I wasn’t surprised that Schumacher won. San Marino has always been a strong Ferrari circuit. As to whether this marks a Ferrari comeback, I somehow doubt it. Its Schumacher’s strong record here (now 7 times winner) and the combination of Bridgestone tyres and car setup that made it a foregone conclusion here. I can’t see their form continuing through the rest of the season.
However Schumacher’s terrible pace in the middle section of the race did give some hope that Alonso was in with a slight chance of coming through. Unfortunately the odd decision to pit him early scuppered his chances! It’s hard to say that if he had stayed out longer he would have got past Schumacher, but since it looks like Alonso had more fuel… well I guess we’ll never know since Renault has refused to comment.
I think Alonso did the best he could given the circuit and conditions. If he continues like this, as he did last season, I can see him winning another championship.
Button’s run of bad luck continued when he tried to wipe out half his pit crew with a disastrous second pit stop. The lollypop was lifted too early before the fuel pump was disengaged and Button took off. The mechanism was still connected to his car and the piping knocked everyone for six and then tore off.
To the lollypop mans credit he did realise his error and put the lollypop back down, but for some reason Button ignored it. Button was sat stranded in the pit lane whilst the crew woke up from their concussion and went to his aid to remove the broken fuel nozzle. A very unusual incident.
Without that mishap, he’d have probably finished 3rd, instead Montoya yawned himself in there instead. The McLaren’s were woefully slow this weekend and their strategy of heavy fuelling means they’re missing for half of the race until their fuel loads equal out. Why? Its clear they have fast cars.
Fisichella had a terrible qualifying session which, even with qualifying 11th (which gives the advantage of allowing whatever strategy / fuel they want), meant he was never going to fight for a podium. Plus the fact San Marino has isn’t a good circuit for overtaking. He is pretty much showing what I’ve said previously, that he is just an inconsistent driver.
I can’t say I was that impressed with the change to Variante Alta chicane at the top of the course. It was great in previous years watching cars fly across it. As Mark Brundell commented, it’s been sanitised. Another victory for safety but a loss for entertainment.
Worth nothing was the excellent engine reliability. We’re 4 races into the session with all new V8 engine designs and, if I remember correctly, there wasn’t a single blow up! Thats impressive.
I had to chuckle at the back markers, Yuji Ide made the Red Bull of Christijan Albers slightly more interesting by nerfed it into a barrel roll and off the track on the first lap.
Next up is the Nurburgring in two weeks, which I have to agree with James Allen, is one of my least favourites (along with Monaco). Hopefully there’ll be a bit more overtaking.
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