Aku no Hana

It has been a while I got this excited for an anime. In fact, I can't remember the last anime that got me all worked out like this. Needless to say, I think Aku no Hana is a very awesome anime. I definitely recommended it to everyone.

A Year Older: Again

It’s that day when I got another level up in life. I’m turning a year older again today. So many things have changed in a course of a year. I read what I wrote on my birthday last year and I almost choked with laughter at how ridiculous everything sounds.

Goodbye 2012 and Hallo 2013

So overall, year 2012 has indeed been kinder to me. I have achieved what I set out to achieve but most importantly, I unexpectedly found love which is easily the highlight of the year for me.

Light Writings: Love II

I need an outlet to express how I feel nowadays. To be honest, things are going too good for me at the moment to the point that I am sort of living in fear for I do not want these extremely good feelings, and the love I have for him to end. If all these are gone tomorrow, there is a big probability that I might lose sanity.

Light Writings: Crush II

Welp, looks like we are having this conversation again after so many years. Well 2 years and 3 months to be exact. The last time I wrote about my crush, I was in a different state of mind where I know it can be nothing more than just that, a crush.

19 December 2006

Happy Feet

If you haven't seen this movie yet, what the hell are you waiting for?!

Go and give yourself a treat. You deserved to have a good laugh once in a while and Happy Feet is just perfect.

I love the five Amigos' characters: Raul, Nestor, Rinaldo, Lombardo and especially Ramón. They are so damn cracking funny. Never failed to bring a smile on my face everytime I remember their characters. Such good friends are hard to comeby nowadays.

I watched this movie 2 times within 3 days and still I couldn't get enough of the Amigos.

Here are some of the memorable quotes from the movie (all from Ramón as he's the reason I love this movie sooo much!)

Ramón: Just a moment. I hear people wanting something... ME!


Leopard Seal: Come here, sausage. I take you with ketchup!
Ramón: Yeah, but first you gotta catch up!


Ramón: You know, chica chica, boom boom.
Mumble: You are not interested in chicas?
Ramón: You kidding? Without us the chicas got no boom


Ramón: You just got to do exactly what I say!
Mumble: Okay.
Ramón: Did I say "okay"?
Mumble: No.
Ramón: No. What did I say?
Mumble: Do exactly what you say.
Ramón: EXACTLY what I say!


Ramón: Kiss my frozen tushy! Kiss it, kiss it!


Leopard Seal: Remember dumplings, I know where you live.
Ramón: That's right lardface, it's called LAND!


Ramón: We've got personality with a capital Y. Why? Because we're HOT!


Raul: What you huggin me for?
Ramón: He told me to.
Raul: Get away.
Ramón: No, you like it!


Hehehe. Lets boogey guys!! Mambo!!!

p/s: Also if you want to hear Britanny Murphy, Hugh Jackman and other actors in this movie sings, go and watch it. You won't be disappointed.

18 December 2006


Another gripping dark fantasy adventures for my collection. I heard about this book last couple of years but only recently had I bought it and I'm glad I did.

Sabriel by Garth Nix is the first book of the trilogy. It started off with a flashback in which Abhorsen saves his new born baby daughter Sabriel from death and from Kerrigor. Then it brings you to Ancelstierre where Sabriel grows up since she was five years old at the Wyverly college.

Abhorsen is a necromancer but instead of raising the dead, he lays the dead back to rest.

One night when Sabriel was eighteen, she receives a message along with his father's sword and bandolier that contain the bells. This could only mean that his father, a famous necromancer, is in the realm of the dead, and she as Abhorsen's daughter must taken on his father's title and duty.

This forced Sabriel to go back to the Old Kingdom to search for his father's body. But first she must crosses the Wall and go to Abhorsen's house. Since she was practically raised in Ancelstierre she has little knowledge of Old Kingdom. On her way there, she met with a Mordicant, Kerrigor's servant who determined to kill her by any means. She escapes from the Mordicant when she crosses the river but only memontarily.

At Abhorsen's house she met with a dangerous/funny soul that has taken a form of a cat named Mogget. Mogget has served the Abhorsen's family for hundred of years and was bound by the miniature Saraneth on his neck-collar.

Sabriel is convinced that her father's body must lay somewhere in Bellisaere. Mogget then accompany Sabriel for the journey but went wayward when they were attacked by another Kerrigor's servant. They landed in Holehallow where Mogget free of his cat form tried to diminished Sabriel and if not for the ring handed by Mogget before the journey Sabriel would have been dead.

At Holehallow Sabriel freed Touchstone that was trapped as a figurehead for 200 years. Touchstone swears then to serve Sabriel and along the way, romance bloom between Sabriel and Touchstone.

Sabriel found his father's body in Ballisaere and realized Kerrigor's want both his father and her blood to break the Charter stone that keep Old Kingdom from descending into evil. The only way to defeat Kerrigor is to find and destroy Kerrigor's original body which he kept alive with Free Magic.

In her journey to saves Abhorsen and the Old Kingdom, Sabriel had to endures almost impossible exhaustion, evil confrontation and near-death experiences that challenges her supernatural abilities as an Abhorsen.

I was sceptical at first and not sure whether I will like this book once I finish reading it but after few pages its an effort to actually put this book down. Nix brought you immediately into the action. You might feel disoriented at first but will get used to it quickly and glad that Nix made it so so that you are actually be part of the story and not just someone reading a story.

This is not your typical good-vs-evil kind of book. Nix delves deeply into the mystical world of necromancy, magic and the monstrosity of the undead. Who would have thought a book that uses bells to bind the dead can be so enjoyable?

I am already delving into Lirael, the sequal.

12 December 2006

Cinta vs. Nana Tanjung

So, as promised to alea, here's what I think about these two movies:

Cinta: Nicely done, thought-provoking, sweet and funny

Nana Tanjung: dumb, dumb, dumb and dumb.

Note that I would never waste my money to watch film directed by Razak. And I am not gonna start with this film. They are just too dumb for my taste and honestly it is shockingly bizarre to see people (malay mostly and most unfortunately) flocking to cinemas to catch this latest film of his, made it hit the box office in its first week! Just goes to show how stupid certain people are.

But I don't blame them (not entirely, no). Razak, being a lecturer, should has known his responsibilities to the public to produce/direct film that can elevates Malay, not stereo-typing them to become this stupid-good-for-nothing-except-make-a-dumb-ass-outa-themselves Malay.

How dare he earns money with films that always have the same basic story line, the same hero and the same heroin with a flop plot. How dare he makes profit from the hard-earn money people toil upon? How dare he thinks Malaysian public are so f*cking stupid by producing/directing films with such poor/non-existed quality? How dare he! How dare he!

Is he tries to duplicate what he had done with Anak Mami which have god-knows how many sequals? If he is, god help us all. But wait, the rumor I heard says that he had planned to make Nana Tanjung 2.

What the f*ck? Somebody shoot him already!

Look, I'm not just comparing Cinta and Nana Tanjung alone, but there are other Malay movies that are worth your money to buy their ticket and see it in the big screen like The Red Kebaya or Gubra or Sepet or Bilut or Spinning Gasing or PGL. These are the movies worth taking note of, movies that elevates Malay in the eye of cinematography world. Please avoid movies directed by Razak or Yusof Haslam. They were produced simply to make profit from your hard-earn money.

The next time you decide to watch a movie, think about this: Do you think you will halalkan the money you spent on that movie? If not, go watch another movie, or better yet, sedekahkan that money to the needy.

08 December 2006

Drowning Ruth

No, this book is not a sequal nor it is a prequal to The Book of Ruth I reviewed earlier. In fact the only thing they had in common (besides the protagonist's name) is both are featured in Oprah's Book Club collections. Oh and also there's a murder involve. That makes it two things in common then ;)

Drowning Ruth featured two (okay four if you want to include Mattie and Imogene) women characters, Ruth and Amanda (Aunt Mandy to Ruth). The writer, Christina Schwarz, first introduced to the reader the childhood of Amanda and the events that led her to came back to the farm where her sister Mathilda (Mattie) lives with her daughter Ruth which then a three year old girl. Carl, Mattie's husband has gone off for the First World War.

Because the conditions she's in (thanks to Clement Owens), Amanda deceptively forced Mattie to lives on the Island (where Mattie lives before Carl left for the war). The island will be perfect for hiding the secret she has growing inside of her. Mattie who always the one who likes to lives on the edge agreed despite the fact that winter will coming on soon, and the island would be obsolete from the rest of the world, which exactly the exact reason why Amanda chose to live there.

When Mattie found out Amanda's secret, she was first shocked but being a woman with full of life, she quickly support Amanda and pushes away all visitors that came to the island.

On one faithful night, Mattie mysteriously disappeared and was found days later, frozen in the lake. She had drowned.

Mattie then took care of Ruth, and her secret was given away to Mrs.Lingdren.

When Carl gets home, he found Ruth in Amanda's tenacious grip but gradually Ruth felt at home with his father. As the years gone by, Carl had been wondering what exactly had happened to his wife. Since Amanda will not say a thing about what had happened the night his wife drowned, Carl had been looking for clues which led to a big misunderstanding. He never really knows the truth about what had really happened to Mathilda.

Growing up, the event of her mother's death became more vivid to Ruth. Tormented she found refuge in Imogene and they basically grew up together. The relationship between these two are close. Amanda knowing who Imogene really is kept a close eye on both of them. When Arthur Owens came into the picture, Amanda became restless. This then led to some momentus event and the discovery of what had actually taken place the night Mattie drowned.

Amanda's character is intricately woven and has so many layer which made me felt sorry for her, and sometimes wanted to strangle her myself. I wish for the confrontation between some of the characters when the situation warranted it but I recognize the time period and the limitations they faced on behavioral 'expectation'.

