McLaren Press Release

Monte Carlo, Wednesday, 24th May 2006: Team McLaren Mercedes and Steinmetz unveiled their latest collaboration earlier today in the build-up to the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix.

Steinmetz has worked in conjunction with Team McLaren Mercedes’ engineers to manufacture a Diamond steering wheel. The Mercedes-Benz star on both Kimi Raikkonen's and Juan Pablo Montoya's steering wheels have been emblazoned with round, brilliant cut, white, natural diamonds, expertly cut by Steinmetz, creating a visual impact inside the cockpit never seen before.

To announce the creation of the Diamond steering wheels, Steinmetz commissioned the creation of an exact replica of this year’s Team McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 car, made from two tonnes of ice, into which Kimi Raikkonen, the ‘Iceman’, climbed. The ‘Iceman’, in his ice car, with his ‘iced’ steering wheel – a suitable way to announce to the world Steinmetz and Team McLaren Mercedes’ new Formula 1 creation.

Steinmetz, creators of the world’s finest diamonds, and Team McLaren Mercedes are both leaders in their respective fields, which although very different, rely on many similar principles. Flawless engineering, groundbreaking design and unparalleled performance are all traits the partners share in common.

Nir Livnat, CEO of Steinmetz, “We are extremely proud to have worked with Team McLaren Mercedes on such a truly bespoke and unique creation. Not only is it personal to the driver and fundamental in the racing of the car, but it also shows the expert level of patience, craftsmanship and engineering that is necessary for cutting and polishing diamonds. We hope that the steering wheels help the Team McLaren Mercedes drivers steer their way to another victory this year”

This collaboration marks the continuation of the relationship between Team McLaren Mercedes and Steinmetz which began in Monaco, with the creation of Steinmetz’s Diamond Helmets last year. The helmets have now been sold and $400.000 have been raised for four charities nominated by Kimi, Juan Pablo and Ron Dennis; 'The Senna Foundation', 'Tommy's', 'Formula Smiles' and 'SOS Kinderdorf International'.

McLaren Press Release

In the 40 years since that day McLaren has:

competed in 602 Formula 1 Grands Prix.
won a total of 148 of the races they have competed in.
won 11 Formula 1 Drivers' World Championships and been crowned Formula 1 Constructors' World Champions a total of eight times.
Won the Indianapolis 500 three times, the Can Am Championship on five occasions as well the 24 Heures du Mans.
finished one-two on the podium on 40 occasions.
started 122 races from pole position.
on 70 of these occasions gone on to win the race from pole position.
started 255 Grand Prix from the front row.
on 51 occasions occupied both spots on the front row of the grid.
set the fastest lap of the race 126 times.
been on the podium a total of 387 times, this would be the equivalent of 1161 litres of champagne that could have been sprayed by the drivers.
raced on six continents and in 28 countries, of which the team has won races in 25.
been the only team to date to have won all but one race in a whole season when they finished 15 out of a possible 16 races on the top step of the podium in 1988 with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
had 42 different drivers race for the team with 16 different nationalities.
employed 10 World Champions over the 40 years. Of these six have won a total of 11 Drivers' World Championship between them whilst driving for McLaren.
maintained the longest partnership in the sport, with HUGO BOSS supplying the team uniforms for the past 25 years.
only had a total of three Title Partners throughout its 40 year history.
built and moved into the award winning McLaren Technology Centre which was officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen in May 2004.

In 1995 Mercedes-Benz joined McLaren and since then:

the McLaren Mercedes Partnership has claimed 44 victories, 43 pole positions, 58 fastest laps, 134 podiums, 224 point finishes, 14 one-two finishes, in a total of 192 starts.

Since McLaren's Formula 1 debut in Monaco, the team has been dominant on the streets of Monte Carlo.

In 1966 the Monaco Grand Prix consisted of 100 laps at 3.130km each, the qualifying lap was 1m29.9 seconds with the top speed reaching 126.080km/h. In 2005 there were 78 laps of 3.340km in length. The pole position set by Kimi Raikkonen was 1m13.644 and the top average speed 158.540km/h.
The livery of the original car was white with a green stripe. The reason for this was due to the film Grand Prix. The car featured heavily in the John Frankenheimer movie as McLaren had offered to assist the filmmakers in order to fund their first season in Formula 1. The three hour long film won three Academy Awards.
There were a total of four employees that assisted Bruce at the Monaco Grand Prix in 1966. In contrast Team McLaren Mercedes will be sending 137 people to Monte Carlo this year; this figure includes drivers, engineers, mechanics, support crew, marketing personnel and hospitality.
Of the original workforce in 1966, two are still currently working within McLaren Racing. Tyler Alexander travels with the team as a systems engineer and Ray Rowe works as a gearbox mechanic.
Following their debut it only took 24 races before McLaren won their first ever Grand Prix at the 1968 Belgium Grand Prix with Bruce at the wheel.
McLaren first won on the streets of the principality with Alain Prost securing the first victory in Monaco in 1984.
Since this win, McLaren have gone on to win the Monaco Grand Prix a total of 13 times. This is more than any other team in the history of the sport. In addition since the 1998 Monaco Grand Prix, McLaren Mercedes has taken victory in the Principality on four occasions.
Two years later in 1986 McLaren scored the first of 40 one-two finishes for the team in Monaco with Alain Prost crossing the line in front of team-mate Keke Rosberg.
Past McLaren World Champion Ayrton Senna also holds the record for most wins at this track with a total of six, five of which he scored whilst driving a McLaren.
McLaren have started the Monaco Grand Prix from pole position on 10 occasions.
Last year Team McLaren Mercedes drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya raced at Monaco with the most precious helmets ever worn by a Formula 1 driver. Both helmets were adorned with a total of 600 Steinmetz diamonds.
With Kimi Raikkonen winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 2005 and Juan Pablo Montoya winning in 2003 for Williams, Team McLaren Mercedes will be the only team on the grid competing with two past winners this year.

