2005 Chinese Grand Prix

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2005 Chinese Grand Prix
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Man of Honour
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Current Standings

2005 Drivers Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Driver			Nationality	Team			Points [/b]
[b]1	Fernando Alonso		Spanish		Renault			123 - World Champion[/b]
2	Kimi Räikkönen		Finnish		McLaren-Mercedes	104
3	Michael Schumacher	German		Ferrari			62
4	Juan Pablo Montoya	Colombian	McLaren-Mercedes	60
5	Giancarlo Fisichella	Italian		Renault			53
6	Jarno Trulli		Italian		Toyota			43
7	Ralf Schumacher		German		Toyota			39
8	Rubens Barrichello	Brazilian	Ferrari			38
9	Jenson Button		British		BAR-Honda		36
10	Mark Webber		Australian	Williams-BMW		34
11	Nick Heidfeld		German		Williams-BMW		28
12	David Coulthard		British		Red Bull Racing		24
13	Jacques Villeneuve	Canadian	Sauber-Petronas		9
14	Felipe Massa		Brazilian	Sauber-Petronas		8
15	Tiago Monteiro		Portuguese	Jordan-Toyota		7
16	Alexander Wurz		Austrian	McLaren-Mercedes	6
=18	Narain Karthikeyan	Indian		Jordan-Toyota		5
=18	Christian Klien		Austrian	Red Bull Racing		5
=20	Christijan Albers	Dutch		Minardi-Cosworth	4
=20	Pedro de la Rosa	Spanish		McLaren-Mercedes	4
21	Patrick Friesacher 	Austrian	Minardi-Cosworth	3
22	Antonio Pizzonia	Brazilian	Williams-BMW		2
=24	Takuma Sato		Japanese 	BAR-Honda		1
=24	Vitantonio Liuzzi	Italian		Red Bull Racing		1

2005 Constructors Championship.
Code:
[b]Pos	Constructor 		Points[/b]
1	Renault			176
2	McLaren-Mercedes 	174
3	Ferrari 		100
4	Toyota 			82
5	Williams-BMW 		64
6	BAR-Honda 		37
7	Red Bull Racing 	30
8	Sauber-Petronas 	17
9	Jordan-Toyota 		12
10	Minardi-Cosworth 	7
 
Man of Honour
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Well then...Here we are - the last race of the 2005 season.

We've had a few good races this year - most noteably Japan.

We've still got 1 of the championships to decide. Renault are ahead - but if McLaren get 2 more points than Renault - McLaren will be World Champions.

Interestingly - McLaren and Renault have exactly the same stats this year - 36 starts, 28 finishes, 25 of which were in the points. It's been closer than you think.

We do have A1GP to help us cope with the off-season. Well - that and the fact that testing begins soon. :D

Between us all - this year so far we have done a total of 7094 posts. :eek:

We've had all the usual people from last year's posts around as well throwing abuse at drivers/teams/each other ;)
We've had some new people join in our healthy arguments - hopefully we haven't scared you off. ;)

Most of all though - it's been fun for me to do. All the frantic typing during qualifying - all the spotted typo's - all the unspotted typo's

Anyway - at the end of this weekend we are saying goodbye to many things in F1 - some good - some bad.

Sauber
Jordan
V10's
Pay drivers
BAR *well..the name anyway*
Single Lap Qualifying *as dull as it is - it's easy for me to do.*
The number 1 on a Ferrari *does a happy little dance*

And the things I will miss more than all of the above.

Minardi and Paul Stoddart.

Wouldn't surprise me if he's in tears at the end of the race. He loves his motorsport.
 
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Enough with looking backwards - whats ahead of us.

2.4l V8's
M.Schumachers last year in F1 *?*
Williams Cosworth
Midland F1
Honda F1
BMW F1
A very unusual qualifying experiment
Button and Barrichello fighting each other.
Red Bull USA/Junior *?*
Honda Junior *?*
 
Soldato
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Let's just hope McLaren stick it to Renault and get their reliability problems solved over the winter. :)

I'd like to see Raikonnen give one more monster performance before the season is out.
 
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Dubai and Honda's 'b' team

The latest gossip in the F1 rumour mill is that the failed 'Dubai F1' project is involved in Honda's mysterious eleventh team for 2006.

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the brother of the 'A1 grand prix' founder and involved in the Emirates airline, is reportedly at the helm of the latest F1 team link.

The unnamed and unknown team's owners, though, are already facing opposition from within pitlane, with departing Minardi boss Paul Stoddart claiming that the 'Concorde' agreement would prevent the team from running a version of the 2005 spec BAR.

'To just sell the intellectual property rights ... doesn't actually get around the problem,' the Australian F1 principal claimed.

