How has the Bridgestone resurgence affected the title battles? Take a closer look at the championship situation with our detailed statistical analysis of the season so far.
Pedro de la Rosa became the 24th participant in the 2006 World Drivers’ Championship and the 18th points scorer. Juan Pablo Montoya is unlikely to add any further to his total of 26 having quit the series.
The battle for third place in the series between McLaren number one Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari and Renault numbers twos Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella is very close – just four points separate them.
Michael Schumacher closed in on Fernando Alonso for the second consecutive race. But even if Schumacher is able to win all the remaining races Alonso could still be World Champion by three points if he finished second in every race.
Schumacher took points off Alonso in two consecutive races earlier in the season – San Marino and Europe – but Alonso hit back with a four race winning streak. Renault have a substantial new parts package due for the next round…
Because of this, many people are encouraging them to use the absence of Montoya to try out drivers like Gary Paffett and Lewis Hamilton.
They’ve leapfrogged BMW and now have arch-rivals Honda firmly in their sights: a situation that was unthinkable at the start of the year.
The difference in performance in qualifying and races between the two leads to questions about why Fisichella has been re-signed for another year. Especially when there’s talent like Raikkonen, Heikki Kovalainen, Mark Webber and others on the driver market.
There has already been more mechnical failures in the 2006 season than there was in the entire of 2005. Last year 11% of all starts (43) ended in mechanical failure. There have been 48 mechanical retirements this year – a 20% failure rate.
Despite that, Ferrari are the only team not to have suffered a mechanical failure during a race yet.
The only driver to have finished every race so far is Alonso. Apart from himself and the Ferraris only one other driver has started every race and not had a failure – Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Webber’s car failure in France was his fifth.