Formula 1 Canadian
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Following the dominance of Ferrari at the European Grand Prix (and for most of the season), it is hard to imagine any other team being able to threaten them at Montreal given that this circuit requires a low downforce setup that rewards powerful engines, an asset which Ferrari has!. BAR and Williams may be able to get close while Renault should be strong given their impressive reliability record.
Here is a team by team review:
Ferrari: Once again will be the team to beat. They have
not shown any weakness so far this season and their dominance at the
Nurburgring leaves little to doubt their ability to dominate again.
Drivers: Michael Schumacher won the European GP with relative ease. It may be a bit harder here but he should be set for another win.
Rubens Barrichello seems to be opting (or is it the team) for a different strategy to Michael. One wonders why that is given the risk involved. If his strategy works out then he'll be on the podium otherwise he'll have another points finish.
Renault: Will be getting an engine upgrade and that should help
them a bit. Not enough though to threaten Ferrari. With an impressive
reliability record (equal to Ferrari) they are heading for another strong
Drivers: Jarno Trulli continues his strong form following his win in Monaco. It will be harder for him here to beat his team-mate. Expect a points finish with a podium a possibility.
Fernando Alonso needs to bounce back here and get the upper hand on his team-mate and Montreal is the track the he can do that. A podium finish is likely.
BAR: Have a very strong engine and a very good package.
Their only real worry is the reliability of the Honda engines and given
the stresses on the engine at this track, we may yet again see one or both
of their cars blow an engine.
Drivers: Jenson Button finished again on the podium at the Nurburgring thanks to an overly ambitious overtaking move by his team-mate. He had a small chance of challenging for the win here but there is a bigger chance that his engine may blow!
Takuma Sato drove a solid race at the Nurburgring but was very aggressive and he needs to cool down. He lost a possible second place because of that. He will be motivated here and may threaten his team-mate.
Williams: They struggled at the Nurburgring but they
should do better here. Last year they started 1st and 2nd but finished 2nd
and 3rd. They have a powerful engine and that should help them and if they
get the setup on the car right, they could challenge for a podium.
Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya finished 8th after tangling with his team-mate at the start of the race and damaging his front wing. He'll be strong here and a podium is possible.
Ralf Schumacher was hit by his team-mate and retired from the race at the Nurburgring. This time it wasn't his fault but one wonders what motivates him if he has already done a deal with Toyota and is leaving Williams!. Points likely!
Sauber: They must be enjoying being 5th in the championship and now
have double the points of McLaren!. This circuit should help them score a
point or two if the cars ahead struggle.
Drivers: Felipe Massa finished 9th at the Nurburgring but was way behind his team-mate. He should be closer here but don't expect points unless a lot of cars ahead retire.
Giancarlo Fisichella bounced back and finished 6th at the Nurburgring after starting from the back of the grid. He continues to impress and needs a better car to be given a chance to fight with the top teams. Points difficult.
McLaren: Won't have a chance at this track. They'll probably
start at the back due to engine failures in practice and blow up mid race.
Of course they may detune their engines but then they'll mix it with
Jordan and Minardi!
Drivers: David Coulthard must be feeling very unlucky. He knows that he is out of a McLaren drive next year but can't impress anyone with a car that is neither performing nor finishing!.
Kimi Raikkonen must be hoping that McLaren would get the B version right soon. Points nearly impossible simply because he is most likely to retire!.
Toyota: Should be relatively strong here given their strong
engines and if they manage to score a point or two they'll move ahead of
Drivers: Cristiano da Matta was unfortunate to retire at the start of the race at the Nurburgring due to the Montoya-Ralf tangle. He needs to impress if he is to stay in Formula 1. Points will be difficult.
Olivier Panis had a poor race at the Nurburgring compromised by the soft tyre choice. Like his team-mate, his position in the team is questionable given that Ralf Schumacher is almost guaranteed a seat at Toyota.
Jaguar: They appear to be improving but at a very slow
pace. They are mixing it with Sauber and Toyota and will need to work very
hard to keep up.
Drivers: Mark Webber did well finishing 7th at the Nurburgring. He'll continue to impress as he wants to secure a better drive next year. Points will be difficult in Montreal.
Christian Klien didn't perform well at the Nurburgring and only managed 12th. This track won't be easy for him either!
Jordan: Seem to be making some progress but with a tight
budget it is hard for them to compete with Jaguar and Toyota.
Drivers: Nick Heidfeld had a reasonably good race and finished 10th at the Nurburgring. He is another driver who needs to impress if he is to move to a better team. Points will be very hard though!
Giorgio Pantano managed 13th at the Nurburgring. Will struggle here!.
Minardi: They were circulating at the back. Nothing new!.
Drivers: Gianmaria Bruni will again find it hard at a new track but will again out-race his team-mate.
Zsolt Baumgartner appears to be getting better but will still struggle here.
Pole and see how your predictions stack up against the others.