Former driver and F1 pundit Martin Brundle agrees that the existence of the enigmatic team seems 'unusual.

'Secrets are difficult to keep in the paddock,' said the Englishman. 'I would be shocked if they could already have something under way so quickly.

'It would not surprise me if the project is delayed until 2007.'
 
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Stoddart might be back

He'll spend at least two years out of the F1 limelight, but exiting Minardi boss Paul Stoddart says he's not yet done with the pinnacle of racing.

'I'd like to come back,' said the Australian, whose sale of the Faenza based minnow to energy drink Red Bull will become official on November 1.

Paul told Reuters: 'Hopefully, with a bit of pressure off, maybe it will give me time to reconsider what ... might still be around.'

And, after ruing the possible split of the sport into two, Stoddart will probably be secretly hoping that Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA and the carmakers do not settle their row.

'If there are two championships,' Stoddart continued, 'I would love to come back in the manufacturers' one.'

Sunday's Chinese grand prix will be the last for Minardi, and - for now - its brash boss.

Asked about the decision to sell to billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, Stoddart said: 'I'm still regretting it. It's not an easy decision to make.

'I'm going to miss it too much.'
 
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Anthony Davidson on standby?

BAR Honda could be on the verge of placing Anthony Davidson in Takuma Sato’s 007 for the final race of the year at Shanghai according to the Times newspaper.

Sato, who is leaving the BAR Honda squad following the season finale anyway to make way for Rubens Barrichello in the team, made a mess of his home Grand Prix last Sunday and found himself disqualified from the results following his attempted overtaking manoeuvre on Jarno Trulli.

It is not the first time this year that Sato has made headlines for all the wrong reasons. At Spa Francorchamps he earned himself a ten position penalty for the following Brazilian Grand Prix for his part in the accident that eliminated Michael Schumacher and himself from the race.

Now the Times is reporting that BAR Honda third driver Anthony Davidson could get the nod for the Chinese Grand Prix.

Davidson told the publication that he is ready to race in the finale with BAR if called upon to do so and that after a recent test at Jerez where he racked up the miles, is keen to show his race-craft before the end of the season.

Davidson has been linked to the Jordan/Midland team for next year as well as the mysterious 11th team that could enter the Championship next year with Honda power.

The British driver did take part in the Malaysian Grand Prix for the team standing in for the then unwell Sato, but it was not an impressive performance as he qualified back in 15th position and in the race itself, the engine failed on the opening lap of the race.

BAR Honda have made no comment on the speculation.
 
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Alesi to join McLaren F1?

It is increasingly likely that former Ferrari driver Jean Alesi will be a Johnny Herbert-style team chief for the likely McLaren 'B' team in 2007. It was suggested almost a month ago that the Frenchman, now a DTM driver who retired from formula one in 2001, was instrumental in finding the supposed backer of the project, Japanese company Direxiv.

Compounding the speculation is news now that Alesi, 41, was a guest of Ron Dennis' McLaren team at Suzuka last weekend, and held 'several' meetings with the Woking chief.

The Italian 'Autosprint' magazine claims Jean Alesi has a week to consider a solid offer to head the team, which would require him quitting as a DTM driver. He is under contract to the end of '06.
 
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Two banks sell F1 shares

The seemingly infinite row over the future of Formula One might finally have turned a corner.

In a bid to at least clean up a messy commercial ownership structure, Germany's Bayerische Landesbank has bought out fellow 'SLEC' (Speed Investments) shareholders Lehman Brothers and JP Morgan Chase.

The deal means that F1 is now solely owned by 'Bayern' (75 per cent) and F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone (25 per cent), clearing the path for a tidier purchase by a third party.

Ecclestone, 74, earlier this year lost a court battle with the banks over disputed control of F1's commercial rights.

Ever since, there have been reports that the banks are negotiating the sale of their majority stake - with parties like the F1 teams, GPMA, Bernie, and private consortiums like Tom Group and BSkyB.
 
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Schumacher rules out swansong with McLaren

According to his agent Willi Weber, Schumacher to stay at Ferrari

Seven-time World Formula One Champion Michael Schumacher has ruled out the possibility of ending his career with the McLaren team, his agent Willi Weber has told the German press.

Ferrari driver Schumacher has been competing in the shadows of Formula One's young guns Fernando Alonso, the new World Champion who drives for Renault, and McLaren's flying Finn Kimi Raikkonen.

Weber, who said 36-year-old Schumacher is likely to retire in 2008, told Wednesday's edition of Stuttgarter Nachrichten that rumours of a move to McLaren were simply that.

"Let's put an end to this rumour: I can categorically exclude (the possibility of) Michael Schumacher leaving Ferrari for McLaren-Mercedes," he said.

