Japanese Grand Prix 2006 Media Review

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The contrast between the headlines in last Monday’s papers and this week’s couldn’t be more stark. Fernando Alonso has gone from being all-but written off to virtually being declared champion by some papers.

Michael Schumacher won admirers among even his sternest critics for his measured response to a heartbreaking late retirement. But quite a few sources have attested to how many people in the media centre were cheering when his Ferrari began belching smoke.

Find out more about what the papers said in this week’s media review.

Headline Smoke signals pointing in Alonso’s direction
Schumacher focuses energies on constructors’ title
They say “Fernando Alonso has been through a lot in the past four months and he must have wondered whether the gods had it in for him.”
We say Missing from several analyses of the race was how Alonso had suffered plenty of misfortune in past races this year.

Headline ‘Content’ Schumacher concedes title to Alonso after engine failure
From hero to zero, Schumacher’s hopes are suddenly blown
Brawn bemoans luck as inquest into Ferrari engine failure begins
Interlagos scrapyard offers German a shred of chance
They say “Interlagos is bumpy, ill-kempt and rather shabby… deep down Schumacher will know he still has an outside chance.”
We say Quite a few writers picked up on the Brazilian circuit’s reputation for unreliability and used it to underline the fact that the championship isn’t over.

Headline Schumacher ready to concede title after Japan blow-up
McLaren test Hamilton for Brazil GP
They say “Alonso took a big risk overtaking Jarno Trulli’s Toyota at the first corner, and later the Renault driver outfoxed Trulli’s team mate Ralf Schumacher.”
We say Not that viewers saw the latter move live because the TV director senselessly cut away. The Times had some words to say about the fact that ITV missed the Schumacher retirement too.”

Headline Honour in defeat for Schumacher
Alonso soars to deserved break
Brazil just the place for talea of the unexpected
Fisichella mourns his closest friend
They say “Michael Schumacher undid a thousand wrongs in Japan yesterday by accepting the cruellest of fates in a manner that would have done a Corinthian proud.”
We say He was gracious – but has he really given up on the title? Don’t be so sure…

Headline It’s Al yours
Waster Kimi rapped
They say “Frank Williams… wants Raikkonen to learn lifestyle lessons from family man Michael Schumacher when he replaces the seven-time world champion next season and cut out the partying.”
We say I see his point, but really, I don’t think Raikkonen needs to be any more boring…

Headline Alonso’s title as Schuey goes up in smoke
Over to you, mate
They say “Alonso turned up for the Japanese Grand Prix complaining the entire world – including his own team – were out to stop him.”
We say I wasn’t convinced by those stories..

Headline It’s over, says Schu
They say “The serial winner, ultimate racer and pantomime villain simply said: ‘For me, the drivers’ championship is over.’ Simple arithmetic tells you that it is not.”
We say Except that with a pantomime villain the crowd always shouts, “he’s behind you”…

Headline Schu is happy to admit defeat
They say “Michael Schumacher finally achieved grace at the most painful point of his career.”
We say More A1 Grand Prix coverage in the Express this week as well.

Headline All yours Fernando
Renault taste Flavio of justice
They say “Schumacher will almost certainly carry with him memories of the bitterest disappointment of 11 years at Maranello.”
We say He’ll pull out all the stops to avoid that in Interlagos.

Headline My title bid is finished – Schuey
Button: We’re a fourth to be reckoned with
Alonso thanks his lucky stars
Smoke signals end for Schumacher
Ferrari to fight on
They say “Schumacher can only steal the title if he takes the chequered flag at Suzuka and Alonso fails to score.”
We say It would be the closest championship finish ever if he did. A similar situation occured in the Indy Racing League this year, so it’s not impossible.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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