The writer has a gift of pacing the story and makes it a thrill to unravelled the truth. I really enjoys the book although a bit disappointed at the end as I see it as anticlimatic. I will recommend it nevertheless though to both Oprah readers and mystery fans.

05 December 2006


"One of the pleasures of writing this novel, was to say to my Turkish readers and to my international audience, openly and a bit provocatively, but honestly, that what they call a terrorist is first of all a human being. Our secularists, who are always relying on the army and who are destroying Turkey's democracy, hated this book because here you have a deliberate attempt by a person who was never religious in his life to understand why someone ends up being what we or the Western world calls an Islamic fundamentalist terrorist." - Orhan Pamuk

Understanding is everything, although it does not immediately change anything.

Ka, a poet from Istanbul, return to Turkey for his mother's funeral after spending 12 years as a political exile in Germany. He then decides to visit a small Turkish town of Kars. His reasons are 1)his curiosity about the suicide epidemic among young girls 2)his love for Ipek - whom he had a crush when he was young.

He arrives in Kars when the snows start to fall which then quickly turn into blizzard, closing all major roads out of Kars. He was asked to report on the impending municipal election as well as to gets into the root of why teenage girls, mostly who have been barred from the secular university for covering their hair, are suicidal.

At his first day in Kars, he witnessed an assination of Director of Education, the man who has carried out the government's orders to ban the "headscarf girls" from school. He then comes into contact with Blue, "an infamous Islamist terrorist", a pious student named Necip and Ipek's sister, Kadife, the leader of the head-scarf girls. Afterwards, a military coup at the National Theater begins when soldiers burst in, shoot randomly into the audience, kill a number of people, then round up "dangerous" citizens, including some of the people Ka has encountered earlier. To cut long story short, Ka's life is in danger.

All the while his love and burning passion for Ipek intensified. In one brilliant sequence, he negotiates a statement of unity between the city's Islamist, Kurdish and socialist leaders for the sole purpose of luring Ipek's father out of the hotel where they live, so that he can make love to her. It is also in Kars when he regains his inspiration for the first time in four years, and poems come to him as if dictated by a higher power. Ka's rediscovery of God and poetry in a desolate place makes the novel's sadness profound and moving.

The title of this book is just absolutely perfect. This novel turn out to be governed by a "deep and mysterious underlying structure" similar to that of a snowflake. The deeper you read, the more the symmetries multiply. Nearly every character has a double, down to the narrator himself, who is eventually revealed to be a novelist friend of Ka's named Orhan. Clever twist. All these mirror images might create a dizzying effect, which is deepened by the snow that begins to fall on the first page of the novel and does not let up until nearly the end.

IMHO, this book does shed some lights of what our world as we know it is becoming. It is as much about Islam as about anything else. To most people nowadays - secularist or whatever they want to call themselves, religion is nothing more than a foreign word. God help them.

Bear in mind this book was published in Turkey and Europe before September 11. After reading it, I feel like the novel has an ominous prescience to it as it seems like life attempting an awkward imitation of his art.

I definitely recommend this book. The only problems with it IMO come from it being a translation but you'll enjoy it nonetheless. It may not be the easiest read, but it's an important one.

Understanding is everything, even when it changes nothing. Perhaps it is all we at times, can do.

03 December 2006


"Stories never really end, Meggie, even if the books like to pretend they do. Stories always go on. They don't end on the last page, any more than they begin on the first page." - Mo

A truth telling as this book is unplanned for.

As the sequal to Inkheart, Inkspell stories of the Inkworld begins when Dustfinger was read back to the book by a strange charactered man named Orpheus leaving his apprentice Farid behind. Orpheus has always loved Inkheart and held Dusftfinger in highest regards. He's to him the hero of the story which explained why he purposedly did not read Farid into the story as per instructed by Dustfinger.

Right after Dustfinger disappeared into Inkworld, Basta came and if not for his quick feet, Farid would have been captured. He realized that Orpheus had been working for Basta and Mortola all this while.

Farid was determined to followed Dustfinger into Inkworld thus he looked for the only person he knew that can help red him in to the book - Maggie. When he reached Elinor's place, he warned Mo about Basta and Mortola but Mo did not think they will catch up with them anytime soon.

Meggie had been warned by Mo not to read aloud but Meggie didn't listened. She has been wanting to see Inkworld for herself and Farid had presented her with the opportunity to do just so. Without the knowledge of Mo and her mother, Meggie decided to follow Farid in to Inkheart.

In Inkworld, Farid went looking for Dustfinger and Meggie stayed with Fenoglio who have created a character based on Mo. Fenoglio who didn't like the way the story he created goes, asked Meggie to help him to changed it. He wrotes several new lines and Meggie did make it happened when she read them aloud but does things goes as he had planned?

Meanwhile in the real world, Mortola and Basta had come to Elinor's place. With the help of Orpheus, she brought Mo and Ressa to Inkheart so she can revenged them for her son's death. Once they reached Inkworld, she shot Mo.

Mo then was captured because he was mistaken with the Blue Jay. Meggie learnt about this and with the help of Dustfinger and Farid went looking for her parent thus the adventure trully begins.

Again, I did not dwell much on Dustfinger because if I do so, I will spoil everything but know this fact: Dustfinger has soared to new heights! The ending is unexpected (I'm not ashamed to admit that I shed tears reading it) and make it quite clear that it's not over as yet.

Note also then the evolution of Farid and Meggie's romance is heartwarming.

Can't wait to be enchanted by Inkdawn which scheduled to be released in 2008.

01 December 2006

The book of Ruth

Gosh, I have plenty of book reviews pending. Will try to find time to post it. Promise. So here's one I've finished read a month ago. This particular book took me more than two weeks to read it because at times I find the writer a bit overzealous.

The book is called The Book of Ruth and rightly so since it was supposedly written by the protagonist Ruth Grey who in my opinion is a bit mental in the head. She lives in a small town in Illinois with her verbally-abusive mother (May) and had a genious for a brother (Matt). The book basically tells the story of how Ruth survives with all the misfortunes that betide her family.

Matt is like the polar opposite of Ruth. He is a math prodigy and since he was a kid, May has been preoccupied with him and neglected Ruth. But Matt always felt suffocates with May's attention and he never gets along with Ruth. When he finally leaves for college, he cuts off communication with his family.

For Ruth to counter-balance the negativities that she received from May, she conjured up an angelic icon of Aunt Sid (May's younger sister). She found friends with the oddest personalities and fell in love with the worst.

Ruth married Ruby who in my opinion is more disfunction than Ruth. They has no other choice but to stay with May. Ruby and May did not get along at all. The tension is always there and it gets worse when her baby came along.

The ending of this book is twisted and unexpected. You expect something big to happen but then it hits you without warning. The last couple of chapters of this book were the only thing that kept me engaged and wanting to know more, which of course means I have to finish reading it eventhough it is 2.50am!

What astounding about this book is you can see Ruth narrates her families and the people around her with amazing astuteness and yet she remain clueless with the string of bad decisions and dreadful choices she made.

This is not the most upbeat book I've read but I'll tell you this: It sure is thought provoking.

08 November 2006

It's the economy, stupid!

Sign this please, for the sake of Malaysia's future.

It's the economy, stupid!

10 October 2006

Congratulatory note

Congratulations to A1 Team Malaysia and Alex Yoong for winning the Sprint and Feature Race of the A1GP round 2 at Brno last weekend.

06 October 2006

pitstop on A1 Team Malaysia car

Check this out, pitstop's url on A1 Team Malaysia car last weekend at Zandvoort.

Many thanks, A1 Team Malaysia!

02 October 2006

2006 Chinese GP

Michael Schumacher chased away his Chinese jinx with a thrilling win on the outskirts of Shanghai as he drew level with Fernando Alonso in the World Championship with two races to go. Michael and Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro timed their pit stops to perfection, making the right tyre choices as the track dried, while Michael's championship rival made life difficult for himself by changing to a new set of intermediates at his first pit stop, when others stayed on worn sets.

Michael's moment came when Giancarlo Fisichella ran wide as he exited the pits after his second stop and ran wide, allowing the Ferrari driver into the lead which he held to the end. Fisichella eased up, allowed teammate Alonso to overtake thus limiting his loss to his two point lead in the championship so that they are level as they go into the final two rounds of the championship.

Felipe Massa, after his engine penalty, fought hard to drive through the field but David Coulthard turned in on him as he came down the inside to overtake at the hairpin and the resulting damage put the second Ferrari out of the race.

The 56 lap race started on a damp track in front of a huge and enthusiastic crowd. All cars were on intermediates and the Renaults took the lead, although Kimi Raikkonen made a superb start and tried to come around the outside, eventually slotting into third, overtaking the Hondas of Jenson Button now ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello. Michael stayed sixth, Pedro de la Rosa stayed seventh but Scott Speed picked up three places for eighth, ahead of Nick Heidfeld and Tonio Liuzzi.

Alonso quickly pulled away at the rate of a second a lap from Fisichella who held off Raikkonen. Button was next, leaving Barrichello to hold off Michael Schumacher and the pair were caught by de la Rosa. But out of the hairpin on lap eight, Michael overtook his former teammate to move up to fifth place.
By lap 12, Alonso had a 15s lead over Fisichella under real pressure from Raikkonen who got by on the next lap, while Michael caught and passed Button on the straight to move into fourth place.

Button was one of the first to stop on lap 15 with Raikkonen coming in a lap later, but he only lasted two more laps before he pulled off with a throttle problem. That left Alonso with a 19s lead over his teammate, but Michael was now on Fisichella's tail. They had a lengthy lead over Heidfeld in fourth, Mark Webber was fifth from Barrichello who had come out ahead of teammate Button. Kubica and de la Rosa were next.

