The Second Coming?

The Second Coming?

Despite the outcome of the Spanish Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso will still be in the lead of the 2006 Drivers Championship, such is his lead after his strong drives in the first few races. Renault are looking strong for points, so even if Michael Schumacher were to win, I’d put money on Alonso not being too far behind.

However, what about the drivers behind the main two contenders?

Well it is clear that Giancarlo Fisichella needs a strong result to boost his chances of being retained by the French F1 squad post-Alonso. But would the fans allow the young Italian to leave the circuit alive if he finished ahead of their idol and champion? A win is a strong posibility though, and he did well in qualifying, putting all the previous demons behind him. Currently, Fisi is 5 points behind Kimi in the title race, but only 3 clear of Massa.

And it is the race of the number twos that is starting to get hot. Felipe Massa has improved, and I was a little impressed at the last race where he claimed his first podium. The Brazilian is qualifying well and after Fisi’s recent attempts at getting in to the top ten, Massa has looked quite good.

However, we all know that the Renault number 2 has a lot more experience, has won races, claimed poles and all before he arrived at a top team. Whilst these achievements were somewhat fluke (his pole was in the wet and his win was after an race-stopping accident), they are something that Felipe doesn’t have yet. However, Ferrari don’t need a super-two next to Michael, whereas Renault would ideally like two super-ones in the team.

As we saw last year, Renaults approach of attempting a more balanced team can work and can win titles, but it is close and Ferrari are making improvements in performance. And while the two top drivers battle it out, the constructors title is going to be won by the second drivers, and separating them is not as easy as I first thought. Ultimately though, you have to go with experience and results, and while they are few and far between, Giancarlo does have them over Felipe Massa.

Will Massa beat Fisichella to the third spot in the championship, or will Giancarlo overcome his difficulties and lay down the law with the Scuderia’s second driver?

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