As we are celebrating our first race 40 years ago, it is a good time to look back on some of the firsts McLaren have introduced to Formula 1 in the last 40 years:

In 1981 McLaren raced the first carbon fibre composite chassis, the MP4/1.
The 1993 challenger, MP4/8, was the first car to feature bargeboards.
Another feature of today's cars, the mid-wing, was originally seen on the MP4/10 in 1995.
An important cooling feature on the car, the chimney, was first introduced on the MP4-15 in 2000.
McLaren were the first constructor to win in Formula 1, Can Am, Indy 500 and Le Mans.
In 1998 Team McLaren Mercedes introduced the first two-seater Formula 1 car the MP4-98T, which has taken 151 passengers for the ride of their life, including His Majesty King Juan Carlos, Jim Corr, Murray Walker, Vanessa Mae and the Russian cosmonaut Vasili Tsieliyev.
Over the years McLaren has pioneered in the arena of trackside hospitality, being the first team to introduce double-decker motorhomes and more recently the innovative Team Communications Centre in 2002.
McLaren, in conjunction with Corporate Partner HUGO BOSS, were the first to introduce bespoke clothing for the team to wear whilst travelling to and from Formula 1 grand prix and tests.
McLaren were the first team to produce their own in-house monthly magazine. Racing Line will publish its 100th edition this June.

The nail biting race (arguably the most glamourous in the season) was won by Alonso extending his own and renault's advantage in the standings.

Here is the result

Pos No Driver Team Laps Time/Retired Grid Points

1 1 Fernando Alonso Renault 78 Winner 1 10

2 4 Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 78 +14.5 secs 4 8

3 14 David Coulthard RBR-Ferrari 78 +52.2 secs 7 6

4 11 Rubens Barrichello Honda 78 +53.3 secs 5 5

5 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 78 +53.8 secs 22 4

6 2 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 78 +62.0 secs 9 3

7 16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-BMW 77 +1 Lap 15 2

8 7 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 77 +1 Lap 10 1

9 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 77 +1 Lap 21

10 20 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Cosworth 77 +1 Lap 12

11 12 Jenson Button Honda 77 +1 Lap 13

12 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 77 +1 Lap 16

13 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 77 +1 Lap 18

14 17 Jacques Villeneuve Sauber-BMW 77 +1 Lap 14

15 18 Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 76 +2 Laps 17

16 23 Franck Montagny Super Aguri-Honda 75 +3 Laps 20

17 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 72 +6 Laps 6

Ret 15 Christian Klien RBR-Ferrari 56 +22 Laps 11

Ret 10 Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 51 Accident 8

Ret 3 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 50 +28 Laps 3

Ret 9 Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 48 Exhaust 2

Ret 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 46 +32 Laps 19

Fastest Lap: Michael Schumacher 1:15.143

In a controversial decision, race stewards at monaco stripped Micheal of his Pole position time, so now the seven time formula one champ has to start the monaco grand prix from the back.

Here is team Ferrari's Reaction

"We totally disagree with it," said Jean Todt.

"Such a decision creates a very serious precedent, ruling out the possibility of driver error.

"Michael was on his final timed lap and was trying to put his first place beyond doubt, as could be seen from the fact that his first split time was the best.

"With no real evidence, the stewards have assumed he is guilty."

Controversy Surrounds Monaco Pole Position

I have always been a Schumacher fan, so if you are expecting me to say Schumacher did that on purpose, you are mistaken. And the nerve of Flavio , accusing Schumacher of such a heinous offence, he should check his facts before making allegations, a man who has seven world championships under his belt doent need to cheat in order to succeed. I believe Alonso is not even half the class of Schumacher, so he should remain shut.

Here is the story, Schumacher was in pole, he was going on another flying lap, his car stalled at a turn, he tries to reverse, now his engine dies, Alonso also on a flying lap is behind him, get obstructed, and then Flavio starts accusing Schumacher of being a cheater.

Briatore's Allegations

"I don't know why he needed to do it - that's the way Ferrari manage.

"I think he is taking everyone for a ride.

"Someone who was seven times a world champion wants us to believe that he didn't do it on purpose - it's fairyland.

"And given that we are not Snow White and the Seven Dwarves I think that what he did was unsporting and against everything.

"It's really astonishing what he did. Incredible."

Schumacher's side of the story

"It was a touch too much going into that final corner. I didn't know I was fastest, so I was really pushing on that lap.

"I came into the bend hard, locked up the front and went wide. I checked with the guys what position I was and they said P1.

"At the start I hadn't stalled the car but it was impossible to reverse because of the traffic behind me.

"There were cars coming behind me, I knew it, but I couldn't see them well enough to judge when to pull out. Then the engine stalled.

"Whatever you do in certain moments, your enemies believe one thing and the people who support you believe another," he added.

"Some people may not believe it, but unfortunately that's the world we live in.

