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2000 Hungarian GP News
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With just 6 races to go and 2 points separating Michael Schumacher and both David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen, the driver's championship is set to be one of the most exciting in recent years.
Having scored 0 points from the last 3 races, Michael Schumacher cannot afford anything but a win, otherwise his lead in the championship will almost certainly be lost to one of the two McLaren drivers. Ferrari should do well here given that this circuit depends more on mechanical grip rather than aerodynamics.
This track has produced a few surprises however last year
Mika Hakkinen won from pole, the year before, a brilliant drive from Michael Schumacher
coupled with a brilliant strategy by Ross Brawn gave Ferrari the chequered flag ahead of
David Coulthard. In 1997 Damon Hill nearly won the race but loss of hydraulic pressure
forced him to give way to Jacques Villeneuve.
Ferrari: Michael Schumacher must win here and he cannot afford any more first lap incidents but he must still have a good start as overtaking at this circuit is next to impossible. Rubens Barrichello must have a confidence boost after his win in Germany but even if he can get ahead of Michael, team orders will force him to give way. Ferrari can score a 1-2 finish here.
McLaren: Possibly robbed of a win by a crazy protester but despite that they managed to finish both cars in the top 3. Their reliability is near perfect and should continue to be so. Being equal on points, the situation between Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard could be a bit tense and Ron Dennis will have to manage it carefully.
Mika Hakkinen has now outraced David Coulthard in the last 2 races as he seems to have regained his focus and confidence. David Coulthard has not given up though as he fought back in Germany after ending up 6th behind the safety car to finish 3rd. It will be very close with Ferrari for the win.
Williams: In Germany, Jenson Button
started last and finished 4th in what must be his drive of the season. The Williams is
struggling on the low downforce circuits but they should do well here.
Benetton: From finishing 9 races in a row to not completing a single lap in the last 2 races, Giancarlo Fisichella must be looking to improve his chances here. The car has good mechanical grip which should enable them to compete for a top 10 finish and possibly in the points. Alexander Wurz needs a miracle to do well.
BAR: High downforce circuits does not suit the BAR chassis and therefore will only score points if there is a high rate of attrition. Jacques Villeneuve will do his best and Ricardo Zonta appears to be doing better in qualifying but he is still crashing too much. A top 10 finish outside the points is more likely.
Jordan: Once again, Heinz Harald Frentzen retired from a points scoring situation in Germany. The team must sort out the problems otherwise they will even be caught by Sauber or Jaguar!. They should do well here and have the best chance of making up for their lost points but that is if reliability holds. Frentzen and Trulli are evenly matched and could both finish in the top 6. Competition will be mainly from Williams.
Sauber: Mika Salo finished 5th in Germany while Pedro Diniz continues to crash into other cars. A repeat of Salo's finish here is going to be difficult, they will be running alongside Arrows and Jaguar. A top 10 finish for both is possible.
Jaguar: A new specification engine didn't appear to help in Germany were it should, it won't help here. Herbert retired once again while Eddie Irvine struggled and was still not feeling 100% due to his abdominal pains. They could be a surprise here and get close to Williams and Jordan.
Arrows: Pedro de la Rosa scored his first point of the season in Austria. A repeat of that appears unlikely but possible. He appears to have potential after running in the top 6 in the last 2 races. Jos Verstappen spun in Germany reminding us of his past. They will be competing with Sauber and Jaguar for a top 10 finish.
Prost: Jean Alesi crashed out of the race while Nick Heidfeld retired a few laps from the end in Germany. They remind us of the BAR of last year who failed to score a single point. Prost appear to be on track to achieve the same.
Minardi: Any position higher than the last 2 will be a bonus.
Last year only 5 cars failed to finish. It will be a interesting fight for points. Practice starts on Friday at 11 AM local time. That is 9 AM GMT