#745 2005 Turkish Grand Prix

2023-01-02 23:00

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#2005, Fulvio Conti, Translated by Cristian Piazza,

#745 2005 Turkish Grand Prix

Rubens Barrichello left Scuderia Ferrari at the end of 2005, although he still had a contract year. A strange circumstance, since the Maranello team i


Rubens Barrichello left Scuderia Ferrari at the end of 2005, although he still had a contract year. A strange circumstance, since the Maranello team is the dream of many drivers. However, on Tuesday, August 2, 2005, in the aftermath of the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari president Luca Montezemolo publicly declared:


"We gave Barrichello the opportunity to accept a multi-year offer, which is longer than the duration of the relationship with us, and we could also exercise an existing option in the contract we have with Felipe Massa, a young driver but already sufficiently experienced, which we have been aiming for since 2001. I want to thank Rubens for the contribution he has given us in these years and that has allowed us to win five Constructors' World titles so far. From him, from Ferrari’s men and from our technical partners, first of all Bridgestone, I expect maximum concentration and further efforts to win again by the end of this season".


Rubens Barrichello complains about the overtaking at the last lap of the Monaco Grand Prix. 


"Michael is a small man".


The Brazilian driver said, expressing for the first time a hostile feeling towards his team. In hindsight, it is suspected that the agreement with BAR was already ripe. The collision at Indianapolis also annoyed the Brazilian driver. The sensational breakup was announced last Friday, during the weekend of the Hungarian Grand Prix, by Nelson Piquet. The three-time Brazilian World Champion also revealed the arrival of Felipe Massa. Piquet’s outburst had angered Barrichello, who had weakly denied it. The fact is that the protagonists had decided to announce the news in August, a few days before the Turkish Grand Prix. After the surprise effect, the official communication arrives. Already in Budapest Jean Todt had not denied the rumors. Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa: here is the Ferrari line-up for 2006. Rubens Barrichello will leave at the end of the year, after six seasons of honorable service, and will move to BAR-Honda. It is a consensual and largely written divorce, though he has clumsily tried to hide it. Via a Brazilian from São Paulo, comes another. An almost painless passage. Almost. The deal, it comes to say, was made by Massa. Twenty-four years, excellent results in the minor series, many promises on his arrival in Formula 1. And none kept. At Maranello they took advantage of a contractual option, taking it away from the demands of Bmw. They consider him a fast driver, who has gained experience in his three years of Formula 1 and who could prove to be a champion at the wheel of a competitive car.


"If so, we’ve won our bet. If it falls short of expectations, we still have time to think about the future calmly".


For Ferrari, December 31, 2006 is a critical date, since the contract of Michael Schumacher will expire, as well as all the dream team, from Jean Todt to Ross Brawn up to Barrichello, who solved the problem in advance. When Michael Schumacher negotiates his future, the Scuderia Ferrari organization chart will be defined in cascade. Beyond that deadline no decisions are taken. Barrichello might have stopped further, if he had had precise guarantees today. Instead, the situation was blocked: the BAR offered him a two-year deal and guaranteed him an engagement of more than 8.000.000 dollars that he earns today and enticed him with the absence of bulky characters like Michael Schumacher.


"Rubens has revealed to us in recent weeks that he was no longer happy to be with us. When they offered him a multi-year contract, we agreed to let him go because we had a tailor-made solution".


The first idea was Kimi Raikkonen, who, however, would not accept a contract for a season or easily adapt to a cohabitation with Michael Schumacher, Valentino Rossi is a fascinating idea, We’ll have to see how he’s doing in the tests he’s doing in Fiorano. Felipe Massa’s career is short, In 2001 Scuderia Ferrari signed him without giving him a steering wheel. In 2002, Peter Sauber replaced Kimi Raikkonen, paid nothing and sold for $25.000.000 to McLaren. It’s not the same. At the end of the season, PeterSauber leaves the Brazilian free, who returns to Maranello as a test driver. A difficult role for a young, inexperienced and impetuous driver. They entrust him with the development of the tyres, but his indications are not convincing. In 2004 he returned to Sauber, where he still is. In 46 Grands Prix he scored 24 points. Twice he finished fourth. On the podium he never climbed. The strict Swiss discipline helps him to mature.


