Take a statistical look at the 2006 championship so far in our post-race stats update.
The absence of Christian Klien means that now only 18 of those have started every race.
Giancarlo Fisichella’s best finish since the United States Grand Prix put him back in front in the ever-changing battle for third in the World Drivers’ Championship. His strong race in China provided further evidence that Renault have rediscovered some of their early season form.
There are other differences too – Fisichella would be fourth overall, rather than third, swapping places with Felipa Massa. And look how much closer Jenson Button would be to the battle for third.
Toyota need a strong performance on home ground to stand a chance of recovering fifth from BMW.
Scott Speed (11th) and Sakon Yamamoto (19th) earned their highest starting positions of the year (and, by extension, their careers) in the wet qualifying session. So did Robert Doornbos, by default, as it was his first start of the year.
Pedro de la Rosa started seventh, as he did at Monza, which has proved more or less the average for the second McLaren. Juan Pablo Montoya averaged at 7.2, de la Rosa 7.67, compared to Kimi Raikkonen’s 5.75 (including three pole positions).
Schumacher’s only failure to finish was at Melbourne when he crashed – although he had pulled in beofre the end of the Hungarian Grand Prix he was a classified finisher and scored a point.
Mark Webber has had the most mechanical DNFs per person (six) but the least reliable car is the second Super Aguri. Yuji Ide, Franck Montagny and Sakon Yamamoto have had nine car failures from sixteen starts between them.
The Ferrari 248 has been astonishingly reliable – four more race distances and it will not have let either of its drivers down during a Grand Prix all season long.