Formula One China
Topics: Chinese Grand Prix
October 18, 2005
Date - Sunday October 16 - Shanghai, China - Fernando Alonso won the Chinese F1 Grand Prix and in doing so has won the constructor's title for Renault after de-throning Michael Schumacher of the driver's championship in September.
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Renault finished the season on 191 points with Mclaren-Mercedes coming in second on 182. The past season, 2005, was the longest ever in Formula One history with 19 races and added to this is the fact that Fernando Alonso is the youngest ever FOrmula One World Champion; and guess who his team boss, Flavio Briatore, used to manage? The recently disappointing Michael Schumacher when he used to race for Benetton at the very start of his F1 career, of course. Indeed I have to add that the only sensible explanation for his bad form is the car his driving at the moment which cannot be doing any good for his motivation or confidence. Makes one think about how good a team boss and talent-spotter Flavio Briatore is.
The victory in Shanghai was the 7th for Alonso but this only equalled the number of wins for second place finisher in the race as well as the driver's championship, Kimi Raikkonen. Alonso won this championship because the Renault was that much more reliable and consistent than the Mclaren-Mercedes but Alonso added, "I am a little bit frustrated that I only won seven races...I think the car had the potential to win 10 or 11." Who would have thought a French car would be more reliable than a Merc? And I have no doubt in my mind that this form in Formula One has translated into a worldwide sales increase for Renault.
The race in Shanghai was definitely incident filled with no shortage of entertainment. The Safety Car had to be called out twice; on lap 30 for Narain Karthikeyan's accident in turn 13 in his Jordan, which had a few flames flicking about and also earlier, believe it or not, for 6 laps while marshalls fixed a drain cover that had come loose and ultimately ended Juan Pablo Montoya's race.
Michael Schumacher's race also ended early after he first collided with Felipe Massa in his Sauber on the way to the starting grid and then spinning off while following the Safety Car.
Jordan is no more, at least not in F1. The team has been bought by the Russian-born Canadian billionaire Alex Shnaider and will be called Midland from next year onwards. This was their 250th grand prix race in Formula One.
BAR is also out and the outfit will now be wholly owned by Honda and Sauber has been bought by BMW who were previously the engine partners of Williams.
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