Sunday, October 8, 2006

Renault driver Fernando Alonso won the FIA Formula-1 2006 Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix on the Suzuka International Racing Course. Though Ferrari drivers Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher started the race from the first row, Alonso managed to overtake both Toyotas on the first part of the race and Massa after the pit stops. Then Alonso started to push on Michael Schumacher and closed the gap to about 5 seconds. An engine failure forced Schumacher to park his car after the tunnel on lap 36 and the Spaniard rushed to his seventh victory in this season.

Giancarlo Fisichella, Fernando’s teammate, had a bad start, but burst through Toyota and finished on the back of the second-placed Filipe Massa. Toyota drivers Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher lost even more positions, when Honda driver Jenson Button and McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Räikkönen slipped in front of them and finished on 4-th and 5-th place respectively.

The situation in the drivers’ championship became almost critical for Schumacher, who lost 10 points this week-end. Only one chance remains for Schumacher to win his eighth champion’s title – if he wins the final 2006 Brazilian Grand Prix and Alonso doesn’t score any points. “I have to say clearly I don’t really believe in the championship anymore,” was Schumacher’s reaction.

There remains a battle for the third place in drivers’ championship, where Massa has a one point lead ahead of Fisichella. In the constructor’s championship Renault is 9 points ahead of Ferrari.