1 Brazilian Grand Prix
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McLaren need a 1-2 finish!
track at Interlagos is the 3rd shortest on the calendar after Monaco and Indy. It is very challenging for the drivers and engineers
as you need minimum drag on the straights but maximum downforce in the infield section and so a compromise setup is needed. The
track runs in an anti clockwise direction and is very bumpy making it tough on the drivers as well. The best overtaking opportunity
is at the end of the main straight.
A number of teams were testing last week at Silverstone, Barcelona and Jerez in preparation for the final 3 flyaway races of the season.
Here is a team by team preview:
They very nearly lost the lead in the Constructors' Championship in Belgium but they were saved by Pizzonia's collision with
Montoya towards the end of the race. They have a new aero package as well as a new engine spec for Brazil and they'll be hoping to
close the gap to McLaren but it will be difficult!.
Drivers: Fernando Alonso needs just 6 points to clinch the Drivers' Title and become the youngest Formula 1 World Champion. That should be achievable in Brazil even if the McLarens prove to be too fast for the Renault.
crashed out in Belgium while pushing hard to make for his 10 grid penalty due to an engine change. This will hurt his chances for a
drive with the team next year. He knows he needs to impress in the final 3 races if he is to retain his seat.
Belgium was their best chance for a 1-2 finish so far this season but it didn't happen. You'd have to wonder if they'll be able to
do it this season!
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen was impressive at Spa and expect him to be equally impressive in Brazil. If the car is reliable then expect another win.
Juan Pablo Montoya started from Pole in Belgium but was no match to Raikkonen in the latter stages of the race but that could be due to his tyres. Expect a very close fight here in Brazil just like last year.
They are trying to retain 3rd place in the championship as Toyota is just 10 points behind. As both teams are fighting for 5th
place and lower it will be hard for Toyota however Ferrari have been struggling in the last few races and if they don't score points
they'll be under serious threat.
Drivers: Michael Schumacher was hit from behind by Sato in Belgium and retired. He may have scored some points but we didn't see the rain master in Belgium. Points possible.
Rubens Barrichello scored points in Belgium but again like his team-mate didn't impress in the wet conditions. He finished on the podium here last year but don't expect such a result this year!
They can still beat Ferrari to 3rd however they have to fight with BAR and Williams as well and that will make it difficult. They
lost a real opportunity in Belgium by taking a risk and switching Ralf to dry tyres. A podium would have been a real possibility.
Drivers: Jarno Trulli crashed out in Belgium avoiding a slow Jordan. He'll once again qualify well but drop back in the race! Points likely.
Ralf Schumacher lost a real chance of a podium finish at Spa. That opportunity is unlikely to occur again here! Points possible.
They seem to be improving, sadly though it looks as if they will remain in 5th with no real chance of catching Toyota. They won
here last year but that is very unlikely this year!
Drivers: Mark Webber finished 4th in Belgium and that was a much needed result following a number of incidents in the previous races. This result also moves him ahead of Heidfeld who may not be racing again for Williams after signing with BMW for 2006. Points possible.
Antonio Pizzonia made what seemed to be a silly mistake at Spa and took Montoya out of the race. He'll regret that as he is out there trying to convince the teams that he is worthy of a drive next year. He still has a chance here in Brazil but can he handle the pressure of racing at home ? His aim would be to match or even beat his team-mate but that will be very difficult!
Have finally moved into 6th place ahead of Red Bull. With 28 points separating them from Williams, it seems they'll have to settle
for 6th place this season but could impact on the fight for 3rd place between Ferrari and Toyota.
Drivers: Jenson Button impressed in Belgium on his way to another podium finish. His
performance at Spa may have made it even harder for him to get out of his Williams contract!
must be counting down the days he has left in Formula 1. While impressing at some races, he seems to go over the edge far too many
They've lost 6th and are talking about trying to get it back but in reality 7th is a good result for a team that went through so
much change at the end of last year.
Drivers: David Coulthard suffered an rare engine failure in Spa. It will be very tough to score points in Brazil unless it rains then he may have a chance.
Christian Klien finished just outside the points at Spa after switching tyres too early. Like his team-mate points will be very hard but if there is an opportunity Klien will take it.
Scored 3 points in Belgium thanks to a 1-stop strategy for Villeneuve!. If they keep scoring points at this rate they'll be
threatening Red Bull but that is very unlikely.
Drivers: Jacques Villeneuve moves ahead of his team-mate in the Drivers' table. Whether that is enough to impress BMW to keep him next year remains to be seen. Points will be difficult here unless it rains then it is possible.
Felipe Massa will want to impress racing at home and finish ahead of his team-mate. It will be an interesting final 3 races between those two!. Points difficult.
Scored a point at Spa. That wasn't expected! Brazil will be another tough race for them and will be fighting with Minardi at the
Drivers: Tiago Monteiro scored a point for the team. That was impressive and equally impressive is the fact that he has now finished 15 out of 15 races so far!. Will he have a perfect finish record ? Don't expect more points although Brazil is good to Jordan!
didn't impress in Belgium and it seems his team-mate is now getting the better of him unlike earlier in the season!
They took a gamble going for full wet tyres in Belgium but it didn't work out. They still finished but couldn't match the Jordans.
Expect a closer fight in Brazil
Drivers: Christijan Albers will want to impress in the hope of securing a drive in Formula 1 next year with another team as Minardi is bought by Red Bull. Chances are slim but a test driver role may be a possibility. Beating Jordan would be the aim here.
Robert Doornbos is in the same situation as his team-mate.
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