"Sauber scolds me when I’m wrong".


He admits Felipe Massa. He is the same age as Fernando Alonso, but his career runs parallel to that of Kimi Raikkonen, In 2000 Felipe won the European Formula Renault, Kimi the English Formula Renault. For both is the antechamber of the big jump. Like Rubens Barrichello, is discovered in Italy by Adriano Morini, patron of Draco Racing. As a child Felipe Massa cultivated the myth of Ayrton Senna:


"He once refused my autograph, it was a disappointment". 


More than Nelson Piquet’s:


"I met him and he didn’t leave a good impression". 


The Brazilian driver says now:


"I am very happy and proud to be racing with Ferrari in 2006. The Maranello team has believed in me since 2001, when I did not try my hand in Formula 1. Now I am racing the third season as a Sauber driver and I can also count on the experience gained in the year in which I was a test driver for Scuderia Ferrari. An experience that has helped me a lot to grow. I feel ready for this new challenge, the most important of my career".


Praise and thanks follow:


"I am aware of my responsibilities. I look forward to being part of a team like Scuderia Ferrari and racing with the best driver in the world, Michael Schumacher. I want to thank Peter Sauber for having trusted me in these three years".


The Barrichello-Massa affair moves the driver market: it is likely that Jenson Button can move from BAR to Williams, and Nick Heidfeld from Williams to Sauber who becomes Bmw. What is confirmed for now is the transition of Rubens Barrichello to BAR-Honda and the divorce between Bmw and Williams, which in 2006 will adopt Cosworth engines. The transfer of the Brazilian driver to the Anglo-Japanese team has already been discussed. From the new team he got what the Maranello team could not promise him, a multi-year contract, even if not yet defined. The BAR has chosen him together with Honda because the team is convinced that with the Brazilian you can aim for victory of the title.


"I am happy to confirm that I will be with BAR. I want to thank Ferrari for a fantastic six years, during which I have contributed so far to winning five Constructors' World Championships. However, my goal remains the drivers' title. I understood that I needed new stimuli. I witnessed the progress of the BAR-Honda and I was impressed by the spirit of a team that has all the cards to win races and aim for the championship. At the moment, I think there is nothing more exciting than working with the British team and Honda to make our dreams come true together. I still have a lot of work ahead of me at Ferrari until the end of the season, but I am sure I will live other wonderful moments".


Williams and Bmw will also continue together until the end of the season, but from 2006 they will be adversaries. The Cosworth for years has been the benchmark in the V8 engines that will be adopted next year and it is said that from the tests started in April it has already reached 20.000 Rpm. Atthe same time, Williams announced that it had renewed the contract with Australian Mark Webber, closing the way to rumors that they wanted him in 2006 at Renault. It remains to be seen whether Jenson Button, who has a contract with the team but would like to stay at the BAR, will arrive. After the summer holidays, the Circus of Formula 1 returns to the track. On Thursday, August 18, 2005 the teams and drivers landed for the first time in Istanbul, on the new circuit of Otodrom Park. But the arguments are always the same. Fernando Alonso against Kimi Raikkonen for the victory of the World Championship, with a question mark on a competitive Ferrari in Budapest, before the holidays of August. And then Barrichello. The Brazilian driver comments for the first time on his farewell to the Maranello team, saying to a Brazilian television station:


"I am sure that next year when I fight with Michael Schumacher my radio will not play anymore".


 Translated: no team orders.


"But it is not true that the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix was the most critical moment (300 meters from the finish he left the victory to his teammate, ed). In fact, that was one of my best experiences: the team understood that I was also able to win and began to respect me more".


In the opinion of the Brazilian driver the goal in Ferrari was to have only one car able to win, and often it was that of Michael Schumacher. Why didn’t he leave early?


"Because there was nothing better available elsewhere. Probably with Ferrari I would have become world champion if Schumacher hadn’t stayed for so long".


