The start of the race saw a big accident between the two McLarens, Webber, Klien, Speed, Montagny and Heidfeld. Although no one was hurt in the pile-up, the safety car was deployed during the clear-up, and Nick Heidfeld was lucky to walk away from the tripple somersault unscathed. The incident – which ITV commentator Martin Brundle put at Montoya’s feet – was due to be investigated after the race.
The start of the race also saw Alonso make up places and move into third place ahead of his team mate, and Felipe Massa also got the jump on his team mate, Michael Schumacher. So trailing the safety car was Massa, Schumacher, Alonso and Fisichella – this was going to be a good race.
The Schumacher and Massa swap was done after the first round of stops, with Michael setting a blistering lap on the way out of the pits which simply demoralised Massa’s attempts. And with Fisichella all over the gear box of the reigning Champion, Alonso eventually backed off and allowed his Roman team mate to pass into turn one.
After the shake up and sorting out, it was pretty much status quo until the chequered flag. The only real surprise being Fernando’s pace, which seemed to just go from bad to worse. He eventually conceeded fourth place at the second round of stops to a storming Trulli.
After the first stint, the race became more of a procession, but it was a good race none-the-less. Ferrari capitalised on Alonso’s rare off-form pace and claimed a one-two, and Schumacher has eaten a little into Alonso World Championship lead. The first time in a long time that Michael has out-raced the Spaniard, and the first time this year that Alonso has not finished on the podium.