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Old 10-16-2005, 03:00 AM
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2005 F1 Season Review Thread

Well, after 19 races the longest season in F1 history has finally come to a close. And first of all I'd say that on the whole I enjoyed it. While the media and casual viewers have been trying their hardest to bash F1 with the usual tired claims of it being "boring", and the usual "worst season ever", the sport's "dying" claims etc, I think this season has provided more entertainment than the previous three seasons put together. It's had two very fiercely contested championships. It's had 2/3 very good races (Malaysia, Imola, Nurburgring), one excellent race (Monaco), and one absolute classic (Suzuka). There have been a few boring races but that has been the case in every F1 season since the dawn of time, and I for one am sick of people over-reacting and bitching on about how bad the sport is after every disappointing race. The occasional dull event just a fact of life in every motorsport, and probably every sport on the planet. People seem too willing to confuse 'sport' with 'sports entertainment' it seems.

No F1 season can be complete without its fair share of controversy and 2005 has been littered with controversy seemingly at every turn. The two major public dramas were obviously BAR-Honda's exclusion and subsequent 2 race ban at Imola for "cheating" (a charge which they were cleared of yet severely punished anyway ) and of course the debacle at Indianapolis. Whilst it seemed that Indy would push the sport to breaking point it all seems to have blown over after a few short months. Of course both these public dramas were played out against the backdrop of behind-the-scenes political wranglings which are still threatening to break the sport apart after the current "Concorde Agreement" runs out in 2008. Although all has been quiet on the Western front for a while now the rift (or is it a chasm?) is still most definitely there, and there is a LOT of work to be done by Max and Bernie if they are to avoid a split into two seperate championships in 2008 (which would be disastrous for all parties IMO).

The two men of the season out on the black stuff were undoubtedly Kimi Raikkonen and new champion Fernando Alonso. Both finished the season with an amazing 7 wins apiece, only Alonso's more reliable car was the difference between the two drivers. Kimi was struck by bad reliabiltity and bad luck on more occasions than he'll care to remember, and with clearly the fastest car underneath him he will look back and wonder how it got away from him. But let's not take ANYTHING away from Alonso. With the exception of his mistake in Montreal he has driven pretty much flawlessly all season long. It's certainly arguable that he made a lot less mistakes than Kimi did, considering flat-spotting his tyre at the Nurburgring and making crucial mistakes in qualy at both Brazil and China, which both gave pole to Alonso in the most important races of the season. My conclusion: They were both superb and probably both deserved to win the title, but Renault's supreme consistency was the telling factor, and the little man from Oviedo deserves all the plaudits he will recieve. I'm sure Kimi will have his day in the not-too-distant future.

The other drivers out there were really nothing more than bit-part players in the Kimi/Fernando show. Nobody really showed enough consistency throughout the season to make any serious impact. Montoya was shockingly quick when it was his day, but simply shocking when it wasn't. His season was ruined by the shoulder injury he recieved early in the season, but he definitely showed he has the pace to push teammate Kimi in the future, if he can cut out the stupid mistakes. Alonso's wingman Fisichella got off to the best possible start with victory in the rain-affected Australian GP, but flattered to decieve from then on in. His losing the lead on the last lap to a flying Kimi at Suzuka just about summed up his average season. His report card will definitely be stamped with a "Must do better".

BAR-Honda had a VERY strange season. They started appalingly with average pace and shocking engine reliability, then just when it seemed they'd got back on track with Button's podium at Imola their season fell apart. A disqualification and a two race ban for bending the rules with their fuel tank and car weight put them firmly at the bottom of the WCC after Minardi and Jordan lucked into points at Indy. They recovered slightly with Jenson putting in a couple of decent performances with vastly improved reliability. Sadly their season was blighted by a 5ft Japanese lunatic in the driver's seat of their #2 car. He was undoubtedly the worst driver of the season for me. Surely the only reason he wasn't dropped like a stone was the huge sponsorship tie-ins back in Japan for Taku. The biggest thing the team will take from this season though is the fact that Honda have now bought the team in it's entirety. BAR will be no more and Honda will return as a full-time manufacturer for the first time in decades. They have the money and the expertise, time will tell if they can return the marque to reliving its glorious F1 past.

