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The 2006 Japanese Grand Prix, formally the XXXII Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix (XXXII フジテレビ日本グランプリ in Japanese) was the seventeenth and penultimate round of the 2006 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie Prefecture, Japan, on 8 October 2006.[1] The race would see Fernando Alonso claim victory and the Championship lead with a race to go, as his main title rival Michael Schumacher suffered a fateful engine failure.[1]

Qualifying had been in Schumacher's favour, although the German ace was beaten to pole position by his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa.[1] Alonso, meanwhile, would line-up in fifth alongside his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, with the two Toyotas of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli separating the title protagonists.[1]

It would be formation flying at the front of the field at the start of the race, with Massa leading Michael Schumacher, while the two Toyotas fended off the Renaults.[1] However, Trulli would soon be overcome by Alonso through the opening lap, putting the Spaniard into fourth, while an identical move would put Jenson Button ahead of Fisichella.[1]

With Alonso hounding Ralf Schumacher Ferrari played their joker early, with Massa moving aside to let teammate Michael Schumacher into the lead at the beginning of lap three.[1] The German ace duly blasted away from the Brazilian to build a five second lead, while Alonso remained stuck behind the #7 Toyota until lap thirteen.[1]

However, despite clearing the troublesome Toyota, Alonso would make very little progress against the Ferraris, with the gap between himself and Schumacher remaining fairly stable.[1] Indeed, Massa had already bailed for his first stop on lap thirteen, with Alonso lasting until lap fifteen, while Schumacher continued for two more laps.[1]

Massa's early stop may have proved crucial, for it allowed Alonso to jump the #6 Ferrari and hence sit in the wake of Schumacher's Ferrari.[1] The lead battle would, however, never fully develop, for the pair seemed to be mired in a constant stream of traffic prior to their second stops.[1]

Yet, just two laps later and the whole race and Championship picture would change, for Schumacher's Ferrari would crawl to a stop at the back of the circuit.[1] A rather nonplussed Schumacher would make a slow walk back to the pits, waving to the crowd as Alonso took over the lead of the race.[1]

With Massa too far back to challenge and third placed Kimi Räikkönen, the only man on Alonso's pace, yet to make his second stop, the race seemed to be over.[1] Indeed, once Räikkönen stopped it was Fisichella who moved into third ahead of Button, with the only fighting on-track during the final stint being found in a duel for the final point between the BMW Saubers.[1]

As such, Alonso cruised through the closing stages to take a comfortable victory, and a ten point lead in the Championship ahead of the season finale in Brazil.[1] Massa and Fisichella completed the podium, with the one-three result for Renault handing them a nine point advantage in the Constructors Championship with a race to go.[1] Button, Räikkönen, Trulli, Ralf Schumacher and Nick Heidfeld secured the remaining points.[1]

BackgroundEdit

A second victory in succession for Michael Schumacher had moved the German ace level on points with long-standing leader Fernando Alonso atop the Championship, both ending the weekend on 116 points. However, courtesy of having seven wins to the Spaniard's six, it was the German ace who headed to Japan at the head of the title hunt. Behind, the battle for third had also intensified, with Giancarlo Fisichella having moved a point ahead of Felipe Massa.

In the Constructors Championship Renault had moved back to the head of the pack, albeit by just a point after their double podium in China. Ferrari had been forced to make way for them, and could potentially concede the title fight in Japan, if Renault claimed a one-two and the Scuderia failed to score. Behind, McLaren-Mercedes would claim third in the Championship if Honda failed to outscore them by ten points in Suzuka, while BMW Sauber had eased away from Toyota in fifth.

Entry listEdit

The full entry list for the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 V8 M
2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Mild Seven Renault F1 Team Renault R26 Renault RS26 2.4 V8 M
3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-21 Mercedes FO 108S 2.4 V8 M
4 Spain Pedro de la Rosa United Kingdom Team McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-21 Mercedes FO 108S 2.4 V8 M
5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 B
6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari 248 F1 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 B
7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF106B Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF106B Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28A Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28A Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
15 Netherlands Robert Doornbos United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
17 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia Spyker MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia Spyker MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
21 United States Scott Speed Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA06 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 B
23 Japan Sakon Yamamoto Japan Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA06 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 B
Test Drivers for Practice Sessions Only
35 Austria Alexander Wurz United Kingdom Williams F1 Team Williams FW28 Cosworth CA2006 2.4 V8 B
36 United Kingdom Anthony Davidson Japan Lucky Strike Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA106 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 M
37 Germany Michael Ammermüller United Kingdom Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB2 Ferrari 056 2.4 V8 M
38 Germany Sebastian Vettel Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.06 BMW P86 2.4 V8 M
39 Germany Adrian Sutil Russia Spyker MF1 Racing Midland M16 Toyota RVX-06 2.4 V8 B
40 Switzerland Neel Jani Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR1 Cosworth TJ2006 3.0 V10 M
41 France Franck Montagny Japan Super Aguri F1 Super Aguri SA06 Honda RA806E 2.4 V8 B
Source:[2]

