Fernando Alonso and the Renault F1 team won the World Drivers and Constructors Championships, ending five years of dominance by Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari. Alonso's success made him the youngest Champion in the history of the sport, a title he held until Lewis Hamilton's 2008 title success, and which is currently held by Sebastian Vettel. Renault's success was their first as a Constructor.
The most-noted aspect of the season was Ferrari's lack of pace caused mainly by a new rule prohibiting tyre changes during the course of a race. The Bridgestone tyres used by Ferrari could not find the right balance between performance and reliability, leaving the Michelin runners to battle for race victories. Further rule changes emphasised the new focus on reliability, with engines required to last two Grands Prix without being changed.
Renault appeared the fastest team in pre-season testing and it was no surprise they dominated the early fly-away rounds. Giancarlo Fisichella won the season opener in Australia before team-mate Alonso demonstrated his title credentials with a series of victories in Malaysia, Bahrain and San Marino. As the season progressed the McLarens of Kimi Räikkönen and Juan Pablo Montoya became increasingly competitive and by the latter stages of the season the McLaren was generally considered the faster package. However, constant technical failures meant neither the team nor Räikkönen were able to translate their speed into Championship success.
Alonso secured his Drivers Championship with a third-place finish in the Brazilian Grand Prix. Despite both he and Räikkönen having six victories to their name at this point in the season, Alonso's greater consistency meant he was able to claim the Championship with two rounds to spare. The Constructors Championship was secured by Renault at the final race, with Alonso's seventh victory of the year. This gave Renault their first Championship as a Constructor after only previously triumphing as an engine supplier, despite winning two fewer races than McLaren.
Ferrari finished third in the Constructors Championship with only one win, at the United States Grand Prix, in farcical scenes after the race was only contested by the six Bridgestone cars after Michelin declared their tyres unsafe to run on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's unique banked corner.
After a high-flying 2004 season the most conspicuous drop in performance after Ferrari was BAR-Honda, who were banned from two races after scrutineers in San Marino discovered a hidden fuel compartment that allowed their cars to run underweight. They were beaten in the Championship by Williams, whose engine partner BMW had announced they were leaving to join Sauber in June, and Toyota, who achieved 5 podium finishes and were only beaten to third in the championship because of Ferrari's 1–2 in Indianapolis.
All the teams scored world championship points over the course of the season, Minardi scoring rare points in their final season courtesy of being able to run in the US race.
|Entrant||Constructor||Chassis||Engine †||Tyre||No||Driver||Rounds||No||Free Practice driver(s)|
|Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro||Ferrari||F2004M
|Lucky Strike BAR Honda||BAR-Honda||007||Honda RA005E||M||3||Jenson Button||1–4, 7–19||N/A|
|4||Takuma Sato1||1, 3–4, 7–19|
|Mild Seven Renault F1 Team||Renault||R25||Renault RS25||M||5||Fernando Alonso||All||N/A|
|BMW WilliamsF1 Team||Williams-BMW||FW27||BMW P84/5||M||7||Mark Webber||All||N/A|
| West McLaren Mercedes
Team McLaren Mercedes 11
|McLaren-Mercedes||MP4-20||Mercedes FO110R||M||9||Kimi Räikkönen||All||35|| Pedro de la Rosa
|10||Juan Pablo Montoya2||1–2, 5–19|
|Pedro de la Rosa||3|
|Sauber Petronas||Sauber-Petronas||C24||Petronas 05A||M||11||Jacques Villeneuve||All||N/A|
|Red Bull Racing||Red Bull-Cosworth||RB1||Cosworth TJ2005||M||14||David Coulthard||All||37|| Vitantonio Liuzzi
|15||Christian Klien3||1–3, 8–19|
|Panasonic Toyota Racing||Toyota||TF105
|Toyota RVX-05||M||16||Jarno Trulli||All||38|| Ricardo Zonta
|17||Ralf Schumacher||1–8, 10–19|
|Jordan Grand Prix||Jordan-Toyota||EJ15
|Toyota RVX-05||B||18||Tiago Monteiro||All||39|| Robert Doornbos
|Minardi F1 Team||Minardi-Cosworth||PS04B
|B||20||Patrick Friesacher||1–11||40|| Chanoch Nissany7
† All engines were 3.0 litre, V10 configuration.
The most noticeable change to the 2005 season was its driver lineup — only 7 drivers raced for the same team with which they began the 2004 season, another 7 drivers switched to new teams.
