Barcelona, May 14, 2006
The start: Kimi had qualified ninth and at the start accelerated past four cars going into the first corner to take fifth position. Juan Pablo started the race from 12th place and completed the opening lap in 11th spot.
The race: On the 17th lap Alonso triggered the opening round of pit stops for the leading bunch. Kimi was holding third place when he came in for his first stop on lap 22 (7.9sec). He resumed the race in seventh position and was fifth again on lap 26. Kimi came in for his second pit stop on lap 46 (7.6sec) in third position and resumed again in fifth. After 66 laps he took the chequered flag in fifth place.
Juan Pablo spun on lap 18 while holding tenth position. His car got stuck on the kerb and he could not continue.
Kimi Räikkönen: “A rather uneventful race for me. I made a good start where I managed to get up from ninth to fifth and that was all the progress I was able to make. It was simply not possible to keep up with the Renaults and the Ferraris this weekend, and we will spend the time before the Monaco Grand Prix looking at ways to improve.”
Juan Pablo Montoya: “I made a dreadful start off the line and lost three or four places but managed to gain some ground again in the first corner to end up 11th. Then I don’t know quite what happened, but I lost the car and got stuck on the kerb and that was it. The strategy we were running meant that I carried a lot of fuel, and I think with the ways things were looking we could have scored some points today. Overall a difficult weekend for us, but we will continue testing this week and then look forward to the Monaco Grand Prix.”
Ron Dennis, Team Principal: “A difficult weekend for us where despite a good drive by Kimi, we were only able to achieve fifth place. The whole team is working hard to improve the package to increase our performance in the coming races.”
Norbert Haug, Vice President Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “To be the third team behind Renault and Ferrari again and the gap to the leaders is a disappointment that we have to change. Kimi made a perfect start to improve from ninth to fifth, but the overall pace of his car was not fast enough, and he delivered what was possible today. Juan Pablo was on a one stop strategy, but he spun out of a possible points result the cause of which we will investigate. Our attention is now on improving our technical package during the next races.”