Practice OverviewEdit

QualifyingEdit

Q1Edit

Q2Edit

Q3Edit

Qualifying ResultsEdit

The full qualifying results for the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 1 1:30.112 2 1:29.830 1 1:29.599 1
2 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 8 1:31.279 1 1:28.954 2 1:29.711 2
3 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Toyota 4 1:30.595 5 1:30.299 3 1:29.989 3
4 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 2 1:30.420 3 1:30.204 4 1:30.039 4
5 1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 6 1:30.976 8 1:30.357 5 1:30.371 5
6 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Renault 11 1:31.696 6 1:30.306 6 1:30.599 6
7 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 5 1:30.847 4 1:30.268 7 1:30.992 7
8 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 14 1:31.972 10 1:30.598 8 1:31.478 8
9 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 13 1:31.811 9 1:30.470 9 1:31.513 9
10 10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 3 1:30.585 7 1:30.321 10 1:31.856 10
11 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 15 1:32.080 11 1:30.827 11
12 17 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber 7 1:31.204 12 1:31.094 12
13 4 Spain Pedro de la Rosa United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 9 1:31.581 13 1:31.254 13
14 9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 10 1:31.647 14 1:31.276 14
15 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 12 1:31.741 15 1:31.943 15
16 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia Midland-Toyota 16 1:32.221 16 1:33.750 16
17 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 17 1:32.252 17
18 15 Netherlands Robert Doornbos United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 18 1:32.402 18
19 21 United States Scott Speed Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 19 1:32.867 19
20 22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 20 1:33.666 21
21 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia Midland-Toyota 21 1:33.709 21
22 23 Japan Sakon Yamamoto Japan Super Aguri-Honda NC 22
Source:[3]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.

GridEdit

Pos Pos
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 1 ______________
Felipe Massa 2
______________ Michael Schumacher
Row 2 3 ______________
Ralf Schumacher 4
______________ Jarno Trulli
Row 3 5 ______________
Fernando Alonso 6
______________ Giancarlo Fisichella
Row 4 7 ______________
Jenson Button 8
______________ Rubens Barrichello
Row 5 9 ______________
Nick Heidfeld 10
______________ Nico Rosberg
Row 6 11 ______________
Kimi Räikkönen 12
______________ Robert Kubica
Row 7 13 ______________
Pedro de la Rosa 14
______________ Mark Webber
Row 8 15 ______________
Vitantonio Liuzzi 16
______________ Christijan Albers
Row 9 17 ______________
David Coulthard 18
______________ Robert Doornbos
Row 10 19 ______________
Scott Speed 20
______________ Takuma Sato
Row 11 21 ______________
Tiago Monteiro 22
______________ Sakon Yamamoto

RaceEdit

ReportEdit

ResultsEdit

The full results for the 2006 Japanese Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 1 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 53 1:23:52.413 5 10
2 6 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 53 +16.151s 1 8
3 2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella France Renault 53 +23.953s 6 6
4 12 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 53 +34.101s 7 5
5 3 Finland Kimi Räikkönen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 53 +43.596s 11 4
6 8 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 53 +46.717s 4 3
7 7 Germany Ralf Schumacher Japan Toyota 53 +48.869s 3 2
8 16 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 53 +1:16.095 9 1
9 17 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber 53 +1:16.932 12
10 10 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 52 +1 Lap 10
11 4 Spain Pedro de la Rosa United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 52 +1 Lap 13
12 11 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 52 +1 Lap 8
13 15 Netherlands Robert Doornbos United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 52 +1 Lap 18
14 20 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 52 +1 Lap 15
15 22 Japan Takuma Sato Japan Super Aguri-Honda 52 +1 Lap 20
16 18 Portugal Tiago Monteiro Russia Midland-Toyota 51 +2 Laps 21
17 23 Japan Sakon Yamamoto Japan Super Aguri-Honda 50 +3 Laps 22
18* 21 United States Scott Speed Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 48 Power steering 19
Ret 9 Australia Mark Webber United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 39 Accident 14
Ret 5 Germany Michael Schumacher Italy Ferrari 36 Engine 2
Ret 14 United Kingdom David Coulthard United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 35 Gearbox 17
Ret 19 Netherlands Christijan Albers Russia Midland-Toyota 20 Driveshaft 16
Source:[4]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
  • * Speed was still classified despite retiring as he had completed 90% of the race distance.[4]

MilestonesEdit

StandingsEdit

Victory for Fernando Alonso, combined with Michael Schumacher's engine failure had resulted in the Spaniard holding a commanding lead in the Drivers' Championship ahead of the season finale. Indeed, the Spaniard would claim the title if he scored just a single point in Brazil, or if Schumacher failed to win. In contrast, Schumacher would have to win the race and see Alonso fail to score, and then would only take the title by virtue of having one more race win than the Spaniard.