|Driver||2004 Team||2005 Team||Team Position|
|Giancarlo Fisichella||Sauber Petronas||Mild Seven Renault F1 Team||Full-Time Driver|
|Mark Webber||Jaguar Racing||BMW Williams Team||Full-Time driver|
|Nick Heidfeld||Jordan Ford||BMW Williams Team||Full-Time driver|
|Juan Pablo Montoya||BMW Williams Team||West McLaren Mercedes||Full-Time driver|
|Jacques Villeneuve||Mild Seven Renault F1 Team||Sauber Petronas||Full-Time Driver|
|David Coulthard||West McLaren Mercedes||Red Bull Racing||Full-Time driver|
|Christian Klien||Jaguar Racing||Red Bull Racing||Full-Time driver|
|Jarno Trulli*||Mild Seven Renault F1 Team||Panasonic Toyota Racing||Full-Time Driver|
|Ralf Schumacher||BMW Williams Team||Panasonic Toyota Racing||Full-Time Driver|
|Tiago Monteiro||none||Jordan Grand Prix||Full-Time driver|
|Narain Karthikeyan||none||Jordan Grand Prix||Full-Time driver|
|Patrick Friesacher||none||Minardi F1 Team||Full-Time driver|
|Christijan Albers||none||Minardi F1 Team||Full-Time driver|
|Cristiano da Matta||Panasonic Toyota Racing||none|
|Olivier Panis||Panasonic Toyota Racing||Panasonic Toyota Racing||Advisor/Test Driver|
|Giorgio Pantano||Jordan Ford||none|
|Gianmaria Bruni||Minardi F1 Team||none|
|Zsolt Baumgartner||Minardi F1 Team||none|
|Robert Doornbos||Jordan Ford||Minardi F1 Team||Test Driver|
|Robert Kubica||none||Mild Seven Renault F1 Team||Test Driver|
Red Bull Racing, which took over the Jaguar team, ran with Cosworth engines. Red Bull's lead driver was veteran Scotsman David Coulthard, paired with Christian Klien, the '04 Jaguar driver. Red Bull performed well, scoring 11 points after the first two events. Toyota-powered Jordan Grand Prix was purchased by Midland Group, although the team continued as Jordan until 2006. Sauber switched from Bridgestone to Michelin tyres over the winter, further severing their ties with the Ferrari team.
Shortly after the United States Grand Prix, Peter Sauber announced that Credit Suisse had sold BMW their majority share in his Sauber team, which announced its intention to run as BMW's factory team in 2006.
|Round||Race Title||Grand Prix||Circuit||Date|
|1||Foster's Australian Grand Prix||Australian GP||Albert Park Grand Prix Circuit, Melbourne||6 March|
|2||Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix||Malaysian GP||Sepang International Circuit, Kuala Lumpur||20 March|
|3||Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix||Bahrain GP||Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir||3 April|
|4||Gran Premio Foster's di San Marino||San Marino GP||Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola||24 April|
|5||Gran Premio Marlboro de España||Spanish GP||Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona||8 May|
|6||Grand Prix de Monaco||Monaco GP||Circuit de Monaco, Monte-Carlo||22 May|
|7||Grand Prix of Europe||European GP||Nürburgring||29 May|
|8||Grand Prix du Canada||Canadian GP||Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal||12 June|
|9||United States Grand Prix||United States GP||Indianapolis Motor Speedway||19 June|
|10||Grand Prix de France||French GP||Circuit de Nevers, Magny-Cours||3 July|
|11||Foster's British Grand Prix||British GP||Silverstone Circuit||10 July|
|12||Großer Mobil 1 Preis von Deutschland||German GP||Hockenheimring||24 July|
|13||Marlboro Magyar Nagydíj||Hungarian GP||Hungaroring, Budapest||31 July|
|14||Turkish Grand Prix||Turkish GP||Istanbul Park||21 August|
|15||Gran Premio Vodafone d'Italia||Italian GP||Autodromo Nazionale Monza||4 September|
|16||Belgian Grand Prix||Belgian GP||Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa||11 September|
|17||Grande Prêmio do Brasil||Brazilian GP||Autódromo José Carlos Pace, São Paulo||25 September|
|18||Fuji Television Japanese Grand Prix||Japanese GP||Suzuka Circuit||9 October|
|19||Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix||Chinese GP||Shanghai International Circuit||16 October|
The 2005 Formula One calendar featured a new event in Turkey, just miles from the Europe-Asia dividing line. The newly built circuit in Istanbul joined the 2004 newcomers Bahrain and China. The 2005 season witnessed two of the hottest grands prix ever: the track temperature at the beginning of the Malaysian event was 51 °C (124 °F), while in Bahrain the mercury soared past 56 °C (133 °F).
|Rd.||Grand Prix||Pole Position||Fastest Lap||Winning Driver||Constructor||Report|
|1||Australian Grand Prix||Giancarlo Fisichella||Fernando Alonso||Giancarlo Fisichella||Renault||Report|
|2||Malaysian Grand Prix||Fernando Alonso||Kimi Räikkönen||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Report|
|3||Bahrain Grand Prix||Fernando Alonso||Pedro de la Rosa||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Report|
|4||San Marino Grand Prix||Kimi Räikkönen||Michael Schumacher||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Report|
|5||Spanish Grand Prix||Kimi Räikkönen||Giancarlo Fisichella||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|6||Monaco Grand Prix||Kimi Räikkönen||Michael Schumacher||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|7||European Grand Prix||Nick Heidfeld||Fernando Alonso||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Report|
|8||Canadian Grand Prix||Jenson Button||Kimi Räikkönen||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|9||United States Grand Prix||Jarno Trulli||Michael Schumacher||Michael Schumacher||Ferrari||Report|
|10||French Grand Prix||Fernando Alonso||Kimi Räikkönen||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Report|
|11||British Grand Prix||Fernando Alonso||Kimi Räikkönen||Juan Pablo Montoya||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|12||German Grand Prix||Kimi Räikkönen||Kimi Räikkönen||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Report|
|13||Hungarian Grand Prix||Michael Schumacher||Kimi Räikkönen||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|14||Turkish Grand Prix||Kimi Räikkönen||Juan Pablo Montoya||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|15||Italian Grand Prix||Juan Pablo Montoya||Kimi Räikkönen||Juan Pablo Montoya||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|16||Belgium Grand Prix||Juan Pablo Montoya||Ralf Schumacher||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|17||Brazilian Grand Prix||Fernando Alonso||Kimi Räikkönen||Juan Pablo Montoya||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|18||Japanese Grand Prix||Ralf Schumacher||Kimi Räikkönen||Kimi Räikkönen||McLaren-Mercedes||Report|
|19||Chinese Grand Prix||Fernando Alonso||Kimi Räikkönen||Fernando Alonso||Renault||Report|
Bold - Pole
† Drivers did not finish the Grand Prix, but were classified as they completed over 90% of the race distance.