Then, however, Rubens Barrichello tries to avoid further controversy:


"I want to thank Jean Todt who gave me the opportunity to release myself a year in advance. When I asked him if I could leave, he said he needed a week to decide, and then he gave me the okay. I am proud to have helped transform the Scuderia Ferrari. I think the team now has a much wider horizon and is able to focus on both drivers. If it weren’t for Ferrari I wouldn’t be the driver I’ve become".


The future at BAR looks positive to him:


"I’ve been talking to them for a long time and this season everything has taken on a more concrete aspect. If it were not for the experience accumulated in Ferrari, I would not be in a position to seek victory next year".


Rubens Barrichello wishes his compatriot and successor Felipe Massa the best of luck:


"For him I see hard times, but in his position, young and eager to win, I probably would have done the same".


Barrichello assures that he will remain with the Maranello team until 31 December 2005. As is customary in these cases, however, it will be exempted from testing to avoid learning the latest technical secrets. Felipe Massa, who will already be on track the week after the Turkish Grand Prix in Monza, will try his best to prepare for the Italian Grand Prix. Michael Schumacher greets his teammate with a certificate of esteem:


"He’s the best teammate I’ve ever had. It’s always weird when someone leaves a winning team, but I respect his decision. Felipe is an excellent substitute. When we talk about young talents, next to Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen we must also name him".


Ross Brawn, Scuderia Ferrari’s Technical Director, was disappointed that Rubens Barrichello had left, and decided to move to BAR:


"We are sorry for Rubens' departure. We had a great time with him. I saw him work hard. He always tried to beat his teammate. It was not an easy task but sometimes he succeeded. I’m sure he would have become world champion once or twice if he didn’t have Michael in front. Every year he got better".


Rubens Barrichello’s departure will limit his use in the tests that are still missing at the end of the World Championship?


"I think there are some tests that luì does not want to do".


Making it clear that will not test on the new car but only those that concern the specific work for the current championship. The following day, Friday, August 19, 2005, Michael Schumacher talks about the Istanbul circuit. Or maybe the Turkish language. Two puzzles of the same difficulty, seen the debut in the brand new Istanbul Park, postmodern cathedral of motoring, rose on the extreme Asian suburbs of the city.


"It seemed easier".


The first test was difficult for Scuderia Ferrari. Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello agree, the protagonists of a total of eight off-piste races:


"There is no grip and the car slips away".


But the two get along well, show relaxed faces and wide smiles, almost as if the divorce at the end of the year has given new appetites to both after the five years spent binging on glory. There is no diagnosis for the Maranello team: it seems that you can not find a decent set-up, it seems that this time the Bridgestone tires are to be absolved. The World Champion claims to have been betrayed by the motorbike inspection:


"The view was too high, I did not realize the difficulty". 


But Rubens Barrichello makes a prediction:


"Victory is within our reach".


He sits behind the wheel and therefore we must give him credit, but the performances are disconcerting: tenth time for the German and twelfth time for the Brazilian, if the test drivers are removed from the standings. The most competitive team is McLaren. Kimi Raikkonen says:


"Here I play the World Championship. I win or nothing. There are six races left, I have six pole positions and six successes".


He has a clear idea, this Iceman. Although perhaps the nickname should be updated, because the icicle gives signs of melting. His latest stunt was recorded by the Finnish magazine Seven Days, which - they say in Helsinki - is not the maximum of seriousness but often fits us. After a generous tasting of spirits, Kimi would be caught in the company of two beautiful girls. It seems that his wife Jenni Dahlman, former Miss Scandinavia, took it badly and invited her husband to leave the marital home quickly. Kimi Raikkonen, for his part, avoids any comment:


"I don’t mind stories published by a tabloid magazine. I think about racing. Driving a car that is a missile, that’s the important thing".


Now that he has grown the lace has even changed his expression. Or, better, for the first time he has one.


"I like the challenge with Alonso. I know that my teammate (Montoya, ed) will not help me. In free practice he was faster than me only because I was slowed by traffic".


On the contrary, in Renault Giancarlo Fisichella promises his total support to the cause. The Italian driver must score points for the Constructors' World Championship standings and repair the shoulders of Fernando Alonso if necessary.


