The last 2 races at the Nurburgring and Magny-Cours have clearly shown that
the tyre war has swung in favour of the Michelin runners and despite the
strength of the Ferrari package, the top Michelin runners were making them
look ordinary. Unless the weather plays a major role this weekend, don't
expect Bridgestone to all of a sudden bounce back and provide Ferrari with a
The fight will be between McLaren and Williams with Michael Schumacher
waiting for an opportunity as he remains one of the best drivers who can make
the best out of whatever situation they are in.
All the teams with the exception of Minardi tested last week at Barcelona
with Williams, Ferrari and McLaren trading top times but testing is
meaningless when trying to interpret the times set as each team follows their
Ferrari: They've managed to stay in the lead of both Championships
but the prospect of them holding onto the Constructors' Championship
following Silverstone will be slim as they are only 3 points ahead of
Williams who are on a roll. They'll be hoping that Michael can continue
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10
Michael Schumacher once again showed us that he hasn't lost any
of his skill when it comes to getting the maximum out of what you've got.
Finishing 3rd at Magny-Cours was the best he could hope for and he managed
just that. He still leads the Drivers' Championship but the others will be
closing in if they keep winning. A win here is unlikely unless it is wet
or both Williams and McLaren hit problems.
Rubens Barrichello didn't even make the top 6. The more Michael
shines the more Rubens fades. He'll finish in the points just because of
Williams: A double 1-2 is a fantastic result, making it three
in a row will be stunning. They could do it but expect a tougher fight
from McLaren and Ferrari. They are the favourites though. Reliability
9.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10
Ralf Schumacher seems to have got everything sorted and with that he
can perform even better. 3 in a row isn't unlikely.
Juan Pablo Montoya is under pressure to perform and so far he doesn't
seem to be responding too well. He needs to match Ralf and take a win from him
if he is to re-establish himself in the team. A win is possible but second is
McLaren: It appears the the new McLaren may not even make it this
season!. If that is the case then they'll have a slim chance of catching Williams
and Ferrari especially that they are the ones suffering from reliability
problems despite still using a 'tired and tested' car.
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen still making the most out of his
'old' car although he appeared to struggle in Magny-Cours as he lost 3rd place
to Michael and David was able to match him. He could still finish on the
podium at Silverstone.
David Coulthard did well at Magny-Cours and usually does
well at Silverstone. This is one of the few races that he may beat him
team-mate. A podium is possible.
Renault: Suffered a double retirement at their home track after
running strongly in the points. The team is introducing a major update f
or Silverstone and if their reliability holds we could see them
again mixing with the top 3 teams.
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 8.5/10
Fernando Alonso struggled a bit at Magny-Cours compared to his
team-mate but still was close. Expect him to bounce back at Silverstone. A
podium is not unlikely if a car or 2 in front struggle.
Jarno Trulli seems to have improved at Magny-Cours but
needs to be able to consistently do that. A top 8 finish is likely
BAR: Have managed to hold on to 5th place following
Magny-Cours but they aren't likely to do so after Silverstone thanks to
their Bridgestone tyres. Jaguar is poised to take 5th and don't be
surprised if Toyota moves from 9th to 6th leaving all the Bridgestone
runners (except Ferrari) at the bottom of the table.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10
Drivers: Jenson Button ran out of fuel at Magny-Cours,
lets hope the team won't have a similar problem this time around. In any case,
points will be difficult.
Jacques Villeneuve managed to finish 9th at Magny-Cours which is
a good result for him following his dismal performance at the Nurburgring.
Points will be difficult at Silverstone.
Jaguar: Thanks to Michelin and Webber, they are now set to
take 5th place in the Constructors championship and they are likely to
that in Silverstone provided that one of the top 8 drivers struggles. Of
course they need to be reliable as well.
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10
Drivers: Mark Webber had another strong finish managing
6th at Magny-Cours and finishing in the points in 5 out of the last 6
races. If reliability holds then he'll be the best of the rest again.
Antonio Pizzonia seems to be consistently 3 or 4 places
behind his team-mate at the end of a race regardless. That keeps the pressure
on him and he can't seem to recover.
Antonio has been unlucky to have Mark Webber as a team-mate.
Jordan: They are quickly becoming backmarkers fighting with
Minardi. The team is supposed to introduce a major update this weekend but
expect it to be too little too late. Expect Eddie Jordan to be the first
to sign-up with Michelin next year.
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10
Giancarlo Fisichella seems to have taken a similar career path as
Jacques Villeneuve. Fisichella doesn't even seem to be trying as his
team-mate Firman is almost matching him.
Ralph Firman continues to improve and Giancarlo's disappointing form is
helping him. Points nearly impossible though.
Sauber: They are now 8th in the Constructors' Championship. Just
shows how the private teams are struggling despite running reasonable
engines. (Last years' Ferrari in Saubers case).
Running on Bridgestones doesn't help either
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10
Drivers: Heinz Harald Frentzen struggled in Magny-Cours
but so did his team-mate so the problem in with the package. Expect more
of the same at Silverstone.
Nick Heidfeld is in the same boat as his team-mate.
Toyota: They are improving thanks to their Michelin
rubber and some more reliability in their cars. If the top teams run into
problems, they'll be there for some points and move ahead of a few other
Reliability 7.5/10 -
Drivers: Cristiano da Matta finished 11th in France but it
was a new track to him. He should be strong here are he is familiar with
Silverstone. Point hard but not impossible.
Olivier Panis managed to make it into the points thanks to
the double retirement of the Renaults. He'll be there behind Webber hoping for
more points at Silverstone.
Minardi: Got a boost when Jos Verstappen took provisional pole
on Friday at Magny-Cours thanks to the weather. Took their normal places
though come Sunday but they seem to be closing in on Jordan or is Jordan slipping
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 6.0/10
Drivers: Jos Verstappen was outraced by his rookie
team-mate at Magny-Cours. That isn't a good sign for him. Being such an
experienced driver and always at the back doesn't help.
Justin Wilson continues to impress. Sure he hasn't scored
any points but his ability to match a much more experienced driver tells a lot
about him. Still that won't help him much this weekend as he'll be one of the
first to be lapped.
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