Monday, April 04, 2005

Alonso is the new king of Bahrain;Renault on a high-drive

Life always comes a full circle and no one would have realised it more than Michael schumacher. Bahrain was supposed to be ferrari's watershed this season. Their new car was expected to propel them up to where they belong : at the top.Schumi would have wanted to get back to champagne spraying. But the tale is different.For the millions of ferrari fans it was deja-vu ; another anti-climax.Ok,enough lamenting...let's focus on the winners....

Fernando Alonso had announced the arrival of a new champion by scorching to the third place from nowhere in the australian gp. After three races he has arrived,camped and fortified his territory. He is the man to beat and he is holding on to the first step of the podium like a child to a new toy. Alonso and his renault have been a treat this season setting alight the f1 tracks so far and i dont see why it wouldnt continue the rest of the season. In bahrain,the focus on him was meagre and in a good sense. He was in the hot seat only as long as schumi stuck to his tail in the way he is known for- like a crouching predator ready to pounce. But once schumi spectacularly lost control and spun of track he was no longer the center of attention. He was in his zone and with no threat it was like a practise lap. Its a dissapointment that schumi's car failed else it would have been a keenly fought contest for the first place. Schumi lovers would claim he would have won but i stick with "keenly fought" because i beleive alonso and his renault were an equal match. Whats would have been interesting was wheather alonso would have buckled under pressure.Now we have to wait.

The next man i can think or rather the team i can think of is McLaren. Kimi's car held the race and he had a great race finishing on the podium after starting at the back.His was a sublime race; calm and composed. However his team mate had what can only be termed as a whacky race. Aggressive and with nothing-to-lose pedro de la rosa swept past a number of drivers overtaking them at will. He is one exciting prospect.

Well i think heading this really long list of surprise winners are the toyotas. The car is performing next only to the renaults(which by the way are right up there with the new ferrari. It has been fast and reliable and have a couple of excellent drivers to make use of it. Jarno truilly who had an impressive run with the renault last year looks amazing this year. There hasnt been much focus on him yet with ferrari's failures making more news than toyota's successes.But thats the law of media they follow identified winners no matter rain or shine. With two second place finishes his is no freak victory.

For me another big dissapointment is barrichello. He had a spectacular start running through from his last place(20) to 10 in just 9 laps and progressed well to come up to 6 but then his ferrari faltered and he dropped and finally ended up at 9th.I expected him at the podium. He is that sort of a driver.Well,ferrari's worries still remain.They have got their car fast alright but they've got to infuse that all important reliablity factor into it.Hope they come good at Imola.

At last the biggest dissapointment if you are an indian. Narain got a taste of what it is like to retire in his third race when he stopped due to mechanical failure. The first race without finishing. More of that will happen in his career and he is mature enough to handle it.Meanwhile his team mate Monteiro did well for himself by completing the race. He has been eclipsed by the attention on Narain but for that matter no one really cared about jordan drivers until Narain came in.

Well , Bahrain in many ways was a repeat of Sepang.Alonso confirming his greatness,Truilly holding on to his place,ferraris dissapointing...lets hope Imola conjures a twist in the tale.

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