’s Scott Speed bettering Red Bull Racing colleagues Christian Klien and Robert Doornbos.

Testing continues in Barcelona on Thursday.

Unofficial Wednesday times from Barcelona:

1. Felipe Massa, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:14.940

2. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:15.063

3. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:15.255

4. Jenson Button, Honda (Michelin), 1:15.523

5. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:15.534

6. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:15.541

7. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.828

8. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:15.867

9. Rubens Barrichello, Honda (Michelin), 1:16.170

10. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:16.520

11. Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:16.627

12. Scott Speed, Toro Rosso (Michelin), 1:17.274

13. Christian Klien, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:17.291

14. Robert Doornbos, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:17.348

15. Gary Paffett, McLaren (Michelin), 1:17.480

Schumacher stuns in Spanish test


Michael Schumacher put his Monaco controversy firmly behind him as he returned to testing on Thursday. The Ferrari star not only set the pace at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, he also set a new unofficial lap record for the track.

Schumacher’s best time of 1m 13.469s put him over half a second clear of Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen. However, Ferrari’s day was clouded by a heavy accident for Luca Badoer in the morning. The Italian was unhurt after going into the barriers in the sweeping third turn, but extensive damage to his car put it out of commission for the rest of the week.

At Renault, Kovalainen continued to focus on tyres for the forthcoming British Grand Prix while team mate Giancarlo Fisichella, fifth fastest, worked on brakes, and also signed off a number of components for the upcoming Canadian race.

"The cars ran reliably, and we collected plenty of useful data for the next races,” commented Renault’s chief test engineer Christian Silk. “Tomorrow, we will be putting finishing touches to our preparations for the forthcoming race in Silverstone, where we expect the R26 to maintain its recent competitive form."

At Toyota, Ricardo Zonta was at the wheel of the older TF106, while Jarno Trulli used the latest TF106B. Trulli had to end his session slightly early due to gearbox problems and finished sixth fastest, three places behind his team mate.

"I think today's testing shows positive results,” said Zonta. “Being the third fastest in the times shows that the car can be competitive. Everything on the car was feeling good and we collected quite a bit of information, like temperature measurements and brake comparison data. Building on this week's experience, Silverstone should see better results for the team."

Williams joined the test on Thursday with Nico Rosberg and Alexander Wurz going fourth and 15th fastest respectively. Wurz was another driver to end his day in the barriers after walking away from a minor crash late in the afternoon.

“Nico had a mixed test programme, including some engine control software, underbody temperature mappings, some set-up work and a short tyre test in the afternoon, “ explained Williams’ test team manager Mike Condliffe. “Meanwhile, Alex was testing a family of aerodynamic parts for direct comparison all day, providing useful data for correlation with the wind tunnel. Unfortunately, just before the end of session, Alex suffered an impact. I am pleased to say that he is fine, but the car sustained some damage. Both drivers will be on duty again tomorrow for our last day.”

Pedro de la Rosa was the leading McLaren in seventh place, the Mercedes-powered team continuing their programme of suspension and aero work, plus Silverstone tyre selection. Juan Pablo Montoya missed part of the morning session due to clutch problems that required a transmission change and ended the day 11th in the times.

At BMW Sauber, Jacques Villeneuve spent the morning finishing off some work started on Wednesday, as well as looking at aerodynamics and set-up. In the afternoon he did a tyre casing programme for Michelin in preparation for forthcoming races. Team mate Nick Heidfeld carried out some start practice and minimal aero and set-up work in the morning, before spending the entire afternoon on tyres. Heidfeld was 13th fastest to Villeneuve’s eighth.

Honda’s Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello took ninth and 12th spots as they both performed aero and tyre programmes in the RA106. They will hand over to test drivers Anthony Davidson and James Rossiter on Friday.

Christian Klien headed the Red Bull drivers, the Austrian claiming 14th in the timesheets. Red Bull Racing third driver Robert Doornbos was 16th, with Toro Rosso counterpart Neel Jani completing the line-up.

Testing is due to conclude in Barcelona on Friday.

Unofficial Thursday times from Barcelona:

1. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:13.469

2. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:14.169

3. Ricardo Zonta, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:14.696

4. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Bridgestone), 1: 14.728

5. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:14.863

6. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:15.131

7. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.240

8. Jacques Villeneuve, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:15.526

9. Jenson Button, Honda (Michelin), 1:15.581

10. Luca Badoer, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:15.644

11. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.652

12. Rubens Barrichello, Honda (Michelin), 1:15.765

13. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:15.783

14. Christian Klien, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:15.870

15. Alexander Wurz, Williams (Bridgestone), 1: 17.159

16. Robert Doornbos, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:17.192

17. Neel Jani, Toro Rosso (Michelin), 1:17.201

Edited by devilhead_satish
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Barcelona day three - Ferrari stay ahead


Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher was again the pacesetter as Formula One testing concluded in Spain on Friday. Schumacher’s best time of 1m 14.109s put him less than a tenth of a second clear of BMW Sauber’s third driver Robert Kubica at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya.

