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Can Alonso Be Beaten?

Can Alonso Be Beaten?

Alonso Wins In MontrealThe Canadian Grand Prix marks the halfway point in the 2006 Formula One season, and currently (after 8 rounds), Fernando Alonso is 23 points clear of Michael Schumacher, the Spaniards nearest rival. Is this margin too much for the multiple World Champion to overhaul, or will we see a second-half come-back from Ferrari?

Let’s take a look at last season, where Fernando’s and Renault‘s dominance was relatively obvious from the first race, just as it was in Bahrain back in March of this year.

After 8 rounds in 2005, Fernando Alonso was 22 points clear of Kimi Raikkonen, and had racked up four wins and one 2nd and one 3rd places. Also, Alonso only fell out of the points on one occasion at the eigth round – Canada, oddly enough. Fernando had 59 points at this stage of the campaign.

So far in 2006, the story is fairly similar. Alonso is 23 points clear of Schumacher, has five wins and three 2nd places, and has scored points (actually, podiums) at each and every race thus far. Alonso currently has 74 points.

Arguably, Alonso’s 2006 season is going better than it did last time around!

Last year, we saw a late comeback from the McLaren team, in particular Raikkonen’s McLaren, who managed to score points in the last seven races. Whilst everybody knew the McLaren was a fast motor, reliability issues dogged the F1 team to begin with, but they soon sorted this out. 2006 has also shown a poor start from the Woking squad, but again, the package looks fast when it lasts race distance. Monaco and Britain both showed that Kimi can keep pace with Renault, and the Finnish driver even managed to make the podium last weekend at Silverstone.

Unlike last year though, 2006 has seen a resurgance from Ferrari, having knuckled out the problems that beset the team last year. Ferrari started off in reasonable shape (just about) and have continued to make right decisions in developing the F248 car. Michael has notched up two wins, and has really challenged the Renault team on numerous occasions.

I see the main challenge coming from Ferrari as (after Canada) we enter the second leg of the Formula One season, but I also see McLaren becoming a little more reliable – they seem to have done in the past. However, I still feel that the competition will be between Ferrari and McLaren for 2nd place in the Constructors Title race. I feel that neither team will be able to catch Renault for that particular trophy – Ferrari only have one star driver, and McLaren as of yet have questionable reliability.

As for the Drivers Title? Michael Schumacher may still be able to do it. The 7 times champion still has speed and motivation, and the car underneath him is good. The title race could go down to the wire in Brazil in October, but if I’m honest, I think it will be either over and done with before then, or the points difference will be something like 8 or 9 in Alonso’s favour.

Am I wrong? Have your say and tell me why…

Thanks to F1 Database for refreshing my memory.

Oliver White

4 comments

  • you’re pretty much spot on. Schumi has a chance, but only if Alonso suffers a failure AND schumi wins that race. Otherwise its already a title in the bag for Alonso.

  • Renault is ahead of Ferrari & McLaren undoubtly, and for Ferrari to catch them up, they need equally good drive for Massa like Schumi. I think by the time second leg of European races, the pictures would be much clear.

    As for drivers, Kimi has no chances of No 1 spot, unless Ferrari & Renault both start goind downhill from here, which really dosen’t look so. That leaves us with Schumi, but for him to be in the contention he need to win next few races [that will also make things more interesting]. Otherwise it’s Alonso all the way.

  • i think it’ll all depends on how teams react to the fia clamp down on flexi-wings.

    presumably both ferarri, and to a lesser extent bmw, will be much slower, thus renault are home and dry. if however ferrari find a way to circumvent the new rules or move the flexibility elsewhere (barge boards for example), then they’ll catch renault before the seasons out.

  • For me all signs point to Renault, but tyre choice will be pivotal and could swing things to Ferrari if Bridgestone come up with the goods.

    It will be interesting to see if the flexi-wing bans improves the performances of any teams who didn’t have them (Honda?) and compromises those who did (Ferrari? BMW?).

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