The 2005 Chinese Grand Prix, formally known as the II Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix (II 中石化中国大奖赛 in Chinese) was the nineteenth and final round of the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China, on 16 October 2005. The race, which was the 750th Grand Prix to be staged, would see Fernando Alonso secure victory, a result which also secured the Constructors Championship for Renault.
Indeed, Renault would end their title winning campaign in fine style, as Alonso led teammate Giancarlo Fisichella to a front-row lockout for the French manufacturer. Kimi Räikkönen would lead the McLaren-Mercedes charge for the title from third, with Juan Pablo Montoya fifth, with the Anglo-German squad needing to out-score Renault by two points in the season finale.
Ahead of the race there would be a major revision to the grid, as out-going Champion Michael Schumacher found himself stranded at the side of the circuit, having collided with Christijan Albers. They hence had to start the race from the pitlane in their spare cars, joined by Narain Karthikeyan after he had issues in his Jordan-Toyota.
With the grid somewhat thinned the start would prove fairly tame, as Alonso sprinted into an early lead ahead of Fisichella. The Italian racer would instead work to block Räikkönen's attempts to move into second with an aggressive defence into turn one, while Montoya jumped Jenson Button to claim fourth.
The early stages saw Alonso ease away at the head of the pack, aided by a freshly updated engine and the fact that Fisichella was not pushing too hard. Indeed, Fisichella was instead playing the team game, using his superior straight-line speed to prevent the McLarens from passing without drawing them onto the back of his race leading teammate.
A rather tepid race would develop thereafter, with no changes to the order until Tiago Monteiro ventured into the pits on lap fifteen. However, a lap later and Alonso's sixteen second lead would be wiped out by the Safety Car, which was scrambled after Montoya's McLaren was effectively written off by a loose drain cover.
Montoya's demise made it almost impossible for McLaren to beat Renault in the Constructors Championship, with the entire field pouring into the pits for their first stops. Räikkönen's stop was the longest but he would scramble away still in third behind Fisichella, as Schumacher's ignominious race continued with a race-ending spin under the safety car on cold tyres.
The race resumed with Alonso instantly sprinting into an early lead, quickly building a three second lead as Fisichella again prioritised blocking Räikkönen. As a result, the race quickly developed into a procession once again, until the safety car appeared for a second time nine laps later as Karthikeyan had gone skating off the circuit at turn thirteen and demolished his Jordan in the barriers.
Once again the majority of the field would dive into the pits, although this time Fisichella would drive well below the speed limit in the pits to hold up the rest of the field. This would ultimately result in a drive-through penalty for the #6 Renault, as well as allow Räikkönen to jump him, although the ploy worked to keep Alonso at the head of the safety car train.
Furthermore, several drivers opted against stopping, and so Alonso would take the restart with Ralf Schumacher, Christian Klien and Felipe Massa separating him from Räikkönen. As a result Alonso was able to build a decisive lead, while the Finn had to wait until those three pitted for their final stops to finally move back into second. Fisichella would also filter back into third, only for his drive through penalty to jump him back behind Ralf Schumacher in fourth.
With that the race was run, with Alonso cruising through the final laps to claim victory ahead of Räikkönen. Fisichella ran out of time to get back into podium contention and so had to settle for fourth behind Ralf Schumacher, although that was more than enough for Renault to claim the Constructors Championship. The rest of the points would go to Klien, Massa, Mark Webber and Button.
The Chinese Grand Prix of 2005 would also be notable as the last race for BAR Minardi and Jordan as constructors, as they became Honda, Toro Rosso and Midland respectively in 2006. It would also be the final Grand Prix to be won by a V10 engine, while Räikkönen would match the record for most fastest laps in a single season with ten.
Victory for Kimi Räikkönen meant that the Finn closed the gap to Fernando Alonso atop the Championship, although with the Spaniard having already been declared Champion that was little more than a footnote. Behind, Michael Schumacher had moved back ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in the fight for third, establishing a two point advantage, while Giancarlo Fisichella had closed in on both in fifth. That was the only major fight remaining in the Drivers' Championship heading into the season finale, with Räikkönen already guaranteed second place.
In the Constructors Championship Renault had overturned McLaren-Mercedes' two point lead to claim a two point lead of their own, meaning there would still be a crown to be awarded in China. It would likely be winner takes all in the season finale, with a one-two for either team enough to see them lift the trophy. Behind, Ferrari had mathematically secured third ahead of Toyota, who were likewise set to finish fourth ahead of Williams-BMW.
