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David Coulthard under pressure !
Michael Schumacher leads the Drivers' championship by 18 points from
David Coulthard and while there are still 9 races to go David Coulthard is
under pressure to reduce the gap to Michael Schumacher if he is to
challenge for the title.
Ferrari: They have a massive 34 point lead over McLaren
and unless they run into reliability problems or their driver get involved
in accidents, they appear to be in a very good shape for the Constructors'
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10
Drivers: Michael Schumacher won here last year in wet
conditions and if he wins on Sunday regardless of where Coulthard finishes
his lead will be at least 22 points. He will be very hard to catch.
Rubens Barrichello was unlucky to crash out in Canada when Juan Pablo went off but a problem with his traction control system lost him any chance of finishing on the podium. Interestingly, Barrichello has finished on podium every time he finished a race this season and that is 5 times out of 8 so far. A podium will be possible but the fight from McLaren and Williams will be very tough.
McLaren: Didn't shape in Canada even though Hakkinen finished 3rd as that was mainly due to the drivers ahead retiring. Coulthard faced yet another dilemma when his team forgot to fit a nut on the front suspension. Eventually he retired with an engine failure. Even in qualifying, the McLaren's didn't look threatening to the Ferrari of Michael Schumacher and it appears as though McLaren are slowly losing their edge.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10
Drivers: David Coulthard was determined to score some points in Canada despite a problem with his car but retired with an engine failure. He was on pole here last year and he know that he must win or at least finish ahead of Michael Schumacher if he wants to realistically challenge for the championship. A win is possible if McLaren give him a good car.
Mika Hakkinen even though he finished 3rd in Canada, it does
appear that he has given up on this season. Qualifying 8th behind a
Jordan, a BAR and a Sauber not to mention a Williams and 2 Ferrari's is
not what we are used to see from Hakkinen.
Williams: They are discounting the possibility of mounting a challenge for either championship and are claiming that they are not ready yet. Well they have already surprised us a few times this season so don't be surprised if they do. One thing for sure is that they will certainly finish the season much closer to Ferrari and McLaren than where they are now. Tyres will play a major role for Williams here.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 9.5/10
Drivers: Ralf Schumacher won 2 races from the 3 races that he managed to finish. If his car lasts he will be a threat to both Michael and David. He could win convincingly here provided that his tyres are running at the optimum temperature. If it is wet and/or cold, he will struggle.
Juan Pablo Montoya needs to look at the way he is handling things in Formula 1. 7 retirements from 8 starts is not good and having off track fights with Villeneuve won't help. It is important for him to finish races otherwise we won't see him in a Williams next year. A top 6 finish is possible.
Sauber: They continue to impress despite the older Ferrari engines that they use. Their cars are reliable and strong and with the driver pairing they have, they are one of the best performing teams this season.
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 7.5/10
Drivers: Nick Heidfeld was unlucky in Canada as he was hit by Irvine. However he continues to be out-qualified by his less experienced team-mate Kimi Raikkonen and he needs to counter that. A points finish is possibly if several front runners retire but it will be a tough fight with Jordan and BAR.
Kimi Raikkonen has certainly proved that he deserves to be
in Formula 1. Even though he lacks the experience he is now ahead in the
points of Juan Pablo Montoya who is driving a stronger car and has far
more experience than Kimi.
Jordan: Pointless from the last 3 races. They are in big trouble running 5th in the Constructors' championship just 1 point ahead of BAR. They've had one reliability problem after another and that should end soon or they'll risk losing the Honda power.
Reliability 5.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10
Jarno Trulli retired yet again from a possible podium finish.
Sure Canada is hard on brakes but a team like Jordan should be able to
address that issue before hand. He seems to have an edge over Heinz Harald
Heinz Harald Frentzen withdrew from the Canadian GP and didn't conduct any testing at Silverstone due to his crash in practice in Canada. He should be able to race at the Nurburgring but it is unlikely that he'll finish in the points.
BAR: Are in the same boat as Jordan although they appear to be improving. Canada however was a setback with both cars failing with mechanical problems. With Ferrari, McLaren and Williams having stronger packages, scoring points seems to be getting harder for them.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 8.5/10
Drivers: Jacques Villeneuve continues his bad performances at his home track with yet another retirement this time though as a result of a car failure. His record at the Nurburgring is not much better as he retired in the last 2 years although he won in '97. A top 6 finish is only possible if some of the front runners retire.
Olivier Panis did very well in Canada until his retirement. In qualifying he managed to put the BAR in 6th place while Villeneuve only managed 9th. In the race he was running strong until a brake failure forced him to stop. He could do well and a top 6 finish is possible.
Jaguar: Their new aerodynamic package didn't appear to have made a lot of difference on fast tracks. Their drivers qualified 14th and 15th in Canada which is basically a backward step from Irvine's almost guaranteed 13th spot on the grid. Their chance of scoring points is very low.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 7.0/10
Drivers: Eddie Irvine crashed into Nick Heidfeld in Canada after starting from 15th place. Don't expect miracles.
Pedro de la Rosa finally managed to finish a race for Jaguar and managed to do it in the points. It will be hard to repeat.
Prost: They've scored 2 more points with the brilliant Alesi. Although it was more to do with the cars in front failing than the package of the Prost. Sauber remains their benchmark as they sue the same engine and they are still in different classes.
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10
Drivers: Jean Alesi is the only driver to finish every race this season so he is very consistent and the car is very reliable but it is not fast. Alesi could finish in the top 10 and even the points if we have a lot of retirements.
Luciano Burti managed to finish the race in Canada and given the Prost reliability he could finish here as well. His inexperience of the track won't help him.
Arrows: Could have finished in the points in Canada had Jos Verstappen not spun towards the end of the race due to brake failure. They are doing well given the AsiaTech engine they are running but that isn't enough to translate to points.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10
Drivers: Jos Verstappen is driving a lot better than he used to and in the right car he could be a winner. In the Arrows though, he would be looking at a top 10 finish and if lucky be able to score a point or two.
Enrique Bernoldi has only managed to finish 2 out of the 8 races so far. 4 of his failures though are due to car failures. His inexperience though won't help him in challenging his team-mate here. A top 10 finish is possible if his car lasts.
Benetton: We keep hearing that the changes are coming in time for Magny Cours and that will be a huge step forward, well we'll wait till then!
Reliability 5.5/10 - Speed 4/10
Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella was unlucky in Canada after touching with Bernoldi and then running into the back of his team-mate. Starting from 18th though would have made it pretty hard for him to finish in the points. Expect more of the same here.
Jenson Button qualified just ahead of the Minardi's in Canada. He is not enjoying his time at Benetton. Let's hope they do make this step forward in time for the French GP.
Minardi: Managed to finish 1 car 3 laps down. The other car failed. The team is down on resources and down on power. It is amazing that they actually make it.
Reliability 4.5/10 - Speed 4.5/10
Drivers: Fernando Alonso should be driving for a better team as he has shown the ability he's got when he out-qualifies. He has been very unlucky with car failures as he is the only driver not to finish in the top 10 in any race this season. He could do it here!
Tarso Marques seems to be in the process of being replaced. He seems to have the 22nd position on the grid reserved for him. He could still finish in the top 10 by driving slowly and staying out of trouble waiting for the others to drop out!