• 11

The 2006 Formula One season came down to a nail-biting final race in Sao Paulo, Brazil today, as hometown hero Felipe Massa sailed to the checkered flag and reigning champion Fernando Alonso claimed his second consecutive title with a comfortable second place podium finish.

Despite having dominated in the practice sessions on Friday and Saturday, retiring legend Michael Schumacher had to start the race from tenth position, as his team-mate Felipe started from pole. Things then went further downhill for Michael as he blew out a tire and limped back to the pits, then got back out on the course to fight all the way up to fourth place from twentieth. Renault reduced the revs on Alonso's car after Schumacher's blow-out to ensure he would finish in the points and secure the championship (Michael would have had to have won the race and Alonso to have earned no points for the German to win the title over the Spaniard). A smiling Jenson Button took third place on the podium.

With a Ferrari 1-4 and a Renault 2-6, the French team also secured the constructor's championship. That didn't seem to upset Massa too much, though, as the jubilant driver – wearing a special racing suit in his national colors – became the first Brazilian driver to win the Brazilian Grand Prix since Ayrton Senna. Felipe described the victory as the happiest day of his life.

Next season will see Massa stay with Ferrari to be joined by Kimi Raikkonen, whose place at McLaren will be taken by the champion Alonso, as Michael Schumacher retires after narrowly missing the shot at his eighth world championship. This was one of the most exciting seasons in recent history, and while Michael will be missed, the next should be even more gripping as the sport steps out from under the dominant figure's shadow.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Nail-biting? Umm... Fisichella takes out Schumy's tire in lap 3 (or 4) and he has to pit and is almost a lap back. Granted he's the greatest, so he came back to 4th... but you're never gonna chase down Alonso from a lap down (and even if Alonso DNF'ed, and Massa slowed down, there wasn't enough time to pass Button). Alonso (and Renault) really only cared about the championship so they let Massa run away (Massa did drive the perfect race though) in 1st. Definitely watched the entire thing, halfway to tears knowing Schumy wouldn't get his 8th title... but nail-biting?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thanks, Michael.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "This was one of the most exciting seasons in recent history, and while Michael will be missed, the next should be even more gripping as the sport steps out from under the dominant figure's shadow."

      That's just an opinion...

      #4 Guys with your depth should be banned from posting here.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Agreed only wish he could have went out on top
      • 8 Years Ago
      Thanks again for the spoiler alert, even though I had the chance to watch the race live.

      I don't think this will be Schumi's last race. Ferrari has him signed as a 'test driver' for at least one more year. I could see Michael stepping in for an under-performing Massa (or even Kimi) next year if the constructor championship is tight. Mark my words, Michael will have the same kind of 'retirement' that another famous Michael had...Jordan.

      Yeah, I'm really looking forward to Kubica driving next year. With the right ride and a couple more years of experience, he could be a future champion, as long as he doesn't defect to NASCAR first.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Congratulation Alonso and Renault F1 Team.

      With only 25 years Fernando Alonso has already 2 championships of the world, are we before the natural substitute of the "Kaisser"?


      • 8 Years Ago
      That's a sad way to go out. I just waited to see the final results online and didn't bother watching practice, qualifying, or the race. After Japan, you knew it was over. As much as I don't like Raikkonen's personality, I'd even rather see him have taken the championship instead of Alonso.

      Despite not ending his career with a championship, Schumacher is still one of the most skilled, cunning, and talented drivers ever. In an odd bit of irony, Schumacher was the "BMW" of F1...The Ultimate Driving Machine. Calm, efficient, cunning, and always loved to win. Sometimes you've gotta love that German style.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Farewell to Michael Schumacher.
      We'll never forgot your races.

      • 8 Years Ago
      I am not a Michael fan, only because of his style and his inconsistent level of sportsmanship. However, his drive in today's race was really great, considering the qualifying problems, the flat and then whatever other problems that car was clearly giving him during the race. The superiority of his skills really shined, even if he only had a 4th to show for it.

      And although he's a great driver too, Alonso got passed by Trulli, in a damned Toyota of all cars!
      • 8 Years Ago
      You know...when I die, I want everyone to remain somber for all of eternity whenever my name is mentioned. This is especially true when they're doing an activity I loved that's normally a moment of celebration.

      People can argue that Schumacher should have retired two years ago, but he still came really close to winning an 8th championship and still broke a few more records in the process. Also, who could have predicted how much Bridgestone would have dropped the ball last season. While slighting him for his victory celebrations, the fact that he genuinely loves the sport of it all was glossed over.

      So while not the best ending to a career (narrowly missing victory mainly due to mechanical problems) it's by no means a completely terrible way to retire. It just would have been a lot sweeter and amazing with yet another championship on the way out. 8 could have been an awesome legacy.

      I think the next driver to look out for is Kubica...his performances have been stunning so far.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #11 Couldn't agree more.

      Wrt. Kubica, I have also been very impressed with his driving. I definitely hope he will continue to get better drives, so he will get a proper chance to show his skills.

      And next season I really look forward to seeing Lewis Hamilton racing. Just like Kubica, he has a pretty impressive record so far - including some really amazing races in Formula GP2, where he at certain occasions almost has been running circles around the competition.