Dramatic Monaco Grand Prix

It was a commanding victory for Fernando Alonso, the 12th Grand Prix win of the Spaniard’s glittering young Formula 1 career and his fourth of the 2006 season.

With Michael Schumacher at the back of the grid, Alonso had a new challenger to battle with for the race win, McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen.

The pace of Kimi and Fernando at the front was impressive. Lap after lap, the two cars were trading fastest times. Initially Mark Webber in the Williams couldn’t keep up, but after the first rounds of pit-stop, the Australian was soon on their tail as the leading Renault slowed down his pace.

It looked like we would have a three-way battle for the race victory, but unfortunately Webber’s Williams suffered an engine failure. Then during the safety car period, Kimi’s McLaren experienced an engine problem as well!

That left Alonso in the lead, with Juan Pablo Montoya in second position. Toyota’s Jarno Trulli should have finished third but he too suffered a problem, just five laps from the end. Honda’s Ruben Barrichello was initially in P3 but had a drive-through penalty after speeding in the pitlane.

So a dream result for Red Bull’s David Coulthard, who finished third. It has been quite a while for DC to finish in a top threee position and it was nice to see him wearing a Superman cape on the podium!

What about Michael Schumacher? He drove a solid race from the back and managed to finish fifth! Just behind his ex-Ferrari team-mate Barrichello. Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella pulled off some exciting overtaking moves during the race and the Italian finished sixth.

So what happen in qualifying? Well, Michael Schumacher ‘stopped’ his Ferrari at the La Rascasse corner… Later that eventing, the race stewards concluded that he deliberately blocked the track in the closing stages of qualifying, preventing rivals from beating his time. And so the seven-time World Champion started the race right at the back. In the race, he got the job done and finished in the points.

Home favourite takes the glory

Fantastic result for Fernando Alonso, as he wins his home race and becomes the first Spaniard to win the Spanish Grand Prix in Formula One history.

Alonso drove a faultless race with no mistakes with consistence laptimes. His team-mate, Giancarlo Fisichella, was there for support but couldn’t match the pace and dropped behind to finish third.

Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher tried his best and managed to get ahead of Fisichella after the first pitstop. But he didn’t have the speed to catch the race leader. Second place was his result.

Behind the leading three, Felipe Massa continue his good form with fourth place ahead of McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen. When will win see the Finn and the McLaren team win again? Honda’s Jenson Button was disappointed – yet again – to finish a distant sixth but he is looking forward to the next race in Monte Carlo, as Jenson goes quite well there. His team-mate Rubens Barrichello finished seventh with Nick Heidfeld in the last scoring position in the BMW-Sauber.

Michael’s 86th Grand Prix victory

Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher scored his 86th Grand Prix win at the Nurburgring after an epic contest with Renault’s Fernando Alonso.

Alonso led from the start on pole position but lost out in the second pit-stop as Schumacher was carrying more fuel and had the fastest car to ‘leap ahead’ of the Spaniard.

The German had three extra laps before his pit-stop and with the speed of the Ferrari 248, he was in a comfortable position to gain the lead and ultimately, the race win.

Not a thrilling Grand Prix in my opinion, it was all down to tactics in the pit-stop strategy. But it does indicate that Michael and the Italian team are back in the hunt for the World Championship.

Felipe Massa drove well and finished third. This was the Brazilian first podium with Ferrari. McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen was fourth and I reckon he is disappointed to finished outside the top three, despite an engine upgrade from Mercedes-Benz. When will we see McLaren win again?

Honda’s Rubens Barrichello finished fifth ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella in the Renault. Williams’s Nico Rosberg drove a great race to seventh, considering he started from the back after a ten-grid engine penalty. While BMW Sauber driver, Jacques Villenuve, had a solid race to finish eighth.

The next race is the Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona and Fernando Alonso hopes to achieve a good result in front of his passionate home crowd.