Formula 1 European
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An exciting race at Monaco where for the first time this season we saw 3 teams with a genuine chance of winning the race. In the end it was Renault that had the edge over BAR and Ferrari. But Monaco was always going to be different, at the Nurburgring will we see Ferrari return to their dominating form or will Renault and possible BAR be up there with them ?
Here is a team by team review:
Ferrari: Didn't perform as expected at Monaco and particularly
with their pit stop strategy. Monaco though is a unique event and Ferrari
will be as strong as ever here.
Drivers: Michael Schumacher was driving a brilliant race and was on target for a place on the podium but warming his brakes behind the safety car in the tunnel cost him dearly!. He will be as determined as ever to win here!.
Rubens Barrichello somehow keeps getting something wrong with his car. He maybe unlucky but we don't hear such complaints from Michael. Is it preferential treatment or incompetence. We'll never know. He may do well here but then again he may yet find another problem with his car!.
Renault: Were impressive at Monaco and deserved a 1-2 finish. That
was not to be because of one Ralf Schumacher. They'll be strong again at
the Nurburgring but unless Ferrari call the wrong shots it will be
difficult for them to beat them.
Drivers: Jarno Trulli had a brilliant race in Monaco and deserved to win. Perhaps he is on a role which is good to see. Podium finish possible but his team-mate will push him hard.
Fernando Alonso was unfortunate to crash out of the race in Monaco thanks to the skills of Ralf Schumacher. He will be determined to put that behind him and get a good result at the Nurburgring. He will be up there!.
BAR: Should be warned by the FIA for allowing Sato to
continue on the track with an engine that has no chance of finishing the
race. It was clearly a selfish attempt by the team to build a buffer
between Button and all those behind Sato. It backfired and the safety car
was deployed!. They will be strong here and may be the closest to Ferrari
but will their engines last ?.
Drivers: Jenson Button like Trulli drove a brilliant race and kept the pressure on. That is exactly what the fans want to see unlike some other drivers who give up after the final pit stop. Expect him to fight hard with the Renaults and if we are lucky he may even challenge the Ferrari's. Button is one of only three drivers (Barrichello and Trulli being the other two) to have finished every race and in the points this season!
Takuma Sato continues his bad luck with all of the BAR failures on his car. Is his car different or does he drive it harder ?. He'll soon get his break. Should score some points here.
Williams: Both their drivers were involved in accidents
while as backmarkers. One could mistakenly assume we are talking about
Jordan or Minardi but no this is Williams and at Monaco they were nowhere.
They'll be better here but don't dream of a repeat of last year's 1-2
Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya finished 4th in Monaco but was a lap down and managed to kick Michael Schumacher out of the race. He'll try his best here but will find it hard to finish on the podium.
Ralf Schumacher had another bad weekend. We may actually see him replaced before the end of the season - if BMW can see the light!.
Sauber: They are now ahead of McLaren but not because they are
outstanding but because McLaren are pathetic. Don't expect many more
points for the rest of the season though.
Drivers: Felipe Massa drove a solid race in Monaco and was rewarded with a few points after several drivers ahead of him retired. Don't expect a repeat here. A top 10 finish is possible.
Giancarlo Fisichella crashed out of Monaco while driving fast through Sato's smoke. Given his experience he should have slowed down but he blew his chance and points will be very difficult from now on.
McLaren: One wonders what is next for them ? Another double retirement
and only 5 points. Perhaps they should give their test drivers a go for
the rest of the season as they've clearly given up on this car and are
waiting for the B version!
Drivers: David Coulthard was knocked out of the race by an ambitious Fisichella. Still he wasn't very quick and may have retired anyway. Points will be difficult here.
Kimi Raikkonen retired with an engine problem at Monaco after a strong showing. He continues to impress but his car can't handle him. If he finishes he'll be in the points.
Toyota: Where no where in Monaco but scored a double finish
in the points. They must be happy to have some reliability and some luck.
They'll need all the luck if they are to finish one of their cars in the
Drivers: Cristiano da Matta had a good race in Monaco but was penalised for ignoring the blue flag. This points finish will give him a boost and may help him remain in F1. Points will be nearly impossible at the Nurburgring though.
Olivier Panis outraced by his team-mate but managed to score a point nevertheless. Like his team-mate, points will be very difficult.
Jordan: Must be jumping with joy after Nick Heidfeld
managed to score 2 points for the team. They are now ahead of Jaguar and
Drivers: Nick Heidfeld will get a boost from his points finish here. He'll be disappointed though once he runs on Friday at the Nurburgring!.
Giorgio Pantano suffered yet another retirement and their will be many more of them!.
Jaguar: Were disappointing at Monaco. This is the race where
they had the chance of mixing it with the rest but ended up with both cars
out of the race. They'll struggle at the Nurburgring
Drivers: Mark Webber was doing well up until his car lost drive. He must be fed up with the team and would jump at the opportunity of joining another more competitive team.
Christian Klien lost his front wing running into the back of Heidfeld at the start. He could be excused given that this was his first time here. He'll try to recover at the Nurburgring but it will be difficult.
Minardi: Were very close to score a point. Now they have to
wait until next year!.
Drivers: Gianmaria Bruni wasn't as impressive as expected at Monaco. Perhaps he is getting fed up of being lapped so many times.
Zsolt Baumgartner impressed for a change and almost finished in the points despite being 6 laps down. Lets hope this motivates him a bit more and he can push his team-mate!.
Pole and see how your predictions stack up against the others.