As Schumacher battled the decision of retirement in his mind, he was well on his way to winning the Italian Grand Prix. But in the course of the race, more drama occured that could spell bad news for Renault for the rest of the campaign.
From the start, Kimi Raikkonen led away from pole, but Nick Heidfeld made hay on Schumacher and the pair went down to the first chicane side by side. Nick relented and allowed Michael to go through in to second, and Heidfeld’s team mate Robert Kubica came storming up the inside and came out of turn one considerably nearer the front than he was in qualifying.
From his excellent start, Heidfeld seemed to fade and the opposite happened to his vastly inexperienced team mate, who went on to secure the teams second podium this year. From a Renault point of view, the race didn’t go too well. Giancarlo Fisichella was gambling on a one-stop strategy and didn’t really feature too much at the front until the race came into its closing stages. But even then he wasn’t within a chance of winning against the Ferrari and the McLaren. The current championship leader Fernando Alonso was driving well after initially being held up by an under-performing jenson Button. Unfortunately, whilst gaining on Felipe Massa and Robert Kubica, Alonso’s engine blew and the Spaniard was forced to pull of the track at turn one. This engine failure left a lot of fluid on the track and this is the cause of Massa’s huge lock-up. The Bridgestone tyre on Massa’s Ferrari delaminated and Massa was forced to pit, gracing Fisichella a fourth place.
Jenson Button managed to finish ahead of his team mate Rubens Barrichello in 5th and 6th respectivelly, although both drivers had rather uneventful races. Jarno Trulli picks up another two points for Toyota and Heidfeld finished in 8th place adding to Kubica’s haul.
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