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2006 Formula 1 French Grand Prix
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Track Layout (from the FIA)

Can Ferrari dominate again ?

Ferrari dominated in Indianapolis with a 1-2 finish thanks to a superior tyre from Bridgestone. Can they repeat that at Magny-Cours ?
That will really depend on how the two tyres compare although it is unlikely that Ferrari will be much quicker than the other top teams.
Michelin clearly decided on a conservative approach at Indianapolis due to the problems they had a year ago. Expect them to offer a competitive tyre in France allowing Renault and McLaren to fight with Ferrari.
Michael Schumacher wins in Indianapolis

The Magny-Cours track (layout) is a high downforce circuit offering a combination of low and high speed corners. Traction and rear tyre degradation are important considerations for the low speed corners while car balance is important for the high speed corners. Lap times are highly influenced by the track temperatures and that creates a challenge for the teams and drivers to find the right setup.
Overtaking is very difficult on this track. One opportunity is at the Adelaide hairpin at the end of the back straight, where the cars go from around 320 km/H down to just 50 km/H.

Most teams conducted testing at Jerez with Renault and McLaren trading fastest times during the test.

Teams and Drivers to watch:

Renault will be racing at home and have won there last year so they have to be one of the favourites. 
Alonso struggled at Indianapolis and failed to finish on the podium for the first time this season. Expect a strong comeback.
Fisichella did well at Indianapolis and was quicker that his team-mate. This could motivate him and produce another good result. Podium likely.

Ferrari dominated at Indianapolis (contrary to our predictions!) but we expect that was mainly due to a superior tyre at that track. Expect a closer fight in France.
Michael Schumacher closed the gap to Fernando Alonso and is now trailing by 19 points. If Bridgestone provide good tyres for France then he has a chance to win.
Felipe Massa managed second at Indianapolis but don't expect a similar result here. Points likely though.

McLaren lost both cars on the first corner in Indianapolis but they appeared off the pace. The should be more competitive here.
Raikkonen will always try his best and if the package is right he could challenge for the win.
Pedro de la Rosa has a good opportunity to show his skill. He did well last year in Bahrain and his aim would be to stay close to Raikkonen. Points likely.

Honda continue to struggle and they need to start getting results. They do reasonably well in testing but can't seem to translate that on a race weekend!
Jenson Button retired in Indianapolis and needs to results badly!
Rubens Barrichello seems to be getting more from the car than Button. He is now on equal points with his team-mate!.

BMW Sauber appear to be the most improved even though they had a setback at Indianapolis with both cars retiring. They should recover here but points will always be hard fought for.
Nick Heidfeld retired early in Indianapolis. He has a chance of scoring points in France.

Toyota had a good race at Indianapolis with their drivers nearly finishing 4th and 5th but a problem for Ralf Schumacher saw him retire late in the race. It appears that they are actually improving.
Trulli had a 4th place finish in Indianapolis and has the momentum for scoring more points.
Ralf Schumacher was doing well too before retiring. He could also score points.

Red Bull once again scored points and they are now ahead of the Williams team! The car now has some input from Adrian Newey so expect them to continue an upward trend but it is very competitive in the midfield. Still Coulthard may once again score a point or two.

One wonders what is wrong with Williams. While Webber retired at Indianapolis as a result of an accident, Rosberg could only finish 9th and last and given that they run Bridgstone tyres one would have thought they had a great opputunity to score a lot of points.
Webber needs better luck!
Rosberg seems to have ups and downs. If he has an up in France he could fight for a point or two.

Toro Rosso scored a point at Indianapolis. Well done but unless we have many retirements in France, points will be difficult.

 MF1 Racing will be at the back ahead of the Super Aguris.

Engine Status
1st Race Engine 2nd Race Engine
Fernando Alonso
Michael Schumacher
Felipe Massa
Kimi Raikkonen
Jenson Button
Mark Webber
Nick Heidfeld
David Coulthard
Scott Speed
Tiago Monteiro
Christijan Albers
Jacques Villeneuve

Giancarlo Fisichella
Rubens Barrichello
Jarno Trulli
Franck Montagny
Nico Rosberg
Vitantonio Liuzzi

Ralf Schumacher (can opt for a new engine)
Takuma Sato (can opt for a new engine)
Pedro de la Rosa (can opt for a new engine)
Christian Klien (can opt for a new engine)
Takuma Sato (can opt for a new engine)

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