2005 Japanese Grand Prix
|Race 18 of 19 in the 2005 Formula One season|
|Date||October 9, 2005|
|Official name||XXXI Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix|
|Location||Suzuka Circuit, Suzuka, Mie, Japan|
|Course||Permanent racing facility
5.807 km (3.608 mi)
|Distance||53 laps, 307.771 km (191.224 mi)|
|Weather||Partially cloudy, dry|
|Time||1:31.540 on lap 44|
The 2005 Japanese Grand Prix was a Formula One race held on October 9, 2005 at the Suzuka Circuit. McLaren's Kimi Räikkönen won the race after starting from 17th place and overtaking race leader Giancarlo Fisichella on the final lap. This race also marks Ralf Schumacher's 6th and last pole position (and Toyota's 2nd).
||This article's tone or style may not reflect the encyclopedic tone used on Wikipedia. (September 2009)|
The 2005 Japanese Grand Prix was the eighteenth race of the 2005 Formula One season. After the track was subject to heavy rain, the familiar faces found themselves down the order, while Ralf Schumacher scored an unlikely pole; which would be the final such occurrence of his career, and would ultimately be Toyota's last until 2009. But by Sunday, the weather was warm, sunny, a nice fast track - a good track for the McLarens to excel. But with their drivers stranded well down the order (17th and 18th) a win seemed to be a difficult thing.
The race started off with Ralf Schumacher leading and Fisichella getting ahead of Button, meanwhile Takuma Sato and Rubens Barrichello went off the track and collided resulting in the Brazilian suffering a left rear puncture. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and both McLaren drivers were making quick progress through the field. Towards the end of lap 1, a safety car was deployed when Juan Montoya's car went off track at the beginning of the pit straight. He tried to go around the outside of Villeneuve, who pushed him off, resulting in a 25 sec penalty at the end of the race for the Canadian. Montoya's crash had an impact on the Constructors' Championship as it meant that only Räikkönen could score points for McLaren.
After the safety car, the remaining favourites that had started from the back continued to make progress. Alonso tried to pass Christian Klien into the final chicane but went off, coming back to the track ahead of him. He gave the position back only to repass Klien back immediately by getting back into his slipstream. Race stewards came on to the radio telling the Renault team to let Klien back past again, so Alonso did. By this time he was four and a half seconds behind Michael Schumacher, but he closed that gap with ease, while Räikkönen got right behind them too.
In the first round of pitstops, Ralf Schumacher pitted very early and went down to eighth position while Giancarlo Fisichella took a comfortable lead. Well behind Fisichella, Alonso and Räikkönen were putting pressure on Michael Schumacher. Alonso, with the lightest car of the trio, went around the outside of Schumacher through 130R corner, but needed to pit briefly after making the pass. Michael Schumacher and Kimi Räikkönen continued scrapping for a couple more laps before their pitstops, both of them rejoining the track ahead of Coulthard and Alonso. Laps later Räikkönen passed Schumacher and closed in on Button and Webber. Alonso passed Schumacher for the second time and by this point he started to close in on Räikkönen, who was stuck behind Webber and Button. Fisichella still looked favourite to win the grand prix, as he was 20 seconds ahead of the chasin pack. Alonso, running lighter again, needed to pit earlier than the rest of this pack. Fisichella pitted next and rejoined rught behind Button, Webber and Räikkönen.
Button and Webber pitted, Webber got out ahead of Button and they both got out ahead of Fernando Alonso. Räikkönen, finally with a clear track ahead, set a series of fastest laps, the best being a 1:31.540, and then pitted. By then he was only 5 seconds behind Fisichella and was closing on the Renault. Meanwhile Alonso had got past Button who was slipping back to Coulthard and Michael Schumacher. Alonso then passed Webber for third. Up the road, Räikkönen was now right on the tail of race leader Fisichella. With 3 laps to go, Fisichella went defensive under braking at the Casio Triangle, which allowed Räikkönen got a tow on the pit straight. This time Fisichella defended, but the story repeated next lap, and this time Räikkönen was able to get past around the outside of turn 1 of the final lap.
Räikkönen won the race, taking his final victory for McLaren ahead of Fisichella, Alonso, Webber, Button, Coulthard, Michael Schumacher, and Ralf Schumacher. Post-race saw the disqualification of Takuma Sato after an earlier collision with Jarno Trulli.
Standings after the race
- Bold text indicates who still has a theoretical chance of becoming World Champion.
- Note: Only the top five positions are included for both sets of standings.
2005 Brazilian Grand Prix
|FIA Formula One World Championship
2005 Chinese Grand Prix
2004 Japanese Grand Prix
|Japanese Grand Prix||Next race:
2006 Japanese Grand Prix