Like most of his rivals, Schumacher spent part of his day working on tyre preparations for the next round of the championship, the British Grand Prix. He also evaluated some new components for the 248 F1.

Kubica, meanwhile, worked on tyres and an aero programme, while BMW Sauber team mate Nick Heidfeld (12th fastest) also carried out a damper and suspension test on the F1.06.

The Renaults of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen were third and fourth fastest, split by just a thousandth of a second. Both drivers concentrated on long run performance in preparation for Silverstone.

Renault’s chief test engineer Christian Silk commented: "It was a strong final day for the team today in Barcelona. The team has worked well this week, and we have completed a lot of reliable laps to make good progress with our programmes. Michelin have developed an interesting range of products for the coming race, and we feel we have some good answers for Silverstone. We can be optimistic of another strong Renault performance next weekend."

Jarno Trulli put the Toyota TF106B fifth in the timesheets, with team mate Olivier Panis 15th in the older TF106. Trulli was happy with the progress the team have made with the revised car since its recent race debut in Monaco.

"At this test, the new car is showing potential and we have been working on finding a better balance and perfect set-up for me,” he said. “The tyres we have been using are getting better as well. Of course there is still work to do and the Silverstone set-up will be much different than in Monaco, therefore we will have to wait and see how the B-car does on a high-speed track. Even though we have not yet tested at Silverstone this year, I think the race will be a tough fight and we are definitely going to be pushing hard to gain some points."

The McLarens of Pedro de la Rosa and Juan Pablo Montoya were sixth and seventh, as both drivers continued working on suspension and aerodynamics. Just behind them was the Williams of Nico Rosberg, the German testing new brake materials as well as tyres.

Robert Doornbos was an encouraging ninth for Red Bull, the Dutchman having spent all three days of the test running a Ferrari engine with new development parts. David Coulthard was 13th as the team also carried out transmission development and evaluated a new front suspension system.

Anthony Davidson and James Rossiter finished 10th and 11th as they took over at Honda. Davidson spent the day on chassis set-up and further tyre programmes, looking at the best of the options from the previous two days. He finished the day with a short aero run, completing 139 laps despite a spin at turn four. Rossiter lost much of his morning running after going off at turn four early in the session; however he went back out after lunch to work through an aero evaluation and chassis set-up work, completing 105 laps.

Vitantonio Liuzzi completed Toro Rosso’s test, which saw all three of their drivers spend a day at the wheel. "This was a good test with everyone, drivers and team personnel putting in a solid performance," commented chief engineer, Laurent Mekies. "We had several new aero parts to evaluate and the workload was split between the three drivers. Now we have plenty of data to study back in the factory and we will then try and get the parts that worked well onto the cars as soon as possible, although the next race at Silverstone might be a bit too early."

The teams will next be on track in first practice for the British Grand Prix which takes place at Silverstone on June 09-11.

Unofficial Friday times from Barcelona:

1. Michael Schumacher, Ferrari (Bridgestone), 1:14.109

2. Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:14.136

3. Giancarlo Fisichella, Renault (Michelin), 1:14.504

4. Heikki Kovalainen, Renault (Michelin), 1:14.505

5. Jarno Trulli, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:15.010

6. Pedro de la Rosa, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.122

7. Juan Pablo Montoya, McLaren (Michelin), 1:15.176

8. Nico Rosberg, Williams (Bridgestone), 1: 15.502

9. Robert Doornbos, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:15.508

10. Anthony Davidson, Honda (Michelin), 1:15.609

11. James Rossiter, Honda (Michelin), 1:15.629

12. Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber (Michelin), 1:15.674

13. David Coulthard, Red Bull (Michelin), 1:15.807

14. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso (Michelin), 1:16.490

15. Olivier Panis, Toyota (Bridgestone), 1:16.531

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Super Aguri sign Yamamoto as third driver


The Super Aguri team have signed Sakon Yamamoto for this weekend’s British Grand Prix. The Japanese star will also appear in the same role at the Canadian and US rounds.

Yamamoto, 23, is a veteran of the Super GT and Formula Nippon championships. He has also made one previous Formula One appearance, as Jordan’s third driver in last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“I am very happy to be coming back into Formula One with the Super Aguri F1 Team and I would like to thank everyone who has supported me,” said Yamamoto. “I will try to do my best in my new role as SAF1 Team third driver and give the team good feedback from my time in the car.”

Super Aguri’s race line-up this weekend will again be led by Takuma Sato, with Frenchman Franck Montagny as his team mate. It is not yet clear whether the team will actually field a third car at Silverstone.


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OOO button did very poor from what i heard.

I've never really rated button and never saw anything special about him. I'm glad Kimi got second, hope he doesn't break down tomorrow!

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Button was caught out when he was called to the weigh-bridge. Partly that, and the fact that Honda didn't account for that possibility. Even after he had been weighed, he had enough time, but Honda didn't send him out.

Button could win easily, given the right car. I reckon if he was put in the Renault he would be right up there. I used to think Honda was his best hope, but Honda just seem to look more and more hopeless at getting anything right.

