Chinese GP 2005. was the last race of the championship which decided constructors’ championship battle between Renault and McLaren and was the last race for V10 engines.
Fernando Alonso secured his first drivers’ championship with third place in Brazil, two races before the end of the season, behind two McLaren drivers and became the youngest world champion in Formula One history (24 years and 58 days), beating Emerson Fittipaldi record by more than a year (25 years and 273 days).
Constructors Championship has not yet been decided, but Renault has arrived in China with two points ahead of McLaren. It was all about Alonso and Fisichella against Raikkonen and Montoya.
After Alonso secured the drivers’ title, Renault was able to make improvements on his engine without keeping an eye on the reliability as much as before. In China they brought a new engine specification with 15 HP more and better driving characteristics.
More importantly, the engine had to last only one race, as opposed to the engine of Kimi Raikkonen which has been used in the previous race in Japan where Raikkonen won from 17th place on the grid. Kimi pushed hard entire race and was hitting the rev limiter in the seventh gear so the engine was certainly not in the best condition.
Renault locked out the front row with Alonso taking the last V10 pole position with 0.321 seconds advantage over team mate Fisichella. Raikkonen was third, Button in BAR fourth and Montoya fifth.
Alonso won for the seventh time in 2005. after McLaren drivers failed to overtake Fisichella in the early part of the race. The second was Raikkonen who recorded the fastest lap of the race (1: 33.242) and Fisichella was third.
Renault won the constructors’ title with nine points ahead of McLaren. The French manufacturer has won both titles in the last season for the V10 engines and won the last race with this engine.
Chinese Grand Prix 2005 was the 100th race for Jenson Button who still didn’t have a single victory.
GOODBYE AFTER 17 YEARS
The legendary V10 engines have gone in history after 17 years since F1 teams used them since 1989. Turbo engines were banned after 1988. and the Honda and Renault pioneered the V10 engine that offered a compromise between fuel consumption, compact size and weight of V8 engines and power of V12 engines.
Honda RA109E V10 engine in McLaren MP4-5 s with a 72 degrees V-angle produced around 675 HP at 13 000 rpm, while Renault RS01 V10 (65 degrees V-angle) in Williams FW12C had around 650 HP at 14 300 rpm
McLaren dominated with Honda V10 engine in 1989. almost as in 1988. when they had Honda’s 1.5-liter V6 turbo engines and the fight for the 1989. title was between their drivers Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
Senna qualified on the front row on all 16 races in 1989. becoming the first driver in F1 history to do so (Prost and Hill repeated this feat in 1993. and 1996. respectively driving Williams Renault cars).
Ferrari also turned to V10 engines in 1996. that were more compact, lighter and used less fuel than the previously used V12 engine – since 1998. all F1 teams used V10 engines
Then last victory for the V8 engines (before their reintroduction in 2006.) was in 1994. when Schumacher won the European Grand Prix at Jerez in Benetton B195 with Ford Zetec-R 3.5 V8 engine. The last victory for the V12 engine was in 1995. Canadian GP when Jean Alesi won in a Ferrari 412T2 with a 3.0-litre V12 engine.