Michael made his first pit stop on lap 21 and left the tyres on the Ferrari whereas Alonso came in a lap later and fitted new tyres. Fisichella pitted a lap after that and also left his wets on. Alonso's stop had already cost him an extra eight seconds so that he was now only 10s ahead of his teammate while Michael was only a couple of seconds behind Fichella. Kubica pitted on lap 24 and Heidfeld a lap later, close to half distance.

Alonso rapidly lost time, so that his 10s lead had disappeared within four laps and although Fisichella overtook his teammate on lap 29, Alonso got ahead again immediately, and the Italian had to wait another lap before he could make it stick. A lap later Michael also overtook his championship rival.

On a drying track, the pair left Alonso behind so that he was 7.7s behind before he finally changed to dries on lap 35. Michael was right on Fisichella's tail when he brought the Ferrari in for its second stop on lap 40 and Fisichella came in a lap later. But the Italian slid straight off as he rejoined, and Michael nipped through and into a 10 second lead.

There was no surprise that Fisichella eased up and allowed Alonso to overtake but by then Michael Schumacher was heading to the chequered flag, drawing level with Alonso in the championship. Renault, however, regained a tiny one point lead in the Constructors.

Heidfeld was heading for fourth place when he was blocked by a slower car and hit by the closely following Barrichello who spun him, so Button nipped through for fourth, de la Rosa claimed fifth and Barrichello sixth from the recovered Heidfeld and Webber. The FIA were investigating the incident late on Sunday night.

Massa fought his way up from the back to the grid to fifth before his pit stop, rejoining tenth and then working his way up to ninth before his car-damaging collision with Coulthard.

The championship now moves to Japan next weekend before the finale in Brazil. Michael Schumacher can win the championship next weekend, but Alonso cannot.

17 September 2006

Support Ferrari

I'm still a Sauberian at heart so when the official announcement had finally been made, I'm among the first to celebrate.

I've got two of my favorite boys in a Ferrari next year. Tell me how can I not celebrate? :o)

For those who were buta F1 (kata omputeh : know nuts about F1) I'll explained: Kimi Raikkonen will replace the seven times World Champion Michael Schumacher at Ferrari from 2007 to 2009. Felipe Massa will continue his service for the red scarlet team for another 2 years after his outstanding performance throughout this season, giving the World Champion a run for his money. In case you haven't notice yet, both Kimi and Felipe started their career at Sauber and since I'm a true Sauberian, I will support these two drivers with outmost passion.

Having said that, I would like to make myself clear on three things:
  1. I am still a big fan of Nick Heidfeld. He is the top guy in my favorite drivers list.
  2. I am still a big supporter of BMW Sauber F1 Team. They come first.
  3. I would be buying Massa's merchandise instead of Kimi's.

Can't wait for the new season to start specially when BMW Sauber had showed power recently to potentially be a contender for the top three teams in 2007. God's willing.


04 September 2006

kluxorious' book list

Okay, I've done the lists (as per requested) so here it is.

kluxorious library for family

If you are interested to read any of the book, you know where to find me.

Hobey-Ho, enjoy!!

02 September 2006

Strange Fits of Passion

Its been what? More than 5 months since I last introduce a book. I was busy and to prove that, I have only read 6 books for since I last post anything that has to do with books.

I just finished a novel from Anita Shreve entitled Strange Fits of Passion. I've been a fan of her since I read The Pilot's Wife.

Strange Fits of Passion is a story about domestic violence that happened during the ignorance era of 70's.

The book begin when Helen Scofield visited Caroline, to hand over her research and notes from a famous story she wrote decades earlier about the girl's mother.

Maureen English is married to her husband Harrold. How they'd met and the kind of relationship she had with Harrold is described clearly at the beginning of her stories. The abuses had started even before she get married and after the birth of their daughter, things were begin to be a lot worse. She then took her daughter who were then only sixth month old and flees to a small town in coastal Maine. She took on a new name, Mary Amesbury and lived in hiding.

In all those time, Harrold who had a slumped in his career was looking for her and his daughter. Because the his nature of work, he have ways to find information and people if he wants to and if he finds her, he going to kill her.

Then came one morning when Caroline, the daughter, caught a flu and was taken to a clinic in Machias. She was allergic to one of the antibiotics and Mary couldn't remember exactly which one was she allergic to. Mary didn't have any choice but to call up the doctor in New York and this led to the finding of her hiding.

Confrontation between Mary/Maureen and Harrold happened and to Mary/Maureen the only way for her to get her life back, is if Harrold dies. She then took the matter into her own hands.

The book consists of reports from various characters that appear in the book, and these reports were used as testament in court. The written article by Helen also has a profound effect of Mary/Maureen's family life.

At the end of the book we get to read Helen's original article and consider the accuracy and sensationalism of Helen's take on the story.

The structure of the book certainly makes it a fascinating read. All in all, this is a wonderful book, challenging, intriquing, thought-provoking. You'll be glad you read it.

28 August 2006

2006 Turkish GP

A great debut victory

Felipe Massa scored a great debut victory in winning the Turkish Grand Prix on the outskirts of Istanbul on Sunday. He led almost throughout the 58 lap race, held in 36 degree heat to establish himself in third place in the championship, and move Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro to within two points of the championship lead.

But teammate Michael Schumacher was beaten into third place by championship rival Fernando Alonso, the pair finishing just 0.081s apart as Michael made a late lunge for the finishing line. The seven time World Championship had been overtaken by Alonso when the leading cars all pitted for fuel and tyres when the safety car came out after 14 laps. Massa came in first, requiring Michael to wait for service which allowed Alonso to overtake. His deficit to the Spaniard in the championship grew by two points to 12.

At the start, Michael's fears of the dirtier inside line were realised in the charge down to the first corner, allowing Massa to lead although Michael just grabbed second from Alonso who was pincered by the Ferraris. He backed off which surprised teammate Giancarlo Fisichella who spun causing chaos. The Renault driver, Ralf Schumacher, Nick Heidfeld and Kimi Raikkonen were among those who had to pit at the end of the lap for damage, which allowed Webber up to fourth from ninth on the grid, Jenson Button up one place to fifth, Nico Rosberg up from 14th to sixth, Tonio Liuzzi up from 18th to seventh and Robert Kubica who remained eighth.

During the opening stages, Massa opened up a 3.2s lead by lap three but there it stayed, until dropping to 1.9s on lap 13. Michael remained consistent in second place, but Fernando Alonso dropped away in fourth. Button had disposed of Webber to claim fifth place, the Honda driver briefly catching Alonso, while Webber was soon challenged by Kubica until his challenge faded, having overtaken Rosberg.

On lap 14, the safety car came out after Liuzzi, who had also faded, spun at the first corner and his Scuderia Toro Rosso needed to be removed. All the leaders dived for the pits, the Ferraris arriving in race order: Massa ahead of Michael. While the German driver waited, Alonso swept passed into second place, and when the safety car went in a few laps later, Alonso was on Massa's tail, if only briefly.

Michael was back in third place now ahead of Button, with Rosberg, who didn't stop, in fifth place. Christian Klien was soon to be overtaken for sixth by Pedro de la Rosa, both non-stoppers. Then came Jarno Trulli having a massive battle with Rubens Barrichello.

During the next 20 laps, Massa gradually eased away from Alonso, while Michael wasn't far behind until he ran wide at turn eight and lost four seconds. Button was now close behind Michael, but not quicker. De la Rosa was next after Trulli, Klien and Barichello all pitted. De la Rosa pitted on lap 30 as did Fisichella close behind him.

The first four were in a class of their own, with three of them making another pit stop on lap 39, leaving Michael ahead for three laps before he came in on lap 43. When he emerged, he was now just behind Alonso and the pair of them ran nose-to-tail for the remainder of the race, Michael hoping that Alonso might make a tiny mistake, but he was to be disappointed. Massa led the pair by 13s but he eased up in the closing stages to win by 5.5s. Alonso was just ahead of Michael, with Button in a safe fourth place.

Fifth place eventually went to de la Rosa, 33s further back, but he was pushed by Fisichella in the closing stages and then came Ralf Schumacher just winning his Japanese battle from Barrichello. Trulli was ninth, again pushed hard by Webber.

Alonso now leads the Drivers' championship by 108 points from Michael's 96, while Renault are two points ahead of Ferrari, 160 to 158 pts.

- Ferrari Press Office

07 August 2006

2006 Hungarian GP

Jenson Button has won his very first Grand Prix at the 2006 Hungarian Grand Prix after a chaotic race in which de la Rosa finished second with Heidfeld third.

With heavy rainfall in the morning, this was always going to be a tricky race to call… and so it proved. As the lights went out Kimi Raikkonen made a perfect getaway from pole as Barrichello slotted into second and de la Rosa third as Massa was swamped following a poor getaway. Michael Schumacher was showing he meant business with an incredible start had taken him from 11th to 4th, with Fernando Alonso taking sixth from 13th on the grid, just behind Giancarlo Fisichella in fifth.

Fernando was on a mission, dispatching first his team-mate before harrying Schumacher for fourth. On lap four he made his way past the Ferrari in an epic move around the outside of turn five. As the rain still fell and conditions remained treacherous Webber slid off the track, while Raikkonen continued to pull away up front.

But Jenson Button was also on a move, passing Schumacher for fourth having started 14th after Barrichello had stopped incredibly early on lap 5. Schumacher was losing pace, and before the first round of pitstops he and Fisichella were locked in an intense battle which was resolved in the Italian’s favour at the first turn when the Italian flew past and the German appeared to side swipe him as he struggled for grip offline. All this served to do however was annihilate his own front wing. The German stopped for fuel and a front nose assembly, while the Italian spun as he chased after Fernando.

