Two races down and i've still not blogged on season 2k6! A stark contrast to the suffocating deluge on season 2005. Season 2006 is expected to be one of the most competitive seasons in the recent times. But nothing much has actually changed. Still alonso reigns supreme. Renault are invincible and are providing a lesson or two in matching reliablity and performance. Kimi still grapples with an inexplicable phenomenon of not being able to go for that win because of issues totally out of his control. And button still finds a win elusive. But there are also some important differences compared to the previous season.
For one, Schumi looks more competitive. But one will have to wait for other circuits to see how competitive the ferraris are. Massa is performing remarkably well although at times his drive not the smoothest around - locking up, skidding , and nearly taking out alonso by braking very late in a desperate attempt to overtake him. He beat schumi fair and square in sepang. Dont call that bad strategy. Schumi had enough fuel to take him to finish but his ultra fast charge through the field burnt everything up and he had to make one final pit stop visit. But even otherwise ferraris pit stops were not the usual picture perfect ones we are used to seeing. There were moments of little clumsiness. On the other hand, renault seem to go wrong no where. Pit stop strategies are perfect and the pit stops themselves are a tutorship in perfection akin to the ferrari ones we were used to seeing.
Mclaren continue to experience the kimi conundrum. At least kimi cant blame them for sepang. Of course, klien too refuses to accept the blame which i find very unpolite. His teammate meanwhile could have read a little novel on his way to the fourth place. His race was so incident free that no one even noticed a maclaren rolling into the fourth place. He is doing the job a second driver well although it seems like he has predetermined not to attack. It could also be a case of Mclaren's lack of performance. Still a bit of fight would have been good. Talking of racing spirit, Sato for once was in the screens for the right reasons. Super aguri screamed through to victory in a clash between the minnows. And he put in a few interesting clashes on his way to completion. If there is anyone with more than a point to prove its Sato.
Meanwh Nico was still in GP2 mode as the showers of praise following the bahrain drive perhaps got to his head and he tried to run his teammate out of the race. Of course, both ended up out of the race dude to failures. But i am sure they wouldn't exactly be buddies on track from now on. Nico, its time u moved on to F1.
Honda is not exactly brimming with glee either. For one, they are still nowhere near matching the renault's pace but more importantly barri is having a torrid time. The adjusting process he is going through might just cost Honda some very valuable points. This was expected to be the best team mate war of the season but it has dissapointed. However the best team mate war seems to be building up between the renault pair of fisichella and Alonso. After the 'accidental' double fuelling alonso was left down at 7th in qualifying while fisi grabbed a good pole. But Alonso's charge through the mess at the start was something of a spectacle. In the first few seconds he was running in the third place behind button. On the other hand starting from pole, light on fuel and with a brand new engine fisi had a perfect race to the finish. It will be interesting to see whats happens next to alonso. Any more accidental screw ups. Strategies that keep him behind fisi? But alonso is driving a perfect race nowadays. Agreed that he has a great car but then his drive is perfect and pushes and eases to perfection. He is the best in terms of thinking on the track after Schumi.
So Australia beckons everyone. Renaults are on a high. Mclaren will love to improve performance and so will ferrari and honda. Will be interesting to see who the victors will be going by the first two races.