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2003 German Grand Prix 
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Can Bridgestone survive the heat ?

The Ferrari - Bridgestone package won at Silverstone and there was a small improvement in the performance of all the Bridgestone runners that weekend but is that improvement enough to match the Michelins at Hockenheim where track temperatures are expected to reach the high 30's and maybe into the 40's. With the ban on testing for 5 weeks from Silverstone, the simple answer to that would be no. The Michelin runners are likely to dominate not only in Hockenheim but for the rest of the season.

Expect the Williams duo to fight it out with Kimi and Michael in for a chance. 

Whilst there was no testing last week, there was some driver movement with Antonio Pizzonia being dumped by Jaguar in favour of Minardi's Justin Wilson. Nicolas Kiesa takes the place of Justin Wilson at Minardi.

Ferrari: Extended their lead in the Constructors' Championship to 10 points thanks to a fantastic drive by Rubens Barrichello and a good salvage by Michael Schumacher. Those points will be a good buffer as their competitors close in on them.
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Michael Schumacher was outdriven by his team-mate Rubens Barrichello at Silverstone and while he did manage to finish 4th after being outside the top 10, a few other drivers were in similar situations and managed to move up the order quicker than Michael could manage. He'll bounce back here though and will be in the hunt for a win but it will be difficult.

Rubens Barrichello drove a fantastic race at Silverstone but unfortunately, that may be his race of the season. He is likley to take his normal place again. Lets hope he doesn't!.

Williams: Finished second at the track that they dubbed as their wake-up call. Expect them to be strong at Hockenheim but not as strong as they might have been before the track was shortened. Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya takes over 3rd place from his team-mate. His drive at Silverstone was superb and similar to Barrichello's. He's a strong candidate for a win at Hockenheim. 

Ralf Schumacher struggled with his car at Silverstone and for the first time this season he failed to score points. Still he is the only driver to have finished every race this season!. At Hockenheim he may win if the car is perfect, otherwise he'll be somewhere in the top 6!

McLaren: It is amazing that this car can still be a top contender despite being over a year and a half old now. It is Kimi Raikkonen though who is making it compete with the top runners. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10

Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen for some reason struggle on his last set at Silverstone, otherwise he could have won the race or at least finished second. Still he is getting more out of the car than it can offer. You can't discount him from winning.

David Coulthard was affected negatively when he lost his head restraint and had to pit but made up for that when the second safety car came out due to the lunatic on the track. Still he couldn't do much and just managed 5th. Silverstone is supposed to be a track where Coulthard is at his best. He still couldn't match his team-mate. Don't expect too much here!.

Renault: They were very reliable at the start of the season and now they are showing signs that they are introducing new parts before fully testing them as they have very limited testing compared to the other teams. They are safe in 4th place in the Constructors' Championship as they won't be able to catch any of the top 3 teams and no other team can catch them.   
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 8.5/10

Drivers: Fernando Alonso was on another fantastic drive at Silverstone despite having to pit behind his team-mate at the second safety car condition. He had to retire with a gearbox problem though. He'll do well if his car last, maybe even a podium. 

Jarno Trulli managed 6th at Silverstone after a good race but not a fantastic one. Renault maybe strong here and might mix it with the top runners. Trulli could finish in the top 6 again. 

BAR: Increased their lead over Jaguar by 2 points thanks to an inspired drive by Jenson Button. The Bridgestones are unlikely to be competitive here and if there are points for those outside the top 4 teams, they are likely to be for Michelin runners.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 8.0/10

Drivers: Jenson Button drove a very good race and scored a point after starting last. He is on a mission and if his car survives he may have a chance of scoring a point. Unlikely though!

Jacques Villeneuve did defend his place when Michael was behind him reminding us of the good old days but being beaten by your team-mate who started last isn't good. He seems to be hitting new lows every race. Perhaps he is better of retiring rather than moving to another team.

Jaguar: Failed to score points after scoring in 3 successive races. Mark Webber actually struggled at Silverstone and only managed 14th. Now that Wilson has joined them, they may have 2 guns to try for points.
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10

Drivers: Mark Webber struggled at Silverstone but will bounce back for Hockenheim particularly given that he'll want to prove to Wilson how fast he is. A return to the points is possible.

Justin Wilson gets his break before the season even finishes. This is an excellent opportunity for him but it is also a very risky move as if he proves he can't match Webber he may not be re-signed by Jaguar. Don't expect him to do wonders at Hockenheim. 

Jordan: Their major update didn't make much of an impact. They were still near the back at Silverstone.
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella continues to be disappointed with his car and that is affecting him. He needs to move out from there if he is to continue his career in F1.

Ralph Firman drove a good race at Silverstone. He is matching Fisichella now but Fisichella isn't the driver we used to know though.

Sauber: They are being caught by Toyota and soon enough they'll be 9th in the championship fighting for 8th with Jordan. Their decline cannot be due to just poor Bridgestone tyres as they are running last year's Ferrari engine. Their chassis isn't good this year.
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10

Drivers: Heinz Harald Frentzen finished 12th at Silverstone. Don't expect much more at Hockenheim.

Nick Heidfeld is in the same boat as his team-mate.

Toyota: Continue to improve and they are now just 2 points behind Sauber. Chances are that they'll catch them and catch Jordan before the end of the season. 
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10

Drivers: Cristiano da Matta maximised his chances at Silverstone and managed to finish 7th which is a superb result for him and his team. He'll find it hard to repeat that performance here as he isn't familiar with this track. Still he may do better than his team-mate.

Olivier Panis was disappointing at Silverstone and his team-mate blew him away when they were 1st and 2nd after the second safety car and he dropped back to his team-mate. At Hockenheim he may beat his team-mate but he won't be too far. Michelin can help him score points for the team.

Minardi: They put on a good show at Silverstone and mixed it with the Jordans and Saubers. Stoddart must have made a good deal out of giving Jaguar his driver and may prove very fruitful when he gets better spec engines for next year!.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 6.0/10

Drivers: Jos Verstappen may have unintentionally helped Justin Wilson move to Jaguar. Was Wilson that good that he matched an inform Verstappen or is Verstappen nearing his retirement days ?. We'll know soon.

Nicolas Kiesa is an unknown and we'll have to see how he fairs compared to Verstappen. 

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