"We have to defend ourselves here, at Monza and at Spa. Then a new aerodynamic package will come that will help us".


The Renault driver also talks about Felipe Massa’s transfer to Scuderia Ferrari, saying he is not convinced that his former Sauber team-mate will be able to race more than a year with the Maranello team.


"I’m quite surprised. Massa is a nice driver, very fast but maybe not yet experienced enough to drive a Ferrari. However, running alongside Michael Schumacher could be good for him".


And when asked if he might be interested in becoming Michael Schumacher’s partner, the Italian driver replies:


"I currently have a contract with Renault until the end of 2006 and they have just taken Massa. lil 2007 is still to be decided".


On Saturday 20 August 2005, the fastest Scuderia Ferrari driver in qualifying was Felipe Massa. Too bad that the young Brazilian, aspiring talent of Formula 1, will arrive in Maranello only next year. With Sauber, which has only the engine of Ferrari, give a second to Rubens Barrichello, the driver who will replace. Michael Schumacher, author of the seventh weekend’s slide on the Turkish asphalt, is missing. 


"We thought badly, it was worse".


Summarizes Jean Todt. The qualifying of the first Turkish Grand Prix is closed with the worst performance of the Maranello cars. The fascination of the race is different: on the Bosforo the fate of the World Championship could be decided without the Scuderia Ferrari being able to do anything about it, neither protagonist or witness of the challenge between Renault and McLaren. Simply away from the games. Command the usual known. Kimi Raikkonen takes the fifth pole position of 2005 that feeds his dreams of recovery. If he wins, he keeps hoping he can win the World Championship, otherwise there will be no dreams of glory. Giancarlo Fisichella, Fernando Alonso and Juan Pablo Montoya follow. Two Renault cars between two McLaren. The others, starting with Jarno Trulli going down, are the outline. Renault is favored for three reasons: first, it still has a good lead in the standings (26 points Fernando Alonso, 12 the French team); second, the car is more reliable (Kimi Raikkonen regularly breaks something a race yes and no: in Hungary it went well, so here he risks); third, drivers make team.


"I help Fernando".


Giancarlo Fisichella repeats.

"I don’t help Kimi".


Confirms Juan Pablo Montoya. Giancarlo Fisichella, the fate of the World Championship of Fernando Alonso also depend on you?


"I will help him, as I have already assured several times. And this is because Renault does not have team orders. My task is to bring points for the constructors' title and get ahead of the McLaren".


Let’s make a hypothesis: you first in front of your partner. It’s the last lap: what do you do, let him pass? 


"No, I win".


Nice help with that...


"If we are first and second it means we have the World Championship victory at hand". 


He complained about Barrichello, what happened?


"I found him in front of me during the lap. He was slowly coming back to the pits. Too slowly". 


He claims he didn’t bother her.


"With the wake effect, a car forces the following to slow down. I have the tests: in the morning in the same stretch I was almost two tenths faster. I’m not saying that I would have been on pole, but I would have been very close".


You think I did it on purpose?


"No, the speech is another. We all slow down a lot during the return lap. It is a technique to save 3-400 grams of gasoline, almost half a lap of the track. But it takes criteria in doing certain things: I remain in continuous radio contact with my engineer, who warns me when the following pilot is approaching".


The second place on the starting grid is not enough, since the Renault starting system is the most sophisticated?


"Unfortunately I’m on the dirty side of the track. I hope I don’t have problems at the start". 


Will this be the decisive race for the World Championship?


"It is very important, this yes: we are four in front of us to play the titles for drivers and manufacturers. Such a qualification was needed, after the holidays and the disappointing result of Hungary".


Did he expect to be this fast on probation?


"Yes, I was optimistic. I knew that the first two rows were within our reach".


Another thing about Barrichello: is it any wonder he’s leaving a team as prestigious as Ferrari?


"Don’t write it down, but I think he’s sick of being there. He was looking for a team that aspired to the World Championship, he found this opportunity with the Bar and he jumped at it".


