2006 Stats Update: USA

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Michael Schumacher, Ferrari, Indianapolis, 2006Michael Schumacher broke Fernando Alonso’s streak of pole positions and victories at Indianapolis. It also breathed new life into Ferrari’s World Constructors’ Championship bid.

With eight rounds remaining, we look at how the United States Grand Prix changed the balance of the championship battles.

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World Drivers ChampionshipVitantonio Liuzzi is the 17th driver to score points this year, out of the 23 who have started races. He ties with fellow Red Bull employee Christian Klien who has a solitary eighth place in the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix to show for his efforts.

David Coulthard, seventh at Indianapolis, now has ten points and is expected to keep the Red Bull seat ahead of Klien.

World Drivers' Championship - Battle for the titleMichael Schumacher chopped Fernando Alonso’s championship lead down to 19 points – the smallest it has been since the Spanish Grand Prix.

Kimi Raikkonen’s no-score means Giancarlo Fisichella moves into third and the McLaren driver is now under threat from Felipe Massa.

World Drivers' Championship - Points systems 1981-presentAlthough 17 drivers have scored so far this year three of them have done so only by finishing in seventh or eighth place – which weren’t worth championship points until 2003. They are Liuzzi, Klien and Nico Rosberg.

Fisichella is the biggest beneficiary of the ‘new’ points system – his total of 43 is 15 higher than it would have been with the same results in 2002.

World Constructors' Championships - All constructorsBMW lost ground to Honda with their double retirement and Rubens Barrichello’s sixth place finish. David Coulthard’s seventh place for Red Bull moves them ahead of Williams.

The Grove team drop to eighth ahead of only Scuderia Toro Rosso, Midland F1 and Super Aguri, the latter two still yet to score.

World Constructors' Championships - Battle for the titleFerrari’s one-two bites an eight-point size chuck out of Renault’s lead. Conversely, McLaren’s double DNF sees them freefall into a lonely third, 40 points behind Ferrari and 33 ahead of Honda.

This was only the second time this season that a team have occupied the top two steps of the podium – the other being Fisichella’s win from Alonso for Renault in Malaysia.

Top 3 qualifying positionsAlthough Alonso has the most pole positions (five) he and Schumacher have the same number of top-three finishes (six).

Button’s plight at Honda is illustrated graphically by his four top-three finishes that all came at the start of the season before the rot set in. Although Rubens Barrichello has since thrived, he hasn’t yet matched Button’s best qualifying performances.
DNFs - AllThe first-lap melee provoked a jump in retirements due to ‘racing accidents’ – which is what the stewards decided the crash was, absolving Juan Pablo Montoya of any blame.

The nine finishers in the United States Grand Prix was the fewest seen so far this year.

DNFs - driversAlonso remains the only driver to have finished every race (indeed, every lap of every race) this year. Underlining the importance of reliability to a championship bid he and the two Ferrari pilots are the only drivers not to have been forced out of a race by mechanical failure.

If that fate befalls Schumacher or Alonso at the next round, it could dramatically affect the World Championship.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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