F1’s youngest ever champion!

2005 Formula 1 Brazilian Grand Prix

Well it was just as well it was such a momentous day in the record books, because the race itself was just about as boring as it gets.

I got the feeling that everybody was quite happy to let the pieces fall together as they did and not push to contrive anything else. All Fernando Alonso needed to do to enter the record books was finish in 3rd, and he settled nicely for 3rd. It’s Alonso’s first World Championship, he is the first Spaniard to win the F1 World Championship and he’s the youngest-ever F1 Champion by over a year. The first time for five years that we haven’t had a World Champion called Michael Schumacher. Great work from Fernando; he thoroughly deserves it. It’s also Renault’s first ever Championship as a constructor, and the Enstone (Benetton / Renault) team’s first Championship since Michael Schumacher’s a decade ago.

It was a big day for McLaren aswell though. Today was (unbelievably) their first 1-2 result for half a decade. It’s propelled them ahead of Renault in the Constructors’ Championship for the first time all season. It will almost certainly go right down to the wire, so the season is far from over. Today, for the first time all season Juan Pablo Montoya was free to win the race ahead of Kimi Räikkönen, as Kimi saw his last hope of gaining the Drivers’ Championship this year finally slip out of his grasp.

It’s been such a horrendous year for Räikkönen. He’s probably been capable of winning the Championship for three years now; maybe even longer. He’ll surely get another chance though. Today is Fernando’s day; what a well-deserved championship win! He seems like such a nice guy aswell. His image could hardly contrast more with Kimi’s cold, distant ‘ice man’ image. Alonso is charismatic, and he’s transformed the popularity of Formula 1 in Spain. They never used to show F1 races in Spain, but since Fernando arrived on the scene it’s become one of the country’s favourite sports.

It’s been such a strange Drivers’ Championship to watch. Almost all the time Kimi Räikkönen and McLaren have looked far faster on the track than Fernando Alonso and Renault. But while that McLaren is fast, it is also fragile. That McLaren broke far more times than is forgivable, and that’s what lost Kimi the championship. But Kimi wasn’t exactly flawless either, and he’s made more than one significant mistake this season, most notably at Europe when he flat-spotted a tyre trying to lap Jacques Villeneuve — he didn’t need to do that.

With Alonso, it’s always been, “He’s been great all year… except for Canada.” He lost his cool at Canada, undoubtedly. But that’s been his only major mistake of the year. Alonso has kept his cool. I had worried a bit about Alonso last year. He wasn’t particularly impressive. In the first half of the season he was somewhat overshadowed by the dozy Jarno Trulli. I wondered if he still had the potential to be the World Champion. But this year he has just been outstanding. Kimi has had more stand-out performances, but Alonso’s consistency won it for him.

As far as the race goes, Ferrari’s strength went unnoticed, but they were only slightly behind Renault position-wise, and Toyota will have little chance to overtake them in the Championship now. Barrichello was particularly impressive, overtaking his future team-mate Jenson Button at exactly the point where Martin Brundle said the BARs would get mugged. Klien’s fantastic qualifying session yesterday didn’t convert into a race result today. And Monteiro’s attempt to go through the whole season without retiring went up in smoke today. What stunning reliability though — he lasted 16 races! That would have been a full season not too long ago.

Update: More history made yesterday! Ahah!

3 comments

  1. Alonso has done well, bit of a dull race but you cant have everything.

    Would have loved to have been in the Williams pit at the start.I can’t see Pizzonia getting a ride next year so why not replace hom now with Rosberg, it’s a perfect opportunity to see how good he is in the deep end.

  2. Indeed! Pizzonia was good in Italy, but in his other two races he’s caused needless crashes. Poor show, reminding us all why he struggled to get a permanent F1 drive. I would love to see Rosberg have a go now!

  3. Alonso was impressive along the 2005 season and Räikkönen had a very bad luck. The Finnish driver will fight for the constructor championship with the help of Montoya who is now ranked 3rd with 60 points.