All the leaders were in for pitstops when a safety car period raised its head, the result of Raikkonen driving straight into Liuzzi’s gearbox as he attempted to lap the Toro Rosso driver. With the leader out, Alonso inherited first place on a track that was drying fast as the sun came out.

Button by now was second, on merit. His Honda team had pulled something out of the bag and the car was running brilliantly. Schumacher meanwhile had been lapped by Alonso and was having a nightmare.

The safety car had bunched the field up, but Button was flying and had pulled the gap to Alonso down to under half a second. The Briton came in for his second stop and changed onto dry tyres. He emerged in second and the onus was now on Alonso to move. He did so almost immediately, emerging just behind the Briton.

But an apparent problem with Alonso’s front right caused his tyre to wobble and for Fernando to leave the track at Turn 2, bringing an enthralling battle between him and Button to a premature conclusion.

Somehow, and nobody could quite figure out how, Schumacher now sat second and was looking odds on to improve his position in the fight for the championship with Alonso now out of the running. The German had been pretty well off the pace for most of the race, but some smart driving in tricky conditions had left him well up the order.

But all of a sudden de la Rosa was on Schumacher’s tail, and just a handful of laps from the end the Spaniard was through and Schumacher was slowing, eventually pulling into the pits to retire.

Nick Heidfeld had driven a solid race to finish third, as Barrichello came home fourth to give the Honda boys even bigger grins. David Coulthard was 6th for Red Bull, while Robert Kubica came home 7th on his F1 debut despite taking his front wing off after a number of early spins, Felipe Massa picked up a single point and Fisichella failed to finish after a disappointing day for both championship contenders.

- Renault F1 Team

30 May 2006

2006 Monaco GP

The news of Eduoard Michelin's death in a strange boating accident on Friday threw a dark cloud over proceedings in Monte Carlo this weekend. This however paled in comparison to the thunderstorm that was to come in qualifying on Saturday.

In the dying moments of qualifying, Michael Schumacher looked like he'd cooked it going into the penultimate corner Rascasse. Locking brakes, he slid wide but managed to keep it off the wall. The German then found himself out of room on the exit. Then, alleged Michael, the engine went into a stall and he was basically stuck on the exit. Behind him, a few drivers were still on hot laps. Michael had secured pole but Fernando Alonso was going at a tremendous rate of knots and looked to snatch the top spot. Michael Schumacher's "stall" put paid to that plan. The Spaniard clearly hesitating going to in Rascasse with waved yellows forcing him to slow down. Alonso was close, mere hundreds of a second away but still lost the battle for pole.

This brought the wrath of the paddock on Michael Schumacher. It must be said that Michael has over the years practised a lot of gamesmanship off and especially on the track. Sometimes he'd even resorted to argy bargy. But certainly, the experienced hands in the paddock were under no illusions about any "engine stall." The action was deliberate to force his competitors to slow down in the mousehole sized Rascasse hairpin and therefore secure his pole. The stewards agreed and Michael was penalized, forced to start the race from the pitlane.

No one expected Monaco to be quite so warm at this time of the year. Indeed Europe entire has been caught in a heat wave uncharacteristic of spring. Nevertheless, Monaco being a very low grip and bumpy track meant that the teams would be bring the softest compound rubber available. But perhaps the compounds they brought might have been too soft.

In a track that is simply next to impossible to overtake on, positioning is absolutely important at the start. Can't get pole, then your start had better be superb. Advantage Renault. And so it was when the lights turned green. Alonso sprinting away from the line. Behind him, Kimi Raikkonen attempted to squeeze Webber on the outside of St Devote. Webber just managed to make it through. Way back behind the two Midlands got themselves into all sorts of daftness, with Montiero getting the worse of it, losing his wings.

Michael Schumacher was in a charging mood though and was right behind Massa going into Mirabeau where Massa once again performed the Ferrari number two trick of simply letting him past. Michael went further and took Montagny on the inside of the Loews hairpin. The Frenchmen might be a better driver than Yuji Ide but he was simply asleep. Michael would continue his progress rather rapidly though and by the end of the first lap had gotten past both the Super Aguris.

Up front, Webber made an error in St Devote and went wide. Kimi snuck in on the inside and climbing up the hill past Beau Rivage, the Finn took second from Webber. Straight away the McLaren went after and caught up with Fernando, much to everyone's surprise including the boffins in Renault. Kimi started the race on brand new rubber, whereas Mark Webber elected to start on used tyres. But if anyone thought the Williams would be easily dropped they'd be wrong, for despite the error Mark hung on grimly with the two leaders ahead of him.

For much of that first stint, Kimi was right behind the tail of Fernando Alonso. It is such a pity that Monaco is such a tight circuit because the cars don't seem to be affected by aero turbulence at all. Following closely behind the car in front looked to be quite comfortable albeit it plays havoc with the car's cooling. Had Monaco had a little more space, cars would be overtaking left right and centre on this track.

By lap 4, Michael Schumacher had dispatched both Christian Albers and Scott Speed and was right behind the hapless Jenson Button who was in absolute horrid form this weekend, the Honda suffering enormous understeer. But here Michael would stay a long time.

In front, the four leaders Alonso, Raikkonen and Webber kept closely in touch with one another and slowly but surely dropping fourth placed Juan Pablo Montoya. Despite sporting a new front wing to provide him with better front end bite, the Colombian was still struggling relative to his teammate. Despite that, the quartet were simply leaving Rubens Barrichello behind for dead. The suspicion was the first four were doing two pitstops versus a single stop for Rubens behind.

Rubens in addition to being dropped, created a huge traffic jam behind him. Rosberg, Coulthard and Fisichella in close company and looking massively quicker but quite frustratingly not finding anyway through the Brazilian. A short gap to Trulli and then another short gap to another massive traffic jam. Christian Klein in the second Red Bull holding up Heidfeld, Ralf Schumacher, Liuzzi, Villeneuve, Button and Michael Schumacher.

Alonso and Kimi in the front meanwhile kept trading fastest laps between them and were slowly dropping Mark Webber. On lap 21, Michael Schumacher, albeit in a massively quicker car made a superb move on Jenson Button going into the Nouvelle chicane. This being the first of many amazing overtaking moves we would see today from a number of drivers.

To the surprise of the conventional wisdom, the first of the pitstops came on lap 21. Montoya, being the first to blink. But by then, the first four were so far ahead of fifth placed Barrichello (39.1 seconds) that Montoya emerged with his fourth place still intact. On the very next lap, Kimi Raikkonen came in as well, to the delight of the Renault crew who could now hope to run faster for longer before their stops.

Once Kimi had done his stop, Mark Webber decided it was time to put the hammer down and make his bid as well. The Australian quickly breaking into the 1m 15s behind Alonso in an effort to leap ahead both Kimi and Fernando. Kimi was having none of it posted the fastest third sector on the next lap. On lap 24, it was Fernando's turn to dive in. He emerged ahead of Kimi but not by much. Somehow one would have expected him to much further ahead but nevertheless his in lap was not very quick.

All eyes were now on Mark Webber who had been going quicker than anyone else at that stage. Could he make it? On lap 25, we would find out but sadly the Australian still emerged back in third. Obviously two stops was the way to go today. After the leaders had stopped, Barrichello was still some 30 seconds adrift. Although it has to be said that the Honda was holding up the cars behind.

All was not well with Fernando in the lead though. On lap 30, it was quite obvious the world champion was slowing down. Not that he was so much quicker after his stop, doing 1m 17 laps. But now it seemed like he was in real trouble, his lap times going to to the 1m 18s. It seemed that Fernando was having trouble with his second set of tyres. Alonso was not only slow but ragged, mixing apexes and simply not having the mechanical grip required to throw the Renault around.

At the time, we were left wondering whether this was a repeat of last year when his tyres simply gave way midway through the race. Surely not with tyre stops being allowed. Later it emerged that Fernando was deliberately slowing down at this stage in a bid to conserve his tyres before the final big push before the second round of stops. A good decision, given the tempratures and the soft rubber compound this weekend.

Michael, had he been a front runner this weekend would definitely been a major force. In clear air, the German could very easily match the pace of the frontrunners. He quickly caught Villeneuve ahead of him. Then Rosberg after the Williams came into the pits on lap 24. Michael made up another place when Fisichella came in and came out behind him.

Coulthard then came in and went back out again ahead of Michael and both got caught up in a massive squabble as the Red Bull driver had to contend with the traffic jam ahead of him and a red hot Michael behind. The Scot definitely all over the place in the effort trying to keep ahead. The cause of the jams at this stage was Nick Heidfeld.

Michael Schumacher finally made his stop on lap 37, which was far longer than anyone else in front. Had he been in front, one would have thought that a race win was definite for Michael. But having said that he spent much of that first stint behind much slower cars lapping at a pace some 3 seconds slower than the leaders. Effectively the Ferrari was on fuel economy mode so its difficult to say but surely he would have stopped later than Alonso.

In front, Alonso's pace continued to be erratic dropping into the 1m 19s, bunching up the leaders. Behind them, Barrichello carried on his merry way holding up Jarno Trulli in the Toyota. Finally both these drivers went into the pits on lap 45. But their strategies worked for they retained the places. Behind them Klein, Fisichella and Coulthard had already been lapped by Fernando Alonso.

Lapping Fisi and Coulthard was in fact one of the most interesting moments of the race. Perhaps confusing Fisichella for Alonso, Coulthard perhaps gave Fisi a little too much room and the Italian, also spurred by the sight of his teammate about to lap him, dived brakes locking and tyres smoking into Nouvelle clipping the kerbs hard but got past the Scot. Klein was next but the Austrian was not to be fooled. The Red Bull pits keeping him well informed of the situation.