Excuse us, but how would Fisichella have behaved?


"I have a contract with Renault for the whole of 2006. And I will respect it".


The challenge for the victory of the 2005 World Championship will probably end with a few points, perhaps those guaranteed by the second guides. The bad relationship with Bridgestone tyres weighs heavily on the Scuderia Ferrari crisis.


"This is the same car that took pole position in Budapest with 0.9 seconds lead. Here we pay a couple of seconds per lap".


An accusation at Bridgestone?


"No, we work together with our supplier and together we decided to bring stronger tires. We feared the unknown of a new circuit".


The result?


"Step back. We are back to the troubles of Magny-Cours and Silverstone".


Sometimes Michael Schumacher managed to cover up the tyre problems. In Istanbul, however, nothing. Maybe there was wind, maybe the track was dirty, maybe he made a mistake, maybe Ferrari is no longer on the road. All assumptions are valid, and probably the last two were decisive in the spin. It is not the first time that a new track is immediately indigestible to the World Champion: it happened a year ago in China, when Michael Schumacher drove the invincible F2004 and was classified twelfth.


"We took a step back. The spin? There was wind bringing sand on the asphalt. I knew, but I underestimated the problem".


Any chance of a comeback?


"We are slow. Eighth place is not the goal for a Ferrari, but I expect nothing more".


Lost for lost, the mechanics will replace the engine. A move that here in Turkey will serve little, but will prevent the same engine from facing the two most challenging Grand Prix, Monza and Spa. Rubens Barrichello is 2.5 seconds slower than Kimi Raikkonen and gets a warning from the stewards. The Brazilian slowed too much in the return lap, finishing to hinder Giancarlo Fisichella. Flavio Briatore:


"Amateur stuff. Giancarlo lost two tenths, we have telemetry to prove it. Next time I’ll tell my drivers to park in the middle of the track to stop Raikkonen".


Replica Rubens Barrichello:


"In that stretch of track Fisichella was the fastest of all. I don’t understand what he complains about".


Takuma Sato, with the BAR-Honda, does even worse, forcing Mark Webber to change trajectory in the last chicane. The commissioners punish him by erasing his time from the standings. Sunday, August 21, 2005, at the start of the Turkish Grand Prix Kimi Raikkonen sprints well but Giancarlo Fisichella manages to pass him in braking, before facing the first corner. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, fends off Juan Pablo Montoya’s attack at the first corner, while Felipe Massa hits Nick Heidfeld’s car. During the first lap, at the entrance to turn 9 Kimi Räikkönen manages to flank and pass Giancarlo Fisichella. Then, the Italian driver let his team-mate, Fernando Alonso, pass, thus passing in third position. This happens after his track engineer, Alan Permane, asks him via radio to let Fernando Alonso pass:


"He’s faster than you, let him overtake you".


Despite this, the Spaniard could not get close to Kimi Raikkonen. The Finnish driver manages to increase his advantage against the Renault driver at every lap. During lap 13 Fernando Alonso returns to the pits, to make the first refueling. Subsequently, Kimi Räikkönen managed to get back into the pits without losing the race lead, while his teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya, goes to second place thanks to the early stop of Fernando Alonso and a problem at the fuel system that slows down the pit stop of Giancarlo Fisichella. Flavio Briatore will say later:


"One mistake the pilot, one mistake the team. The titular mechanic is absent for paternity".


