2005 Formula One season

2005 Formula One season

:"F1 2005" redirects here. For the video games based on the 2005 Formula One season, see F1 05 & F1 Grand Prix."

The 2005 Formula One season was the 56th FIA Formula One World Championship season. It commenced on March 6, 2005, and saw fierce battles, as Fernando Alonso and the Renault F1 team brought home the World Drivers and Constructors Championships, ending five years of dominance by Michael Schumacher and Scuderia Ferrari. With 19 Grands Prix the 2005 season featured the most events ever.

The most-noted aspect of the season was Ferrari's lack of pace, and races came to be dominated by the Renaults and McLarens, especially those of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen. After early troubles the McLaren was generally considered the faster package, however technical failures and race incidents meant an inability to translate this into either championship.

The 2005 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis saw only three out of ten teams race in a bizarre mishap when it turned out (after several failures) that the Michelin tyres for the other seven teams could not be safely used on the surface of the track, causing them to withdraw from the race when the FIA refused a change for safety reasons, insisting on keeping to the letter of the regulations. [cite news | title = Seven teams boycott US Grand Prix | publisher = BBC News | date = 2005-06-19 | url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/motorsport/formula_one/4109292.stm | accessdate =2006-10-03]

After a high-flying 2004 season the most conspicuous drop in performance after Ferrari was BAR-Honda who were banned from two races due to regulations infractions. The Toyota team greatly improved and finished on the podium 5 times. Williams, by their standards, had another a poor season and it was announced at the end of June that BMW would split from the team in a deal with Sauber.

After a good start to the year, and despite a late charge from Kimi Räikkönen, Alonso won the world championship by finishing third in the 2005 Brazilian Grand Prix, becoming the youngest ever F1 world champion.

At the final race in China, Renault's Alonso and Fisichella finished first and fourth, with McLaren-Mercedes' Kimi Räikkönen second, to help Renault clinch their first ever world constructors' championship.

This season was the last season for several famous teams. They were the Sauber, Minardi, BAR and the Jordan team. Meanwhile, this was Rubens Barrichello's last season with the Ferrari team and Felipe Massa's last season with the Sauber team.

This season saw all the drivers except Robert Doornbos, Anthony Davidson and Ricardo Zonta scored world championship point(s) for the season and all the race teams scored world championship points for the season.

Drivers and constructors

The following teams and drivers were competitors in the 2005 FIA Formula One World Championship.


Note that bold indicates pole position, and "italics" indicate fastest lap.

Rules changes

For a time there existed a distinct possibility that some teams would be running three race cars per grand prix. (Fewer than 10 teams, or 20 cars, starting on the grid would have resulted in some teams running three cars, under an obscure term in the Concorde Agreement.) By the first round of the season, though, there were ten teams, as Red Bull completed their takeover of Jaguar and were ready to race in Australia. Minardi, which initially received an injunction allowing them to compete despite their cars' non-conformity to new 2005 technical regulations, later modified their cars to adhere to 2005 regulations.


The first six races of the 2005 season used a new qualifying format, marking the third year in five with sharply-revised qualifying rules. Grid position was determimed by aggregate times from two single-lap flying runs, one Saturday afternoon and one Sunday morning. Refueling was allowed after the first qualifying run Saturday; however, the car must have been fuelled for the race for Sunday's qualifying. (Although some rules changes are brought about to even the playing field or to reduce costs, this rule change was prompted by the typhoon which rescheduled qualifying for the 2004 Japanese Grand Prix). Adverse weather conditions affecting either qualifying session impacted the final, aggregate time.

On May 24, the ten team bosses met with Max Mosley and recommended a return to a single, one-lap qualifying run on Saturday on race fuel and race tires, which, having been approved by the FIA World Motorsport Council, took effect at the European Grand Prix on May 29.


