Disappointing end to season but Ferrari & Bridgestone finish 2005 Drivers' and Constructors' Championships in third place Jordan Grand Prix driver Tiago Monteiro finishes 18 out of 19 races in debut year. In a season which has seen more than...
Disappointing end to season but Ferrari & Bridgestone finish 2005 Drivers' and Constructors' Championships in third place
Jordan Grand Prix driver Tiago Monteiro finishes 18 out of 19 races in debut year.
In a season which has seen more than its fair share of excitement, today's season finale, the China Grand Prix, continued to spring a few surprises at the Shanghai International Circuit. Events kicked off when seven time World Champion Michael Schumacher and Minardi's Christijan Albers collided on their way to the grid for the 56-lap race. The result left both drivers with severely damaged cars and both had to make a last minute switch to their T-Cars before starting from the pitlane.
In the knowledge that just two points separated him from McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya, Schumacher began his arduous battle up through the field. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro teammate, Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, got a good clean start and was running at a competitive pace with the front pack. With the race running its course, the unexpected Safety Car period for a damaged drain cover set into motion a spiralling set of events.
Montoya had shortly before been forced to pit to change a front tyre and while still under the safety car, Schumacher spun off after locking up his brakes, putting an end to his race and potentially his hopes for third place in the drivers' championship. However, in a twist of fate, Montoya was forced to retire shortly after. Schumacher and Montoya therefore finished their seasons on 62 and 60 points respectively, handing Schumacher third place.
Shortly after, Narain Karthikeyan's race was also brought to an abrupt halt after the Jordan Grand Prix driver unexpectedly crashed off. It was a disappointing end for the Indian driver who had qualified in 15th place on Saturday. Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, finished his final race for Ferrari in 12th place after flat spotting his front tyres and having to change one for precautionary safety reasons.
However, for Portuguese driver, Tiago Monteiro, the China Grand Prix was a more satisfying race as the rookie driver completed his 18th raceh from 19thstarts. Minardi's Robert Doornbos and Albers completed their final race of the season in 14t and 16 places.
Hisao Suganuma Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:
"Well, Michael's race was over before it began. Both Michael and Christijan had to start in their spare cars which were not fully adjusted to the drivers. This was a handicap for both of them. Rubens made a good start and was showing a good performance in the first half of the race. Unfortunately he flat- spotted both front tyres and the team decided to change the left front tyre in the pits as a safety precaution."
During the safety car period Michael had a problem with his brakes and he spun which ended his race. Like last year, this race has brought no luck for Michael and neither Ferrari driver could show their true potential."
"By our own high standards it has been a disappointing and tough season but we are motivated to return to the top with our current and new partners in 2006. Despite this, I'd like to thank everyone involved for their efforts this year. We have an extensive winter programme planned and everyone at Bridgestone is determined to get back to winning ways."
Ross Brawn Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"That was a very strange race to finish the season with. It perhaps typified our whole year. Michael had his incident at the beginning. I think he was warming his brakes up and got caught out. Rubens was fine until about half way through the race when his tyres went away. He flat-spotted his front tyres which caused vibrations and for reasons of safety we decided to change his front left."
"This has been a disappointing season. Ferrari and Bridgestone have a lot of work to do over the winter period to get back to where we want to be. No-one at Ferrari enjoys a season like this but we'll be back next year!"