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2006 Formula 1 World Championship

2006 - Fernando Makes It Two In A Row

2006 would see Fernando Alonso & Renault continue to dominate F1. A resurgent Ferrari, spearheaded by Schumacher would be their closest rival. While McLaren, who had produced the car of the year in 2005 slipped back in 2006, producing a car that would not win a single race all year. 

The Line-Up

The driver line-up remained largely the same at the top, with the only notable change being Felipe Massa who replaced Rubens Barrichello at Ferrari. Barrichello moved to Honda alongside Jenson Button, while Nick Heidfeld moved from Williams to the new BMW Sauber Team. 

Constructors

2006 also saw the introduction of several new teams. BMW, after leaving Williams bought sole ownership of the Sauber Team and competed in 2006 with their own BMW Sauber Team. Minardi became Toro Rosso after Dietrich Mateschitz bought the team. Alex Shnaider finally rebranded the Jordan Team Midland F1 after he bought the team from Eddie Jordan. 

Also a brand new team - Super Aguri made its F1 debut, with Honda refugees Takuma Sato & Anthony Davidson taking up the challenge.

Red Bull Racing would also score its maiden podium finish in the hands of David Coulthard at the Monaco GP

Drivers

2006 would see the retirement of one the greatest drivers in F1’s history, Michael Schumacher, after the German fought one last time for title glory. It would see two drivers claim their first ever victories in F1 - Jenson Button and Felipe Massa. 

Christian Klien was dropped by Red Bull after the Italian GP and was replaced by Robert Doornbos, while Jacque Villeneuve was also dropped and replaced at BMW Sauber by newbie Robert Kubica. 

It would also see several new drivers being brought into F1 and tested, such as Scott Speed and Nico Rosberg. Yuji Ide also made his debut but was quickly replaced by Franck Montagny after the Japanese driver had his super license taken away for dangerous driving; Sakon Yamamoto later replaced Montagny.

The Season

Alonso would take a strong lead in the championship, with wins in Bahrain, Australia, Spain, Monaco, Britain and Canada. However Schumacher closed the gap to 0 with two rounds left of the championship. The German won in Imola, Europe, the US, France, Germany, Italy and China. 

However a rare engine failure for Schumacher in Japan whilst leading all but ended his hopes of taking the title. Alonso made it back-to-back titles clinching it at the season finale in Brazil.

Nicolas Hulkenberg - © jaggat racing

Nicolas Hulkenberg © jaggat racing

Position Driver Team Time
1 F Massa Ferrari 1:31:53.751
2 F Alonso Renault +18.6 secs
3 J Button Honda +19.3 secs
4 M Schumacher Ferrari +24.0 secs
5 K Raikkonen McLaren +28.5 secs
6 G Fisichella Renault +30.2 secs
7 R Barrichello Honda +40.2 secs
8 P De la Rosa McLaren +52.0 secs
9 R Kubica BMW Sauber +67.6 secs
10 T Sato Super Aguri +1 Lap