Same car, same speed? Who's ahead in the battle of the team mates? 12 May 2005
A quick glance at the championship table will tell you which driver has scored most for each constructor this year, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Five rounds into the 2005 season, we seek out the dominant force in each of the ten Formula One teams...
Giancarlo Fisichella has born the brunt of Renaults misfortune in terms of reliability. Every time Fernando Alonso has won, Fisichella has failed to finish. In Melbourne he beat the Spaniard, and may have done so again in Spain had it not been for an unscheduled stop. But bad luck aside, there is no hiding the fact that Fisichella has been outclassed in terms of pure speed. Alonso has out-qualified the Italian four times and set the faster race lap four times.
Verdict: Fisichella playing catch-up
Another fairly one-sided contest, with Jarno Trulli dominating Ralf Schumacher so far. The Italian leads four-one in the qualifying stakes and three-two in the fastest race lap contest. While Trulli has enjoyed two second places and a third, Schumacher has yet to step on to the podium. Both have finished every race, with Trulli taking the flag first in all of them.
Verdict: Trulli commanding
Jenson Button has had two team mates in 2005. Kimi Raikkonen has had three! He has been out-qualified twice - once by Juan Pablo Montoya and once by Kimi Raikkonen. In races, he has been beaten twice - by Montoya in the opening two rounds. Fastest race laps are split pretty evenly, with two to Raikkonen, and Montoya, Pedro de la Rosa and Alexander Wurz scoring one apiece.
Verdict: Raikkonen by a nose
Mark Webber has lived up to his reputation as a one-lap specialist, out-qualifying Nick Heidfeld by a comfortable four-one margin. Heidfeld, on the other hand, has been the quicker in race trim, setting the faster lap four times. He has also clinched the teams only podium, but two DNFs to Webbers one, means he remains behind the Australian in the championship standings.
Verdict: a dead heat so far
Rubens Barrichello will be happy to have acquitted himself well against Michael Schumacher. He is leading the world champion three-two in the qualifying battle, though a race comparison is more difficult given that the team have yet to get both cars to the finish on a Sunday afternoon. Both men have scored a podium and only on outright race pace is Schumacher ahead, setting the quicker lap on three out of five occasions.
Verdict: Schumacher, but not by the margin you might expect
A case of experience counts at the former Jaguar team. David Coulthard has fulfilled his role of old master, generally showing his upstart team mates how its done. The Scot has never been known for his one-lap qualifying prowess and Christian Klien has got the better of him on two occasions. In race trim, though, Coulthard has led the way. Only once has he finished behind a team mate (Vitantonio Liuzzi in Spain) and in three of the five Grands Prix he has set the quicker race lap.
Verdict: experience beats youth
Jacques Villeneuves problems getting to grips with the C24 have been well publicised and the stats bear them out. Felipe Massa has been quicker in every race and has out-qualified the former champion four to one. Villeneuves saving grace was his fourth place in San Marino (following BARs disqualification), which leaves him a surely unrepresentative three points and three places above the Brazilian in the championship table.
Verdict: Massa leading the way
Among those in the know, Narain Karthikeyan is being quietly talked about as a star of the future. The Indian has certainly had the upper hand on Tiago Monteiro, out-qualifying the Portuguese driver four to one and setting the quicker race lap three times to two. In the four events they have both finished, Karthikeyan has beaten Monteiro comfortably in three and lost out in one.
Verdict: Karthikeyan proving his worth in style
No argument here. Jenson Button has out-qualified his team mate (be it Takuma Sato or Malaysia stand-in Anthony Davidson) at every round, beaten him whenever both have finished and set the faster race lap. Enough said.
Verdict: Button the clear number one
Both Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher came to Minardi with solid, if unspectacular, reputations. Perhaps predictably then there has been little to choose between the pair. Friesacher leads three-two on qualifying, Albers by the same score on fastest race laps. Only once have they both completed a race, with Friesacher finishing one place ahead of his team mate.
Verdict: too close to call