2006 San Marino Grand Prix - Race 4/18

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There seems to be a test at Silverstone this week... http://www.f1racing.net/en/tests.php

25-26-27th April.

Anyone got any info/anyone going down for a day?

Also: LOL at button, in my eyes he was in the wrong for that pit stop - last year Montoya's pit man did the same thing (apart from the hit on the head) and Montoya stopped straight away, it took another split second to release the fuel rig and he was sent on his way; an exception situation handled well in Mclarens case but poorly in Buttons/Hondas.
 
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Symonds hails Schuey win

Renault’s engineering chief Pat Symonds reckons Michael Schumacher “played a blinder” to win the San Marino Grand Prix.

Schumacher masked the extent of his tyre degradation problems during the middle phase of the race at Imola by driving at a slower pace than he was capable of.

Renault’s Fernando Alonso, who had short-fuelled, caught the German rapidly during this period of the grand prix but couldn't find a way past on a track that is notoriously difficult to pass on.

The Renault team then decided to adapt its strategy in an attempt to pass the Ferrari in the pits.

However Schumacher then used the speed he’d kept in reserve to stay ahead of the world champion through the final stops.

“The really significant thing was that on the free lap after Fernando pitted, Michael showed he had some performance in reserve,” explained Symonds.

“On the lap we pitted, he did a lap of 1:25.7 – where his average speed in the ten previous laps, was 1:27.4.

“The lap-times during the second stint had not suggested he had that performance in reserve.”

Symonds added that he believed the difference in the two cars’ performance was thus not as marked as it may have appeared on television.

“From our point of view, we could have run our planned strategy and still finished second,” he said.

“But it would have been an unsatisfying second place, because there would have been a 'what if' factor because we hadn't explored every option available to us.

“As it was, we tried everything we could – and it didn't come off because we saw two cars with very equal levels of performance, battling for the win.”

Symonds explained the reasoning behind the switched strategy as a case of “nothing ventured, nothing gained”, and added that he believed it was unlikely Alonso could have won the race had he stuck to his original race plan.

“Had we been certain of going significantly further than Michael in the second stint then obviously, the option would have been to stay out – and it would have probably worked.

“But we didn't have that extra fuel, and we would probably have run only a lap longer than Michael.

“During that lap, he would have been on new tyres and we saw in qualifying that they were particularly strong on those opening 'golden' laps. So we didn't think it would work for us.”
 
Soldato
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Regarding Button & lollipop's, maybe they should put mirror's on those things like Ferrari's. FIA should make them compulsory. But I doubt they could have made a difference in Button's case yesterday. Imagine if there was a car behind him? & is it just me or was he about to stall the car... on purpose :confused:
 
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The only problem with having mirrors is that the driver has no idea what is happening in the pit in front of him, which I think is nealy as dangerous as not knowing whats going on around the car!
 
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“During that lap, he would have been on new tyres and we saw in qualifying that they were particularly strong on those opening 'golden' laps. So we didn't think it would work for us.”
IIRC, Schumacher only had a single brand new set of tyres for the race and used those in the first stint, putting on scrubbed ones at both stops.
 
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Vertigo1 said:
IIRC, Schumacher only had a single brand new set of tyres for the race and used those in the first stint, putting on scrubbed ones at both stops.

Indeed....

Initially grumbling about tyre drop-off, Germany's Schumacher admitted that an investigation into what happened - particularly in the second stint - would need to take place.

''Maybe I damaged the car over a kerb or something,'' said the 37-year-old, confused about the three-second per lap struggle in contrast to earlier pace.

Schumacher totally rubbished one theory, namely that Ferrari's mighty practice and qualifying pace was due to using all but one set of Bridgestones prior to the Grand Prix. He explained that the errant second and third sets on Sunday were indeed 'new'.

Team boss Jean Todt, meanwhile, agreed with the analysis that the entire paddock had expected cooler weather.

''The tyres we had were a bit too soft for the conditions,'' he admitted.

Of course, there is one final consideration, which Schumacher mulled over on Sunday afternoon.

He said after the race: ''We were competitive except for when something was wrong with the car. But Renault felt less competitive here than elsewhere.''
 
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Sorry for my abscence...

