After seasons of Ferrari dominance the form book was changed as Renault and McLaren contested for the Constructors Championship, whilst their two main drivers, Fernando Alonso (Renault) and Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) battled for the Drivers’ title.
Going into the Event
Fernando Alonso had clinched his first title at the previous round in Brazil by finishing third. Kimi Raikkonen had managed to finish second, behind his teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya.
Qualifying for the Japanese Grand Prix was wet which meant that the grid had many surprises with typical front runners such as Alonso and Raikkonen qualifying sixteenth and seventeenth respectively. Pole position was therefore taken by Ralf Schumacher, with Jenson Button alongside.
Ralf Schumacher took an early lead in his Toyota ahead of Giancarlo Fisichella in the Renault. There were two incidents in the first two laps of the race as Takuma Sato was forced wide at the start of the race and Juan Pablo Montoya crashed heavily at the final corner. A safety car was deployed so that the area of Montoya’s crash could be cleared before the race got back underway.
The race featured an interesting fight between Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso which saw the Spaniard perform one of the best overtakes in the history of the sport as he passed the German around the outside of the fast 130R curve.
Eventually through pit stops, Fisichella took the lead of the race with Raikkonen working his way through the field, which included overtaking Michael Schumacher around the outside in turn one.
After Fisichella had stopped a second time, Raikkonen took the lead, he relinquished it back to Fisichella when he also made his second stop. However Raikkonen began to close the gap to the Renault and on the start of the final lap overtook Fisichella round the outside, going into turn one. The top two stayed that way for the final lap meaning that Raikkonen claimed victory for McLaren ahead of the Renault’s of Fisichella and Alonso.
After the Event
The following race was the Chinese Grand Prix, which was the final round of the 2005 season. It saw Fernando Alonso finish ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Ralf Schumacher who claimed the other two podium places.