Imola: The Return of Ferrari and a Scandal to Come at BAR Honda

A terrible mistake had been made by Michael Schumacher at the end of his lap during second qualifying on Sunday morning. The seventimes world champion had hit a (well-known) bump at Rivazza, the wheels had blocked when braking and the German left the track going through the graval trap: Only grid position 13 instead of second row. But no doubt, Ferrari was quick again at their home ground of the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari. More then 7000 kilometres of testing, especially for the Bridgestone tyres, had Maranello brought back to the top. But hopes seemed to have gone again, when Rubens Barrichello had to give up caused by electrical problems very early in lap 18. At that time Michael Schumacher had not been in the points, he was involved in fierce battles in the middle of the field of a thrilling race. Kimi Raikkonen on pole position dominated the early period of the 25th San Marino Grand Prix leading Fernando Alonso. The Finn had been able to increase his lead up to 3 seconds to the Spaniard in the Renault, but in lap 9 he suddenly became slower to retire by a collapsed driveshaft. From that time on Fernando Alonso was the man to beat in the gardens of the Emilia Romana inspite getting some pressure from Jenson Button in the for the first time in 2005 competitive BAR Honda. The Briton lead the race when Alonso being in the pits twice to enter the podium third position finally. The trouble should follow later. During the middle of the race Michael Schumacher started an enormous hunt, overtook Button and in lap 46 the Ferrari of the German was in the lead for the first time in 2005! Schumacher had got a fresh engine after his retirement in Sakhir while Alonso had to use a power plant being driven 700 kilometres through the Arab desert. Michael Schumacher made his second pit stop very late and the the gap to Alonso had not been big enough to keep the lead. For the following 13 laps the crown prince to keep the king of Grand Prix Racing covered to score his 4th career win, the third in a row in 2005 - inspite the Ferrari being a one second per lap quicker car at that stage of the race.

Williams BMW is again not competitive enough to fight for the worldchampionship. The BMW engine is as strong as ever, but the chassis had got deficiencies especially on the aerodynamics sector. Nico Rosberg, son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, was appointed second Williams BMW test driver at the side of Antonio Pizzonia. Nick Heidfeld scored one single point, but only after Ralf Schumacher had received a 25 seconds time penalty: The stewards considered the Toyota driver of nearly having rammed Heidfeld in the pit lane. The Cologne based team has appealed against this decision. Alexander Wurz, for the first time competing in a Grand Prix since Sepang 2000, scored a fine fourth place for West McLaren Mercedes. There Juan Pablo Montoya had to miss his second race in a row caused by his tennis injury. On a banner the fans advised him to go to Wimbledon next time. The Colombian also had become a father, the name of his son is Sebastian, while Jarno Trulli´s son, also born before the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, is named Enzo like the great Enzo Ferrari. At Red Bull Racing Vitantonio Liuzzi, who is speaking German pretty good, made his debut, but the British-Austrian cars are not strong enough to score points by theirown at the moment. David Coulthard had collided twice with Felipe Massa´s Sauber Petronas at Imola, the Scot had got so angry about it, that he attacked the Brazilian in his hired car when leaving the circuit. Red Bull had presented the biggest motor home ever seen in a paddock with three floors to welcome everybody, not only invited guests as many other teams are doing. Red Bull had signed a contract with Ferrari for the delivery of the Maranello engines in 2006 and 2007. A rule change had been introduced before Imola concerning the third driver on Friday, so Christian Klien was able to to that job inspite having competed in the whole 2004 season at Jaguar. Renault had brought new aerodynamics to the autodromo in Northern Italy, especially an amazing new front wing. From Barcelona 2005 Spanish insurance group Mutua Madrilena will be a sponsor of Renault. Spain is so mad about their worldchampionship leader, that Radio Marca got really emotional: Germany has got the Pope. Spain has got Alonso.

F.I.A. president Max Mosley celebrated his 65th birthday. But his fellow countrymen of British American Racing did not give him a birthday gift after the race inspite scoring their first 2005 points with both their cars finishing. The weight of third place Jenson Button`s BAR Honda was controlled by F.I.A.`s technical delegate Jo Bauer with and without fuel on board. The result: 606.1 kilograms and 594.6 with empty tank and that means 5.4 kilos too light. There were rumours in the paddock, that the engineers had found an extra fuel tank not being contained in the BAR Honda 007`s drawings being presented to the F.I.A. at the beginning of the season, a behaviour, that can be considered illegal. The question is: Has BAR Honda used this fuel tank for falling below the legal weight limit during the races to compensate it shortly before the chequered flag by an extra fuel load while the rival teams use permanent wolfram plates in the step of the undertray. There are hints for an illegal advantage created by British American Racing with intent, so the F.I.A. appealed against the Imola stewards´decision considering Button`s car to be legal. The F.I.A. court will sit at Paris on Wednesday, 4th May 2005. The international automobile association only once had excluded a team from a Formula One Worldchampionship. That had been back in 1984, for competing with underweight cars and concerned BAR´s predecessor Team Tyrrell.

Jutta Schmitt

Starting Grid

1 K Raikkonen 2:42.880

2 F Alonso 2:43.441

3 J Button 2:44.105

4 M Webber 2:44.511

5 J Trulli 2:44.518

6 T Sato 2:44.658

7 A Wurz 2:44.689

8 N Heidfeld 2:45.196

9 R Barrichello 2:45.243

10 R Schumacher 2:45.416

11 J Villeneuve 2:46.259

12 G Fisichella 2:46.710

13 M Schumacher 2:47.244

14 D Coulthard 2:48.070

15 V Liuzzi 2:48.155

16 N Karthikeyan 2:52.099

17 T Monteiro 2:54.252

18 F Massa 2:44.939*

19 P Friesacher 2:52.048*

20 C Albers 1:25.921*

* change of engine


2005 Gran Premio Foster´s di San Marino, Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola (Italy), 52 Laps a´4.933 km = 305.609 km, Weather: Air 19°C , Track 28°C , Humidity 53%

1 F Alonso 1:27:41.921

2 M Schumacher +0.215

3 J Button +10.481

4 A Wurz +31.783

5 T Sato +31.783

6 J Villeneuve +1:04.442

7 J Trulli +1:010.258

8 N Heidfeld +1:11.282

9 M Webber +1:23.297

10 V Liuzzi +1:23.764

11 R Schumacher 1:35.841

12 F Massa +1 Lap

13 D Coulthard +1

14 N Karthikeyan +1

15 T Monteiro +2 Laps



C Albers, Lap 20: Gearbox

R Barrichello, 18: Electrics

K Raikkonen, 9: Transmission

P Friesacher, 8: Transmission

G Fisichella, 5: Accident


Fastest Lap

M Schumacher 1:21.858 (Lap 48)


Worldchampionship Standings


1 F Alonso 36

2 J Trulli 18

3 G Fisichella 10

4 M Schumacher 10

5 R Schumacher 9

6 D Coulthard 9

7 R Barrichello 8

8 JP Montoya 8

9 K Raikkonen 7

10 N Heidfeld 7

11 M Webber 7

12 J Button 6

13 A Wurz 5

14 T Sato 4

15 P de la Rosa 4

16 J Villeneuve 3

17 C Klien 3

18 F Massa 2



1 Renault 46

2 Toyota 27

3 McLaren Mercedes 24

4 Ferrari 18

5 Williams BMW 14

6 Red Bull Cosworth 12

7 BAR Honda 10

8 Sauber Petronas 5

















Photos © Ferrari Press Office, British American Racing, Sauber Motorsport, Renault Press Office and Red Bull Racing


© 2005 by researchracing


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