Been in surgery... :eek:

More next wednesday after a suitible recovery period. :(

San Marino: Post-Race Notes - Ferrari

First win of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. This is the Scuderia's eighth San Marino Grand Prix victory, the 184th from 727 Grand Prix starts. Michael Schumacher took his eighty fifth career win, the seventh at Imola.

Jean Todt: When I was going up to the podium, I said to Michael that I could not remember the way anymore, as it had been such a long time since the last victory! This result comes courtesy of all the hard work over the past few weeks carried out by the team and our partners, first and foremost Bridgestone and Shell and it was made all the better coming in front of so many of our fans and employees who filled their own grandstand here. Michael secured a fantastic win, rounded off with a good fourth place from Felipe. We had expected it to be cooler and the heat saw us suffer a bit, which shows how just the smallest variation in temperature can affect the pecking order. It's and odd thing to say, but in Australia we wanted it hotter and it was cool and here we have the opposite! This result is very encouraging for the future and is a great boost. There are fourteen races still to fight for and we know that if all the parts of the jigsaw puzzle are in place, then we can look for the wins in order to meet our targets.

Michael Schumacher: I am very happy! The result shows that work pays off and that the effort put in by everyone – the team and our partners – has delivered its reward. The key moment was staying ahead after the second pit stop. As we saw last year, overtaking at this track it's almost impossible, unless the guy in front makes a mistake. With all my years of experience, I knew that what I wanted to do was keep Alonso behind me, but at my pace, not pushing flat out and that's what I did. At this time I had a bit of graining, as had been the case in free practice and now we must work out what caused it. I hope we can keep up this standard in the coming races and I think that from now on, we will be very competitive.

Felipe Massa: It was a very difficult race, but it turned out well for Ferrari in the end. Michael's win and my fourth place make a very nice result. I would have liked to have been on the podium, but I am still pleased with this as it was important to bring so many points home. I had some problems in my second stint, but in the third one I could push as hard as I wanted again.

Ross Brawn: Naturally, we are very happy with this result. Winning in front of our fans is something very special. It was a very tough race and the team did a great job in Michael's final pit stop, which got him back out on track ahead of Alonso. We struggled a bit in the second part of the race, probably because of the tyres, and we could not maintain the pace we had in the first stint. In these laps, Michael drove perfectly, managing to keep Alonso behind him. Felipe drove a strong race. He had some difficult moments but he proved capable of getting out of them in fine form, driving very well. A fantastic result down to great work from the team, from Bridgestone and from Shell. It is the first “real” win for a car designed by Aldo Costa, which is particularly pleasing. Let's hope this is a good omen for the rest of the season.
 
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San Marino: Post-Race Notes - Renault

The Renault F1 Team took nine points from a dramatic tactical battle in Imola this afternoon, during the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix.

In a spectacular reversal of last year's result, Fernando Alonso's faster Renault R26 shadowed winner Michael Schumacher's Ferrari to the flag, having closed up a lead of almost 15 seconds that the German had built during the opening stint. However, the Imola circuit is known for being one on which it is almost impossible to overtake, and the Spaniard's only hope was to try and pressure his rival into a mistake that never came. However, Fernando's second-place finish extends his championship lead over his nearest rivals, and he has scored 36 points from 40 possible.

Giancarlo Fisichella went into the race knowing he would have a difficult afternoon starting from 11th position on the grid. His R26 failed to show its true pace during the long opening stint of the race, when he struggled for grip, but after that he was able to make up ground on the competitors around him to take the final points-paying position.

The Renault F1 Team now has 51 points in the Constructors' Championship, a lead of 18 points over its closest rival.

Fernando Alonso: Second place and eight points is a perfect result for me this afternoon. We suspected that we had qualified with more fuel than the others, and the race showed we were right to pick that strategy. At a normal circuit, we could have won but this is Imola where overtaking is almost impossible. I could see that I was much faster than Michael in the second stint, and I was just trying to put pressure on him, hoping he would make a mistake. We did not plan to make our second stop when we did – we pitted early to try and overtake him but it didn't quite work. So I stayed in his slipstream and in the last five laps, put all the revs on the engine and tried to overtake. But the Ferrari was a lot quicker again at the end, and it didn't happen. Looking at the championship, though, this is perfect. My closest rivals at the start of the weekend were Fisichella and Raikkonen, and I have taken points from both of them. I am happy with this, and I know we will be stronger again in the Nuerburgring.