The rumour began because Schumacher had rejected a fresh contract from Ferrari.

"First of all, Michael is doing fine at Ferrari and secondly, his image is much more in line with Ferrari and their sport cars than Mercedes and their luxury cars."

He added: "I can't say for definite but it's likely that 2008 will be his final season."
 
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It's been a great year so far, all it needs is for this week end to conjur up

1st - Fisi
2nd - JPM
3rd - Kimi

and Alonso & MS out of the points.

What that would give us is Alonso as drivers champ, McLaren would get the constructors by 2 points (I think) but would also relegate MS to fifth in the drivers table.....
 
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Dupasquier: Leave tyre rules alone

Michelin’s motorsport boss Pierre Dupasquier has criticised the FIA’s plans to reintroduce tyre changing in Formula 1 next season.

The governing body sent an email to F1’s teams last weekend outlining a series of proposed rule changes for 2006.

These included lifting the ban on tyre changing that was imposed this year in a bid to cut costs and spice up the racing.

Dupasquier believes that the current rules have achieved their objectives to the letter and it would be a mistake to revert to the old system.

“Moving to a single tyre was good for the sport,” Dupasquier told Autosport-Atlas.

“This saved the teams money, there was less testing, and it made the racing more interesting.”

Dupasquier’s stance is unsurprising given that Michelin is widely acknowledged to have adapted to the 2005 rules more successfully than its rival Bridgestone.

But the combative Frenchman refuted the charge that he is merely defending a vested interest and turned the suggestion that Michelin has benefited unduly from the new rules on its head.

“We did not have an advantage this year – we simply did our job,” he said.

“Bridgestone did not do the same thing, so now there is talk about changing the rules.

“But we talked to our friends from Bridgestone and they said they don’t need this new rule, so I don’t know why the FIA needs to introduce tyre changes again.”

Dupasquier added that if the FIA is intent on changing the rules, it should go in the opposite direction and eliminate pit stops altogether.

“If the rules change, fine, we will design the tyre for the new rules. It is not a problem for us, but we are not happy," he said.

“Why change at all? We had excellent racing this year, especially last weekend in Japan. Why ruin it?

“In fact, if they want to change anything, they should go even further [than the status quo] and cancel pit stops.

“Refuelling is stupid and it goes against the spirit of Formula 1.

“The races should be between drivers and cars on track – a competition between the best drivers and the best technology. Pit stops only ruin that.”
 
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Engine Boost for Renault

Renault is hoping the latest evolution of its RS25 engine will give it the firepower it needs to see off McLaren’s challenge for the constructors’ world championship.

The Anglo-French squad has a narrow, two-point cushion over its British rival heading into this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix, but knows it will have to pull out all the stops to maintain that advantage.

It will therefore build on the upgrades introduced at Interlagos last month by debuting a new ‘E’-spec engine.

“It should give us a better overall performance package – which means not only is it an intrinsically more powerful engine, but it gives us more options in how we use the engine over the race weekend,” said Renault’s engine operations manager Denis Chevrier.

“It will be a concrete step forward in lap time.”

Renault’s decision to race the E-spec engine was a calculated risk based on the fact that the unit will only have to last one race distance (since Shanghai is the season finale) rather than the usual two.

“Obviously, for China, the reliability demands are somewhat different, as the engine only needs to complete a single race weekend, and the specification of the engine takes account of that,” Chevrier said.

“When it came to taking the decision on the specification to which the engines would be built, we had certain components that were capable of lasting 700km, but not yet 1400km.

“That meant they were not ready for any other races, but potentially were for China.

“Some of these parts are major enough to justify a change in its specification code, making it an ‘E’.”

The Chinese GP will have special significance for Renault as it will mark the last race for the V10 engine configuration, which it pioneered in F1 in 1989.

“I think it will be an emotional moment when we are on the grid, or hearing it cross the finish line for the final time,” said Chevrier.

“It will be the end of an era.

“We were the pioneers of the V10, fighting against our V8 and V12 competitors; then the V10 became the norm; and now an era is coming to a close.

“To have introduced this engine configuration to the sport, and to win its final championship, those are nice bookends on an era in F1 history.”
 
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Chinese GP on ITV1 and ITV2

Qualifying: Saturday 15 October 2325-0040 (ITV1)
Live race: Sunday 16 October 0600-0900 (ITV1)
Race replay: Sunday 16 October 1400-1630 (ITV1)
Highlights: Monday 17 October 0010-0115 (ITV1)
Highlights: Tuesday 18 October 0140-0230 (ITV2)
Race replay: Thursday 20 October 0145-0355 (ITV1)
 
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