Zurich Gnome

The journal of a Swiss-based motor-racing enthusiast.

Monday, March 13, 2006

One Down...

With the first race of the season over, we now have a much better picture of where we are. And obviously the first observation must be that it was a very entertaining race. There was something going on all the time, with a lot of racing taking place. I don't subscribe to the view that what we want is more overtaking, what we want is more people trying to overtake. And yesterday there a lot of moves, some of which came off, some didn't.

First off, Alonso passing Massa was key to the race. It was effectively the key to the race. If Felipe had kept Fernando at bay, Michael would have won. As it was, the Spaniard was able to make the most of his slightly heavier fuel load and stay out those vital laps. And seeing the two World Champions going head to head into Turn One was worth watching the race for on ist own. Throw in all the racing with the two Hondas at the start (no team orders there then) and the various Williams and BMW sub-races and the crowd had a motor-race to watch.

The big disappointment has to be Toyota. Slow in qualifying and slow in the race. Can they really have got it so wrong? I hope not for Mike Gascoigne's sake, but they really need to do better in Malaysia.

Button was a star, and his clutch problem at the start caused him a probable podium position. I don't think he'd have won, but Honda are clearly in the hunt, much improved over last year. And Montoya must be gutted. In a year when McLaren will be losing one of their drivers, it doesn't do to finish behind your teammate, especially as Kimi started 18 grid positions behind him. And being passed by Jenson? Twice? Ever regret that statement you made JPM? The one where you said "Button can't overtake because he's too scared of the cars making contact"? Time to check the pension plan...


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