Michael wins…

… but was Alonso quickest? It’s hard to tell, since surely Michael backed off as soon as he was clear of Fisi. He had twenty seconds and about 15 laps in hand. There wasn’t really a chance Alonso could catch him. I think Renault are closer, but the Ferraris might still have the edge. Hopefully we’ll see in Japan.

Michael won not just the on-track race, but the psychological one too. Every little incident is being used to try to gain an edge: the Renault mechanic over the radio to Alonso after qualifying saying ‘poor Michael is down in sixth’ was quite striking for me. It also seemed like the attitude of Alonso and Fisi changed between the post-qualifying press-conference and the pig-pen afterwards – as if someone had briefed them on the correct stance to take in order to put more pressure on Ferrari: they suddenly became extremely positive about their pace in the dry and the wet, where before they had been quite vague. Michael, however, does have the upper-hand now, having beaten them in their own conditions, and at a track he wasn’t supposed to like, before going to two tracks he loves…

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