Italian Grand Prix
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Will the Williams last the distance ?
be dominant at Monza but the question will be will they last. They
dominated at Hockenheim and the same is expected at Monza but they
have had numerous engine failures and at Monza it will not be easy
for those BMW engines.
The weather is
unlikely to be a factor at Monza as it almost always sunny and warm
this time of the year and that could give the Michelin runners an
Continued their winning form and didnít let up despite securing
both titles. They will start using some components destined for the
2002 car so they might have a reliability issue. Winning at Monza
though in front of the tifosi will be a definite motivating
factor for them but it will be almost impossible if the Williamsí
9.5/10 - Speed 9.5/10
Schumacher Won his 52nd race at Spa and now holds the
most number of wins in Formula 1. One could say that he was
fortunate to have both Williams cars struggle in Spa and Fisichella
held up all those behind him but in the end he won the race
convincingly. A podium finish is likely and a win is possible if
both Williams cars struggle.
Barrichello didnít have
what it takes so Michael could help him in Spa. He qualified in 5th
and didnít appear to challenge for second place so Michael can
help him. In general Ferrari will struggle here at Monza so donít
expect miracle from Rubens. A top 6 finish is possible.
They openly donít care about second place which means that they
will be focusing their efforts on next yearís car. They wonít be
able to keep in touch with Williams and may struggle to stay with
Ferrari. Although both cars finished at Spa, reliability still seems
to be an issue at McLaren.
8.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10
Coulthard struggled to get past Fisichella in the Benetton at
Spa. Sure the Benetton appeared to have improved dramatically but it
also shows that the McLaren doesnít have the speed. Coulthard will
try to maximize his points and a podium finish is possible although
a top 6 finish is more likely.
Hakkinen had his own race
at Spa and finishing 4th behind Fisichella wasnít
impressive. The continued delay in announcing the McLaren driver
line-up just draws more speculation on the future of Mika Hakkinen
as a driver for the team. A top 6 finish is likely.
They will finish 1-2 if they last. It is almost that simple,
however, given the many engine failures they have suffered this
season, it will probably be a miracle if they do finish 1st
7.0/10 - Speed 9.5/10
Schumacher could win if his car lasts and he appears easier on
the car than his team-mate. In addition, if Montoya was ahead, the
team might ask him to move over as Ralf is fighting for second
place. Ralf ignored team orders twice this year so Montoya might
just do the same. Either a top 2 finish or a retirement.
Montoya now appears to be
gaining on Ralf Schumacher within the team. He had had 2 Poles
compared to Ralfís one and he could make it 3 here. Qualifying
will be a battle between those two. In the race, Montoya will win if
his car lasts and if the team doesnít ask him to yield to Ralf. He
has retired in 10 out of 14 races so he is more likely to retire
Had 2 DNFís at Spa and they appear to be having some reliability
issues which is not usual for the Swiss based team. They appear to
have come up with a low downforce configuration that is competitive
so they could be the best of the rest and they have to be is they
want to maintain 4th in the championship.
7.0.10 - Speed 8.0/10
Heidfeld had another unlucky race at Spa and retired after
colliding with Verstappen and de la Rosa. He has consistently
finished in the top 10 when his car lasts (8 out of 14) so expect a
similar performance here. A top 6 is possible if one or more of the
top 3 teams struggle.
Raikkonen had a nasty
crash at Magny-Cours during testing last week but he was OK. Expect
him to beat his team-mate here in Qualifying and in the race.
Heíll get some points if the cars ahead get into trouble.
a miserable race at Spa with Villeneuve finishing 8th and
Panis in 12th that despite all the retirements. They did
well at Hockenheim which is a similar track to Monza but that was
mainly due to the large number of retirements at that race. BAR will
only score points if a significant number of cars retire.