Quite unfairly though Mark Webber got held up lap after lap by Fisichella and Klein, the Australian having some choice words for the two of them. On lap 49, Mark retired with a very disappointing engine related failure on the exit of St Devote. As he was blocking the pit exit lane, the safety car was deployed. Spotting this everyone came into the pits for their second and final stops.

The safety car period saw another high profile retirement. This time it was Kimi with engine failure. One suspected the engine failure was caused by tempratures climbing sky high during the safety car period as cooling efficiency dropped dramatically. Montoya meanwhile was stuck in the queue with a great gaggle of cars between him and Alonso.

After the restart, both Fernando and Juan Pablo were running in much reduced pace. Juan Pablo giving up and settling for the runner up spot. This gave Fernando a much easier time. The race meanwhile boiled down to Michael Schumacher's great charge to catch the people ahead of him. The German unlapping himself on Alonso and going quicker and quicker dropped the chasing Fisichella far behind. The Italian had no answer for the Schumacher's raw pace.

Now over the years, many have called Michael Schumacher a lucky man. And today, his luck would help him out. Ahead a number of retirements saw Michael Schumacher end up finishing in fifth place. Disappointments for the likes of Klein (gearbox) and especially Jarno Trulli who inherited the last podium spot after Barrichello had to make a stop and go penalty for speeding in the pitlane. David Coulthard benefited as well making his way up to fifth which became third at the end of the race.

Still take nothing away from Michael. He battled hard and drove well. Indeed its really ironic that a driver as great as Michael should tarnish his reputation with unsporting and underhanded behaviour. His fifth placed was well deserved and under the circumstances the best he could expect. Along the way, he set a blistering pace and set the fastest lap of the race 1m 15.143s. We are left wondering what would have happened had he been battling Alonso at the head of the field.

A great race and a great result for Alonso, now extending his lead even further from the pursuing Michael. A hard task made harder but the Ferrari is proving itself to be a very pacy car especially in slow tight circuits like Monte Carlo. The season is far from over but you might say that Fernando's chances of retaining the title are higher now.

Written by Eddie Azman, Pitstop Editorial Team

2006 Spanish GP

The Circuit di Catalunya is a favourite amongst the team for preseason testing, with its combination of mild weather and circuit layout. This is a track that tests every aspect of a grand prix car. The various fast corners test the aerodynamics, the long straights puts a strain on the engines and the cheese grater surface puts a real test on tyres. Its a circuit that sorts out all the cars.

Once again in free practise it was a close call between the top two teams scruffing it out for the championship. In qualifying the Renaults were quite some ways in front. Again the Renaults as they did at the Nurburgring last week would seem to be starting the race on a smaller fuel load than the longer running Ferraris. The general consensus was this was going to be a close race between the teams but many expected the Ferraris to have that slight edge.

In a circuit where its notoriously difficult to overtake, the Ferrari straight line speed gave much concern to the entire paddock over the weekend. Filipe Massa and Michael Schumacher had an enormous speeds on the main straight. Whilst a lap is determined more by the average speed on the circuit and especially round the corners, nevertheless if the going got close, one could have expected the Ferraris to be nicely slipstreaming the Renaults on straight and narrow. It was something to watch out for.

With a lockout of the front row, you could only ever expect the two Renaults to be leading to in the first turn. And so it turned out. Fisichella in fact got a fantastic start and was side by side with Alonso on the outside of turn 1. The Spaniard was not to be deined and defended the lead and proceeded to begin a relentless onslaught in this the first stint.

Kimi Raikkonen made the best start of all from ninth on the grid. The Finn squeezed neatly past the two Toyotas ahead of him and in the process passing Jenson Button as well. He then proceeded to neatly tuck on the outside of Rubens Barrichello who himself had made quite a good getaway. Going into turn 1, Kimi had all but pushed himself into the sidepods of Filipe Massa. Brilliant and perfect for the McLaren driver whom everyone expected to have run quite heavily.

As mentioned previously, Barcelona sorts out all the cars. There is nowhere to hide on this circuit. If a car is faster, it will scamper away. Slower cars can do very little about it. The race panned out in that manner. The superiority of the Renaults and Ferraris over the rest of the field was undeniable. And it seems the superiority of both these teams' leading drivers over their teammates was also without a doubt.

Fernando Alonso probably won the race on this first stint. From the get go the Spaniard set fastest lap after fastest lap, pulling inexorably away from teammate Giancarlo Fisichella who held Michael Schumacher's Ferrari in station a second behind. By lap 10, Fernando had pulled out a 7.2 second gap over Giancarlo and lapping around 1m 17.2s. The trailing Giancarlo could only manage 1m 17.8 at best. The two Ferraris were close together and keeping a close watch on the second Renault but couldn't do very much despite their enormous speeds on the straights.

By this time, Kimi Raikkonen's McLaren was already 17.4 seconds behind the leader with the two Hondas of Barrichello and Button trailing him and about 21 seconds behind Alonso. It was going to be a very long afternoon for those not driving Renaults and Ferraris. Barrichello at this stage was reported to be holding up his teammate but given the sporting regulations prohibiting team orders, the Honda teams were having trouble telling the Brazilian to move aside.

Every odd lap and Fernando Alonso would be setting the timing screens purple with yet another fastest lap, the first man to go below the 1m 17 mark. The Renault strategy was obviously to run light and open up a big gap before pitting. They failed at the Nurburgring but this weekend it was working beautifully.

Such was Ferraris worry about the Alonso's Renault, they even tried to play their famous mind games by sending the pitcrew into the pitbox trying to trick the Renaults into stopping early. It failed miserably for the Renaults was only ever going to pit as scheduled. The Ferrari crew turn tailed and went back in. Nice try, Ross but better luck next time.

Prior to his first pitstop, Fernando set another fastest lap doing 1m 16.828s and was still setting fastest sector times on his in lap. Giancarlo Fisichella, came in the very next lap.

Now the two Ferraris were out in front and the question was how long would the Ferraris be able to last before diving in. Michael Schumacher duly obliging by setting his personal best of 1m 17.395s on Alonso's pit lap. But if one expected him to put the hammer down for the next five or six laps, it never came. The Ferrari simply unable to match Fernando Alonso's ultimate pace. In the meantime, Filipe Massa dived into the pits on lap 20.

Michael Schumacher, try as he might to make up the gap with a few personal best lap times simply could not manage it. Fernando Alonso behind him was lapping very quickly in the 1m 17s despite being heavier after his pitstop. It was working very nicely. On lap 23, Michael finally makes his stop. Before Giancarlo's pitstop, Michael was close behind and the race was on to get him out in front of the Roman. This he did and it was now game on between the Ferrari and Renault out front.

Straight after his pitstop, Michael, like Fernando in the lead a good pace in the 1m 17s and by now was dropping Giancarlo Fisichella behind him. Fisichella made a terrible mistake in fact on lap in turn 3 running into the gravel. Thankfully he escaped and retained his third place but lost 6 seconds to Michael in the process and putting himself in the clutches of the trailing Filipe Massa.

In this seconds stint, both the second drivers, Giancarlo Fisichella and Filipe Massa were being dropped quite quickly by their respective teammates. In the meantime, Michael Schumacher was maintaining a 10 second gap to Alonso, the pair of the lapping withint tenths of one another.

And so this race went, with very few things happening elsewhere. Perhaps the only moment of note aside from Giancarlo driving in the kitty litter was the scrap between the two Toyotas. Ralf Schumacher made a very ill judged attempt to pass Jarno Trulli into turn 1. The German clipped his wing against the Italian on lap 35. Ralf was simply too far off the Italian and locked up his brakes going into the corner just as Trulli was clipping the apex. Ralf retired soon after.

Lap 37, and now after a dozen laps of pegging Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso puts the hammer down once more dropping into the low 1m 17s and high 1m 16s before pitting in on lap 40. And in a repeat of the first round of stops, Michael Schumacher attempts to respond. The German dropping into the 1m 16s himself but yet again unable to match the Renault's ultimate pace.

Such was Fernando's superiority over teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, the Spaniard comes out of the pits in third right behind his teammate and very crucially ahead of Filipe Massa. When Giancarlo Fisichella went into the pits on the very next lap, Alonso looked assured of at least second.

But could Michael respond and still win the race? The answer was a definite no. In order to win, Michael had to be a second and a half faster than Alonso but in truth the Spaniard was again nicely pegging his lap times, despite carrying an extra 8 laps worth of fuel. As Michael himself said during the press conference, his strategy could have worked but it all depended on having a quick enough car. But Barcelona belongs to Alonso and Renault. Michael Schumacher had only a 9 second lead over Alonso before his second stop. There was no way he would win today.

After the second round of stops it was Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Giancarlo Fisichella and Filipe Massa in the lead. The Brazilian was perhaps unlucky not to catch Giancarlo in the pits despite putting in the race fastest lap before his stop. Given he had greater ultimate pace than Michael today, it was surprising that he was 16 seconds behind the German after the stops.

Its difficult to overtake on this circuit and anyone caught in traffic definitely suffered. Fernando Alonso in fact getting into a tangle with both the Midlands. First it was Christian Albers before the pitstop and then Tiago Monteiro incurring his wrath after that. One wonders how Tiago managed to win rookie of the year last year. He has a bad habit of getting in the way of the leaders on numerous occassions last year and today, showing a lack of competence and awareness. He, like his team Midland F1 are simply wasting everyone's time in Formula 1. It would be better to hand over those Toyota engines to Williams for the Grove team and their drivers would definitely make better use of it.

