Nobody could have expected the downfall Ferrari would suffer due to new tyre rules in 2005. The Italian team dominated the 2004 season but it was a different world this time around as the young pretenders to Ferrari and Michael Schumacher's crowns finally became the key contenders in a battle of pace and attrition ultimately won by Fernando Alonso and Renault.
Ferrari were so confident their advantage would not be diminished over the winter that they chose to bring their 2004 car to take on their rivals' best new designs in the opening race. But they were in for a shock. Michael Schumacher was shown what was to come throughout the season when he struggled and retired after a collision while Renault driver Giancarlo Fisichella immediately proved his team were up for the Championship fight with an easy win.
But questions remained after the Australian race over the true relative position of all the teams. The unpopular arrival of aggregate qualifying saw Fisichella claim pole after setting the top time in the Saturday session prior to a downpour that left him unbeatable. With few improvements made in the Sunday session, there was an unusual grid with the pre-season favourites McLaren back in tenth and 11th places.
McLaren's reaction to that session, boss Ron Dennis later claimed, ultimately led to the downfall of the team's World Championship challenge. Things were even worse for Ferrari as Schumacher suffered the worst conditions and ended up starting 18th and immediately there were calls for yet another change to the grid-forming format.