‡ Drivers on Michelin tyres had to withdraw from the United States Grand Prix before the race started due to safety concerns.
For a time there existed a distinct possibility that some teams would be running three race cars per grand prix. (Fewer than 10 teams, or 20 cars, starting on the grid would have resulted in some teams running three cars, under an obscure term in the Concorde Agreement.) By the first round of the season, though, there were ten teams, as Red Bull completed their takeover of Jaguar and were ready to race in Australia. Minardi, which initially received an injunction allowing them to compete despite their cars' non-conformity to new 2005 technical regulations, later modified their cars to adhere to 2005 regulations.
The first six races of the 2005 season used a new qualifying format, marking the third year in five with sharply revised qualifying rules. Grid position was determined by aggregate times from two single-lap flying runs, one Saturday afternoon and one Sunday morning. Refueling was allowed after the first qualifying run Saturday; however, the car must have been fuelled for the race for Sunday's qualifying. (Although some rules changes are brought about to even the playing field or to reduce costs, this rule change was prompted by the typhoon which rescheduled qualifying for the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix). Adverse weather conditions affecting either qualifying session impacted the final, aggregate time.
On May 24, the ten team bosses met with Max Mosley and recommended a return to a single, one-lap qualifying run on Saturday on race fuel and race tires, which, having been approved by the FIA World Motorsport Council, took effect at the European Grand Prix on May 29.
A hugely significant change in 2005 was the absence of tyre changes during pit stops. Under new regulations, a driver had to use one set of tyres during qualifying and the race itself. Tyre changes were allowed for punctures and for wet weather, under the direction of the FIA. The FIA had to post a "change in climatic conditions" notice in order for tyre changes to occur normally. After Kimi Räikkönen's disastrous accident at the Nurburgring when his suspension collapsed after a flat-spotted tyre ripped the carbon fiber suspension apart, team principals and the FIA agreed that a single tyre change per car could be made without penalty, provided it was to change a tyre that had become dangerously worn like Räikkönen's had. Obviously, preserving a single set of tyres for the entire race became a new challenge for drivers; the challenge for tyre manufactures was to produce more durable, long-lasting compounds. Michelin-shod runners had a distinct advantage over their Bridgestone counterparts.
However, during practice for the US Grand Prix it became apparent that Michelin's tyres were not capable of handling the loads put on them through Indianapolis's banked turn 13. Controversy ensued, with the end result being the seven Michelin-shod teams withdrawing from the race after the parade lap. Michelin stated that the tyres were not safe to use for more than ten laps, but even without the no-change rule the number of tyre changes required to go the distance would have left these teams far behind the Bridgestone runners.
Formula One engines had to last two race weekends, double that demanded by 2004 regulations. A driver who needed to change an engine was subject to a 10-place grid penalty for the race. Designed to limit revs and power outputs demanded by greater reliability, this regulation was also a cost-cutting measure for engine manufacturers. After the initial race of the season, the FIA acted to close a loophole in this new regulation exposed by BAR, who deliberately pitted their cars rather than finish the race.
The technical aerodynamics regulations were modified to improve competition, especially for cars traveling in another car's aeroflow wake in order to overtake. By changing the size and placement of both front and rear wings, as well as requiring higher noses, the new rules attempted to reduce downforce by roughly one-quarter, but teams developed other chassis innovations to reclaim much of that "lost" downforce, which made following another car even harder than the previous season.
If a driver stalled his car while entering the final grid, the other cars were sent instantly to a new warm-up lap, instead of all drivers stopping their cars and waiting couple of minutes for new start. The Stalled car is pushed to the pit lane and the grid is clear when the drivers return.
When the race is red-flagged, the timekeeping system will not stop. The drivers stop on the start/finish straight. The restart is done behind the safety car instead of a standing start which was used earlier. Although this rule came in effect in 2005, it was first used at the 2007 European Grand Prix.
Also in safety car situations, the rules were changed to allow the safety car to use the pit lane if necessary. This rule change was made following Ralf Schumacher's accident in 2004 United States Grand Prix.
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