The Spanish Grand Prix at Barcelona is rarely the most exciting race on the calendar. The F1 teams arrive at the popular testing circuit with encyclopedic knowledge of which set-ups work best, and the flat-out sweeps do little to promote overtaking.
With only a week and no significant upgrades since the previous GP at Nurburgring, it was predictable that Renault's Fernando Alonso and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher would once again be the class of the field. This time, Alonso had the slightly superior package and predictably turned it into flawless and perfectly controlled victory.
Equally predictably, Michael Schumacher shrugged off the temporary inconvenience of starting behind Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella on his way to the best finish that the car and circumstances would allow - eight points for second behind the untouchable home hero.
With the two clockwork superstars controlling matters up front, the attention moved further down the grid, to those competitors who won't look back on the opening third of the 2006 season with fond memories. Two, in particular, stand out - McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya and Honda's Rubens Barrichello.