In the laps to follow, the audience’s attention shifts to the rear, as Jenson Button faces a series of overtakings to climb from thirteenth to sixth place, before starting a brief duel with Jarno Trulli for fifth place. Further back, the Red Bull Racing driver, Christian Klien, is engaged in a fight that sees him in opposition to the BAR-Honda driver. Takuma Sato, and the two Ferraris of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, until the German driver is forced to return to the pits after clashing with the Williams-Bmw of Mark Webber. The Australian will then be forced to retire during lap 20 after a series of punctures of the right rear tire. A problem that will also find the Williams-Bmw of Nick Heidfeld, forced to retire during lap 29. After the first 30 laps, the race seems like it cannot reserve other emotions. Then, however, three laps from the end Juan Pablo Montoya doubled Tiago Monteiro but left the Jordan driver little space. As a result, the Portuguese driver’s car crashes into the rear of the McLaren-Mercedes of the Colombian driver, which is lost in a spin, allowing Fernando Alonso to move into second place. Kimi Raikkonen won the Turkish Grand Prix, followed by Fernando Alonso. Juan Pablo Montoya completed the podium, while Giancarlo Fisichella finished the race in fourth place. Jenson Button leads Jarno Trulli, while the two Red Bull Racing drivers, David Coulthard and Christian Klien, take seventh and eighth place. Kimi Raikkonen smiles. The Finnish driver wins the fifth Grand Prix of the season and is the first to win the Turkish Grand Prix. And it almost justifies:


"That’s all I can do. What happens behind my back is not up to me".


He refers to Fernando Alonso. Or perhaps team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya, who on the penultimate lap compromises McLaren’s result. For Kimi there is so much glory, but the chance to win the World Championship is far away. There are five races left.


"I’ll win them all".


Bravo, so he will become the best runner-up in the history of Formula 1. Arithmetic is implacable: Fernando Alonso just need to get four times third and once sixth. That’s why he smiles in Istanbul:


"I made my race as always. I push hard to put my opponents in trouble. So they risk to make a mistake or break".


The championship is their thing. Ferrari has disappeared from the scene, reduced to a secondary part. Rubens Barrichello, I decide at the finish line, is the first of the doubles. Michael Schumacher has repeatedly clashed with Mark Webber and retired. Since 1993 in Maranello they did not remember such disastrous performances. Other times Ferrari came home with a zero in the standings, but never suffered so much in terms of performance.


"We were slow on the fast lap of qualifying, at the start, mid-race and in the final".


But, meanwhile, Fernando Alonso thanks for the second place given by Juan Pablo Montoya:


"Coming in second this way is a lot of fun. The World Championship? Calm down, just one mistake to ruin everything. Of course I don’t want to be in Raikkonen’s shoes...".


The Scuderia Ferrari engineers hoped that the Michelin tyre rivals would drop to a distance. The opposite happened: McLaren, Renault and all the teams with Michelin tyres available ended up in a crescendo. even Red Bull Racing appeared impregnable. Only Williams had problems: four left tyres in pieces - plus one in Saturday’s practice - forced Nick Heidfeld and Mark Webber to retire, Jean Todt almost gave up:


"Let’s resize our goals. The title is gone. we have to think about recovering performance to better prepare for 2006".


For the general manager of Scuderia Ferrari, it is not the blackest day:


"I’ve been in Maranello since July 1993. I remember when it was said that we haven’t won in 17 years, we haven’t won in 18 years... In 2006 we’ll say "we haven’t won in a year".


Michael Schumacher says at the end of the Turkish Grand Prix:


"I returned to the track to recover three positions".


And the seven-time World Champion, the man of all records, also succeeded. But the opponents were still. They had parked in the pits. Retired. Ferrari #1 virtually surpassed Mark Webber’s Williams (two punctured tires), Felipe Massa’s Sauber (engine power drop) and Heidfeld’s Williams (two other tires in pieces). 


Then he went back to the pits. He retired too. It was a strategic choice, already adopted in the past by smaller teams. Never by Ferrari. The advantage will be in the qualifying of the Italian Grand Prix, scheduled for Sunday, September 4, 2005, in Monza: Michael Schumacher will avoid to go first, with the dirty and slightly rubberized asphalt, the lap that is worth the pole position. This is the epilogue of a Turkish Grand Prix that Jean Todt defined in the manner of one of his compatriots of the past, Pierre-Jacques Cambronne. A black day, indeed, the worst result for the Maranello team since 1993. Yet the start of Michael Schumacher, lined up in P19 due to the spin in qualifying and the engine replacement, is encouraging: the German driver untangles well in the funnel of the first corner, avoids trouble, crushes without damage the pieces of Sauber scattered along the circuit and recovers eight positions. Ready to go and is already behind Rubens Barrichello, who started eleventh and climbed to tenth place. Given the premises (bad performance, lack of grip), the comeback is hopeful. On lap 15, though one lap behind due to a puncture, Mark Webber attacked Michael Schumacher, who closed the trajectory, collided and spun. Williams loses its nose, Ferrari its steering. Both drivers go back to the pits. The Australian replaces the broken piece and starts again, the German after a check up of 30 seconds,changes the two left tires. He also starts again, but is forced to return to the garage at reduced speed, risking being hit by Giancarlo Fisichella.


