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2004 Formula 1 British Grand Prix
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 Track Layout (from the FIA)


Now Michelin need to improve

Michael Schumacher's win at Magny Cours was a superb strategic one as the team realised that remaining on a 3 stop strategy like Alonso would most likely mean that Michael would have to overtake on track and that wouldn't be easy. The alternative was to switch to a 4 stopper and count on Michael and the Bridgestone tyres to perform. The result was a stunning win. 
As much as the Michelin runners say their tyres are consistent, one thing we see time and time again this season is that the Michelin tyres are no where near the consistency of the Brigestone tyres and that is an area that Michelin must improve on if they want one of their teams to beat Ferrari.

It appears that Renault and BAR are very close if not matching Ferrari on a single lap but over a race distance the Bridgestones have the edge over Michelin. Can that change at Silverstone ?

Here is a team by team review:

Ferrari: Won at Magny Cours on strategy and consistent tyres. The short pit lane also helped. They will face tough competition at Silverstone and they'll have to dig deep to win. 
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.5/10

Drivers: Michael Schumacher executed a stunning strategy successfully and won the race at Magny Cours. Silverstone will be equally difficult. A podium finish expected with a win likely. 

Rubens Barrichello had some bad luck when his car failed in prequalifying but did well during the race to recover from 10th on the grid to 3rd. His performance last year at Silverstone was impressive so expect a repeat this year.

Renault: Recovered from their reliability issues from Indy and did well at Magny Cours with a 2 car finish in the top 4. They were only beaten by Ferrari on an aggressive strategy. Expect them to be strong at Silverstone too. 
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jarno Trulli finished 4th again at Magny Cours after losing 3rd to Barrichello on the final lap. This was disappointing for him and for the team and he would want to recover from that. Another points finish likely.

Fernando Alonso returned to form in France and was on target to win the race. He was faster than the Ferraris on a single lap but in the race his tyres didn't help him and had to settle for second. He could again challenge for the win.

BAR: Weren't as strong as expected at Magny Cours but that could be mainly due to the tyres. They are still suffering from those engine failures affecting only Sato for some reason and that is costing them valuable points.
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jenson Button finished 5th at Magny Cours which was disappointing after losing 3rd to Trulli through a slow pit stop and lost 4th to Barrichello on track just after his pit stop. He will be determined to do better at his home grand prix and will be hoping that his car and tyres will help him. Points likely, podium difficult.

Takuma Sato didn't impress at Magny Cours as he did in Indy and ended up with an engine failure. It must be hard for him to have all these engine failures with his car. He'll still try his best and may impress again at Silverstone.

Williams: Had a disappointing race at Magny Cours. Montoya spun and ended up 8th while Gene only managed 10th. Their car didn't appear to be suited to the track under race conditions.
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya had a disappointing race at Magny Cours spinning and only finishing 8th. Whilst he may be trying, his departure from Williams will have an effect on his performance. Points likely.  

Marc Gene will replace Ralf Schumacher again at Silverstone even though he didn't perform that well at Magny Cours. This will be his second chance to prove himself worthy of driving the second Williams car. This situation though is a perfect opportunity for Williams to try a number of drivers whom they may want to sign up for next year now that Ralf Schumacher has finally confirmed his departure.

McLaren: Their new car seems to be an improvement although the verdict is still out. At least they seem to have sorted out their reliability. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: David Coulthard may have finished in the points at Magny Cours but after starting from 3rd on the grid finishing 6th is disappointing. Expect a few points again.

Kimi Raikkonen finished just behind his team-mate after starting from 9th. He will always try his best and if he qualifies well he'll score some good points.

Sauber: Only managed 12th and 13th. May not be impressive but with only Sato retiring it is hard to move into the top 10. They'll find it hard to move into the top 10. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella needs to continue to impress if he wants to move to Williams next season. He'll try his best.

Felipe Massa finished just behind his team-mate and that isn't too bad. Point will again be difficult.

Toyota: Had a poor race at Magny Cours and they have to do better. Silverstone will be difficult too. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Olivier Panis didn't have a good race at his home Grand Prix and would want to do better but it will be hard. 

Cristiano da Matta needs to impress if he is to retain his seat next year. The car isn't helping him though. Points hard.

Jordan: They also had a poor race at Magny Cours and will likely struggle again at Silverstone. They appear to be closer to Minardi that any of the teams ahead of them.  
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Nick Heidfeld is another driver who wants to move to a better team but he isn't doing great in the Jordan to justify that. Another difficult race awaits!

Giorgio Pantano finished the race at Silverstone behind his team-mate and 3 laps down. Expect more of the same.

Jaguar: Finished the best of the rest at Magny Cours but they could not score points and they remain sandwiched between Jordan and Minardi which is embarrassing!   
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 7.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Mark Webber had another good drive at Magny Cours and now that Ralf Schumacher is confirmed at Toyota his negotiations with Williams and Renault will go into overdrive to secure a better drive next season. Points will be hard but possible. 

Christian Klien did well at Magny Cours finishing 11th. He'll have another good race here as the track is familiar.

Minardi: From scoring a point at Indy to finishing 18th at Magny Cours. Not much difference really, in both cases they were the last to cross the line.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10 

Drivers: Zsolt Baumgartner spun out of the race and was the only driver in the field to make such a mistake. Must be embarrassing from him after scoring a point in the previous race.

Gianmaria Bruni finished 18th and last. Hard to gauge his performance when driving last!.

Bridgestone Preview - Michelin Preview

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