Both Michael Schumacher and Ferrari have for many years seemed unbeatable. The sight of the tall imposing German standing on the podium risked becoming repetitive, as did the smiling diminutive figure of Ferrari team boss Jean Todt. Formula One fans even started to use the word "boring" so administrators took things in hand and changed the Grand Prix rules, putting the emphasis back on driving skills and less on technological trickery embedded in the cars.

The changes to the rules appear to have worked as Schumacher has suffered another defeat and his fellow Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello failed to finish the race on Sunday in Sepang, Malaysia. The race was won by the Renault driver Fernando Alonso. The Renault team boss Flavio Briatore is particularly happy as his team also won the Australian Grand Prix with another driver, Giancarlo Fisichella.

Some are blaming the failure of the Ferrari team on the choice of tyres, others on the selection of an old car model adapted to 2005 regulations. Schumacher has asked fans to be patient for at least a month, when he foresees a victory at Imola.