The San Marino Grand Prix threw up a few surprises. For one, I wasn’t expecting the Ferrari’s to be as close to the Renaults as they were. Okay, so we all knew how hard they had worked in the break, but I still thought the French cars would have the edge. The Ferrari is certainly “ominous” as Martin Brundle put it during his commentary of the race.
Another surprise for me was the BAR. Another much improved team that finally got a good result in San Marino. There is still a lot of hard work though, as shown by Jenson’s lack of speed when trying to catch Alonso’s Renault. Of course, 10 points should never be knocked, and they will earn a good few more before the season closes.
Red Bulls’ first non-scoring race was a disappointment. Having done well in Australia, Malaysia and Bahrain, it was a shame to see the handles come off a bit. They seemed off the pace largely due to the renaissance of McLaren, Ferrari and BAR. They need to develop the car to stay where they were after the first race. Vitantonio Liuzzi did well on his maiden voyage, holding off Massa whilst he scrapped with Liuzzi’s team mate Coulthard.
Williams seemed better off in the build up to the race, with Webber improving despite carrying an injury. However, the race went poor for both pilots, Webber mainly going backwards even though he managed the passing move of the race at the start when he drove around the outside of Takuma Sato. Heidfeld had a quiet race, sitting behind his team mate for most of it, presumably enjoying the scenery! 9th and 10th really is not what you expect from Williams, and you can only hope they get their act together soon.
The man of the race has to be Renault’s Fernando Alonso. After doing well in qualifying, narrowly missing out on pole to Kimi Raikkonen, he drove superbly after the Finn’s retirement on lap 9. Just about keeping Jenson Button at bay, and brilliantly defending his position to the charging Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso drove well to a hard earned victory – one he will undoubtedly remember for many seasons and championships to come.