"I don't care what other teams do. I know Flavio well enough," said Schumacher

Alonso's Remarks

"I am not going to give my true opinion on the matter here - it is not the right place or time"

1 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:15.118 1:13.709 1:13.898

2 1 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:14.232 1:13.622 1:13.962

3 9 Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:14.305 1:13.728 1:14.082

4 3 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:13.887 1:13.532 1:14.140

5 2 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:14.614 1:13.647 1:14.396

6 4 Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 1:14.483 1:14.295 1:14.664

7 11 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:14.766 1:14.312 1:15.804

8 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:14.883 1:14.211 1:15.857

9 14 David Coulthard RBR-Ferrari 1:15.090 1:13.687 1:16.426

10 10 Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:14.888 1:13.909 1:16.636

11 7 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:14.412 1:14.398

12 15 Christian Klien RBR-Ferrari 1:14.489 1:14.747

13 20 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Cosworth 1:15.314 1:14.969

14 12 Jenson Button Honda 1:15.085 1:14.982

15 17 Jacques Villeneuve Sauber-BMW 1:15.316 1:15.052

16 16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-BMW 1:15.324 1:15.137

17 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:15.598

18 18 Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:15.993

19 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 1:16.236

20 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:17.276

21 23 Franck Montagny Super Aguri-Honda 1:17.502

22 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari No time

Schumacher In Magical Monaco

Photos By Nat Lockwood under CreativeCommons

Flying Lap Of Monaco with Ankit

So in F1 2004, Monaco was my and Dhruv's favourite track, the most difficult, yet the most fun track.

And the lights go green, accelerate for some time, now as you can see the wall, brake hard!!!!!!!!, you might just hit the wall, awwwww!!!!!, restart map, now this time i dont hit the wall, i can safely turn left, the on medium speed, turn right for the tunnel, take the hair pin, full speed in the tunnel, brake hard for the chicane as the tunnel finishes. Lots of F1 drivers cant negotiate this turn, but me being a pro, i do it easily,now a left turn and the circuit is very straight but narrow,another small hairpin and we are back on the start finish straight.

Circuit de Monaco

Circuit de Monaco is the name given to several streets in the principality of Monaco during one weekend of each year when they are closed to host the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix.

The idea for a Formula One race around the streets of Monaco came from Anthony Noghes, the president of the Monegasque car club and close friend of the ruling Grimaldi family. The inaugural race was held in 1929 and was won by William Grover-Williams in a Bugatti.

It is also worth noting, that Formula One's respective feeder series over the years, namely; F2, F3000 and GP2, also visit the circuit - concurrently with Formula One.

The circuit is commonly referred to as "Monte Carlo" because most of it is inside the Monte Carlo neighborhood of Monaco.

Due to the tight and twisty nature of the circuit, it favours the skill of the drivers over the power of the cars. However, there is very little overtaking as the course is so narrow and dangerous. Racing round the course has been likened to riding a bicycle round your bathroom or, in Nelson Piquet's words, "Flying a helicopter in your living room".

The famous tunnel section (marked in white in the circuit diagram above) is said to be difficult for drivers to cope with due to the quick switch from light to dark, then back to light again, at one of the fastest points of the course.

The circuit is generally recognised to be less safe than other circuits used for high profile events such as Formula One. However, due to the history and glamour associated with the circuit, it is said to have a safe place on the Formula One calendar.

The circuit has been worked on over the past years in order to improve cramped conditions in the pit garages. In 2003, a substantial amount of land was reclaimed from the harbour to slightly change the shape of one section of the circuit, which in turn - left more space for new pit garages. These pit garages were debuted in the 2004 event.

From Wikipedia , the free encyclopedia

Briatore scared of Bridgestone's links with Ferrari

Briatore said: "I believe we need to be worried, absolutely.

"If we are all on Bridgestone next year, then if you use them already surely you have an advantage."

"I think it is the right way because for a million reasons we want to slow down the car," he said.

"Max Mosley had the possibility to control the speed of the car through the tyres, it's cheaper for us than to go to the chassis.

"But we need to be fair. We need to make sure that somebody working with Bridgestone in the last five years or whatever does not have any advantage."

Alonso wins Home GP

Spanish Grand Prix Race Results

P. No Driver Team - Engine Tyres Gaps/Laps Average
1. 1 ALONSO Renault M 1h26'21"759 212.075 Km/h
2. 5 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B + 0'18"502 211.320 Km/h
3. 2 FISICHELLA Renault M + 0'23"951 211.099 Km/h
4. 6 MASSA Ferrari B + 0'29"859 210.860 Km/h
5. 3 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M + 0'56"875 209.773 Km/h
6. 12 BUTTON Honda M + 0'58"347 209.714 Km/h
7. 11 BARRICHELLO Honda M 1 lap(s)
8. 16 HEIDFELD BMW Sauber M 1 lap(s)
9. 9 WEBBER Williams Cosworth B 1 lap(s)
10. 8 TRULLI Toyota B 1 lap(s)
11. 10 ROSBERG Williams Cosworth B 1 lap(s)
12. 17 VILLENEUVE BMW Sauber M 1 lap(s)
13. 15 KLIEN RedBull Ferrari M 1 lap(s)
14. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Ferrari M 1 lap(s)
15. 20 LIUZZI Toro Rosso Cosw. M 3 lap(s)
16. 18 MONTEIRO Midland Toyota B 3 lap(s)
17. 22 SATO S. Aguri F1 Honda B 4 lap(s)
18. 19 ALBERS Midland Toyota B 18 lap(s)
19. 21 SPEED Toro Rosso Cosw. M 19 lap(s)
20. 7 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota B 35 lap(s)
21. 4 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 49 lap(s)
22. 23 MONTAGNY S. Aguri F1 Honda B 56 lap(s)