The full entry list for the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix is outlined below:
The full qualifying results for the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||5||Fernando Alonso||Renault||1:34.080||—||208.584 km/h|
|2||6||Giancarlo Fisichella||Renault||1:34.401||+0.321s||207.875 km/h|
|3||9||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||1:34.448||+0.368s||207.771 km/h|
|4||3||Jenson Button||BAR-Honda||1:34.801||+0.721s||206.998 km/h|
|5||10||Juan Pablo Montoya||McLaren-Mercedes||1:35.188||+1.108s||206.156 km/h|
|6||1||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||1:35.301||+1.221s||205.912 km/h|
|7||14||David Coulthard||Red Bull-Cosworth||1:35.428||+1.348s||205.638 km/h|
|8||2||Rubens Barrichello||Ferrari||1:35.610||+1.530s||205.246 km/h|
|9||17||Ralf Schumacher||Toyota||1:35.723||+1.643s||205.004 km/h|
|10||7||Mark Webber||Williams-BMW||1:35.739||+1.659s||204.970 km/h|
|11||12||Felipe Massa||Sauber-Petronas||1:35.898||+1.818s||204.630 km/h|
|12||16||Jarno Trulli||Toyota||1:36.044||+1.964s||204.319 km/h|
|13||8||Antônio Pizzonia||Williams-BMW||1:36.445||+2.365s||203.469 km/h|
|14||15||Christian Klien||Red Bull-Cosworth||1:36.472||+2.392s||203.412 km/h|
|15||19||Narain Karthikeyan||Jordan-Toyota||1:36.707||+2.627s||202.918 km/h|
|16||11||Jacques Villeneuve||Sauber-Petronas||1:36.788||+2.708s||202.748 km/h|
|17||4||Takuma Sato||BAR-Honda||1:37.083||+3.003s||202.132 km/h|
|18||21||Christijan Albers||Minardi-Cosworth||1:39.105||+5.025s||198.008 km/h|
|19||18||Tiago Monteiro||Jordan-Toyota||1:39.233||+5.153s||197.753 km/h|
|20||20||Robert Doornbos||Minardi-Cosworth||1:39.460||+5.380s||197.301 km/h|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
- Bold indicates a driver's best/qualifying time.
|Juan Pablo Montoya||6|
- * Schumacher and Albers would start the race from the pitlane after colliding before the race.
- † Karthikeyan started the race from the pitlane.
The full results for the 2005 Chinese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|5||15||Christian Klien||Red Bull-Cosworth||56||+31.839s||14||4|
|9||14||David Coulthard||Red Bull-Cosworth||56||+44.247s||7|
|14*||20||Robert Doornbos||Minardi-Cosworth||55||Fuel pump||20|
|15||16||Jarno Trulli||Toyota||55||+1 Lap||12|
|Ret||10||Juan Pablo Montoya||McLaren-Mercedes||24||Engine||5|
- T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
- * Pizzonia, Doornbos and Albers were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.
- Renault declared as the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship for Constructors Champions.
- This was the french manufacturer's first World Championship title as a constructor.
- It was also their seventh as an engine supplier.
- 340th and final Grand Prix start for Minardi as a constructor.
- 250th and final race for Jordan as a constructor.
- BAR made their 117th and final appearance as a constructor.
- BMW started their 200th Grand Prix as an engine supplier.
- Jenson Button started his 100th race.
- Eighth career victory for Fernando Alonso.
- 25th win for Renault as a constructor.
- Kimi Räikkönen secured his 30th podium finish.
- Räikkönen matched the record for most fastest laps in a single season - 10.
The Chinese Grand Prix brought the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship to an end, with Fernando Alonso declared as Champion with 133 points to his name. That meant he finished the season 21 points clear of Kimi Räikkönen in second, while out-going Champion Michael Schumacher ended the season in third, 71 points off the lead. Juan Pablo Montoya and Giancarlo Fisichella completed the top five, with 24 drivers having scored points across the nineteen Grand Prix.
In the Constructors Championship it was Renault who ended the season as Champions, leaving the season finale with 191 points and eight race wins. McLaren-Mercedes hence had to settle for being runners-up, having registered 182 points and ten race wins, suggesting they had in-fact had the faster car. Third, meanwhile, would go to former Champions Ferrari, the only other car to break the 100 point barrier, as all ten constructors scored points in 2005.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- 'China 2005: Alonso win gives Renault its title.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 16/10/2005), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/54068/1/china-2005-alonso-win-gives-renault-its-title, (Accessed 29/01/2020)
- 'China 2005: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/chine/engages.aspx, (Accessed 29/01/2020)
- '2005 FORMULA 1™ Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Ltd., 2019), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2005/races/789/china/qualifying-0.html, (Accessed 29/01/2020)
- 'China 2005: Qualifications', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/chine/qualification.aspx, (Accessed 29/01/2020)
- 'China 2005: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/chine/classement.aspx, (Accessed 29/01/2020)
- '19. China 2005', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2005/chine.aspx, (Accessed 29/01/2020)
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