It was a dominant Michael Schumacher today at Silverstone in a frantic paced British Grand Prix, taking a composed victory with a superlative drive underlying the true class of a champion at the very top of his game.
Schumacher did face a challenge from the unlikeliest of quarters, in 2004 season terms at least, as Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren showed that the B spec car is truly a revelation relative to the dog that was the original MP4-19, but were in not for a safety car period brought about by Jarno Trulli's Renault destroying itself at Bridge, Schumacher would have won by a country mile.
The weather at Silverstone was variable to say the least as the F1 cars lined up on the grid at Silverstone. Overcast, humid and sticky one moment cold and windy the next. Conditions that were sure to affect contemporary F1 cars such is their sensitivity to climatic change.
Come the lights going out Raikkonen was a revelation. We're used to the Renaults shooting off better than anyone else come race start but this time it was Kimi who blitzed away such that he made 3.5 seconds on the first lap to his nearest contender. Later the Bridgestone runners were to say it was the weather conditions which helped Kimi's Michelins, but still…
The actual Renault near the front at the start disappointed at the start, Trulli starting on the grid in fifth place and ending the first lap in that very same position. Much was the same for many of the runners in Silverstone.
About the only movement at the start was Japanese driver Takuma Sato causing Juan Pablo Montoya some interest by passing the Colombian, though the Williams man was soon to gain that position back.
Come the end of the third lap Raikkonen had stretched out a mammoth 4.3 second lead and set a new race lap record in the process, but the Bridgestone runners behind were getting to operating temperature too now and their charge would soon begin.
It was charging action too at the other end of the starting grid with another driver working wonders, Giancarlo Fisichella on a weekend where Sauber had made a quantum leap forwards. Seems like Ferrari finally sent the instructions on how to set-up last year's car. The start had seen Fisi move up from his twentieth place start to seventeenth, but that was only the start of his progress forwards.
Once Rubeniho's tyres were up to temperature it was the Brazilian's turn to set the records as Michael's no.2 was the first man into the 1min 19s, though Raikkonen was to retort immediately as the two driver traded quick laps.