After the Spanish Grand Prix, the Drivers Championship standings followed by the Constructors Championship is :

Drivers Championship Standing

Position Driver Pts
1 Fernando Alonso 54
2 Michael Schumacher 39
3 Kimi Raikkonen 27
4 Giancarlo Fisichella 24
5 Felipe Massa 20
6 Jenson Button 16
7 Juan Pablo Montoya 15
8 Rubens Barrichello 8
9 Ralf Schumacher 7
10 Nick Heidfeld 6
10= Mark Webber 6
10= Jacques Villeneuve 6
13 Nico Rosberg 4
14 David Coulthard 1
14= Christian Klien 1
16 Christijan Albers 0
16= Yugi Ide 0
16= Scott Speed 0
16= Franck Montagny 0
16= Jarno Trulli 0
16= Takuma Sato 0
16= Tiago Monteiro 0
16= Vitantonio Liuzzi 0

Constructors Championship Standings

Position Team Pts
1 Renault 78
2 Ferrari 59
3 McLaren 42
4 Honda 24
5 BMW-Sauber 12
6 Williams 10
7 Toyota 7
8 Red Bull 2
9 Toro Rosso 0
9= Super Aguri 0
9= MF1 0

Q: Fernando, that looked like 66 perfect laps.
Fernando Alonso: Yeah, I think we did our maximum race performance today. The tyres performed really well throughout the race. We had some doubts before the start and everything went perfectly. As we planned, we pushed in the first stint, we were lighter than the Ferraris so we needed a gap. We found the gap quite quickly and then it could have been a defensive race from there on, but it was not the case. This time Ferrari was not coming really strongly so I was just maintaining the gap and especially in the last stint, controlling the revs and trying to finish a race that was obviously very long for me today.

Q: It certainly looked as if you were enjoying the closing laps of the race. Can you just describe to us your emotions as you took the chequered flag?
FA: During the last five or six laps, I saw that Michael was slowing down as well, not pushing any more so it was just four or five laps just cruising to the end and for sure the chequered flag finished the race and I finished everything in front of everybody here, in front of my people, my supporters. I think it was the best feeling so far in Formula One, equal to the Grand Prix of Brazil, when I won the championship. I finished third in that race with a lot of problems, defending the third place and I didn’t enjoy it so much as I did today, when I was alone, leading the race.

Q: Michael, a very strong second place for you, splitting the Renaults. How much was it defined for you having to sit behind Giancarlo Fisichella?
Michael Schumacher: The race result didn’t really have anything to do with that, because Giancarlo was going at a certain pace, which at certain moments I couldn’t match and clearly, as the weekend developed, it started very well for us and then it sort of went away from us over the weekend which we obviously have to understand and look into. But we were simply not quick enough today.

Q: Obviously he won the drag race into the first corner but you obviously carried a lot more fuel into the race, a lot more than the Renaults.
MS: Yeah, I mean if you consider the amount of fuel we carried, it would have been easy to achieve pole position yesterday but our strategy was obviously different. It worked out at the Nurburgring. Here, it would have worked out had we been quick enough, but because the speed wasn’t there it didn’t work out.

Q: Your thoughts on that second place and a good solid eight points.
MS: Yeah, absolutely, it’s eight points. You have to understand at certain moments what is possible and what is not possible. You can only try so much yourself. You have to rely on your package, and again, it didn’t work out today but there’s a long way to go until the end of the season, so as we have seen, I was probably not so happy just to gain two points in the last two races. Now I’m reasonably happy to lose only two points. It’s the way it’s going to go and we’ll have to see what happens through the year.

Q: Giancarlo, P3 for you, a very strong start to the race, leading Michael, obviously very important from a team point of view, the position you took.
Giancarlo Fisichella: Yes, of course. We did a great start, even better than Fernando and after the first corner, we were able to hold first and second places. We set a good pace and for the first part of the race we were a bit lighter than Ferrari but the pace was quite good. In the second stint, just after the first stint, Michael came across the circuit and just passed me at the pit stop. After that, when I was in turn three, my engineers called me to say something and I was in the middle of turn three, and I lost control of the car and I went onto the gravel and maybe I damaged the car. It wasn’t bad, the car balance was OK but the grip wasn’t great, but apart from that it’s a great result for us and as we expected, it was a tough race between us and Ferrari.

Q: Fernando, returning to you, you said yesterday that you didn’t think 66 laps were going to be enough for you to enjoy but you have conceded that it seemed like a long race towards the end. Again, just talk us through those few emotional moments for you.
FA: It’s true that to race here and to race in front of an all blue grandstand is a different feeling compared to all the other races and it’s true that 66 laps is not enough probably to enjoy all the race but when you are leading with ten seconds or whatever I think you want to finish the race, already, and celebrate victory if you can. It was a fantastic day, difficult to forget for me.


Q: Fernando, does it get any better than winning at home and being greeted on the podium by your King?
FA: No, so far it’s the best thing that has probably happened to me in Formula One, apart from Brazil where I won the championship, this one was maybe a better feeling because I crossed the line winning the race. In Brazil it was a dramatic race because I had to defend third position to be champion mathematically and it’s a different feeling. Here, with no thoughts in my mind, just free to drive, to win the race, the happiness is better.

Q: Tell us about the start, Giancarlo nearly got you there.
FA: Yeah, Giancarlo had a better start. Probably the reaction time was not great for me and for sure, Giancarlo started better this time and I was lucky to defend the position from the inside line and to get first position thanks to Giancarlo, also in the first corner. It’s always better to fight with your teammate than with any other driver.

