This weekend’s race marked the 400th Grand Prix for Williams. Frank Williams has said in the past that this sort of statistic does not interest him – only winning championships. That is probably just as well as nothing short of a miracle was going to bring about anything to celebrate this weekend. However there was cause for celebration this weekend as Ralf Schumacher once again scored some points and after the recent form that is nothing short of a miracle.
After the Friday session Zanardi had been 5th, unfortunately he couldn’t repeat this form when it really mattered in qualifying being well off the mark in 17th place. Ralf Schumacher fared better qualifying higher up the gird in 10th.
After the usual shuffling at the start of the race both drivers found themselves two places higher up the field than where they started. After that the race became one of the most processional in recent memory with virtually no movement at all. By the time of the first pit stops both drivers were still in their end-of-lap-one positions.
Once again though it was not to be Zanardi’s day. The Italian has just completed his pit stop and was ready to pull away but was unable to do so – he seemed to have lost all drive and his race was over.
Ralf Schumacher had more luck and came out of his pit stop in seventh position. By the end of the race this has improved to 5th place and a couple more points in the bag. “After achieving 10th place in qualifying I must say that I am very happy that I was able to score another 2 points for Williams” the German said.
Alex Zanardi was his usual philosophical self stating that after the pit stop “I selected first gear but heard a strange noise. When I released the clutch nothing happened. I think the main drive of my gearbox broke”.