Fernando Alonso has more points after the seventh round of 2006 (64) than Michael Schumacher had at the same point in 2004 (60), so good has his start to the season been. Two years ago Schumacher’s closest real rival (ignoring Rubens Barrichello) was 22pts behind – today, Schumacher is 21 points behind Alonso.
After San Marino Jean Todt of Ferrari noted that the post-2003 points system was hurting their chances of getting back into the title race. But after Monaco they are actually better off under the new system – Alonso would lead 58-35 under 2002 points, a 23 point lead. Giancarlo Fisichella and Kimi Raikkonen, too, are better off.
Unsurprisingly Schumacher’s average qualifying position took a big hit – he now ranks sixth. Alonso leads from Jenson Button (who also slipped back this weekend), Juan Pablo Montoya, Fisichella and Mark Webber.
Scott Speed and Jacques Villeneuve take an average of four positions each race – but the former has qualified notably poorly compared to team mate Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Button and Jarno Trulli both lose places on average – but both are noted good qualifiers and both have suffered the cruel misfortune af a late-race failure that has dropped them down the finishing order, while still being classified.
Of failures, Webber and Christian Klien have had the most mechanical trouble with four DNFs each caused by the car. Only Alonso and Barrichello have finished every race, and Schumacher, Liuzzi and Felipe Massa are the only drivers to have had no mechanical failures during a race in ’06.
But Alonso has made far better use of his 100% finishing rate than Barrichello – taking a staggering 9.14 points on average each round to Barrichello’s 1.86. The McLaren’s statistics here are interesting – on average, Montoya could be scoring points at a greater rate than Raikkonen if they had finished all their races.