Such was the pace of Fernando Alonso today, that he lapped everyone up to sixth place Jenson Button. Perhaps its a measure of just how much everyone else has to do before they can start challenging him for wins. The only person in the game is really Michael Schumacher who looked very disgruntled in the post race interview in contrast to his big smiles last week. He finished 18 seconds behind Alonso. Its also very telling that Giancarlo Fisichella started on the front row but finished 23 seconds behind Alonso at the end. Filipe Massa finished a further 6 seconds behind.

Fernando also needs to note that Kimi Raikkonen was nearly a minute behind him at the chequered flag. Given that Renault have now committed to Formula 1 till 2012, perhaps his decision to move to McLaren now seems ill timed. The McLaren team is in real trouble as witnessed by their very distant fifth place. Juan Pablo Montoya didn't even finish after spinning out and getting beached on the kerbs.

It certainly looks to be an interesting summer ahead. The Renaults seem quicker on the faster circuits whereas the Ferraris look to have an advantage on the slower circuits having lots of tight turns and hairpins. A pity then that Spa is not on the calendar this year. But today, Fernando wins in front of his home crowd, a first for a Spaniard in grand prix racing.

Written by Eddie Azman, Pitstop Editorial Team

2006 European GP

A great battle arose on Saturday for pole position. Fernando Alonso in particular put in a massive effort sacrificing a new set of tyres to secure the front row ahead of second place Michael Schumacher. Given that fresh tyres are premium, was this a wise move? According to Fernando, having pole is paramount to victory. Michael Schumacher on the other hand could turn up the wick seemingly at will. In free practise it was a ding dong battle between the two but Michael had an ace in the hole in the form of Filipe Massa.

Massa in fact had been doing all the hard work in free practise and basically used up his tyres to gather all important data. The Ferrari team's emphasis on Michael Schumacher meant that the German went in to the race with 3 brand new sets as compared to Alonso's 2 sets. This was to prove very significant. But any thoughts that Ferrari would give equal treatment between its drivers has been well and truly banished.

A clear indication of this was at the start where Fernando as is customary from the Renault shot into a clear lead. But Filipe Massa had started well on the cleaner side of the track and went side by side and even ahead of his teammate going into the tight hairpin of turn 1. A long way before the braking point, the Brazilian concedes and Michael Schumacher neatly dove inside of him.

Not everyone made it into turn 1 however, Vittantonio Liuzzi's Toro Rosso was possibly tapped from behind, took a spin and drove straight into sister team Red Bull's David Coulthard. Liuzzi had severe damage and in fact spun out a little later on the lap and found himself stuck in the middle of the road, bringing out the safety car.

The safety car came back in at the end of lap 3. Fernando Alonso trying his best to slow down Michael before the chicane but the German was quick to catch on and despite the ploy was right behind the Spaniard's tail as they crossed the start finish line.

The race at the front was always about the quartet made up of Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Filipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi Raikkonen having been stuck initially behind Jenson Button's Honda quickly found a way past the Briton and made this a four horse race. All four protagonists lapping within 1 second of one another.

Fernando Alonso at this stage was controlling the pace up front, lapping in the 1m 33s bracket. Anything he did, Michael duly matched and Filipe behind the two was keeping both of them in check. Kimi Raikkonen did display some flashes of speed and indeed was lapping within tenths of the three up front but it is telling that whilst his lap times were close, slowly, inevitably he was being dropped by the trio ahead. Kimi's lap times were the least consistent of the four in front. Clearly Raikkonen is trying his best in a car thats really not on the pace of the Renault and Ferraris.

By lap 15, everyone is wondering when Fernando would be making his pitstop. The conventional wisdom, or at least according to Ross Brawn, was that he was carrying a lot less fuel than Michael Schumacher and was expected to pit first. Indeed by this time, the Spaniard was speeding up. On lap 17, Michael Schumacher does fastest lap as the Renault and Ferrari pitcrew both appear in the pitlane. At the end of the lap, Fernando Alonso duly pits in, followed by Filipe Massa. On the very next lap Michael pits in, apparently not carrying very much fuel than Fernando.

Despite his quick in lap, Fernando does a tremendous out lap and Michael rejoins just behind Fernando Alonso. So far so good for Renault. At this point, Kimi Raikkonen went into the lead for McLaren. Obviously McLaren is keeping to its regular script for this season of running heavily loaded with fuel.

Fernando and Michael Schumacher however find themselves behind the struggling Honda of Jenson Button who has yet to pit. The Honda this weekend showing no pace either in qualifying or the race and despite his light fuel load Jenson Button holds up Fernando and Michael. Meanwhile Kimi in the lead pulls out at a rate of a second a lap. This could have been good for Kimi if his car had sustainable pace.

On lap 22, Button pits but Raikkonen carries on his merry way and is still quicker than the Renault and Ferrari behind him. Not for very long however, as on lap 23 the McLaren team is out for a pitstop. Interestingly after Kimi's pitstop, we see just how worn the Finn's tyres had been after that stint. That is to say, very worn indeed. Everyone is on soft tyres this weekend but the Michelins on Kimi's car was very much in a tortured state indicating just how hard he had to push.

Fernando is back in the lead followed by Michael. A mistake by Michael gives the Spaniard a reprieve from the otherwise enormous pressure from the German. This was turning out very much like Bahrain in fact. However, this weekend, the Ferrari is obviously the quicker car. All throughout practise and the final session of qualifying when the cars were doing the fuel burn, clearly the Ferrari seemed the most planted of all the cars. And Michael soon began catching Fernando Alonso once again.

By lap 33 Michael is right back on Alonso's tail. In truth the Spaniard had been taking a little breather. But now the both of them were speeding up once more. And here was where the race was won. On lap 37, Fernando does a fastest lap of 1m 32.722s but is immediately beaten by Michael Schumacher who does a 1m 32.544s. On the next lap, again Fernando piles on the pressure with a 1m 32.532s lap but Michael beats him once more with a 1m 32.523s tour. This was turning out to be a fantastic scrap. The pair of them simply leaving the following Massa and Kimi Raikkonen for dead.

On lap 39, the Renault boys are out once again and its a critical time for the two leaders. Fernando dives into the pits but Michael stays out and on sets another fastest lap of 1m 32.420s. He doesn't stop and immediately sets the screens purple with fastest sector 1 and 2 times. He stays out for yet another lap and goes even quicker with a 1m 32.099s. This was certainly Michael Schumacher at his very best doing what he does best, consistently blitzing the laps prior to his pit stop. If he was mere tenths behind Alonso before the pits, Michael was now effectively and definitely ahead by now. The Ferrari boys are ready for a stop but its for Massa.

On lap 40, Michael does a 1m 32.167s lap whilst behind him Fernando Alonso on his third set of tyres can only manage a 1m 33.707s lap. And this is really where he could have benefitted from a fresh set of tyres. But Fernando has used up all his brand new sets and on this last stint, Fernando has more fuel on board and on used sets of tyres.

In truth there was basically nothing the Renault team could do. Unlike in Imola, where it was a tactical error, in this race no amount of strategy could save them. Michael Schumacher's Ferrari is simply too quick. On lap 42, the Ferrari comes in the pits, letting Kimi Raikkonen through to the lead. But significantly Michael comes out 5.8 seconds ahead of Fernando. Thats a net gain of about 2 seconds a lap from the Ferrari team. And game over for Renault. Knowing this, Fernando doesn't even bother to try to catch the Ferrari in front and slows down.

After Raikkonen's stop on lap 45, the four were spread out over 16 seconds. By this time, Michael Schumacher is 7.7 seconds ahead of Alonso who is 4.8 seconds ahead of Massa who in turn is 3.2 seconds ahead of Kimi Raikkonen. But of all of them Kimi was lapping quickest of all but really it all seemed futile.

Behind the flying quartet, Nico Rosberg was having a fine race indeed. In fact the German was the last to stop on lap 33 having made it all the way to fifth. He dropped to tenth after his stop but emerged in tenth behind and monumental battle for the final scraps of points. This battle engulfed Rubens Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher, Jacques Villenueve, Giancarlo Fisichella, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jarno Trulli, Nick Heidfeld and Scott Speed. Between all these runner, the gaps were less than a couple of seconds.

The race saw Jenson Button retire in a puff of smoke on lap 30, although he wasn't doing particularly well up to that point. Honda was left with just Rubens Barrichello to do the honours. The battle for the midfield was indeed incredibly close. Rubens, Ralf, Jacques and Fisi in fact pitting on the very same lap as one another. Fisichella in fact must have felt enormous satisfaction coming out of the BMW of Villeneuve who had held him up in qualy and up until then was also holding him up in the race. Try as he might Giancarlo could not find a way past Jacques on the circuit. And really, Jacques penalty on Giancarlo's behest seemed rather unfair once one watched the battle between them on the circuit.

As everyone pitted in, Rosberg again found himself ahead of the gaggle. But surprisingly, Williams chose not to fuel the German all the way to Barcelona. Instead on lap 50, Nico was back in the pits. But he emerged back into eighth and resuming the battle royale once again. Alas, Ralf Schumacher was not see the end of the race, the Toyota retiring on lap 55. On the same lap, Juan Pablo Montoya was another casualty of this fantastic scrap.

Back up front, Filipe Massa, spurred on the ever quickening Kimi Raikkonen was catching Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher meantime had backed right off. At the chequered flag, four and half seconds covered the first four. In fact, the gap between Alonso, Massa and Raikkonen was covered by only a second. Rubens Barrichello finished a very distant fifth 72.5 seconds behind Michael Schumacher. Fisichella finished a disappointing sixth way behind his teammate, whilst Rosberg managed a fighting seventh. Jacques Villeneuve yet again finds the points with an eighth. Had Rosberg been fueled to the end, one would have expected him to have won that fight.