Q: Then you did a short first stint but quite a long final stint.
FA: Yeah, the strategy played well today. It was a little different to Ferrari this time. I think it worked OK because we had pole position, we had a gap after the first stint when we were lighter and then we controlled the gap, more or less, so I’m quite happy.

Q: What animal were you copying on your car at the end?
FA: It’s a secret. It’s not an animal, either.

Q: Michael, you’ve been quite confident this weekend, so when did you realise you didn’t have the necessary pace?
MS: Basically when I had free air and couldn’t really make up enough ground.

Q: That was after Giancarlo’s pit stop?
MS: Yeah, although I wasn’t that close behind him before the first pit stop, so already there it seemed very difficult. But then we obviously knew that maybe later in the race, with a better set of tyres, it may work out differently. But I still had the option and possibility to close down but as we couldn’t do it in the second stint, we couldn’t really make any real impression and win any ground in terms of lap time, so it was clear it would be difficult.

Q: But you had at least overtaken Giancarlo?
MS: Sure. Knowing that I was so close behind him and saw him going in reasonably early, compared to what we could do, it was sort of clear although I almost lost it because I had a little moment in one of the corners, in those important laps, had a bit of traffic, so there were a couple of factors that didn’t really help, but I still made it.

Q: So it was a little bit tight to come out ahead of him.
MS: Yeah, because of the issues I just mentioned; normally it would have been a bit more clear.

Q: Obviously second place was not where you hoped to be, but only losing two points is not so bad.
MS: Yeah, that’s the way you have to see it. You have to understand that you can’t win every race. At certain moments those guys are better than us and maybe at other moments it will be the other way around. It’s a long year to go. We will keep on fighting.

Q: Giancarlo, How close were you to overtaking Fernando at the first corner?
GF: It was close, but it was just the first corner so…It was important to get through the first corner and carry on in the first two positions for us and that as done. I got a good reaction time, better than Fernando, but its okay. I’m happy.

Q: What prevented you from staying ahead of Michael at the first stop?
GF: Obviously I was pushing and we were able to be a little bit quicker than him. Obviously I was a little bit lighter then the Ferraris. I think the car balance was little difficult in the rear end and a bit unstable in high-speed corners and the grip wasn’t great to push very hard. Apart from that it was a good race and just after the first pit-stop, when I was behind Michael and my engineers called me in turn three and I lost control of the car and went into the gravel. That was a critical part of the race.

Q: You were talking about the car not having fantastic grip or whatever. Was that in the first stint or did it change after you went off in the gravel?
GF: No, no. Already in the beginning of the race I was pushing, but not 100 per cent because it wasn’t comfortable enough to do that. Maybe after the exit I lost some piece but not sure.

Q: It didn’t change that much?
GF: No, not that much.


Q: (Salvatore Zanca – Associated Press) Fernando, what’s the one thing you remember about today and what did the King say to you when he handed you the trophy?
FA: The thing to remember today is a little bit of everything. The lap I did with the king in the car this morning with all the people enjoying seeing us together, and then the start, the first lap, then Michael coming out of the pits behind me. I think the people realised I was still leading the race so the next two laps were everything blue in the grandstand moving, jumping and for sure the last two laps, the emotion I have in the car. And finishing the race, so a little bit of all. With the King, nothing really, just a little bit of congratulations, a nice race and normal things in the podium

Q: (Fritz-Dieter Rencken – The Citizen) Michael, the incident where you say you nearly lost it. Was that at turn seven or was it somewhere else?
MS: Turn seven.

Q: (Mathias Brunner – Motorsport Aktuell) Michael, you were so confident yesterday of the race pace – it’s hard to believe where the pace went. Are we talking about a tyre problem here because the car apparently worked fine?
MS: I don’t believe it’s fair to blame anything on one area without studying, because, as you quite rightly say, in qualifying, if you put a bit of maths in, I would have been two or three tenths quicker than the pole position time, so it would have been reasonably possible to achieve that, but, all the long runs we did on Friday and Saturday were very quick and quite good. In the race we just weren’t able to quite match it in this situation for whatever reason. We have been here for testing in the winter, it’s sometimes a wind direction change, a temperature change or whatever, could just trigger things to shift one or the other way. We’ve seen it in the past and we’ve seen it in the last test we did here and maybe that’s what happened today. Obviously I’ve just been in the car and not been able to analyse what’s happened. I don’t know exactly what’s going on, I just know that it’s not what happened before.

Q: (Juha Paatalo – Financial Times Deutschland) Fernando and Michael, normally this track shows the real performance of the cars. If you look at all the other cars, they are a whole way behind you. Are you surprised at that?
FA: I am a little bit surprised, yes, because the last two races was only a fight between Ferrari and Renault and no-one has come in really strongly. Sometimes they show potential in the tests, sometimes on Fridays, sometimes in qualifying, but in the races the fight has been, at least in the last two races, between Ferrari and Renault. I think though that they can come back, especially McLaren and I’m pretty sure before later they will fight with Ferrari and Renault too.