In the Constructors Championship it was Renault who held the advantage heading into the season finale, having left Japan on 195 points. That meant that they were nine clear of Ferrari in second, and hence only had to pick-up ten points in Brazil to successfully defend their title. Elsewhere, McLaren-Mercedes were confirmed in third ahead of Honda, with the fight to complete the top five between BMW Sauber and Toyota the only other area of interest.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 Spain Fernando Alonso 126 ▲1
2 Germany Michael Schumacher 116 ▼1
3 Brazil Felipe Massa 70 ▲1
4 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella 69 ▼1
5 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 61
6 United Kingdom Jenson Button 50
7 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 28
8 Colombia Juan Pablo Montoya 26
9 Germany Nick Heidfeld 23
10 Germany Ralf Schumacher 20 ▲1
11 Spain Pedro de la Rosa 18 ▼1
12 Italy Jarno Trulli 15 ▲1
13 United Kingdom David Coulthard 14 ▼1
14 Australia Mark Webber 7
15 Canada Jacques Villeneuve 7
16 Poland Robert Kubica 6
17 Germany Nico Rosberg 4
18 Austria Christian Klien 2
19 Italy Vitantonio Liuzzi 1
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 France Renault 195
2 Italy Ferrari 186
3 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 105
4 Japan Honda 78
5 Germany BMW Sauber 36
6 Japan Toyota 35
7 United Kingdom Red Bull-Ferrari 16
8 United Kingdom Williams-Cosworth 11
9 Italy Toro Rosso-Cosworth 1

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

ReferencesEdit

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 'Japan 2006: Alonso inherits reversal of fortune.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 08/10/2006), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/57176/1/japan-2006-alonso-inherits-reversal-of-fortune, (Accessed 10/02/2020)
  2. 'Japan 2006: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/japon/engages.aspx, (Accessed 11/02/2020)
  3. '2006 FORMULA 1™ Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2006), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2006/races/806/japan/qualifying.html, (Accessed 11/02/2020)
  4. 4.0 4.1 'Japan 2006: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/japon/classement.aspx, (Accessed 11/02/2020)
  5. [Archived] '2006 Japanese GP', chicanef1.com, (Chicane F1, 2014), https://web.archive.org/web/20190410004525/http://chicanef1.com/racetit.pl?year=2006&gp=Japanese%20GP&r=1, (Accessed 11/02/2020) Original
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 '17. Japan 2006', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2006/japon.aspx, (Accessed 11/02/2020)
V T E Japan Japanese Grand Prix
Circuits Fuji (1976–1977, 2007–2008), Suzuka (1987–2006, 2009–present)
SuzukaCircuit2005
Races 197619771978–1986 • 19871988198919901991199219931994 • 19951996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020
See also Pacific Grand Prix
V T E 2006 Formula One Season
Teams Renault • McLaren • Ferrari • Toyota • Williams • Honda • Red Bull • BMW Sauber • Midland • Toro Rosso • Super Aguri
Engines BMW • Cosworth • Ferrari • Honda • Mercedes • Renault • Toyota
Drivers Alonso • 2 Fisichella • 3 Räikkönen • 4 Montoya • 4 De la Rosa • 5 M. Schumacher • 6 Massa • 7 R. Schumacher • 8 Trulli • 9 Webber • 10 Rosberg • 11 Barrichello • 12 Button • 14 Coulthard • 15 Klien • 15 Doornbos • 16 Heidfeld • 17 Villeneuve • 17 Kubica • 18 Monteiro • 19 Albers • 20 Liuzzi • 21 Speed • 22 Sato • 23 Ide • 23 Montagny • 23 Yamamoto
Other Drivers Badoer • Davidson • Hamilton • Kovalainen • Piquet • Sutil • Vettel • Wurz
Cars Renault R26 • Ferrari 248 F1 • McLaren MP4-21 • Honda RA106 • BMW Sauber F1.06 • Toyota TF106 • Red Bull RB2 • Williams FW28 • Toro Rosso STR1 • Midland M16 • Super Aguri SA05 • Super Aguri SA06
Tyres Bridgestone • Michelin
Races Bahrain • Malaysia • Australia • San Marino • Europe • Spain • Monaco • Britain • Canada • United States • France • Germany • Hungary • Turkey • Italy • China • Japan • Brazil
See also 2005 Formula One Season • 2007 Formula One Season • Category
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