Giancarlo Fisichella: This was a race to try and recover what happened in qualifying yesterday afternoon and I cannot be happy to finish eighth, but I still got into the points. The start was fantastic but I got crowded out as others drivers closed the door, and then struggled with the grip in the first stint. We took off some front wing at the stop, and then the pace was in the car. I was much faster and started to make up a lot of ground because we ran further than the other cars, but in the end, there were only a couple of seconds in it at the second stop – and I came out just behind Button and Webber. The race showed the speed is there in the car, though, and I think we can have a much stronger weekend in Germany in two weeks.

Flavio Briatore, Managing Director: The Renault was very competitive this afternoon, and we only just lost out to Ferrari on a circuit where overtaking is so difficult. Fernando did everything he could, but we just didn't quite have the answers we needed to beat Michael this afternoon. Fisico was always going to have a hard day, but did his best to get to the points, and managed it. We had both cars in the points, Fernando has a big lead in the drivers' championship, and it was another good team performance today.

Pat Symonds, Executive Director of Engineering: We saw a very typical Imola race this afternoon, and an interesting reversal of last year's result. I think the Renault was the faster car but in fact, this appearance was probably exaggerated by the fact that Schumacher had such a dreadful middle stint. With Fernando stuck behind him, we were left with very few options to try and capitalise on our performance advantage, as we believe our planned lap for the second stop was, contrary to what the figures on television seemed to indicate, very close to his. We pulled in early because running longer was unlikely to pay off for us, as the Ferrari's tyres seemed very quick at the start of a stint. So we tried to get Fernando a lap of clean air to beat Michael in the pits and it didn't quite work but as the phrase goes, "nothing ventured, nothing gained". And in this case, nothing lost either. Giancarlo had a steady race, and he was unfortunate not to get ahead of Button at the final stop. Realistically, though, his race was all about mitigating the effects of qualifying yesterday, and he did everything that could be asked of him.
 
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San Marino: Post-Race Notes - Midland

Tiago Monteiro: "Another finish, which is important of course, because every finish gives us more data to work with. We had two strategy options, depending on how the start went. Actually, it was our best start so far this season, so I managed to stay in front of Sato and from that point I was just pushing hard to follow the Torro Rossos. I couldn't do that, but in that type of situation, you have to keep pushing hard the whole race, because you never know what might happen to those ahead of you. So you push to explore the potential of the car and you push to improve your focus and concentration over a race distance. It's actually not too bad, because we learned a lot. Personally, I discover new things about the car every time out. Unfortunately, we're in a situation where we get overtaken, but we analyse this to see where our opponents are quicker. Obviously, this is not where we want to be - we would prefer to be fighting with the others - but I think our pace is improving all the time. We just need a little bit more, and we're almost there."

Christijan Albers: "For me, this was really a bad end to the weekend. It's a shame, because we had a fantastic start. On Friday, we were really quick; we were on the pace. On Saturday morning, we were also pretty quick. And then the bad luck started: we had a software problem on the engine side that held us back in qualifying. For me, this was really, really sad, because I felt we had a chance to make it into the second qualifying heat, even though we still had a lot of fuel in the car. And then, during the race, I felt I had a reasonable start that ended up being wasted by an unnecessary race incident. With all due respect to the Super Aguri drivers, they are being much too aggressive in trying to jump ahead of us at the start so that they can hold us up during the race, as they've done in the past. They are taking too many risks, and we saw today how dangerous this can be. I don't understand this tactic, because I would have conceded the position to (Ide) had he been in a position to take it. I had a lot of fuel on board and driving to a certain strategy, so I wasn't trying to hold anyone up. But instead, he just pushed me off the road from behind. It's too bad, because the car is severely damaged. The team worked very hard to give me a good car this weekend, and they deserved a better result than this."

Colin Kolles, Managing Director: "It was not such a good weekend, to say the least. Tiago did a good job to bring the car home under difficult circumstances, after his car developed a problem. As for Christijan, well, it's obvious what happened and it was certainly not his fault."