8.0/10 - Speed 7.5/10
Villeneuve is hoping like hell that the 2002 BAR will be
competitive. For the last 3 years he has had an average car and the
time is running out for him to prove that he still has what it
takes. A top 10 finish is possible but points will be nearly
Panis managed to beat
Villeneuve in qualifying several times early in the season but in
the last 6 races he only did it once. Is he getting tired of trying
with an average car or has Villeneuve responded. In the end, that
doesnít really count as they are more likely to finish outside the
points. A top 10 finish is possible.
again Jarno Trulli retires with a car failure while in a points
scoring positions. They would be far ahead of BAR and even Sauber
had their reliability been sorted out. Donít expect much
improvement on the situation as what is the point of fixing this
yearís car for the last 3 races. They will be trying to learn from
their mistakes for next season Ė Again!
5.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10
Trulli has had 4 retirements in a row and has only finished once
in the last 9 attempts. (He was classified at Canada but he did
retire). Almost everyone of those races he was in a points scoring
position and assuming he would have finished 6th in each
of those races, he would have been ahead of Montoya in the
Driversí title and Jordan ahead of Sauber in 4th. I am
sure he is relieved to go to Benetton especially after the dramatic
improvements they showed at Spa. A top 10 finish is possible.
Jean Alesi scored
his first point for Jordan in his second appearance. That must be
impressive. What is more impressive is that his car lasted unlike
Trulliís. Expect him to do well here as he has done well in the
past finishing on the podium twice. He will be close to Trulli and
could possible beat him. A top 10 finish is possible.
They have made a dramatic turnaround at Spa. Expect them to do well
at Monza as they claim to have more bits going on the car. Even
though they are 6 points behind BAR and Jordan, with a bit of luck,
they could beat both of them.
7.0/10 - Speed 7.5/10
Fisichella will lose out going to Jordan as the signs are that
Benetton will be a force to reckon with in 2002 while Jordan and
Honda will again struggle with a brand new engine. Heíll do his
best at Spa and could finish in the points.
Button will now have to
move up a gear as the car is clearly more competitive but he still
appears to be overshadowed by Fisichella. He needs to be careful as
Briatore can easily replace him with Alonso or Webber next season. A
top 10 finish is possible.
They had 5 retirements from the last 6 starts. Disastrous by any
standards. With management changes and focus on next yearís car,
donít expect that to improve in the last 3 races. They will be
struggling with Arrows and Prost.
5.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10
Irvine has had 3 retirements in a row, the last one he and Burti
clashed sending Burti into the tyre wall at high speed. Even if he
does make it to the finish line, heíll be lucky to finish inside
the top 10.
Pedro de la
Rosa hasnít impressed
at Jaguar since he joined them from the Spanish Grand Prix. I doubt
that heíll stay at Jaguar next season despite the assurances made
by Lauda. Unlikely to finish in the top 10.
Prost: After Qualifying in 4th at Spa - thanks to Frentzen and the Michelin tyres - Frentzen's car stalls before the start. Then Burti gets involved in a horrific crash but luckily he gets away with minor injuries. Prost are struggling financially and that won't help their performance.
7.0/10 - Speed 6.5/10
Harald Frentzen did very well at Spa in qualifying but his car
stalled before the start relegating him to the back of the grid. He
eventually finished 10th which is not bad considering the
circumstances. The Prost won't shape at Monza and Frentzen would be
happy to make it into the top 10 again.
(replaces Luciano Burti)
is new to the game, he'll be under pressure as he will be judged by
his performance from his very first race. Unfair but true. He'll
probably drive conservatively and finish a lap or two down.
Arrows: They should do better at low downforce tracks such as Monza but they are so much underpowered that they'll still be at the back fighting with Jaguar, Prost and even Minardi.
7.5/10 - Speed 5.5/10
Verstappen finished 11th at Spa despite all the retirements
in front of him. His car is not helping him
Bernoldi is in the same
boat as Verstappen in relation to the car but he is not shaping as a
driver. A top 10 finish is unlikely.
Will be happy to qualify ahead of one or more teams and that is
- Speed 4.0/10
Alonso needs a car that can show his real potential. He
impresses in qualifying only for the car to fail on him during the
race. Even if he finishes, it will be hard for him to finish in the
top 10 though.
(replaces Tarso Marques)
will show the world if he is another driver who buys his seat into
Formula 1 (just like the guy he is replacing) or if he deserves a
chance. Like Enge, he shouldn't be judged from the first race but it
will be interesting to see how close he will be to Alonso. He might
take it easy and finish the race!.