Michael Schumacher and the entire Ferrari team were absolutely jubilant during the podium ceremony. This was indeed a straight fight and in this battle, they emerged victorious. Whilst Michael was not helped by Massa in this race but indirectly the Brazilian had played an enormous part in his victory this weekend. Thats the advantage Michael Schumacher has in a team that throws their lot fully behind him. One wonders if Kimi Raikkonen would be willing to play the loyal team player to him if the Finn should join Ferrari and drive alongside the great man next year.

This battle may be over and done with but the season is definitely hotting up. Fernando Alonso was a dejected figure on the podium today and it seems just like last year, he's going to spend the summer defending his lead. However, the championship this year is a lot closer and it remains to be seen whether Michelin can match Bridgestone in the summer months. The Ferrari team though seems to have made a quantum leap in their own performance. There also still remains the question of the flexi wing with protest threats still hanging in the air. The logic being is that for Ferrari to have made this quantum leap, they would have had to gain some 80 bhp on their engines since Imola. As this seems too large a leap, once again some teams are focussing on those bendy Ferrari wings.

But take nothing from Michael. He came to do a job this weekend and he did it absolutely brilliantly. Ferrari are now well and truly back.

Written by Eddie Azman, Pitstop Editorial Team

23 April 2006

2006 San Marino GP

Today was a relatively hot day at Imola compared to the gloom and cold of last year's race. The track temprature a somewhat blistering 43 centigrade. The battle for qualifying yesterday ended up with a mixed set of results which kept everyone guessing on strategy. Fernando Alonso was uncharacteristically slow but nevertheless started the race in fifth. Michael scored what looked to have unbeatable pace. Obviously, there were varying fuel loads between the teams. The conventional wisdom was that Fernando was carrying a heavier load than the others and perhaps so were the McLarens. The Hondas were to most people's minds running a lighter load.

Another significant factor was Ferrari's tyre usage in qualifying. Drivers are allowed up to 7 sets per race weekend and Michael had used all of them save a single set to start the race with. This was to prove very costly to Michael during the race.

At the start Fernando made up a place by taking Barrichello going into the first chicane. Kimi Raikkonen was perhaps the biggest loser at the start dropping to tenth behind Mark Webber. As soon as the race started though the safety car came out after Christian Albers rolled his Midland on the exit of the Villeneuve chicane after being punted by Yuji Ide in the Super Aguri.

At the restart, one would have expected Michael's Ferrari to sprint away from everyone. He was quick but his pace was not as quick as one would expect. Overall, he was pulling away to the tune of about 0.2 seconds from the chasing pack of Jenson Button, Filipe Massa and Fernando Alonso. Everytime Michael set a fastest lap all his three pursuers would peg his time. Things at this stage was looking good for both Button and especially Alonso. If the Spaniard was carrying a heavier load he was looking great.

On a circuit that is notoriously difficult to overtake, strategy is everything. Fernando Alonso on a heavier fuel load was keeping Michael quite nicely in check. After 11 laps, the gap between the two was only 6.8 seconds. The running order completely unchanged save for the retirements of Jarno Trulli and Yuji Ide. Behind the first four Barrichello, Ralf Schumacher and Juan Montoya were running in close company but being dropped by the leading quartet.

On lap 15 Rubens Barrichello is the first one in confirming the light Honda fuel load. A lap later his teammate comes in. This left Michael Schumacher 8 seconds ahead of Massa in the second Ferrari who had Fernando Alonso close behind him. And this was the time that Filipe Massa discovered what it means to be Michael Schumacher's teammate. From lapping in the 1m 25s bracket, now Filipe Massa now lapped in the 1m 27s, proof if any was needed that Ferrari team orders and tactics were coming into play. Obviously Ross Brawn was very worried about Alonso's continued presence and Michael's inability to drop him at a quicker rate. Once again, the lack of overtaking opportunities in Imola tells and there was very little Fernando could do but wait.

On lap 20 Massa pits in and sets Alonso free. At this stage Michael had pulled out a 13.5 second lead ahead of the Spaniard thanks to Massa's excellent effort of bending over for the German. A lap later Michael pits in and it was game on for Alonso. Set free Alonso began a series of low 1m 25s laps culminating in a fastest lap of 1m 24.589 seconds on lap 24. But Michael at this stage on his second set of tyres was pegging him with low 1m 25s laps with a much heavier fuel.

On lap 26 Fernando comes into the pits. He leaves the pits and comes out in second ahead of Button, Massa and Montoya and some 11.2 seconds behind Michael. But then something strange happened. Michael was slowing down. After the initial 1m 25s laps his pace was slowing and at best was managing 1m 26s. Meanwhile Alonso was lapping in the high 1m 24s and low 1m 25s bracket and catching the Ferrari at a little over a second a lap. This was turning out to be a reversal of last year's race. Michael's second set of tyres was a worn pair carried over from qualifying. It turns out that having absolutely brand new tyres is essential on this circuit. Fernando had it, Michael didn't. Fernando's strange lack of pace in qualifying was a strategic move then. The team sacrificing his qualifying performance for stonking race pace.

Lap after lap Michael lost time and by lap 35 Fernando Alonso was right behind him after they both lapped a Red Bull. At this stage, you would have wagered that Fernando Alonso stood a fantastic chance to win the race. As was the case last year, despite having a quicker car, overtaking is impossible on this circuit. Some might complain that its narrow but then so is Suzuka and look what happened there last year. No, the problem really is the start stop point and squirt nature of the track nowadays after the chicanes introduced after Ayrton Senna's fatal accident here 12 years ago. The only real place to have a go is into the Tosa hairpin but the approach to that corner is preceeded by another slow chicane, the Villeneuve. It just becomes a drag race from chicane to chicane and then thats when the narrowness of the track exacerbates the problem.

Still, everyone expected Fernando Alonso to be pitting in later and one would have expected him to leapfrog Michael Schumacher at the next stop. But the Renault team had different ideas. Inexplicably and perhaps simply stupidly, they decided to switch their strategy and pit in before Michael Schumacher. It happened at a time when the Ferrari crew were readying a pitstop for Filipe Massa. The Renault crew jumped into action. Perhaps seeing all the Renault activity, Michael sped up at that very lap when Fernando Alonso came in.

On lap 41 Michael Schumacher did a 1m 27.380 which was quicker considering he was in the 1m 28s the laps before. On Alonso's pit lap he suddenly did a 1m 26.873s. It was easy for Ross Brawn then to simply call Michael Schumacher in on the very next lap. Fernando would have to do a mammoth out lap to get ahead of Michael. He didn't manage that and Michael came in and out back in the lead ahead of Fernando.

At this stage, one sensed it was all over for Fernando. After all, he was behind Michael for the better part of 7 laps and couldn't do anything about it. One sensed then that Renault had simply thrown away this race with a rash and silly decision. They blinked first and paid the price. Fernando Alonso would not be taking any risks given his championship lead and losing only a couple of points to Michael should the status quo remain the same. Odds were that Fernando would simply give up. This he did but not before having a few looks at the inside of the Ferrari. But a couple of mistakes a couple of laps from the end signalled rear end grip problems for Fernando. Better to simply collect points today. And quite smartly too in contrast to the crew on his pitwall.

Behind the enthralling battle for the lead we had Juan Pablo Montoya cruising up to Filipe Massa after a solid run in the team spare car. Montoya in fact led the race briefly when the leading pair made their stops. He came in on lap 45 and emerged ahead of Filipe Massa. In the end the Colombian manages the final podium spot ahead of Filipe, who came under pressure from a late charge from Kimi Raikkonen. Kimi ran behind Mark Webber for much of the race but managed to get ahead of the Australian in the Williams after the second round of stops.

One person who could also have played a part in the battle for the lead was Jenson Button who spent the first part of the race keeping the German honest. Whilst Fernando and Michael were battling it out in front and slowing each other down after the first stops, Button was in fact catching the leading pair. By the time of his second stop Jenson was in fact 14 seconds behind and still catching. However, his second stop was a complete disaster. It looked like a mistake by the lollipop man prematurely giving the Briton the green light to go. When he did, the mechanics still had the fuel hose in the car. As Jenson sped off, he tore off the fuel hose but luckily the fuel flow had already stopped. Otherwise that could have been a very sinister pyrotechnic display. In the end though Jenson had to fight hard against a charging Giancarlo Fisichella who was otherwise having an uneventful race.

At least Jenson Button had some pace this weekend but his teammate Rubens Barrichello once again faded very badly and from third on the grid at the start finished a lowly tenth, some 78 seconds behind the leader.

In fact, no one could live with the pace of the leading duo of Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso. However, you can safely say that Fernando was the quicker of the two today by a country mile. A pity then that the strategy did not work out.

Ferrari may have won today but it is clear they still have a lot of work to do if they are going to win consistently every weekend. Fernando as ever, plays his game very well. Risking little and looking at the longer term picture that is the world championship. The Nurburgring is next and it will be another interesting picture over there in a couple of weeks. If Ferrari do well again there and take the win then the championship is well and truly open. However, one would not bet against Fernando and Renault doing well there. And don't forget the McLarens at what is essentially a home track for Mercedes.

written by Eddie Azman, Pitstop Editorial Team

20 April 2006

Ku Klux Klan

Tell me.

Am I a racist if I am fascinate with Ku Klux Klan? Does it automatically make me an anti-Semitism?

Does any of you think the history of KKK fascinating? Disturbing yes, but fascinating nonetheless?

14 April 2006

Dah tua ke kita?

Rindu nyer kat zaman kecik2 dulu..... Happy je memanjang....main je ngan kwn2 24hrs... hehehe

untuk bacaan pada masa lapang. enjoy... sure korang teringat balik zaman2 skolah dulu...

tanda-tanda anda bayi tahun 80-an:

kita membesar dgn menonton G-Force, He-man,Transformers, Thundercats,Silver Hawk, Woody Woodpecker, Chipmunks, Mickey Mouse ngan Aksi Mat Yoyo. Not to forget Ninja Turtles, Smurfs dan Voltron.

