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Saturday, March 11, 2006

an exciting start to 2006


what an action-packed qualifying! the new knockout qualifying proved to be quite an excitement. the reason may well be because it was the first one ever, so obviously there were some confusing and chaotic moments.

it was very exciting particulary at the final moment. it was mostly a fight for the pole between the ferrari teammates. each of them took turns to take the top time. unfortunately the camera wasn't able to follow other actions, namely alonso or montoya's qualifying. well, that's what you get without a single lap qualifying format.

i must be honest, i don't quite understand the rule of last qualifying section. all those race fuel and tyre changing gibberish was painfully hard to understand. maybe i just couldn't be bothered with it. for me, qualifying is about who's the fastest and who's getting the pole. not about race setup.

anyways, the big news after the qualifying is that ferrari is back (or so it seems). taking their first one-two for quite some time and ferrari's first pole since last year at hungary. other than that, michael schumacher finally equals the most poles records with senna. congratulations to him, but i'm sure he'll beat it soon enough.

i'm not quite sure whether the ferrari cars are genuinely quick, or maybe they are carrying less fuel. however getting the front row must be a psychological advantage. besides, the past winners at bahrain have been a pole sitter. interestingly, ross brawn revealed that their cars could have gone faster, and insisted that they have not jeopardized their race strategy. we'll wait and see.

take a look at how the others fared. other notable news from qualifying from the likes of klien, str, renault, toyota, and kimi:
  1. klien qualified eight in what was a great effort, beating this teammate coulthard by a mile.
  2. str with their limited v10 and smashing livery qualified very well, and is making midland a little unhappy.
  3. the renault may have used a conservative strategy, but qualifying at fourth and ninth is strange after they've been playing aggresive qualifying-poker with the other teams.
  4. toyota was nowhere near their performance last year and was unimpressive and very disappointing.
  5. finally, the big bang from kimi where he ended up dead last after a suspension failure and not being able to set any time.
crash, boom, bang []

so are we going to see a straight-forward finish tomorrow? i believe so. i think it'll end close to the way it ended for qualifying. ferrari is normally great with race strategy, and with what seem to be competitive (and hopefully reliable) cars, they'll bet on their chances of winning.

so, my prediction for tomorrow will be michael, massa, and alonso completing the podium. what say you?

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