Dominic Harlow, Chief Race and Test Engineer: "Thankfully, Christijan's OK after being shunted off on the first lap. Sadly, it's just one of those things. Tiago brought the car home in P16 and given the problems he had, that was probably the best we could have hoped for. We've got some things to work on to get ready for the next one, but we're up for the challenge."
 
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San Marino: Post-Race Notes - WilliamsF1

Sam Michael, Technical Director, WilliamsF1: "It was a good result to get both cars to the finish and improve significantly on our starting positions today. Mark overtook Kimi on the first lap then drove well to sixth place and the strategy he was on worked well. Nico had a a really good start but lost out on the first few corners, but nevertheless improved on his start position of 13th to finish 11th. Bridgestone's new tyre worked well. Overall a satisfactory day, but we are pushing for more."

Mark Webber: "Today's result is positive after a difficult start to the weekend and all in all, we had a great race with the boys doing a good job on the strategy and our stops worked well. The only tricky part of the race was the first few laps on high fuel which made the car hard work on turn in and under braking, especially because of the bumps. Apart from a reasonable finish today, we also learnt plenty about Bridgestone. The job now is to keep finding more pace."

Nico Rosberg: "This weekend was pretty up and down for me because qualifying wasn't too bad but I have definitely had better races than today. I didn't feel 100% comfortable in the car, especially on used tyres. My main problem was racing in traffic all afternoon and even when I should have pushed hard to gain some ground, there was someone ahead, preventing me from making progress. No points isn't such a good outcome, but now I am looking forward to doing a better job at my home race at the Nurburgring as Mark has shown today that we can compete in strong point-scoring positions."

Simon Corbyn, Head of F1 Race Engineering, Cosworth Ltd: "Great to get a Cosworth powered car back in the points again at Imola and my thanks to everyone at Cosworth for the huge effort put into the CA2006 programme. Once again Cosworth worked very well with WilliamsF1 and this time we came away with something to show for it. We'll need to have a good look through the data and inspect both engines prior to their second event."
 
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San Marino: Post-Race Notes - Toyota

Panasonic Toyota Racing suffered a frustrating afternoon's work in the San Marino Grand Prix. Both Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli qualified in the top ten but they endured mixed fortunes under the sun at Imola. Ralf narrowly missed out on the points, taking 9th place after a battling race on a three-stop strategy. Jarno suffered a problem with his steering column and was forced to retire early on. Toyota is scheduled to test at France's Paul Ricard circuit next week as it bids to make steps forward for the coming races. Then the team will look to bounce back with a stronger performance at the European Grand Prix in two weeks' time.

Ralf Schumacher raced strongly on a three-stop strategy on his way to an eventual 9th place, just outside the points.

Ralf Schumacher: "It is a pity that we missed out on the points but that was not the best afternoon for me. We had a very aggressive strategy but circumstances played against us. We were a bit unlucky with traffic and the safety car didn't help us but we also struggled for grip in the early stints. The pace improved in the latter stages when I was gaining ground on Fisichella and Button so there must be some problem. I don't think it is related to the tyres because other Bridgestone teams did a good job so we need to investigate where the issue lies. We will test some new items next week and I believe we can improve at the European Grand Prix."

Jarno Trulli's run of misfortune in 2006 continued as he had to retire on lap 5 with a problem with his steering column.

Jarno Trulli: "A lot of bad luck seems to be coming my way at the moment and today was no exception. We still have to investigate exactly what happened but something seemed to go wrong with the steering column and that meant I had to retire. It's a pity because we have been looking good all weekend and I was confident that we could have had a better day today. I made a very good start and I made up a place on Raikkonen as I went through the field. Unfortunately the car in front had a moment at the first corner so I had to slow down. It's frustrating because whatever I do, something goes wrong. But I will keep pushing because I know that the team and the package are good. Once everything starts working for me I know I will have a lot of success."

Panasonic Toyota Racing endured a frustrating afternoon at Imola, narrowly missing out on increasing its points haul.

