Formula 1 news, results and statistics when you need it
Hungarian Grand Prix
Download the NewsOnF1.com
Can Ferrari clinch the Constructors Title ?
Last year Ferrari clinched both titles at the Hungarian GP,
this year Michael has already won the Drivers' title two races ago and Ferrari
need to win the race to ensure that they claim the Constructors' title (there
are a number of other possibilities for them to clinch the title as well - as
long as they can maintain a points difference of at least 64 points).
Given the August 3-week break, no major on track testing occurred so don't expect major changes to be introduced as they haven't been track tested.
Ferrari: While they won at Hockenheim, it was
close between them and Williams but with Michael Schumacher, they still have
the upper hand. Their reliability particularly on Michael's car is
Drivers: Michael Schumacher won at home 3 weeks ago and no one managed to match him whether it was in Qualifying or the Race. He has a very good record here in Hungary and with Ross Brawn - the master strategist, he will be hard to beat.
Rubens Barrichello continues to have problems on his car. In Germany he had a fuel flap problem which may have lost him a few places. But following the problem he didn't push and finished over 23 seconds behind the lead. A second place is possible but it strongly depends on how he is affected by distractions on race day!.
Williams: Did better than expected
at Hockenheim with Ralf pushing until only a few laps from the end. Montoya on
the other hand was still using his tyres and struggling. That tyre problem at
Williams still exists but maybe to a lesser degree than it used to.
Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya finished second in Germany after Ralf had to make an extra stop. He also missed out on pole for the first time in 6 races. While you can't rule out Montoya for grabbing pole, it will be a tough battle for him on this track. A top 6 finish is likely depending on how good their strategy is.
Ralf Schumacher was surprisingly quicker than Montoya in Qualifying and the Race. It must be the home advantage that gave him an extra boost. That will be good for Ralf's confidence as Montoya had firmly put him in his shadows for a few races before Hockenheim. Here at the Hungaroring, they will be close but expect Montoya to regain the upper hand. A top 6 finish is likely.
McLaren: From almost winning in
France to being a lap down in Germany. Their performance is becoming more and
more inconsistent. However on tight and slow tracks they will be strong and
have proven that at Monaco earlier this year. They won't be as strong as
Ferrari but if they get the strategy right they could beat Ferrari.
Drivers: David Coulthard was once again out-qualified by his younger team-mate but he was the one who got the points for his team. He has done well here in the past finishing on the podium for the last 4 races so expect that to continue. Another podium finish is possible.
Kimi Raikkonen retired from the German GP as a result of a tyre failure. His run of bad luck must end. A podium finish is possible if he doesn't run into problems!
Renault: Surprisingly, they
weren't fast nor reliable at Hockenheim. Like McLaren they are inconsistent in
their race performances. Hungary should suit them though and they should be
closer to the top 3 teams.
Drivers: Jenson Button will do his best to enjoy his last 5 races with Renault. He will however be at a disadvantage to Trulli as he will now start to see less and less of new bits getting on the car. A top 6 finish is possible.
Jarno Trulli must be wondering when his race performances will get better? With 8 retirements so far (out of 12) he is one of the least fortunate on the grid. He'll continue to do well in qualifying but in the race, who knows!. A top 6 finish is possible if luck is on his side.
Sauber: They benefited from the high attrition rate
at Hockenheim to grab a point but they weren't fast. Their car doesn't appear
to be suited for slow tracks so expect them to struggle here and be behind
Renault and possibly even behind the Honda runners.
Drivers: Nick Heidfeld managed to score a point at home with the help of his team as they asked Massa to move over. Scoring points here will be equally hard and equally lucky!. A top 10 finish is likely.
Felipe Massa was furious with his team after
being told to let Heidfeld through during the German GP. This may provoke him
to even push harder and potentially damage more cars. This kid needs to cool
Jordan: The uncertainty
surrounding their engine supply for next year will affect them and if Honda
have already decided not to continue with their contract for next year, then
they will not be getting the latest spec engines and that will hurt them in
their fight with BAR.
Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella suffered an engine failure at Hockenheim. He could do well on this track depending on how reliable his car is. A top 10 finish is possible.
Takuma Sato managed to finish 8th at Hockenheim but only 9 cars finished. There are rumours that he might not even make it to the end of the season!. A top 10 finish is possible if the attrition rate is high!.
BAR: Both of their cars retired
with mechanical problems at Hockenheim. The car is still suffering despite
having only 5 races to go!. The latest Honda engine though is a boost and will
help them in qualifying.
Drivers: Jacques Villeneuve doesn't seem to be wanted by David Richards but it is more likely than not that he'll remain with the team next year. This uncertainty though must be affecting him and the team and his performances reflect that. Points are a very slim possibility.
Olivier Panis hasn't signed any deal for next year yet so his future is still undecided and he will want to impress both his current employer and any prospective one in the hope that he secures a drive. Points will be hard.
Jaguar: From the highs of France
to the lows of Germany, their new package seems to be inconsistent!. For the
Hungaroring expect them to be closer to the back of the gird again.
Drivers: Eddie Irvine seems to be more comfortable with the new package than his team-mate but he is still not getting the results out of it. If his car lasts then a top 10 will be a challenge.
Pedro de la Rosa might have a contract for next year but his performances aren't that great to guarantee him a seat next season. He needs to get his act together if it is not already too late. Top 10 finish will be hard.
Minardi: This is another track
that Minardi can mix it with a few of the other teams. With talks about a
takeover, a good result should raise their price!
Drivers: Mark Webber continues to impress and will defiantly be driving a better car next year, they haven't announced which team yet. He will qualify ahead of a number of drivers and if his car lasts will finish in the top 10.
Alex Yoong / Replacement driver - At the time of publishing, no announcement was made by Minardi regarding Alex Yoong. If he drives, he'll struggle to qualify again. Whoever the replacement may be, it will be a better challenge for Webber!
Toyota: Managed to get a car to the finish which
would have been a relief for them. They did well in Monaco and that could be
Drivers: Mika Salo finished 9th and last at Hockenheim but should do better here. A top 10 finish is possible.
Allan McNish is more likely than not to be replaced and that could even be before the end of the season. He lacks the experience and his car isn't helping. A top 10 finish is possible if he doesn't spin out.
Arrows: Their financial problems
don't appear to be fixed yet and that isn't a good sign. They have released
Frentzen but have yet to name the driver who will take his place.
Drivers: Enrique Bernoldi will want to help motivate a team that is on the brink of collapse but with no testing and probably no serious development, the odds are against him. A finish is unlikely.
Heinz Harald Frentzen's replacement - At the time of publishing, Arrows have yet to announce the driver replacing Frentzen. Arrows will need to make it first!
6 'n' Pole and see how your predictions stack up against the others.