I must say that after 6 rounds of the F1 season, it is looking like another championship for Fernando Alonso. The scoreboard is 3 wins for Alonso, 2 for Schumi and 1 for Fisico. Alonso also leads the championship and Schumi can only hope that the realible Renaults would fail once or twice for him to catch up.
Unlike last year, Schumi’s position (compared to Kimi’s last year) is a little more predictable. Kimi’s 2005 run during the first half was beset by reliability woes. Schumi’s challenge to Alonso so far is looking reliable if not strong.
So, another Alonso year? Will it be a snorefest? I hope not. Unfortunately the last 3 races (Imola, Nurburgring and Barcelona) have been somewhat boring with very little wheel to wheel battles.
To entertain myself, I keep my eyes on the BMW Sauber F1 team and Jacques Villeneuve. So far BMW is looking a little unreliable. The speed is not there yet. But I guess this is their first year as a total package. So I should give them some time. But what is interesting though is Jacques Villeneueve.
IMHO, Jacques is having quite a season so far. To think that Heidfeld in the opinion of many got the better of the highly touted future world champion Mark Webber in 2005…
So by comparison JVil is enjoying a strong renaissance. This time last year, many were writing him off as a has been as he struggled with the Sauber. It is not until Jacques practically have to demand changes to the cars’ setup that things start to get better.
This year, it seems he started on a stronger footing. And he seems to be a much stronger team player this year. There is less of the hard talk of old. Jvil of 2006 seems to be keen on seeing the new BMW team improve further. In the recent Paul Ricard F1 testing session, JVil topped the times ahead of the two Renaults of Kovalainen and Alonso. Now I know these are just testing… but when have you seen JVil go for hot times in testing?
Stories of JVil insisting on softer tyres are circulating on Atlas F1 forums. At Nurburgring, BMW confirmed that they were using the softer compund tyres which helped JVil to points scoring positions. Again, at Barcelona JVil took advantage of his ability to make tyres last a long time even though on soft compounds to run an extra long (fnar fnar) first stint up to more than 50% of the race distance (the last driver to pit for fresh tyres)!
So the recent Paul Ricard tests, rumours have it that JVil was testing even softer tyres. Let’s hope that these can be put to good use at Monaco. Let’s hope that JVil continues his strong season and get a new F1 drive contract for 2007. I do hope that BMW will retain his services.