2006 GERMAN GRAND PRIX POSTSCRIPT Schumacher's charge puts pressure on Alonso; Toyota to power Williams INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006 - The race is on for the Formula One World Championship. With six wins and three second places in the...
2006 GERMAN GRAND PRIX POSTSCRIPT
Schumacher's charge puts pressure on Alonso; Toyota to power Williams
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2006 - The race is on for the Formula One World Championship.
With six wins and three second places in the first nice races of the season, it seemed like Fernando Alonso and Renault would have an easy run to winning both the 2006 Driver and Constructors World Championships.
But then Michael Schumacher and Ferrari kicked off their winning streak with a victory in the United Stated Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, followed by wins in France and Germany.
With six races to go, Alonso has 100 points to Schumacher's 89. And Renault has 149 points while Ferrari has 139.
"With the performance we have shown in the last three races against our competitor," Schumacher said, "it gives us great confidence that at least for some more races we can probably keep that. And hopefully we can reduce the gap in the championship pretty significantly.
"We might come back to a more normal situation in the last races, where it's going one (win) to us and one to the other, because we have to expect that Renault will come back at some stage.
"This period and motivation and the feeling within the team is really superb, and there's a lot of thanks to Felipe (Massa), who is doing a great job within the team, in testing and concentrating and just doing great. I'm happy to have him as my teammate."
Williams gets Toyota power: Williams will run customer Toyota engines for the 2007 through 2009 seasons. Williams will get the same specification V8s used by the factory Panasonic Toyota Racing team.
"We are pleased to be selected as the engine provider to Williams and look forward to establish a strong relationship with them," said John Howett, president of Toyota Motorsport. "We look forward to both teams using each other as a comparative benchmark from which each can improve its own performance and to competing with each other at the front of the grid."
F1 debut: Sakon Yamamoto made his F1 debut in Germany with the Super Aguri team. He retired after one lap with a drive shaft failure.
Disqualified: Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro finished 13th and 14th, respectively, in the German Grand Prix, but officials later disqualified both their MF1 cars because of illegal flexing rear wings.
Three more years: Jarno Trulli has extended his contract with Panasonic Toyota Racing through 2009.
"I am 100 percent sure of Toyota's potential and of its chances of challenging for the Formula One World Championship," Trulli said. "I am therefore more than happy to continue my excellent relationship with the team into the longer term and to try to achieve our common goals."
Next season, Ralf Schumacher will continue as Trulli's teammate.
Honda's 300: Jenson Button and 2002 United States Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello made history in Germany when they started the 300th Grand Prix for Honda.
American driver Ronnie Bucknum made Honda's F1 debut in the 1964 German Grand Prix. Another American F1 driver, Richie Ginther, gave the marque its first victory when he won the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix.
Honda has been involved in F1 in three different periods. The first came between 1964 and 1968 when it build both the chassis and the engine. From 1983 to 1992, Honda supplied engines to top teams such as McLaren, Lotus and Williams. Honda returned to F1 in 2000 as an engine supplier to BAR and Jordan before taking 100 percent ownership of the Honda Racing F1 Team in 2006.
In all, Honda has won 71 Grands Prix, taken 173 podiums and 77 pole positions.
Porsche champion: Richard Westbrook clinched the Porsche Michelin Supercup championship with a third place in the race held in conjunction with the German Grand Prix.
Westbrook's successes this year include a pair of wins in the Porsche Michelin Supercup races during the United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Richard Lietz and Uwe Alzen finished first and second, respectively, in the race in Germany.
GP2 winners: Timo Glock and Gianmaria Bruni won the two GP2 races staged during the German Grand Prix weekend.
By finishing second and third, championship leader Lewis Hamilton extended his points lead over Nelson Piquet Jr., who failed to score points in either race.
Next event: The next race in the 18 round FIA Formula One World Championship is the Hungarian Grand Prix on Aug. 6.