After a boring 2004 season when MS seemed to be unbeatable, the 2005 season has been a much more exciting one with new race tracks, down to the wire title races (both drivers and teams), fascinating overtaking manouvers and more. The highlights of the year

1. A new World Champion, youngest at that
2. An Indian in F1, he even scored some points (with a little bit of luck, of course)
3. Kimi overtaking MS and Fisi to win Suzuka after starting at the bottom of the grid
4. Mclaren 1-2, finally!!! at Interlagos
5. The Turkish GP, brand new race circuit

The disappointments
1. BAR & especially, Jenson Button
2. Barichello (guess, the second half of the season he was probably saving himself for BAR next year, figuring now he could actually win some races)

Right, now to the main point of this post. Kimi or Alonso?

Let’s look at some stats

Front Row Starts:
Alonso: 8
Raikkonen: 8 (All fair so far)

Top 10 starts
Alonso: 16
Raikkonen: 14

Starts in the back 10:
Alonso: 2
Raikkonen: 4

On all four occasions, Raikkonen got a 10-place penalty for engine change

Race Wins:
Alonso: 6
Raikkonen: 7

Podiums:
Alonso: 14
Raikkonen: 11

All in all, Alonso who started off the season with a bang winning three races in a row maintained his form and performance till the very end ensuring 3rd place finishes right upto Suzuka. The lack of consistency is where Kimi lost it.

Finishes with points:
Alonso: 15
Raikkonen: 13

Alonso kept scoring points (14 times at least 6 points)

Retire/not in top 8:
Alonso: 3
Raikkonen: 5

Actually, you can remove 1 (Indianapolis) from either guy’s score. But Raikkonen was making it difficult for himself

Here’s what Ron Dennis of McLaren has to say

“Our view is that we were too cautious in the first four races. We didn’t get the best out of the car as a team and that includes the drivers.”
(Source: ITV)

And this is what Kimi had to say

“It wasn’t perfect for me or for the team but unfortunately those things happen in racing. We will try to minimise them for the future and now we try to win it next year. For him and for Renault it was a good year, he definitely deserves it. Whoever has the most points at the end of the season or before the end of the season deserves it and I don’t have anything bad about it.”
(Source: Times of India)

So did Alonso deserve to be world champion?

From a neutral perspective that I share, he did. Of course, Kimi fans would look at his misfortune (read engine failures) and say “but for that…” The point is, it is like football, to win you have to score goals, more than the other team. So excuses like “shoes failure’ doesn’t really gel, right?

So will Kimi be a world champion?

At the age of four, he told his mother “I will be world champion one day. I don’t know in which sport, but I will be.” If he says so, he will. Check out Kimi Raikkonen’s biography in Wikipedia. And for the contrast, here’s Fernando Alonso‘s biography.

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One thought on “How the championship was won

  1. Chuck & Elitot, haiku needs you
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