If Kimi Raikkonen did not have bad luck, he would have no luck at all. Last year he won more races than Fernando Alonso but still managed to lose the championship due to not finishing as many of them. This year looks like it might be starting the same way after the rear wing of his McLaren Mercedes flew off and caused him to spin during the first 15 minutes of qualifying. What's worse, he was the only driver to suffer a mechanical failure during qualifying and he now starts at the back of the grid.
The other surprise was the Ferrari 1-2 at the front of the grid for the inaugural race of 2006. Michael Scumacher has been saying that they don't expect to be fast as some of the other teams since the car still needs work, then he brings home pole position with teammate Felipe Massa right behind. Goes back to my statement from yesterday - "full of sound and furry, signifying nothing". You just can't believe any of the banter before the real show starts during qualifying!!
Although I did not predict Ferrari would do as well as they did - probably because I'm not a huge Ferrari fan - I did not do too bad on the rest of my predictions. Super Aguri (and the unlucky Kimi Raikkonen) make up the rear of the grid. At the front we have the two Ferrarris, with the Honda of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso's Renault only a couple of tenths behind. Montoya is sitting a respectable fifth in his McLaren Mercedes, which should make it exciting to watch Kimi slice up the field on his way to the front as it shows that the McLaren package has some speed.
Weber and Williams are a comfortable seventh just behind the second Honda of Barrichello. Interesting is that Christian Klien of Red Bull is ahead of both his teammate, David Coulthard, and the second Renault of Fisichella. BMW Sauber also are not it too bad a position with Heidfeld in 10th and Villeneuve in 11th. Villenevue has to score points this year if he wants to continue racign and in 11th he may be able to climb three spots to the last points-paying position.
I guess the real disappointment is that Toyota, with a budget reputed to be around $500 million US for the year, only start 14th and 17th.
The way that grid lines up for tomorrow's race (6am EST on TSN) is as follows:
P. No Driver Team - Engine Tyres Times Ave/Gaps
1. 5 M.SCHUMACHER Ferrari B 1'31"431
2. 6 MASSA Ferrari B 1'31"478
3. 12 BUTTON Honda M 1'31"549
4. 1 ALONSO Renault M 1'31"702
5. 4 MONTOYA McLaren Mercedes M 1'32"164
6. 11 BARRICHELLO Honda M 1'32"579
7. 9 WEBBER Williams Cosworth B 1'33"006
8. 15 KLIEN RedBull Ferrari M 1'33"112
9. 2 FISICHELLA Renault M 1'33"496
10. 16 HEIDFELD BMW Sauber M 1'33"926
11. 17 VILLENEUVE BMW Sauber M 1'32"456
12. 10 ROSBERG Williams Cosworth B 1'32"620
13. 14 COULTHARD RedBull Ferrari M 1'32"850
14. 8 TRULLI Toyota B 1'33"066
15. 20 LIUZZI Toro Rosso Cosw. M 1'33"416
16. 21 SPEED Toro Rosso Cosw. M 1'34"606
17. 7 R.SCHUMACHER Toyota B 1'34"702
18. 19 ALBERS Midland Toyota B 1'35"724
19. 18 MONTEIRO Midland Toyota B 1'35"900
20. 22 SATO S. Aguri F1 Honda B 1'37"411
21. 23 IDE S. Aguri F1 Honda B 1'40"270
22. 3 RAIKKONEN McLaren Mercedes M 0'00"000