Q: (Mike Doodson) To Michael & Fernando, the two of you have dominated this season and given us lots of pleasure. But both of your successes have been the results of team-work. Do you ever think of the prospect of having a straight race between you? Does that prospect appeal to you?
MS: So you want us to go back to go-karts? I think in any kind of motor racing, you have to rely on the team. It’s the nature of our sport – that team element and it’s a very interesting one, to me at least. Even in go-karts, you have to have a package. It’s not like playing tennis or soccer, no, even in soccer, you have to have the team.
FA: I agree.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Michael, when Alonso made his first pit stop, the gap was about 12 seconds and when you came out, the gap was similar. At that point, did you still have hopes to win the race?
MS: For me, I only start to give up when I see no sense. Most of the time that is on the last lap. Knowing the nature of the circuit where you have basically no chance to overtake, in particular if you are not quick enough. I had to give up after the last pit-stop. I drove home from then.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – O Estado de Sao Paulo) Giancarlo, yesterday you were saying you want to go for victory. After this race, what is your feeling for the rest of the season?
GF: It’s a good feeling. I have a great team and a great car and the potential of the car to improve and today I was slightly slower than Fernando and Michael maybe, but apart from that I proved I had a chance to win again like in Malaysia. I’m confident for that.

Q: (Juha Paatalo – Financial Times Deutschland) Giancarlo, how do you explain the almost half a minute difference between you and Fernando today?
GF: Just at the beginning, Fernando was able to go a bit quicker than me. And was just more comfortable, I was struggling a little bit with the grip and was not confident to push 100 percent. That’s all.

Spanish Grand Prix: Qualifying Results

All Renault front row with Fernando Alonso clinching the pole position and Michael Schumacher qualifying in 3rd place. Official Spanish Grand Prix Qualifying Results are as follows :

Pos No Driver Team First Second Third

1 1 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:15.816 1:15.124 1:14.648

2 2 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:16.046 1:14.766 1:14.709

3 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:16.049 1:14.637 1:14.970

4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:16.359 1:15.245 1:15.442

5 11 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:16.266 1:15.258 1:15.885

6 7 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:16.234 1:15.164 1:15.885

7 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:16.174 1:15.068 1:15.976

8 12 Jenson Button Honda 1:16.054 1:15.150 1:16.008

9 3 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.613 1:15.422 1:16.015

10 16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-BMW 1:16.322 1:15.468 1:17.144

11 9 Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:16.685 1:15.502

12 4 Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.195 1:15.801

13 10 Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:17.213 1:15.804

14 17 Jacques Villeneuve Sauber-BMW 1:16.066 1:15.847

15 15 Christian Klien RBR-Ferrari 1:16.627 1:15.928

16 20 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Cosworth 1:17.105 1:16.661

17 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 1:17.361

18 18 Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:17.702

19 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:18.024

20 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:18.920

21 23 Franck Montagny Super Aguri-Honda 1:20.763

22 14 David Coulthard RBR-Ferrari No time

Will it be a Hat Trick ??

Can Michaeal Schumacher make it a hat trick on Alonso's home turf ????

Its all about MONEY , STRATEGY honey

Massa Overtaking one of the backmarkers

Despite leading most of the race Alonso was beaten by the impeccable Ferrari strategy, And Micheal proved that Imola was not a Fluke. Micheal in the end was able to clinch the Formula One European Grand Prix with relative ease, cutting Alonso's championship lead. Massa's third place helped Ferrari overtake McLaren on the constructor's front.

European Grand Prix result:

1. Michael Schumacher (Ger) Ferrari 60 laps one hour 35 minutes 58.765 seconds
2. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault +3.751 seconds
3. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari +4.447secs

4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) McLaren-Mercedes +4.879
5. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda +1:12.586
6. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Renault +1:14.116
7. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams-Cosworth +1:14.565
8. Jacques Villeneuve (Can) BMW Sauber +1:29.364
9. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1 lap behind
10. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1 lap
11. Scott Speed (US) Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1 lap
12. Tiago Monteiro (Por) Midland-Toyota 1 lap
13. Christijan Albers (Ned) Midland-Toyota 1 lap
R Ralf Schumacher (Ger) Toyota 52 laps
R Juan Pablo Montoya (Col) McLaren 52 laps
R Takuma Sato (Jpn) Super Aguri-Honda 45 laps
R Franck Montagny (Fra) Super Aguri-Honda 29 laps
R Jenson Button (GB) Honda 28 laps
R Christian Klien (Aut) RedBull-Ferrari 28 laps
R Mark Webber (Aus) Williams-Cosworth 12 laps
R David Coulthard (GB) RedBull-Ferrari 2 laps
R V. Liuzzi (Ita) Toro Rosso-Cosworth 0 laps

R is retired

Fastest Lap: Michael Schumacher, 1:32.099, lap 39.


"Fernando was pushing very hard and we could luckily match his pace"

Michael Schumacher

"Second place here is a fantastic result for us"

Fernando Alonso

Post Race Press Confrence

Q: Michael, congratulations. Just talk us through those early stages when you were trailing Fernando as you were.
Michael Schumacher: It was no surprise that it was difficult because we were driving pretty competitively and as quick as we could. It’s a bit more difficult behind when you’re driving in the slipstream and the wind conditions today made it a bit tricky in certain areas. But at the end of the day, on the tyre side, the car side, the engine side and fuel and everything was just superb.

Q: You did two superb in-laps, the fastest lap of the race and a great out-lap as well.
MS: Yeah, well the out-lap was not that important – it was just getting out of the pit-lane in front. I always thought we could do it at the first pit-stop, but then I pushed a bit too high at turn six and almost lost it and that was probably the reason that I had to spend more time behind until the last pit-stop, which was interesting because it was varying quite a bit in certain parts of the race where Fernando sometimes seemed a bit slower and then sometimes I seemed to be a bit slower and then I was picking it up again and he had a pit-stop where he was pushing very hard, but we could match his sort of pace.