I'm glad Kimi got second too. Schumacher has to start from third now. :D

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I've been watching F1 for about 7 years now and whilst I still love it there are two things that bug me about the way it's broadcasted.

Why is it never in widescreen, and why isn't any of it interactive for digital viewers?

I can understand that maybe being interactive wouldn't be possible for some of the races in some countries, but I would have thought that Silverstone would be by now. F1 is almost a showcase for technological advancements and has so much money involved in it that it doesn't seem to make sense that basic things such as widescreen still aren't used.

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He means all the red button pressing, etc.

It might be because the cost doesn't warrant the return. I know the FIA launched an F1 channel (subscription) on Sky a few years back, which had loads of fancy enhancements. It didn't last long though, as the FIA lost quite a few million from it.

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What do you mean by interactive?

That it would give you the option of chosing which camera to watch, like they do for tennis tournaments when you can select which court you want to view.

For example they were following Button from his onboard camera today and really I wanted to keep watching but they switched back to the regular external view of the cars. I think it'd be great to be able to follow on driver as they moved up the grid.

They have so many cameras around the track and onboard cars that I think it would be really nice to be able to choose from a couple of others.

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Race Report



The Spaniard took the lead at the start, and only lost it during his two pit stops. Raikkonen initially chased hard, running a lighter fuel load as suspected, and Schumacher was right with the McLarem. The Finn and the German had some great side-by-side, wheel-to-wheel racing before the order became more established up until they made their second stops. Schumacher made his first, on the 41st lap, and was stationary for 6.8s. Raikkonen came in a lap later and stood still for 8.0s. By the time he rejoined, the Ferrari had already swept through Copse and into its eventual second place. While Raikkonen had no reply, Schumacher likewise could do nothing about Alonso even though they were running at similar speed.

Not quite 14s after the Spaniard had crossed the line after 60 laps, the German took the flag 4.7s clear of the Finn. Giancarlo Fisichella had got the better of Felipe Massa during the first pit stops, and closed to within a second of Raikkonen at one stage before finishing 1.3 adrift.

It was not a classic race, and means that Alonso could almost finish second to Schumacher in all of the remaining races and still be champion.


A distant sixth place fell to Juan Pablo Montoya, with BMW Sauber having a good day as Nick Heidfeld and Jacques Villeneuve took seventh and eighth and the final points. Nico Rosberg chased hard but had to settle for ninth for Williams.

It was a disastrous day for Honda, with Jenson Button going off the road on the ninth lap after spinning on his own oil, having climbed from 19th to 12th, and Rubens Barrichello finishing a lapped 10th ahead of Jarno Trulli’s Toyota.


David Coulthard led home three of Red Bull’s four entries, with Tonio Liuzzi’s single-stop strategy keeping him ahead of Christian Klien for 13th. Christijan Albers beat Midland team mate Tiago Monteiro home, with the Super Aguris of Takuma Sato and Franck Montagny taking 17th and 18th three laps down.

An incident involving Scott Speed, Ralf Schumacher and Mark Webber accounted for all three on the opening lap. Speed’s move on Schumacher Jnr at Becketts saw his Toro Rosso damage the rear of the Toyota. Schumacher was seemingly nudged into a spin and consequently ran smack into the innocent Webber. The stewards are currently investigating this.


As Schumacher and Raikkonen were philosophical, Alonso savoured a great win. “It is fantastic to win in Silverstone, after winning in Spain and Monaco,” he said. “Winning the last two was a dream come true. They are circuits with big names and great emotion in the grandstands. To win in this country, 20 minutes from my home in Oxford, is a really good feeling. It’s been a fantastic day. We are on the limit with our car, but the reliability is fantastic. We have to take advantage of that. And the best defence from now on will be attacking.”

The result means Alonso extends his drivers’ championship lead over Schumacher by a further two points, with 74 to 51. Raikkonen is another 18 adrift on 33. In the constructors’ standings, Renault break through the 100 barrier, heading Ferrari by 106 points to 75, with McLaren on 59.



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It wasn't the most exciting race I've ever seen at Silverstone, but it had it's moments. The first few laps were good with Alonso, Kimi and Schumacher all so close. Was pretty good at the end with Fisi chasing Kimi down too. Shame that the aerodynamics make getting close to overtake so difficult, otherwise I think Fisi might have just been able to have a go at overtaking Kimi.

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It was a boring race for the major part of the race. Except for the 3 incidents mentioned by starry. Poor Button, luck never favors him, everytime when he is expected to have a good race, his Honda engine fails. And luck never leaves Alonso

This season there have been 8 races and here is Alonso's results pattern:


he has never finished below 2nd and has amassed 74 points from a possible 80!!!

His qualifying run till now:


4 consecutive pole positions!!!

Good for Kimi to finish on podium, his third this season. Ferrari's pit strategy and Michael's perfect outlap allowed Michael to take the second position from Kimi. JPM too had a good race and he finished sixth. Good race for the Sauber-BMWs, a double points finish. Infact Renault, Ferrari, McLaren, Sauber-BMW were the only teams to finish in points and all the teams had a double points finish.

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