Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher won a dramatic United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis, closing the championship gap to Fernano Alonso by six points. Schumacher was delighted to win his fifth consecutive US Grand Prix after taking his first win since the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring.
As for Alonso, the Spaniard had a troubled race. Struggling with oversteer (in qualifying, he was suffering understeer) and could only finish in fifth position. A disappointing result for the current championship leader after winning the last four races.
At the start, on the first corner, there was a big incident that took out half of the Formula One field! It seems that Juan Pablo Montoya caused the shunt, by running into the back of his McLaren team-mate Kimi Raikkonen… Both McLarens spun, hitting Jenson Button (Honda) and clipping both Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber) and Scott Speed (Toro Rosso). Heidfeld’s BMW flew into a series of rolls, but luckily the German was unhurt. Further back, a separate accident at the apex of the first turn eliminated Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing), Mark Webber (Williams) and Franck Montagny (Super Aguri).
Such a shame that both McLarens and Scott Speed were out before the race even started. Well, that’s motor racing for you and hopefully a better race for them in the next Grand Prix.
A perfect one-two finish for Ferrari with Felipe Massa scoring his best ever finish with second. He made a great start to lead the first 29 laps, before the first round of pitstops. Schumacher stopped on lap 28 (a lap sooner than his team-mate) but grabbed the lead with a supreme out lap. And that was the end of the lead contest.
Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella finished in a distant third ahead of Jarno Trulli in the Toyota. Giancarlo just didn’t have the speed to challenge for the win. But at least he had a better handling Renault R26 over team-mate Alonso…
A fantastic achievement by Trulli, despite starting from the pitlane after suffering a rear suspension failure during qualifying. The Italian stayed out of trouble on the first lap and drove a solid race for yet another finish. Good job!
Rubens Barrichello had a lonely race to sixth in the Honda. The Brazilian was actually catching Alonso near the end of the race… David Coulthard scored another points finish with seventh in the Red Bull, with Vitantonio Liuzzi in P8 for Toro Rosso.
Renault had admitted that third and fifth places was the “maximum” it could have hoped for. As has been the case all weekend, the Michelin-shod R26 – so dominant a week ago in Canada – was unable to match the combination of Bridgestone tyres on the Ferrari chassis.
Giancarlo Fisichella came closest to offering a challenge, finishing in a strong third place to reclaim third in the drivers’ standings from McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Meanwhile, McLaren boss Ron Dennis refused to blame anyone for the first corner accident that took both his cars out of the United States Grand Prix. Juan Pablo Montoya ran into the back of Kimi Raikkonen as the pack jostled through the opening turns. Both McLarens spun and collected the cars around them – taking Jenson Button out of the race and sending Nick Heidfeld rolling through the gravel. The race stewards are planning to hold an investigation after the race, and Montoya seems the driver most likely to receive any censure.
My opinion is this was a motor racing incident and these things can happen. A pack of 22 cars racing towards a tight and narrow right corner always bound to cause trouble. Such a shame that so many cars were taken out before the race began.