Michael Schumacher delivered the goods at Imola, steeling himself to do the job at hand despite the tragic death of his mother earlier in the day, comments CAR deputy editor John Bentley.

He promised he’d be back, and Michael Schumacher delivered the goods at Imola, steeling himself to do the job at hand despite the tragic death of his mother earlier in the day.

Yet he closed the gap by just two points on championship leader Kimi Raïkkönen, who was boosted from sixth place on the grid to second in the race by McLaren’s brilliant strategy. It seems Schumi faces a long championship battle if Kimi maintains his form.

The San Marino race was the first of the season in which extraordinary circumstances – rain in Australia and Brazil, and Schumacher’s contact with Trulli in Malaysia – didn’t play a part, giving us a better idea of how the new rules are playing out.

It showed that the best drivers, best cars and best pit crews should still come out on top, given a level playing field. It also demonstrated that clever strategy is still crucial to win in Formula One.

But the state of the points table shows that the most significant change has been the new points scoring system, which places a greater emphasis on consistency.

If Schumacher continues winning and Raïkkönen keeps finishing second, then it will take the current world champion seven races to get back on terms with his young Finnish rival! – John Bentley