"Something was wrong with the steering. We couldn’t risk it".


Unblock the belts, the German driver gets off the car, takes off his helmet, helmet and gloves and takes a look at the telemetry. He argues with the engineers and hints to leave. But the sports director, Stefano Domenicali, holds him back:


"Wait, maybe the kids can fix the car".


The mechanics work is extraordinary: in twenty minutes the steering box, some body parts and the right rear tire are replaced. When Michael Schumacher returns to the track, Kimi Raikkonen is nineteen laps ahead. But there is a task to be accomplished, that is, to overtake the pilots who have retired. The World Champion performs the task and after a total of 33 laps (about 170 km) he leaves the race and returns to the pits. There remains a tail of controversy. No complaints or disciplinary action: just the anger of the two protagonists. Attack Michael Schumacher:


"I state that I have not seen the television images and therefore I reserve myself to change my mind, but I do not understand why a dubbed driver tries such a maneuver".


Well, since you tried, was the collision inevitable?


"I didn’t see him flanking me on the left, otherwise I wouldn’t have closed the trajectory. While braking I noticed that it was on my right and I don’t know when it moved inside. Even without the accident I would not have been able to get a place in the points, as evidenced by the tenth place of Barrichello. We were never competitive. It was clear from Friday that the situation would be very difficult. I did not expect to finish in the points and so it was".


Mark Webber, nearby, is furious. Wasted anger, since anyway the right rear tires of Williams burst (and here a yellow is triggered because Michelin denies any problem like Indianapolis and attributes the problem to the car) and did not allow him to finish the race.


"I was much faster than Ferrari in the straight. I set the curve inside. The rule is that your opponent, when placed side by side, maintains his trajectory. And this Michael did not. I am 100% right".


Have you spoken with him?


"No, we did not cross paths, but I will certainly raise the issue during the next meeting of the pilots' association".


Giancarlo Fisichella takes fourth place reluctantly.


"I had a good start and I took the lead. Unfortunately, the tyres at the start did not make the best. I ended up slightly off track and Raikkonen passed me. Then the team asked me to let Fernando through, who had less gas than me".


The fourth place allowed him to earn five points and to overtake in the overall standings Rubens Barrichello and Ralf Schumacher, leading him to sixth position.


"I lost to McLaren, but given their pace here in Turkey I can’t complain".


In the standings of the Constructors' World Championship, the challenge with McLaren is tightened: Renault has only nine points of advantage. The other Italian in the race, Jarno Trulli, was also the protagonist of a good performance, ending with sixth place.


"After a few months of misfortune and disappointment, it’s nice to have a nice day again. I started well and I pushed throughout the Grand Prix. Apart from some slowdown in traffic, I have nothing to complain about. My goal was to keep up with the McLaren and Renault cars that are out of reach for us at the moment. I almost succeeded".


Jenson Button passed him at the last pit stop. The three points do not allow him to keep the fourth position in the World Championship (Juan Pablo Montoya passed him). But if the value of a driver is measured in comparison with The teammate. Jarno Trulli won the challenge with Ralf Schumacher, protagonist of a carambola at the start that kept him away from the heart of the race. Monday, August 22, 2005 the collapse is already behind. Jean Todt minimizes the event, not the problems:


"I have experienced more difficult moments, for example when we lost the World Championship at the last race (from 1997 to 1999, ed.) or when we were told it is from 18 or 19 years that you do not win. It is a sad season, but we must be good losers".


It means learning from defeats and maintaining motivation. Or even increasing it. 


"We are hungry for victories if we do not win, the appetite increases".


