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Canadian Grand Prix
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The Canadian Grand Prix is the first race of the season were
the cars run in a low downforce configuration. The performance of the teams
here will give us a better indication of how they will fare on the upcoming
high speed/low downforce tracks such as Belgium and Monza.
Last year Ralf Schumacher in the Williams won comfortably
from Michael Schumacher thanks to the power of the BMW engine. This year
however, it is believed that Ferrari have closed the gap considerably in terms
of engine power and therefore expect a showdown between the 2 teams with tyres
playing a major role in the outcome of the race.
Last week, all the Formula 1 teams were testing. With the exception of Minardi, all the teams were testing at Silverstone but due to changing weather conditions, it was hard to read anything into the times. Ferrari were also testing at Monza while BAR had a private session at Paul Ricard to test the new components to be used here and that includes a new engine, gearbox and aero package. Minardi also conducted a 2 day test at Vairano.
Ferrari: They have extended their lead in both
Championships following Monaco as Williams finished behind them. They may
still extended their lead further here but it will be unlikely.
Drivers: Michael Schumacher finished second at
Monaco being stuck behind David Coulthard. He will have a different problem
here as the Williams are expected to match the Ferraris. A win is
possible but a top 3 finish is more likely if he doesn't run into problems.
Rubens Barrichello showed how temperamental he could be and that is what separates him from the best. If his race goes according to plan then he does well, otherwise he loses it. He'll finish in 4th place if he doesn't lose it.
Williams: Suffered their only second
car failure this season when Montoya went out of the Monaco GP with an
engine problem. They head into Canada full of confidence. A 1 -2 finish won't
be a surprise although Michael Schumacher might spoil that for them.
Drivers: Ralf Schumacher managed to finish 3rd at Monaco were he didn't expect to do so well. He is always criticised for lacking pace compared to his team-mate but he does manage to stay out of trouble more often. Won here last year, he could win again especially if he manages to out-qualify his team-mate.
Juan Pablo Montoya crashed into the wall here last year and it was a turning point for him. Following Canada '01 though he started to shine. Expect him to do very well here, possibly taking Pole and winning the race.
McLaren: The team admits that
their win at Monaca was a one off and their next chance would be at Hungary.
They even struggled here last year!
Drivers: David Coulthard won in Monaco but don't expect a repeat here. A top 6 finish is possible.
Kimi Raikkonen will do exceptionally well here given his stunning pace last year in the Sauber in his debut season. Finishing the race however is a different story as he seems to have a car that can't make it to the end. If luck is on his side, he'll finish in the points!.
Renault: Had a good race in Monaco but they weren't as close to the front during the race as expected. Last year they were at the back of the grid here. Expect them to be just behind the top 3 teams this time. Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10
Drivers: Jenson Button made 2 silly mistakes at Monaco. Stuffing up his start even though he has one of the best starting systems on the field and trying to overtake Panis. Having said that, he is probably gentler on the car than Trulli and will be more likely to finish here. A top 6 finish is possible.
Jarno Trulli finally scores for Renault after 7 attempts. He will once again qualify well on this track but will his car last ?. If it does then he will be contesting for a top 6 finish.
Sauber: They weren't going to do well at Monaco but Canada is a different story. With the powerful '01 Ferrari engine they will be able to compete with McLaren and Renault. Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10
Drivers: Nick Heidfeld finished 8th in Monaco thanks to the high attrition rate at the track. He will be a lot stronger here and could do well and finish in the points.
Felipe Massa will be fast around this track but inexperience will hurt him and he could stack it as he did in Monaco. If he stays cool he'll finish in the top 10.
Jordan: They have moved into 6th
in the championship but moving into 5th will require a lot of effort. The new
Honda engine expected to be introduced here will be of help. They could
even compete with McLaren, Sauber and Renault. Last year Trulli put the Jordan
4th on the grid. Reliability could hurt them though.
Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella got a boost after finishing in the points for 2 races in a row. If the Honda engine proves reliable and fast, another points finish could be on the cards.
Takuma Sato crashed out of the Monaco GP and will probably do the same on this tough track.
Jaguar: They don't expect any improvements!. Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 5.5/10
Drivers: Eddie Irvine was disappointing at Monaco. That was mainly due to his car. Don't expect anything different here.
Pedro de la Rosa in a similar situation to Irvine. He still needs to perform well as his results will determine if he remains with the team next year.
Minardi: Had a slim chance of scoring points in Monaco if the attrition rate was higher. They won't have a chance here!. Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 5.5/10
Drivers: Mark Webber was the only rookie to finish the Monaco GP. He won't have much of a chance to finish in the points this year but don't expect him to stay at Minardi next year!
Alex Yoong crashed so many times at Monaco. One wonders how long he will remain in Formula 1. Don't expect a finish from Yoong in Canada.
Toyota: Could do well here as they have one of the most powerful engines - Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10
Drivers: Mika Salo crashed in Monaco due to brake failure. Canada is very hard on brakes so his chances might not be great.
Allan McNish was another one of those who crashed in Monaco. Canada will be another difficult track for McNish and the Toyota isn't bullet proof either.
Arrows: They should do well here
as the car has good aerodynamics combined with the the Cosworth engine. The
concern for them would be reliability although they managed to finish both
cars at Monaco.
Drivers: Heinz Harald Frentzen scored again for the Arrows team at Monaco and could score again here although a top 10 finish outside the points is more likely.
Enrique Bernoldi has finally finished a race after 7 attempts. This should be encouraging from him. We could see him finish again. Points will be unlikely though.
BAR: Will race in Canada with a heavily modified car. It will have a new engine, a new gearbox and a new aero package, the first by Geoffrey Willis. If the car is reliable, they could be a surprise and score a point. Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10
Drivers: Jacques Villeneuve failed to finish in Monaco due to car problems. He hasn't done well in the past at his home GP finishing only once (2nd in '96). The modifications on the BAR might help him this time around!.
Olivier Panis has yet to finish a race and with Canada being a hard circuit on cars, that is unlikely. It is a shame though as Panis usually qualifies well on this track.
6 'n' Pole and see how your predictions stack up against the others.