Williams had a season to forget on the whole. They started off average, picked up their game and scored a superb double podium at Monaco, then it all just seemed to crumble. Webber's season was full of silly errors and Heidfeld's season was curtailed through injury, but the real culprit was not the drivers; the car simply wasn't good enough. The engine wasn't great (compounded by a big fall out with BMW), the aero was shocking and the reliability was poor. The biggest news of their season was the break up of their unhappy 6 year marriage with BMW, and also the end of Buttongate MkII. Williams are once again an independant team with customer Cosworth engines for '06. They have a fairly exciting driver line-up but everything is down to the development team putting together a vastly improved package if they are to return to anything like their former glory. Things probably aren't gonna be helped by the rumoured money troubles at Williams though.

Red Bull Racing were undoubtedly the suprise package of 2005. Nobody predicted that they'd do anything worthwhile for at least a couple of seasons after taking over the floundering Jaguar enterprise, but they've been a real breath of fresh air. Cosworth's engines have been VERY reliable and the car has been suprisingly quick at some races, but the biggest factor has probably been the consistency and experience of the excellent David Coulthard. After being overshadowed for years and years by teammates Hakkinen and Raikkonen he's finally had the chance to step out of the shadows, and he seems to have loved every minute of it. His points total has been way beyond preseason expectations, but in honesty he's probably unlucky not have a few more. Team mate Klein (and also Liuzzi for a few races) has been reasonably quick but could nowhere near match DC for consistency.

2005 sees the swansong of three of the most prominent independant manufacturers in modern F1 history: Sauber, Jordan and Minardi. Sadly all three seem to have bowed out with barely more than a whimper. Peter Sauber has reluctantly sold out to BMW after staunchly holding on to his independant status for many years, but the mediocrity of their car this year shows that BMW have got a huge job on their hands if they are to reach the pinnacle of the sport. It was always just a transitional year for Jordan/Midland, and nobody expected them to shine. They managed a comedy podium with the plucky Monteiro at Indy, but other than that their reliability was the only thing to really shout about. Minardi on the other hand had nothing at all to shout about in their final season. They eventually brough out their first entirely new chassis in years after about a quarter of the season and, while it was a slight improvement, it was no where near good enough to lift them from bottom spot in the WCC. Still, the names of Minardi, Paul Stoddart, Peter Sauber, Eddie Jordan et al won't be forgotten for a LONG time in F1. They've provided many years of entertainment against all the odds, and have always displayed the spirit of motorsport at its finest. They'll be sadly missed.

Did I forget someone in my summing up? Hmmmm......Ah yes, Ferrari! This season will probably go down in the history books as the season that spelled the end of the era of Schumacher/Ferrari domination. They've been all conquering in this sport for the past five seasons, and they were favourites to keep that run going this season. Au contraire! They've had a dreadful season, no two ways about it. While some of the blame will probably fall at the feet of Bridgestone, who have definitely been trumped by Michelin, they have been the first to admit that the F2005 has not been up to the punishingly high standards they set themselves. And Michael too has had a fairly inconsistent season, which is highly out of the ordinary for him. His season was summed really by the China GP. The car's pace was average and it was compounded by a ridiculous mistake by Schumi whilst under the safety car. They've got a LOT of work to do to get back onto the coattails of McLaren and Renault next season.

So the legacy of 2005 will be the changing of the guard; Ferrari have finally been toppled from their perch after years of dominance, and Schumacher has finally been eclipsed by the young-guns Alonso and Raikkonen, the longset serving independent teams have finally had to make way in the mega-bucks world of topclass motorsport, BAR will be no more in F1, Barrichello will finally leave Ferrari after 5 years, and the glorious wailing of the V10s will be replaced by the 20,000rpm screech of V8s after 15 years as the dominant engine configuration.

So bring on 2006!!!!

Feel free to add your thoughts and reviews of this season.
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Old 10-16-2005, 03:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack_Bauer
This season will probably go down in the history books as the season that spelled the end of the era of Schumacher/Ferrari domination.
I disagree with that. I think this they expected to clean up again, as they have been doing for the past 5 seasons. But Renault and Mclaren caught them short.

But next season will be different. A year in the willderness for Schumi and Ferrari will be a slap in the face and a serious wake up call.

Ferrari easily have the technology to develop a car before next season that can compete with Renault and Mclaren.

