1 German Grand Prix
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Another close fight!
The race last year was easily won by Michael Schumacher. Kimi Raikkonen was the only other driver who may have challenged but retired early with a rear wing failure. Jenson Button got the better of Fernando Alonso to finish second ahead of the Spaniard.
The track at
Hockenheim is no longer the ultra high speed low downforce circuit it used to be. Now it is high downforce track comprising a number
of low and medium speed corners. Cars need to have good braking and good traction,
All the teams conducted testing last week as we head into a double header followed by the 3-week summer break.
Here is a team by team review:
Surprised themselves with a better than expected performance at Silverstone and with a bit of luck could have won the race!. They
will be strong here
Drivers: Fernando Alonso may have lost the British Grand Prix due to traffic but he still managed to finish ahead of Raikkonen and that is what matters in the championship. A win is possible here but it will be a tough fight with Raikkonen.
Giancarlo Fisichella had a great race until he stalled it again at the second pit stop. That stall whether it was driver error or not actually helped Raikkonen finish 3rd! He should finish in the top 4 unless he gets some problem again!
McLaren: Were very strong at
Silverstone but not much stronger than Renault. Expect more of the same this weekend and hopefully the Mercedes engine makes it!.
Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen once again suffered an engine failure. That must be frustrating but you can also look at it as a lucky break! Had he suffered those failures during the race, he would be much further behind Alonso. He is very hungry for the win but needs to remain cool as any mistake would be very costly.
Juan Pablo Montoya won the British Grand Prix after a close fight with Alonso. Had Raikkonen not suffered an engine failure, the result may have been different. Like Fisichella, expect a top 4 finish unless something goes wrong!.
They clearly aren't competitive! Kimi was behind Michael yet Michael was a minute behind him at the finish!. They are now fighting
with BAR and Toyota.
Drivers: Michael Schumacher finished 6th behind Button and after the race he said "I wish I could promise the fans there (in Germany) a bit more than this." Unless McLaren and Renault have problems a podium will be nearly impossible.
Rubens Barrichello struggles even more. Points possible but hard.
Continue to struggle in the race. That can't be just down to Trulli's superb qualifying pace! They have now been caught by BAR
Honda and need to move another step forward to try and regain 3rd from Ferrari. Very reliable though!
Drivers: Jarno Trulli once again had a superb lap in qualifying but had a poor start. He finished behind his team-mate outside the points. He needs to improve his race performance if he wants to finish in the points.
Ralf Schumacher beat his team-mate at Silverstone and that would give him a boost. Points possible.
They seem to be going backwards. Now they are racing with Sauber and Red Bull. And the target for this year was "to be a
strong force this year". With no engine deal announced for next year, things will get worse.
Drivers: Nick Heidfeld decided to use the old aero package at Silverstone because the new one wasn't tested enough!. Just when he thought he gets his break with a big team this happens! Points will be very hard!
Mark Webber used the new aero package at Silverstone and finished 1 place ahead of his team-mate but a lap down. Same as Heidfeld, Webber was hoping to start winning races this year. At Hockenheim a point will be like winning!.
They are fighting with Sauber and now Williams but are too far behind Williams and have a good lead over Sauber for them to change
their 6th place in the championship.
Drivers: David Coulthard was again a finisher at Silverstone but there were 18 other finishers too and hence he didn't finish in the top 10!. Expect a similar result at Hockenheim.
Christian Klien finished behind Coulthard at Silverstone but wasn't too far. That could be reversed here but points will be very difficult!.
Sauber: They continue to improve following
the BMW acquisition. They have a number of aero changes on the car which could see them seriously challenge Williams again (the
current BMW powered team!).
Drivers: Felipe Massa finished 10th at Silverstone and given that only one car retired that was a good result. Expect a similar result here.
Jacques Villeneuve had a chance for a top 10 finish and possibly even points but a mistake during one of his pit stops lost him a lot of time. He seems to be motivated with the BMW announcement but it remains to be seen if BMW will keep him next year.
Should debut their modified chassis this weekend at Hockenheim but it isn't expected to make them fight with Sauber or Red Bull!
Drivers: Tiago Monteiro is now the only driver to have finished in every race this season. He'll probably finish again at Hockenheim. Finishing in the top 15 would be good!
Narain Karthikeyan continues to go backwards and it seems he is unable to recover. He qualifies well but seems to either make a mistake or suffer a car failure.
Moved into 9th in the championship and they are now competing with Ferrari and Toyota. They'll certainly be able to move further
ahead and possibly threaten Williams.
Drivers: Jenson Button finished the best of the rest at Silverstone and that was a good result. He'll fight with Michael Schumacher and Jarno Trulli here!.
Takuma Sato continues to make mistakes, this time it was pressing a wrong button on the formation lap. Not sure how much longer Honda will tolerate this. Toyota is beating them and they won't regain much ground with just 1 point scoring driver.
Both cars finished in 18th and 19th at Silverstone. They can only have a better finishing position when cars ahead drop out!.
Drivers: Christijan Albers beat his team-mate in qualifying and the race and that is all that he could do!
Patrick Freisacher faces the possibility of not racing at Hockenheim due to sponsorship problems. He could be replaced by Robert Doornbos or Zolt Baumgartner.
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