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


Who will challenge Ferrari in Germany ?

Over the last few races we have seen a number of teams get close to Ferrari. However, no team has managed to consistently take the fight to Ferrari. At Silverstone, McLaren gave us a pleasant surprise and delivered a strong and promising result but it is too early to conclude that the new car will be strong everywhere. 

The Hockenheim track requires a medium to high downforce configuration and that should give a number of teams a chance to challenge Ferrari. For another team to win though, they have to get it perfectly and Ferrari and Michael struggle! 

Here is a team by team review:

Ferrari: Once again win as a result of an excellent strategy. The competition is catching up but when will they be able to unsettle Ferrari ? It will be hard to do this season!. 
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.5/10

Drivers: Michael Schumacher had another superb race at Silverstone winning on strategy. At Hockenheim he will face some tough competition again and will have to work hard to win. 

Rubens Barrichello finished 3rd at Silverstone despite starting from second. It is interesting that risky strategies usually don't work out as well with Barrichello as with his team-mate.
A podium is possible at Hockenheim.

Renault: Failed to score points at Silverstone as Trulli crashed and Alonso finished 10th after dropping 10 places on the grid due to an engine failure. They should bounce back here as they are introducing another evolution of their engine and this track should suit their chassis. 
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jarno Trulli crashed out of the German Grand Prix due to a rear suspension failure while running in the points. His seat at Renault for next year isn't safe and he'll need to impress in the next few races to retain his seat. He'll do well at Hockenheim.

Fernando Alonso had a tough race at Silverstone after dropping 10 places on the grid due to an engine failure. He'll also bounce back and possibly challenge for the win.

BAR: Have closed the gap to Renault in the Championship following Silverstone but are still 12 points behind. The Hockenheim track won't be ideal for them but they should still be strong.
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Jenson Button finished 4th in Silverstone but wasn't strong enough to challenge for a podium. Hockenheim will be harder.

Takuma Sato failed to finish in the points at Silverstone and dropped 3 places from his starting position. Just as he starts to impress he disappoints 2 races in a row. Expect the same at Hockenheim.

Williams: They don't appear to be improving compared to the other top teams. Montoya only managed 5th at Silverstone while Gene was 12th. They were strong here last year so they may put on a better show!.
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Juan Pablo Montoya scored some points at Silverstone but wasn't strong to challenge for a podium. He won here last year convincingly so we could see him on the podium.  

Antonio Pizzonia gets another chance to race a Formula 1 car. He'll need to impress if he is to revive his racing career. It will be tough on him but he may surprise a few!.

McLaren: Made a huge leap at Silverstone but that may have more to do with that specific track but we'll know more at Hockenheim. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen moves ahead of his team-mate in the Championship. Just give him a decent car and he'll do wonders. Podium possible.

David Coulthard continues to provide consistent results to the team. Expect another finish with a point or two.

Sauber: Are improving thanks to the revised aero package on the car. Their results at Silverstone suggest that they are pretty close to the top teams.  
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Giancarlo Fisichella was impressive at Silverstone finishing 5th after starting from the back. That will help his efforts to join Williams tremendously. Expect another top performance from him here. Points difficult but possible.

Felipe Massa wasn't a match for his team-mate at Silverstone nor will he be at Hockenheim.

Toyota: Had another poor race at Silverstone but the team will be introducing a heavily revised car this weekend and will be hoping for a big improvement. Reliability will be an issue though as the car hasn't been tested under race conditions. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Olivier Panis had a bizarre incident at Silverstone when the fire extinguisher in his car went off. He'll need better luck than that at Hockenheim!. 

Cristiano da Matta had a reasonable race at Silverstone but will need to do a lot more at Hockenheim if he is to retain his seat.

Jordan: Continue to struggle at the back near the Minardi team. Their reliability seems better but the performance isn't there!.  
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 7.0/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Nick Heidfeld in a tough position trying to prove himself in a slow car. Points nearly impossible.!

Giorgio Pantano will race at a track he is familiar with for a change which should help him but don't expect miracles.

Jaguar: Did well with Mark Webber at Silverstone and scored a point. They seem to be improving but the other teams are too!   
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 7.5/10 (Team Preview)

Drivers: Mark Webber is on the verge of signing with Williams and continues to impress on the track. Expect a strong performance but points will be once again hard to get. 

Christian Klien finished 14th at Silverstone. Don't expect much improvement here.

Minardi: Face another tough weekend at the back of the grid. They'll be hoping for unsettled weather to give them a chance to score a point or two.
Reliability 6.5/10 - Speed 6.5/10 

Drivers: Zsolt Baumgartner retired from the race at Silverstone due to an engine failure. Will have another tough race and end up near the end.

Gianmaria Bruni finished the race at Silverstone 4 laps down. Expect a similar result.

Bridgestone Preview - Michelin Preview

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