This is my opinion anyway, but only time will tell
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Old 10-16-2005, 03:19 AM
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For various reasons I missed the TV relay of the first 4 races and after that I never got back into the groove. May be I lost interest.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:27 AM
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Congratulations for Renault.. well deserved title, not to mention they´re one team.
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Old 10-16-2005, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6'bore
I disagree with that. I think this they expected to clean up again, as they have been doing for the past 5 seasons. But Renault and Mclaren caught them short.

But next season will be different. A year in the willderness for Schumi and Ferrari will be a slap in the face and a serious wake up call.

Ferrari easily have the technology to develop a car before next season that can compete with Renault and Mclaren.

This is my opinion anyway, but only time will tell
I agree with you. Ferrari have concentrated on the development of next years car for some time now, giving up on the 2005 car some way into the season. This extra time and effort spent on next years car should hopefully get them back where they belong..on top
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Old 10-16-2005, 11:08 AM
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everything has to end sometime, it was Ferrari's time to move on but I hope they're competitive next year.
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Old 10-16-2005, 11:11 AM
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every dog has it's day... Williams, Ferrari, Who Next?
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Old 10-17-2005, 09:28 AM
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I think the year has been pretty good as a whole. The teams are overall more competitive(even Minardi), solid mid-field battles, and good Championship fight up front. Being a MS/Ferrari fan I am obviously disappointed at their performance, but as a racing fan races like ones at Suzuka is what legends are made of. USGP was a farce, and I still stand its the teams/owners who are ultimately at fault trying to advance their agenda, but thats just part of F1. 2005 spec aero rule is questionable. Especially it made races at Silverstone boring, which is a traditionally one of the better race. Hopefully they'll fix that.

Ferrari salvaged well with 3rd place in both driver and constructor, IMO thats a sign that they are definitely still in it and if they can recover MS will still be in the fight til he finally retires....
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Old 10-17-2005, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jakg
every dog has it's day... Williams, Ferrari, Who Next?
Ferrari was never a dog. It's always been at the pinnacle of the sport.
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Old 10-17-2005, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6'bore
Ferrari was never a dog. It's always been at the pinnacle of the sport.
agreed
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Old 10-17-2005, 10:22 AM
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You need to remember Ferrari didnt' just become a team when Schumi joined

1980 - 10th place with a total of 8 points,
1969 they scored just seven points THE SAME AS MINARDI THIS SEASON

( you can't compare seasons that easily tho;. Especially if there are fanboys around who like to think Ferrari have always been great !!! )
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Old 10-17-2005, 10:58 AM
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stole the words from my *fingers* matra..

Only in the last decade have ferrari been in the contest for winning races nevermind the championship.

You need look at brands like mclaren.. etc for teams who have always been right up there. Ferrari are a fairly new addition to the long term fight.

Last edited by Cotterik; 10-17-2005 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotterik
stole the words from my *fingers* matra..

Only in the last decade have ferrari been in the contest for winning races nevermind the championship.

You need look at brands like mclaren..honda etc for teams who have always been right up there. Ferrari are a fairly new addition to the fight.
that is also a bit exaggerated:

see the success in teh seventies of the subsequent 312T models with Niki Lauda, Villeneuve and Scheckter and the disaster year with the 126C2 in 1982, where both Villeneuve and Pironi could easily have won the world title had not they been mortally and heavily injured.

Ferrari is actually the only team that is still there since F1 started
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotterik
stole the words from my *fingers* matra..

Only in the last decade have ferrari been in the contest for winning races nevermind the championship.

You need look at brands like mclaren..honda etc for teams who have always been right up there. Ferrari are a fairly new addition to the fight.
You do realize that Ferrari is the single most successful Formula 1 entrant? Take the 1961 season for example when Ferrari won not only the F1 driver's championship, but also the Sportscar World Championship and took a victory at Le Mans. Every team goes through poor spells, some the cars McLaren campaigned between 1976 and 1984 were so bad the word Dog does not apply. Honda has won Grand Prix as an independent team.
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Old 10-17-2005, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Wouter Melissen
You do realize that Ferrari is the single most successful Formula 1 entrant? Take the 1961 season for example when Ferrari won not only the F1 driver's championship, but also the Sportscar World Championship and took a victory at Le Mans. Every team goes through poor spells, some the cars McLaren campaigned between 1976 and 1984 were so bad the word Dog does not apply. Honda has won Grand Prix as an independent team.
no, two, in Mexico and Monza
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