The re-foundation begins symbolically Tuesday, August 23, 2005, in Monza. Scuderia Ferrari has two single-seaters: one is for Rubens Barrichello, who has his last test session at the wheel of a Maranello car. The other is for Felipe Massa, who goes back to test a Ferrari with the 2006 starting contract in his pocket. In the five races that will conclude the championship the driver will still be Rubens Barrichello, in 2006 it will be up to Felipe Massa. It’s the most traumatic break to build the future. Rubinho has signed five constructors' titles and has twice been World Champion behind Michael Schumacher. But he knew that in Maranello he would get nothing more than a second place.


"To go forward in life and work you have to dream".


And to continue dreaming he had to change air. The BAR-Honda is waiting for him. Massa is still a mysterious object. From his future teammate has already received ranks.


"He’s as good as Alonso and Raikkonen".


If this is not the case, in 2007 the turning point will be radical. In Maranello the heir of the German has already been identified: Kimi Raikkonen. Jean Todt publicly praised him in recent months and the technical director, Ross Brawn, interviewed by a Finnish television on the eve of the Turkish Grand Prix, admitted:


"We like Kimi".


But we must see when Michael Schumacher decides to retire. Bild raises some doubts. 


"The marriage with the Italians is in crisis, Schumi talks to Mercedes".


Headlines the German newspaper. And it reads in the article:


"Schumi met Norbert Haug twice for confidential talks. The first meeting took place three weeks ago in Hungary. The second was in Istanbul".


And Norbert Haug confirms to Bild:


"It’s true that we met, but we only talked about the future of Formula 1. I rule out Michael leaving Ferrari". 


Lapidary reaction of Sabine Kehm, spokesperson of the German driver:


"Let’s not comment on gossip".


But the newspaper also reports that Willi Weber, the driver’s manager, did not lie and that he would have suspended negotiations with the Maranello team for the renewal of the contract:


"Michael is fine in his Ferrari family, but when the contract expires in 2006 he can do what he wants". 


The news forces Michael Schumacher to intervene:


"Everyone knows how close the connection with the team is. I don’t even want to dwell on the rumors that I could leave".


Ferrari does not comment, but remembers how close the relationship with his driver is and raises a doubt: is not that McLaren-Mercedes is jealous of the charm of the Maranello cars and fears of losing Kimi Raikkonen? In addition to replacing a pilot, there will be a technical renewal. The tests continue not because Ferrari wants to defend the third place at all costs, but to solve the rebus tires and prepare the best 2006. The data of Istanbul Park are disconcerting: the same car - with different tires - that in Budapest was on pole with 0.9 seconds ahead and in the race was just 0.2 seconds behind the winner, in Turkey was lagging 2 seconds behind. The relationship with Bridgestone at the moment is not in question for two reasons: first, Japanese tyres have been the protagonists of a cycle of successes; second, the supply contract makes a lot of money to the Maranello team. Next year’s engine will be completely different: 8-cylinder 2400 cc V instead of the current 10-cylinder (3000 cc), as required by the regulation to reduce performance and make Formula 1 safer. The first examples have already been tested on the chassis of a properly modified F2004. The team of the last year is confirmed en bloc. Another topic to be evaluated concerns the technicians. There is a remarkable turn-over of specialists in Formula 1. The same Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, among the main architects of the successes of the Maranello team in these years, are defectors from other teams. So Scuderia Ferrari lost some valuable employees. One of the most important outputs is that of Nikolas Tombazis, English aerodynamics of Greek origin. He was at Benetton at the time of Michael Schumacher’s first titles, he accompanied him to Scuderia Ferrari, from 2004 he moved to McLaren. And coincidentally, since he came to Woking after the team had flopped for years producing many disappointing models, McLaren has returned to the top. Tombazis brought with him not only his experience, his skills, but also the working methods of Ferrari, which were one of the secrets of many successes. The top management - Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne - have a contract that expires at the end of 2006 like that of Michael Schumacher. The next single-seater will be again signed by Aldo Costa, while the head of the engine division remains Paolo Martinelli, with Gilles Simon at the design. Winning team, no touching.


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