Berus gigi time waktu rehat kat skolah rendah?...hmm,mesti pegang cawan warna-warni
kan. mencangkung kat tepi parit dgn classmates semua kat seblah...

ingat tak, misi kat skolah masuk kelas dgn list dentist appointment. pastu bunyi gigi member kite kene gerudi kat bilik sebelah. ada gigi yang berlubang, kene laa tampal.

ni sure korang igt...program minum susu di skolah. nak galakkan budak2 time tuh minum susu. sekotak 30 sen jek beb...

cikgu2 kalau nak denda, mesti guna pembaris panjang warna kuning tu. pukul tapak tangan...

semangkuk mi sup ke, mihun sup ke, 30 sen jek kat kantin.

Kimisawa (sekarang Holiday Plaza), Komtar - shopping complex yang popular. ni for those yg dok JB la.

internet? email? mendalah ape tu?

CD? ape tu? kaset tape penah laa dgr. tiket wayang pun 5 inggit je.

kite pegi kedai runcit, beli Chickerdis, Mamee , Kum Kum, UFO, O-Ya, Ding Dang chocolate balls yang ada mainan kat dlm die,'telur' keras warna warni, 'rokok' chewing gum, KIKI bubble Gum.

bile dah abih exam, main Monopoly la, Donkey la, Happy Family laa dlm class.

tapi bunyi loceng laa yang paling best skali. boleh beli aiskrim ngan apek kat luar skola tuh...

lagi satu loceng masa nak pegi rehat. tinggal
kan keje skolah, jom kita pegi makan. budak2 yg dpt Rancangan Makanan Tambahan (RMT) mesti kluar awal.

permainan kegemaran, main guli, batu seremban, penutup botol, batang aiskrim, 'Pepsi Cola one-two-three', 'Police & Sentry', kejar2 duduk...

kita hilangkan dahaga dgn aiskrim 10 sen. yang tube aiskrim, ada byk2 color tu. kalau nak makan, kene patahkan kat tengah2 die!

lipat kertas kecik2, pastuh buat lastik. hmmm..ni pun kita main dulu ni. baling2 kapur laa.

hmm...budak2 kat university skarang, kebanyakan nye lahir thn 1987/88. skarang digelar 'remaja'.

bagi diorg, diorg mane penah dgr lagu 'We Are the World, We Are the Children...' dan lagu 'Uptown Girl' yang diorg tau, yg Westlife nyanyi....bkn Billy Joel nyanyi...

bagi diorg, ada satu je Jerman kat dunia ni, dan ade satu je Vietnam.

AIDS wujud sejak diorg lahir.

CD pun wujud time diorg lahir.

Michael Jackson dah putih dah time tu.

Diorg percaya Spiderman dgn Incredible Hulk tu filem2 baru.

Diorg tak bley bayangkan skrin hitam putih utk sebuah komputer.

Diorg tak penah tau pun 'Atari' dgn 'Game & Watch'.

Diorg tak percaya penah ada TV hitam putih...dan diorg skarang tak reti nak switch on TV kalau xde remote control.

dan diorg tak paham macam mane kite boleh survive dkt universiti tanpa handphone...

hmm...jom kite check, kite ni dah tua ke:

1. korg paham ape yang korang baca kat atas ni, dan korg sure tersenyum

2. kebanyakan member2 skolah menengah kite dah kawin

3. korg sure pelik bile nengok bdak2 kecik main komputer, selamba je

4. kita geleng kepala bile nengok bdak2 skolah menengah guna handphone

5. kita dah tak byk sembang2 dgn member melalui telefon lagi setiap hari

6. bile jumpe member lame dari semasa ke semasa,seronok bile bersembang pasal cerite2 lame, cerite2 kelakar yang kite alami mase dulu time kecik2, nakal2 dulu...

7. last skali, bile dah bace artikel ni, korang akan terpikir utk forwardkan dkt member2 lame korg. Sure diorg suke punye laa...hehehe

Yaa, kite pun dah semakin tua!!

Teringat zaman2 dulu kan?

Cheers to the 80s babies!!!

11 April 2006


This book is all about books.

Thin books, thick books, small books, big books, all kind of books.

If you love book, you going to love this particular book that are made originally for kids. As I am a kid (hehe) and I love fantasy books, there is little wonder why I will recommend this book to anyone who share the same interest.

Inkheart is a story within a story. Its about a girl named Maggie, whose father had a spectacular gift (or curse, depend on how you look at it). Mo, Maggie's dad, has the ability to bring the characters from books to life - litterally.

The story begins when Mo accidentally and unfortunately bring the most villainous character out of Inkheart: named Capricorn, together with few of his followers, one of them is Basta. Besides them, there is also Dustfinger, who has a special ability to control fire. Magie was two years old and never see her mother since that fateful day because Mo accidentally read her into the book instead.

Since then, Mo and Maggie had live on the run from Capricorn and his henchmen.

Initially Capricorn's reason to search for Mo is to return into Inkheart but as the years gone by, his greed grew just like his evil doings. His followers trippled and he went from one village to the other bring darkness to the people, never stop searching for Mo, but for different reasons now. He wanted Mo to read other evil characters that he can used to life, or golds and treasures and what not.

After 8 years, Capricorn finally managed to captured Mo using Maggie as lure, thanks to Dustfinger who constantly searching for Mo in hope to be read back into the book. To ensure that Mo will not read him accidentally back into Inkheart, Capricorn ordered his henchmen to search for the book all around the globe and destroyed them. The only copy left was Mo's but that too was destroyed eventually. Dustfinger, who realize that Capricorn will not keep his promise, help released Mo, Maggie and Elinor, Maggie's aunt.

They went to a little village and with the help of Elinor, they managed to tracked down the writer of Inkheart, Fenoglio.

Since Maggie learn about his father's talent, she has secretly wish that she can bring life to characters as well. She tried with several harmful books when they were at the Fenoglio's house but had failed.

On the day Mo went to fetch Elinor from the airport, Maggie and Fenoglio were captured by Basta, this time because of Dusftfinger's carelessness. In captivity, Maggie try reading out loud a Peter Pan book she found under her bed. She was delighted when she found Tinker Bell flying around the cell room. She had done it!

Unfortunately Capricorn comes to learn about Maggie's ability and decided that he didn't need Mo anymore. He ordered her men to get everything ready for the most important occasion of all: to read Shadow out of the book using Maggie.

What Capricorn didn't count on though was that Maggie, together with Fenoglio had changed the story line that caused the demise of him and his fellow henchmen.

Maggie was also reunited with Mo who had come to her rescue and her mother as well, who had been called out of the book previously by Darius, who had little less talent than Mo and Maggie.

I didn't mention much about Dustfinger but he played an important role throughout the story. The reason I didn't mention him because I think if I dwelled too much on him, I can't help but give the book away.

One other thing that I love about this book is the fact that Cornelia Funke (the author) just loves books and she conveys it to the reader in a very subtle but powerful way. It makes you appreciate books even more. After reading Inkheart, I want to read some of the books she mentioned in the story that are familiar but I never bother to read it because I'd known how the story goes.

This is the first time I read Cornelia's work but I will certainly look out for her other books including Inkspell, the sequal to Inkheart.

28 March 2006

The Testament

I finished reading this book last month, before my trip to Sepang International Circuit for the 2006 Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.

I had been so busy that it took me this long to review the books.

Before I start with the reviewing, I should make myself clear that I am not really a big fan of John Grisham. I have nothing against him but there are times when I had had enough reading about lawyer, courtrooms and judges.

Personally I don't think this is the best book from John Grisham. I've read better ones like The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, The Pelican Brief and The Firm. But do not let me discourage you from reading this book.

The Testament is about a multibillionaire man named Troy Phelan who was an eccentric old man, and hate his six children. Each of them will not have your sympathy and makes you understand why Troy did what he did. He tricked his three ex-wives, his greedy spawn, their sleezy lawyers and psychiatrists into believing that he will devide his 11 billions dollars estate and left it for their disposal. He then shocked everyone, including his lawyer Josh, when he commited suicide minutes after he signed a new will he prepared himself. In this new testament, he left his estate not to his six grasping spolied children but instead to his legitimate child name Rachel, who is a missionary somewhere in Brazil.

To locate her, Josh send Nate O'Riley - a washed up alcoholic ligitator. Nate went to Brazil in search of this mysterious heir. After one near-death trip and one failed suicidal attempt, Nate reached a remoted settlement in the Pantanal and found what he's looking for.

Rachel Lane is a pure-hearted missionary carrying 'God's work'. She makes it clear that she is not interested with the money and wants nothing to do with it. Her dedication and kindness impresses Nate. He has not only found Rachel but was also introduce to God so much so that when he came with dengue fever, it leds him to a vision that pretty much change his life.

Back at home, Troy's written will had start a whole new procession in court. His hungry descendents decided to contested the will and gain control of the richness which they think supposed to be theirs. They left the matters to their lawyers who are as greedy as them and they are ready to do anything to get the money.

Failed to changed Rachel's mind about the money, Nate went back home and was appointed as her lawyer by Josh to deceived her six siblings. The proceeding went as plan. Josh and Nate expertly manipulate the outcome made it so that the six children and their lawyers have no choice but to settle out of court for some sum of small money (compared to the billion dollars).

Nate went back to the Pantanal to give Rachel the news but he didn't found her. Instead he discover grave news about the friend that he had come to love and cherish.

I wouldn't want to spoil the book and gave out everything. To know what happen to Rachel, you just have to read the book yourself.

I for one wish Grisham had choose a different ending as it was so anti-climax, I felt cheated.

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