It is the proverbial rise of the phoenix from the ashes. After a very forgettable 2005 and not so rosy first 3 in 2006 most F1 pundits had written off Schumacher as well past his prime. But a new engine and 2 successful racing weekends the champion is back and up to all challenges coming in his way. Imola was described as a flash in the pan by most but after Nurburgring, the tifosi is up in arms and the Ferrari F1 team looks like a strong contender for the season once more. The Renault, led by Alonso is still doing well but now must divide its attention between Kimi and Schumi.
Schumacher seemed in sublime form as put in a lot of consecutive fastest laps to over take Alonso after the second pit stop. He kept Alonso under pressure right through the race and never let the difference grow more than 2.5 secs. Thousands of Schumacher fans were probably praying hard for the second race engine of the Ferrari to last through the entire race and if that happened they knew there was no overtaking the master. Thankfully, it did and Schumacher took the chequered flag with ease. Alonso did well, however, to see off the challenge by Massa (who took his first podium) during the last few laps and keep his second place and gain a valuable 8 points. Life wasn’t easy for Massa too with Kimi breathing down the neck of the Brazilian till the end but Massa held his nerves and saw the both the Ferrari cars on the podium, a sight that most F1 fans had almost forgotten.
Another interesting fact in the race was that 9 out of the 22 on the grid did not finish the race. 7 of them retired from the race with engine problems, which to me raises a lot of questions about the two race engine policy of the F1. Also disheartening was watching both Alonso and Schumcher drive well below what they can because both of them carried a race old engine and did not want to push it too far. Combined with a four race gearbox policy this could seriously hamper the speeds of F1 cars with people not wanting to push the car out of fear of the engine giving away!!
Last but not the least, one of the best parts of the race was watching the young Nico Rosberg giving a lot of seniors a run for their money. To me he seems a great up coming talent and given a good car I have not doubt he will soon be a regular on the podium.
On another note, I read “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” over the weekend. It is a short and sweet book and extremely well written. Also came across this awesome quote that I have fallen in love with.
“I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.”
I loved the novel and recommend it highly.