Q: And perfect strategy. You didn’t seem too happy after qualifying yesterday, but it’s all panned out perfectly as it’s turned out.
MS: We obviously chose to stay out extra lap, which honestly doesn’t give you two tenths. The reason Fernando gained the two tenths was because I didn’t get a perfect lap and he obviously did and that’s where it went. Because I felt we had a good strategy and I felt good about it, and I knew we had a good race pace because on new tyres I knew we could push and it all worked out.

Q: Fernando, a great second place and eight valuable points. Talk us through the race from your point of view.
Fernando Alonso: It was a quite interesting race. I started from pole position and I was controlling the race with the pace. I knew there was an area for Michael, so we had new tyres at the first pit-stop. It was okay and I came in-front of Michael at the end. In the second pit-stop it was not so good because we stopped maybe three of four laps too early and that was too much. I think sometimes in a race you have traffic, but sometimes nothing helps when you are leading the race and second place is a fantastic result considering we were a little bit down from Ferrari’s performance this weekend. Also, I think the tyres were not perfectly okay for this weekend, so even with everything, to get the eight points means that we have everything okay and we should win again.

Q: Third stint for you, once Michael had got the lead, how hard was that and how hard did you try to push it for a couple of laps?
FA: I tried for two or three laps and we had similar lap times, but from then we just turned the revs down and this engine has to race next week in Barcelona and we need to always get on the podium.

Q: So you had Felipe under control?
FA: More or less yes. Maybe it was a bit close at the end, but clearly it was controlled.

Q: Felipe, a great drive from you. A lot of pressure on Fernando in the closing stages and equally on you from Kimi Räikkönen.
Felipe Massa: I’m really happy – it was a great result for us and especially with my first podium. The whole car was quite strong, especially at the beginning when I and Michael were both pushing Fernando and then suddenly they got the pace. My car was quite consistent all race and the tyres were working well. Only in the last stint – where I had scrubbed tyres – it was not working so well. It was a great result, it helps the team out for the championship and especially me and Michael for the fight. In the first three races we were not on the pace, so hopefully now there is a chance for us to fight with Renault for the races.

Q: You made a great start too from P3 on the grid. Michael was alongside you in the first corner.
FM: Sure, I had a very good start and I could manage to put my car side-by-side with Michael but he was on the inside so he was able to go ahead. Really, it was a great start and I think the whole thing was perfect with the strategy too. The management of the race was very good.

Q: Michael, a great result, two wins in a row. Next race next week is the Spanish Grand Prix. Fernando usually goes pretty well there.
MS: Yeah. It’s no surprise to expect Renault up at the front, and also they shouldn’t be surprised to see us at the front either. We will battle to win.


Q: Michael, that seemed a pretty perfect race.
MS: Yeah. If you finish first, what can you say? That’s the way it makes everybody happy who wants to see us winning, obviously. It was a great race, great strategy, great performance all the way through.

Q: Did the strategy basically come from Ross?
MS: Obviously Ross is the man who finally decides, but we’re a team and there are several people involved in working out our strategies and preparing everything so it’s a team effort.

Q: It was quite close between yourself and Felipe at the start of the race.
MS: I was just saying to Felipe that I started off and tried to see where he was, somewhere on my left but I couldn’t see him in the mirrors, neither could I see him looking over (the side of the car), so I was trying to get into Fernando’s slipstream thinking that there wasn’t anybody nearby but then suddenly he pulled alongside, so I was a little bit surprised for a moment, but I hope… I guess I didn’t cause any fuss for Felipe.

Q: There was one point, lap 24, when you suddenly lost a couple of seconds. You were saying that the gap between yourself and Fernando seemed to go up and down a fair amount, but you seemed to lose a couple of seconds on one lap.
MS: I had two occasions, honestly. One was when Fernando went into the pits and I pushed, naturally, pretty hard and I got a bad tail wind in one corner which almost took me off the circuit and then during the race, probably lap 24, I went wide in turn 11, I think, which was quite tricky, and I lost quite a bit of ground. But then, at that stage, Fernando was strong in the middle sector of the second stint, I was pretty strong and then we were pretty equal before the pit stops.

Q: And that was the only problem during the race?
MS: Yeah. When you’re up here, you can’t have had too many problems!

Q: Fernando, how much pressure was Michael giving you in the early stages and at the end of the second stint?
FA: It was not too much to be honest. It’s difficult to follow people here and also the gap was 0.6s, 0.8s and it’s difficult to get much closer than that. It was not really an opportunity to overtake, so I was quite relaxed, controlling the engine a little bit and I pushed when I thought it was time to push right before the second stop and on the first pit-stop. I kept the lead in the first one, but in the second one, it was, of course, not possible any more.

Q: So are you disappointed with second?
FA: No, not at all. I think we came here with some questions as to how Ferrari will perform here, McLaren, us, and I think Honda was not too competitive this weekend, to be honest. With their grip problems - they were dealing with that so it was difficult to understand how. I think today we saw the normal picture again that we now need something more to win. At Imola we were ready to fight – I think we were quicker than Ferrari during the race but I think here it was a question of time: when do they overtake us? At the first stop, second stop but it was nearly impossible to keep them behind for sixty laps.

Q: Looking back, would you have changed your tyre choice if you had the opportunity?
FA: No, I think we did the right thing. I think we need to improve a little bit in all areas in the car and I think Barcelona will be a good point, because we have always been quick there in testing. Michelin has been in a dominant position in Barcelona over the last two years, so I’m really looking forward to winning that one.

