The German had begun his mind games even before the circus arrived in Italy, setting up a curious conclusion to the race. Would Alonso simply succumb to the pressure being placed on his young shoulders? Or would he think of the championship, and allow his pursuer by? Both would have shown mental weakness, and the Spaniard wasn't about to hand any advantage to his older adversary, regardless of the comfortable cushion between them in points.
The game of cat-and-mouse continued right to the last and, with little to lose, Schumacher began to make bolder moves with a lap to run. A big move at Tosa was rebuffed, but the German was far from done, and shaped up to try again at Piratella and Acqua Minerale. Again, Alonso had just enough to fend the Ferrari
off and, at Variante Alta, Schumacher made the slightest slip, losing his line and effectively ending his challenge. It would have taken a big lunge at Rivazza to dislodge the Renault
now, and Schumacher wisely opted against it, despite still looking for the slightest flaw to exploit on the run to the flag.
In the end, two-tenths was all the split the new and old guard as they blasted across the stripe. However, with Ferrari
clearly getting to grips with the F2005, how much will that change in the races to come....