Tsutomu Tomita - Team Principal: "It was a disappointing Sunday for us and the results were not so good. But I'm sure that our car is quicker than it was able to show today. It performed well this weekend and was well matched to the Bridgestone tyre in the conditions. Unfortunately the race started very badly when Jarno had to stop with a mechanical problem with his steering column. We are very disappointed about that so apologies to him. Ralf raced hard on a three-stop strategy which should work here because of the short pit lane. However you risk losing out if you have a safety car in the first stint, which is exactly what happened. That meant the strategy was hampered early on. He had some inconsistency with grip during the race which we need to investigate but Ralf's pace in the last stint when he was free of traffic was good and encouraging. I am sure that our car has the potential to bring better results in the next few races. Nonetheless we clearly need to develop further and push hard to improve performance during the coming tests."
 
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San Marino: Post-Race Notes - Red Bull

David Coulthard: "I had a broken drive shaft. Possibly as a result of something that happened after the pit stop, because when I pulled away I had a problem with the engine taking a lot of revs. It's a shame, because although we had seen this in winter testing, it had never happened in a race so far."

Christian Klien: "The whole weekend has not been good for me with a lot of problems, starting in the first free practice session. In qualifying I had that bother with the speed limiter and now in the race I had a hydraulic problem. The race did not go well: I started behind Scott Speed and with it being so hard to pass here, I lost a lot of time behind. When I had a clear track ahead of me the car was actually quite respectable until it stopped."

Christian Horner: "A very disappointing race with both cars not making it to the finish. It was very difficult to score points today with both Ferraris, Renaults and McLarens coming home in the points. It's clear that we have a lot of work ahead of us, starting next week at the Silverstone test."
 
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San Marino: Post-Race Notes - BMW

The BMW Sauber F1 Team finished the first race of the European Formula 1 season in Imola with their drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Nick Heidfeld 12th and 13th respectively.

Jacques Villeneuve: It was not that exciting because I had a problem in the first pit stop. We were not as competitive as we expected. However, the balance was good and with this we should have been able to do some quick laps. The start was bad but then the first corner was okay. For the next race we have a new engine and that should help a lot, which is important as we are racing in Germany.

Nick Heidfeld: This was a disappointing race for us especially as I had expected our race pace to be higher. But unfortunately this was not the case. My start was okay but still I couldn’t gain positions. One of my main problems was lack of grip, but at the second pit stop we changed the front wing settings and the tyre pressures so the last stint was a little bit better.

Mario Theissen (BMW Motorsport Director): Over this Imola weekend only the free practice on Friday was really good for us. Neither in qualifying nor during the race were the drivers able to set the lap times we expected. It was only in the last stint of the race that Jacques was able to match the speed of the top drivers at certain times. During Jacques’ first pit stop there was a problem when two wheel nuts got stuck, but even without this problem he would not have made it into the points. On the positive side for the first time this season our engines have completed two full race distances at the same time, so they have passed this test successfully.

Willy Rampf (Technical Director Chassis): Our average race speed was not as quick as we expected. After the second stops both drivers were quicker and happier with the balance of the cars, but in the middle of the race we were far to slow. We have to analyse these fluctuating lap times. Jacques had a slow first pit stop due to sticking wheel nuts and this lost him approximately 15 seconds.
 
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San Marino: Post-Race Notes - Toro Rosso

Tonio Liuzzi: "It was a so-so race for me. We ran at our pace in qualifying which meant we started a long way back on the grid, which made it difficult to go anywhere. We had a decent race pace but we couldn't pass anyone as it is so difficult at this track. I had a problem with the brakes from about lap 3 onwards so I couldn't push as I was locking up the front or the rear. The car handled well and without the brake thing I could have done much better."

Scott Speed: "I might have passed Heidfeld if I had not get so badly held up around the pit stops. I was unlucky in that I let Michael by a couple of corners before he pitted so I lost about five seconds there and then, when I came out of the pits I had a bunch of traffic. The car's pace was good, we were quicker than Heidfeld and quick enough to keep up with our “senior” Red Bull team! To add to my bad luck, my drinks bottle didn't work all race."

Gerhard Berger: "We had a good race with strong lap times. Again we brought both cars home which is encouraging and we were stuck in amongst BMW and to be stuck behind a BMW is no bad sign for Toro Rosso. We could have gone quicker if we had been able to pass them. Looking at the lap times, if we qualified a bit better, I think we could run three or four places further forward. Overall, it was actually a reasonable result for us."
 
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