Formula Blog: Round 17 – Brazilian Grand Prix (Drivers)
10pts Fernando Alonso: Well it had to be, didn't it? What can you say about him that ITV haven't already repeated three million times before? I'm going to gazump F1 Racing with their tendency to hail drivers as giga-stars, Alonso is a tera-star! And surely one of the best icons in the sports. Not wild like Raikkonen, cool and aloof like Schumacher, shifty like Button, sulky like Montoya, Barrichello, Ralf, Villeneuve, Webber and Coulthard etc… Just an out and out hero. As F1 drivers go he's a great role model. If I were to be any of the current grid I'd want to be Alonso. I'm not sure what the best superlative is so here's a list of them:
Good? Oh yes, Ron Dennis's response to Alonso's drive. He seemed about to say "Alonso had a great drive", but he paused and we were left with "good". A touch of sour grapes. I'm not sure Dennis has any other kind.
The most incredible thing about his season is how difficult it is to pick out his best drive. Monaco, Canada and Hungary excluded he's been absolutely fantastic (ha! There it is). Overall I'd go for Australia because it was so gutsy and aggressive, but it seems rude to ignore his wins. France stands out because McLaren were really tightening the screws, personally I think he'd have beaten Raikkonen even without the Finn's engine penalty.
So what's the best description for him? How about "World Champion". It says it all.
8pts Christian Klien: A great qualifying performance and what must have been a great drive, even if we only saw all of ten seconds of it. I do hope James Allen is talking nonsense with his suggestion that Klien will end up in the Red Bullardi team because of his great performances this year.
6pts Juan Pablo Montoya: Hurray! All year long I've been half concealing my support for the driver at last I can rave about him without feeling (too) silly. It's an even better performance if his shoulder still gives him problems (though I doubt it. Old injuries are supposed to be worse in the cold, yet he won in Britain. Strange.) He didn't seem to suffer from going anti-clockwise, not like that wuss Raikkonen. That wuss Raikkonen who's fastest lap was four tenths quciker than Montoya's. hmmm.
5pts Tiago Monteiro: How incredible was that for a result in qualifying? Though given that he started from the pitlane (ie. a convenient chance to stop for some 4 star) you have to wonder how many fumes he actually qualified with. My best guess is two and half. An F1 team using qualifying as a chance to gain some publicity at the expense of race perfromance? Surely not!
4pts Michael Schumacher: Thinking back, this is only the second race Schumacher's managed to improve upon his 2004 result. It says more about the rest fo his year but he broke the dominance of the "big-two", which is no mean feat. And his battle with Fisichella was the best of the race. Talk about an aggressive first lap. He may only be a matter of months away from announcing his retirement but he ain't giving no quarter.
3pts Jacques Villeneuve: Say what you will about his driving (usually a negative thing) but his interviews make for great reading. In the latest F1 Racing he lays into Patrick Head (lots) F1 Racing itself (lots) David Richards (lots and lots and lots) and anyone else who happens to get in his way.
2pts Rubens Barrichello: A nice move on Button, even if maybe it took too long. He might not have had a great year, but at least Rubens hasn't forgotten hwo to overtake.
1pt Takuma Sato: A good drive, I think. As in "I think you need to take the A1 at some point to get to Newcastle" Rather than "I think Newcastle is a dive." The distinction comes from having seen nothing of him all weekend after he didn't set a time in qualifying. Given Sato's usual antics perhaps it's better we don't see what he gets up to.
-1pt Kimi Raikkonen: You sort of felt sorry for him, losing the race and the title all in one go. But his sulky demeanour on the podium was an abject display of how not to accept defeat. He should take a few tips from Mika Hakkinen and ask him about surrendering his crown to Schumacher in 2000. I suppose you can't reallly blame him but it wasn't a great display of sporting behaviour, and I'd rate it at the worst effort of champagne spraying for years.
-2pts Jarno Trulli: Even by Trulli's standards this was a poor race. It was almost as if he was trying to slip down the order without realising he was starting from the back anyway.
-3pts Jenson Button: Finally The issue of where Button drives has been resolved, with the driver dipping into his own pocket to buy out his contract. Except for the fact that it would appear that BAR have upped his wage, presumably by the same amount. On the issue of contracts there are rumours of Steve Ryder moving to ITV in spite of being contracted to the BBC. It's exciting stuff, what next? Fleetwood Mac being brought back for the theme music?
-4pts Mark Webber: For a driver who has achieved so little in a season and whinged so much he's very high up the order in my championship. This is a little bit of compensation
46pts Fernando Alonso
36pts Mark Webber
35pts Nick Heidfeld
34pts Christian Klien
33pts Kimi Raikkonen
32pts David Coulthard
31pts Giancarlo Fisichella
24pts Juan Pablo Montoya
22pts Jarno Trulli
22pts Christijan Albers
22pts Michael Schumacher
14pts Robert Doornbos
12pts Jenson Button
10pts Narain Karthikeyan
9pts Felipe Massa
9pts Pedro de la Rosa
6pts Patrick Friesacher
5pts Antonio Pizzonia
4pts Tiago Monteiro
2pts Vitantonio Liuzzi
-2pts Takuma Sato
-4pts Rubens Barrichello
-6pts Ralf Schumacher
-29pts Jacques Villeneuve