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2003 Austrian Grand Prix 
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Not a repeat of last year!

The 2002 Austrian Grand Prix will always be remembered as the race Rubens Barrichello won but didn't win. Rubens Barrichello led from the start until the last corner when he was ordered to give way to Michael Schumacher. On the podium and the press conference that followed, it was Rubens who took the winners place. The FIA reprimanded Ferrari and their drivers for their actions but not for applying team orders. However, the new rules applied from this season onwards have banned team orders so lets hope the teams adhere to that rule.

This year's race at the A1-Ring is expected to be the last as the FIA is expected to drop this race from next season due to new anti-tobacco advertising laws.
The track is a medium downforce track that is demanding on engines with full engine load applied for 70% of the lap. The track isn't hard on tyres but doesn't provide much grip.

All teams were testing last week except for Jordan and Minardi. At Paul Ricard, 7 teams were testing with Williams topping the times on each day. Ferrari were testing at Monza, Mugello and Fiorano.

McLaren: Their lead in the championship has shrunk to just 3 points following their double DNF at Barcelona and Ferrari scoring 16 points. They are likely to surrender their lead to Ferrari here as they are not expected to match the Ferrari or the BMW Williams. Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen continues to lead the championship but only 4 points ahead of Michael Schumacher. His mistake in Qualifying in Spain ended up costing him the race as well. He'll bounce back but it will be hard for him challenge at the A1-Ring. A top 6 finish is expected though.

David Coulthard had a tough race in Spain getting involved in 2 incidents. The one with Trulli maybe a 50/50 but the one with Button wasn't his fault. He didn't really have a race as he had to pit after his incident with Trulli and that ruined his race. Like Kimi he's expected to finish in the top 6.

Ferrari: The new car made its debut in Spain and it came 1st and 3rd but it didn't appear that much faster than its predecessor. The Bridgestone tyres though weren't a match for the Michelins and that could be the reason behind the Ferrari's lack of pace. The A1-Ring isn't hard on tyres so expect the Bridgestones to be a match to the Michelins.
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.5/10

Drivers: Michael Schumacher won in Spain but last year he needed the team to make the call for Barrichello to let him through. This is one of the tracks that Barrichello seems able to better Michael and since team orders are banned this year, on even terms Michael may settle for second.  

Rubens Barrichello has a real chance of winning on this track as he has shown in the past that he can do better lap times than Michael. Provided that he doesn't get unlucky, expect a win from the Brazilian.

Renault: They expected a good result in Spain and they achieved it. Had Trulli not retired on the first lap they may have even finished both their cars on the podium. At the A1-Ring they will struggle as they lack power. Once again we'll see them fall behind on the straight yet going into the corners they'll catch and possibly even pass the car ahead.  
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 8.5/10

Drivers: Fernando Alonso is now 3rd in the Championship and has scored in every race so far with 3 on the podium (Ralf Schumacher is the only other driver to finish in the points every race so far). His performance at his home track was superb and expect him to continue his charge. On this track though, it will be very hard for him to make it past the Ferrari and Williams. Top 6 likely.

Jarno Trulli retired in Spain and that isn't good for him. With Alonso almost 3 times his points tally, he needs to deliver. He won't score that many points here though!

Williams: They had serious problems at Barcelona. One can somewhat understand them being behind Ferrari but also behind Renault cannot be acceptable. They'll be strong here thanks to their engine but they still need to sort out their chassis fast. Reliability 9/10 - Speed 8.5/10

Drivers: Ralf Schumacher seems to be consistent as he has finished all the races so far in the points yet he doesn't seem to be fast. He has a chance to prove that he is both at the A1-Ring. A podium finish is possible.

Juan Pablo Montoya managed to finish 4th in Spain but over a minute behind. The circuit will suit the Williams but it is unlikely that they'll match the Ferraris. A podium is possible.

Jordan: They managed to score a point in Spain against the odds thanks to both McLaren falling out as well as Trulli to give a few cars outside the top 4 teams a chance to score points. It will be hard for them to score again in Austria. Reliability 6.0/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella suffered from another engine failure in Spain. He'll try again in Austria but his chances aren't great!

Ralph Firman managed to score a point in Spain and that will be good for him. It that he is familiar with. This one isn't and so he'll struggle.

Sauber: The new chassis isn't working. Running a 2002 spec Ferrari engine should put that car consistently in the points but they aren't so it must be the chassis!. On a track were power matters they could do better. Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10

Drivers: Heinz Harald Frentzen suffered from a suspension failure in Spain, something that isn't expected from Sauber. He could score a point or two here thanks for the Ferrari power.

Nick Heidfeld may also score a point or two if they get the strategy right.

BAR: Continue to struggle with reliability problems. Their package appears to be one of the best outside the top 4 teams but don't seem able to capitalise on that.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10

Drivers: Jacques Villeneuve yet again retires from a race with a car problem. That is 3 out of 5 races so far. Points possible providing reliability and a car or two in front drop out.

Jenson Button ruined his race in Spain by a silly move on David Coulthard that cost him an extra pit stop and put him out of the points. He cannot afford to make such mistakes as he is on equal points with his team-mate yet has not had a car failure so far and given the reliability of BAR he cannot count on that continuing.

Toyota: They've opened their scoresheet at Spain and showed very good form with Cristiano da Matta. If they can sort out the reliability, they'll continue scoring points 
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Cristiano da Matta drove a very good race in Spain which is one of the few tracks that he is familiar with. The A1-Ring will be new to him but being able to score the first points for Toyota this season will give him a much needed boost. Points possible if the teams ahead drop out.

Olivier Panis had his 4th retirement of the season so far. He is simply unlucky. If his car is reliable he may be able to score points.

Jaguar: They've finally managed to score after sorting out the reliability. They have a good package which could see them challenge Toyota and BAR but they need the reliability.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Mark Webber scored his first points this season and the first for Jaguar as well. He'll fight for a point of two if given a chance.

Antonio Pizzonia yet again failed to start a race. It isn't clear if the problem was car related or driver related or both. The rumours of him being replace by Wurz faded so it appears that he'll be given a chance. Don't expect miracles from him though!

Minardi: Managed to finish both their cars in Spain which is a good sign but the car isn't fast and it will be nearly impossible for them to score points  
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 6.5/10

Drivers: Jos Verstappen must be having a tough time driving in a car and knowing that points will be next to impossible to score.

Justin Wilson showed some good racing in Spain and needs to continue to impress to make a name for himself in Formula 1. 

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