Speculation last winter that Fernando Alonso's decision to join McLaren in 2007 could derail his charge to a second world title already appears to have been wide of the mark - with both driver and team appearing to fire on all cylinders on the eve of the campaign.
Alonso has never been anything less than 100 percent committed on the race track and the confidence that grew in him last year, allied to the early promise shown by the R26, have marked him out as the pre-season favourite. Alonso will be a hard man to beat in 2006.
Heading into 2006, things are very different, and Fisichella knows that this will be his best (and maybe last) chance at gunning for the crown. Alonso is leaving the team at the end of the year, the R26 is more suited to Fisichella's driving style, and the team no longer need to be so protective of one of their men after their success of 2005.
Despite having proved to be one of (if not the) fastest drivers in F1 for several seasons, Raikkonen's cars have all-too-often let him down, and he has shown this winter that he is no longer afraid to speak his mind about the situation.