Monday, July 03, 2006

Indy 2006 GP Winners Losers

Winners

1. Trulli. Great drive. Not spectacular, but to start dead last, from the pits and to nearly finish 3rd is amazing. When you also consider that fact that Toyota isn't even the 4th best team currently, that takes some doing.
2. MS. I think it was a foregone conclusion even before the race that MS would be really difficult to beat here. That's not just because of his past record and Ferrari's dominance of Indy, but also due to Bridgestone. However, the thing that really made it special was his in and out laps for his first pitstop. He was visibly faster into the pits and that put him ahead of Massa. In the end he finished an incredible 12 seconds ahead of Massa and that's pretty stunning
3. Massa. Good solid job to get Ferrari their first 1-2 in almost 2 years. Great start and managed to beat MS to the first corner with ease. Also his tactics at the restart were pretty awesome. However, in the end MS was just too good for him and that's why he is lower on my list.
4. DC. Right combination of Bang-on-target strategy coupled with all the luck in the world. If not for the first corner melee he might have finished 10th or 12th but end of the day its 2 points in the bag.
5. Fisi. Good job to finish 3rd and upheld some Michelin pride. Was faster than Alonso all weekend and that's pretty awesome.
6. Bridgestone. They were lightyears ahead of Michelin at Indy. I think its more due to their better knowledge of Indy as compared to Michelin. By supplying the IRL with tyres gave them an edge in this race. However the next race is the French GP and I doubt whether Michelin will sit back and let Bridgestone whitewash them at their home GP.
7. Italian Connection. 3 Italians in the points (Fisi, Trulli and Luizzi). 2 Italian teams in the points (Ferrari and Torro Rosso). 1 reminder of Italian racing heritage.

Losers.

1. JPM. What can I say? I was a fan of his driving a few years back especially his no-nonsense, no-compromise style, but his tenure at McLaren has been quite dissappointing. This race too it was pretty bad. Looking at where Trulli finished on a 1 stop strategy, the McLarens had a good chance. They might not have caught the Ferraris but I think Fisi was in striking distance.
2. Ralf. That's 3 DNFs in a row at Indy. There's something about Ralf, Indy and Round things. Last year it was his massive crash that triggered the Michelin Fiasco. This year it was a wheel nut failure.
3. Alonso. Poor race given his high standards. Looked a pale shadow of the man who won the last 4 GPs. The weird part was not just him struggling against the Ferraris but also Fisi. That almost begs the question. Now that half the season is over and Alonso isn't going to be staying, is Renault going to focus more on Fisi. They couldn't care less if Alonso won the WDC but would dearly like the constructors.... Maybe I'm reading too much into this. Its probably just a one-off.
4. Williams. Struggled throughout. The car just doesn't seem to work in high speed circuits. Hungary isn't too far away and we may see some Weber magic there, but there was not such thing in this race. Rosberg struggled and Weber didn't even get till the first sector of the first lap.
5. BMW. Promised more than they finally delivered. Heidfeld was a victim of circumstances but JV had a great chance of finishing in the points. Could have even challenged Alonso for 5th. If not Alonso, I'm pretty sure he would have gotten past Barrichello's Honda. Yet another mechanical failure has meant that a golden opportunity is lost.

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