A hugely significant change in 2005 was the absence of tyre changes during pit stops. Under new regulations, a driver had to use one set of tyres during qualifying and the race itself. Tyre changes were allowed for punctures and for wet weather, under the direction of the FIA. The FIA had to post a "change in climatic conditions" notice in order for tyre changes to occur normally. After Kimi Räikkönen's disastrous accident at the Nurburgring when his suspension collapsed after a flat-spotted tyre ripped the carbon fiber suspension apart, team principals and the FIA agreed that a single tyre change per car could be made without penalty, provided it was to change a tyre that had become dangerously worn like Räikkönen's had. Obviously, preserving a single set of tyres for the entire race became a new challenge for drivers; the challenge for tyre manufactures was to produce more durable, long-lasting compounds. Michelin-shod runners had a distinct advantage over their Bridgestone counterparts.

Engine life

Formula One engines had to last two race weekends, double that demanded by 2004 regulations. A driver who needed to change an engine was subject to a 10 place grid penalty for the race. Designed to limit revs and power outputs demanded by greater reliability, this regulation was also a cost-cutting measure for engine manufacturers. After the initial race of the season, the FIA acted to close a loophole in this new regulation exposed by BAR, who purposefully pitted their cars rather than finish the race.


The technical aerodynamics regulations were modified to improve competition, especially for cars traveling in another car's aeroflow wake in order to overtake. By changing the size and placement of both front and rear wings, as well as requiring higher noses, the new rules attempted to reduce downforce by roughly one-quarter, but teams developed other chassis innovations to reclaim much of that "lost" downforce.

Delayed starts and race stoppages

If driver stalled his car while entering the final grid, the other cars were sent instantly to new warm-up lap, instead of all drivers stopping their cars and waiting couple of minutes for new start. Stalled car is pushed to the pit lane and the grid is clear when the drivers return.

When the race is red-flagged, the timekeeping system will not stop. The drivers stop on the start/finish straight. The restart is done behind the safety car instead of standing start which was used earlier. Although this rule came in effect in 2005, it was first used in 2007.

Also in safety car situations, the rules were changed that safety car may use pit lane if necessary. This rule change was made following Ralf Schumacher's accident in 2004 United States Grand Prix. This rule hasn't been used yet.


# Anthony Davidson (BAR) raced in Malaysia for an ill Takuma Sato (fever, flu).
# Pedro de la Rosa (McLaren) raced in Bahrain for an injured Juan Pablo Montoya (non-racing shoulder injury); Alexander Wurz was third driver in place of de la Rosa. For the 2005 San Marino Grand Prix, de la Rosa and Wurz swapped roles.
# Vitantonio Liuzzi and Christian Klien are both contracted to Red Bull Racing to participate in at least three races, and have agreed to share their race seat for the season. Klien drove in the first three races; Liuzzi replaced him for the San Marino, Spanish, Monaco, and European Grands Prix; Klien returned again for the Canadian GP, and completed the remainder of the races for the season.
# Robert Doornbos was Jordan third driver for 9 of the first 11 races of the season. Franck Montagny replaced him at the European Grand Prix, Jordan were banned from using a third car at the Canadian Grand Prix after using too many tyres at the previous race. Nicolas Kiesa replaced Doornbos for the German Grand Prix onwards.
# Patrick Friesacher was replaced at Minardi by Robert Doornbos for the 2005 German Grand Prix and beyond due to sponsorship issues.
# No Michelin-shod teams participated in the U.S. Grand Prix for safety reasons, leaving just six cars on the grid at the start of the race.
# Chanoch Nissany became Minardi third driver for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
# Enrico Toccacelo replaced Chanoch Nissany as Minardi third driver for the Turkish Grand Prix.
# Antônio Pizzonia replaced Nick Heidfeld at Williams for the Italian Grand Prix after Heidfeld decided to withdraw after complaining of a severe headache. Earlier in the week, he crashed heavily during a test session at Monza. Pizzonia replaced Heidfeld again for the remaining three races of the season after Heidfeld had a motorcycle accident.
# At the Hungarian Grand Prix, West McLaren Mercedes became Team McLaren Mercedes.
# 2005 was the final year of the 3 litre V10 engine formula.


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