2006 Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix
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Another Renault - Ferrari battle!
The Italian Grand Prix is run at the Monza track (track
layout). It has several long straights with a number of chicanes. Teams usually prepare a special low downforce aero package
specifically for this track. With the highest
average and top speeds on the calendar, this track is the toughest on engines with 79% of the lap at full throttle. It is also very tough on the brakes.
Despite this, amazingly there were no retirements from this race last year!
All 10 teams were testing at Monza last week. Ferrari and Renault were among the fastest but as always test times could be misleading.
Teams and Drivers to watch:
Renault's lead in the Constructors' Championship is down to just 2 points. They need both drivers to have perfect weekends from now
on to have a serious chance of winning the Constructors' Title. Fernando Alonso usually delivers strong and consistent performances
however Giancarlo Fisichella sometimes struggles and he needs to be at his best.
Ferrari were set for a 1-2 finish in Turkey but the safety car spoiled all that. They had to pit both cars together and given that Michael was behind he had to wait allowing Alonso to get ahead. Michael couldn't get past Alonso and ended up 3rd. Ferrari will be strong here and there is a strong chance they'll finish 1st and 2nd.
McLaren were very strong at Monza last year and could prove a strong opponent for both Ferrari and Renault. Kimi Raikkonen likes this track while Pedro de la Rosa needs to continue to impress if he wants to secure a drive next year. Raikkonen could finish on the podium but expect both to finish in the points.
Honda looked strong in Turkey and Button finished 4th. If they don't suffer engine failures this weekend they will have a chance of a points finish. Jenson Button is likely to get the better of Rubens Barrichello. His win in Hungary appears to have given him a strong boost.
Toyota continue to suffer from engine problems and they need the reliability if they are to maintain 5th place
in the championship ahead of BMW Sauber. It would be very embarrassing for Toyota to finish behind BMW who are in their 1st year as
a full team and not just an engine supplier.
BMW Sauber could be strong on this track thanks to the powerful BMW engine. It will be interesting to see how
Kubica compares to Heidfeld. In the test last week Kubica was fastest on the second day!
Red Bull failed to score any points in Turkey but they remain 6 points clear of Williams and that is what they will be trying to maintain. Points will be difficult but never discount Coulthard from scoring a point or two.
Williams struggled again with Rosberg retiring with yet another mechanical problem. Webber finished a lap down. Points will once again be very difficult.
Toro Rosso, MF1 Racing and Super Aguri will most likely finish in that order and outside the points
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