Q: Felipe, you were very close at the end to Fernando, but you also had Kimi right up behind you as well.
FM: Yeah, the last five laps were not so easy because I was getting closer and closer to Fernando and Kimi was getting closer and closer to me, because I was getting very close to Fernando and I lost performance, for sure. But anyway, I think it was a great result, I’m really happy, first podium and everything worked fantastically for us this weekend. We brought the right tyres, for sure. The car was working perfectly and the race was very good.

Q: And a demon start as well.
FM: Yeah, I had a very good start. I was side by side with Michael into the braking area but he was inside and so he stayed in front but I think my car was very competitive and it was very consistent during the whole race. Sometimes the wind was changing, the situation was a little bit tricky over a couple of corners, and then the wind changed a little bit and it was a little bit tricky in other corners, but anyway, I could handle it to do a good race without mistakes and that’s very important for me and the team.

Q: It’s been a good weekend for Todts!
FM: Definitely. They won both races in GP2 and finishing third for Nicolas is really good and for Jean, it’s definitely a fantastic job. We’re now getting closer to Renault in every race and fighting every race is very important for us. Hopefully now we will get the right direction to fight every race.


Q: Michael, after three races, it didn’t look so good for Ferrari. What has made the difference in the last two races? The car? The driver? The team? The strategy? One thing please!
MS: I thought we looked good already at the first race honestly, so it’s not a surprise. We are good now because with the exception of Malaysia where we probably weren’t that competitive, in the rest of the races we had the package available. We didn’t make use of it all the time like in Australia and now it’s just normal development, where you go through the bits and pieces that are coming, aerodynamic, engine and so on where you make little steps. As I said at the beginning, the important thing from now on is who has the quicker rate of development. We have been good, traditionally, in the past, not very good last year but sometimes everybody needs a break.

Q: Michael, at the beginning of the second stint, you lost a little bit of performance in comparison to Alonso, more than two seconds. Did you think that your chances could be over at that time?
MS: Naturally when you have a period where it’s a bit more difficult you start to think but then we always have something in hand to react and it worked out pretty well. I think he was going quickly and I was just struggling a little bit more and made this mistake in turn 11 which almost caused me to go off and I had to be quiet for two or three laps and then I could go again.

Q: Michael, are these two consecutive victories the final confirmation that you will be able to fight for the championship this year, or did you have that feeling already?
MS: I had no doubt, honestly, that we would be in that position.

Q: (Juha Päätalo – Financial Times Germany) Fernando, how do you see the development pace of Ferrari now? Are you getting worried about the championship?
FA: No, not at all. I think it’s not a surprise that Ferrari is fighting. I expect McLaren will arrive also. Honda are really strong in some races, so nothing changes from the beginning of the championship. There are four teams, sometimes one is quicker, sometimes another one is slower, but all four teams are strong and ready to fight. We also had to be careful about tyres. I think in the next two races Michelin may be stronger than Bridgestone, we will probably see different races, so it’s difficult to say which one will be quicker.

Q: Question for Michael and Fernando: do you like this points system which doesn’t help the show, with only two points difference between victory and second position?
MS: I think you will get pretty logical answers: no for me and probably yes from him!
FA: The same thing happened last year as well. I was winning seven races and the gap was always not enough.

Q: Fernando, are you satisfied with the development programme of your team?
FA: I’m not an engineer, so I don’t know what we can do. I think it’s all about money, about lots of things, how you develop the car more. We’re happy, we were World Champions last year, we are leading both World Championships this year, so the team should be quite good, I think.

Q: Fernando, are you worried that having a second race on the engine next week might affect your chances of winning your home race?
FA: No, not really. I think the difference we saw between the first race and the second race of the engine is less than one tenth, probably. We’re talking half a tenth. So I hope that if I have the chance to win in Barcelona, this half a tenth won’t be necessary.

Pos No Driver Team First Second Third

1 1 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:31.138 1:30.336 1:29.819

2 5 Michael Schumacher Ferrari 1:31.235 1:30.013 1:30.028

3 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:31.921 1:30.732 1:30.407

4 11 Rubens Barrichello Honda 1:31.671 1:30.469 1:30.754

5 3 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.263 1:30.203 1:30.933

6 12 Jenson Button Honda 1:31.420 1:30.755 1:30.940

7 8 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:31.809 1:30.733 1:31.419

8 17 Jacques Villeneuve Sauber-BMW 1:31.545 1:30.865 1:31.542

9 4 Juan Pablo Montoya McLaren-Mercedes 1:31.774 1:30.671 1:31.880

10 9 Mark Webber Williams-Cosworth 1:31.712 1:30.892 1:33.405

11 7 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:31.470 1:30.944

12 10 Nico Rosberg Williams-Cosworth 1:32.053 1:31.194

13 2 Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1:31.574 1:31.197

14 14 David Coulthard RBR-Ferrari 1:31.742 1:31.227

15 16 Nick Heidfeld Sauber-BMW 1:31.457 1:31.422

16 20 Vitantonio Liuzzi STR-Cosworth 1:32.621 1:31.728

17 15 Christian Klien RBR-Ferrari 1:32.901

18 19 Christijan Albers MF1-Toyota 1:32.936

19 21 Scott Speed STR-Cosworth 1:32.992

20 18 Tiago Monteiro MF1-Toyota 1:33.658

21 22 Takuma Sato Super Aguri-Honda 1:35.239

22 23 Franck Montagny Super Aguri-Honda 1:46.505