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2006 World Cup

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McLaren are still ahead of the rest. They seem more powerful and better balanced than any other team and now that they have totally overcome the reliability problem that they had earlier in the season I can’t see how they can be beaten


He is, in my opinion, the best qualifier of the current F1 drivers, very fast at the start (where it really matters) and is also a very fast driver on race day.

He went through a period of not being able to get the best out of himself or his car earlier in the season. As he seems to have overcome that now I believe that he has a good chance of winning another world championship


Coulthard has developed into a very fast driver. So far this season he has shown that he has learnt a lot from the mistakes that he was criticised for in the past. He has maximised his opportunities in every race, never lost motivation and is a model of consistency.

He appears relaxed and has a wonderful confident, but not arrogant, press interview style that is guaranteed to boost his popularity.

I predict that he will be a world champion within the next three years.


Although Ferrari are still faster than the other teams they now appear definitely slower than McLaren. The Ferrari has a good aerodynamic chassis but does not have as much power as the McLaren, which makes it difficult to match McLaren’s aerodynamic grip on all the circuits. It is possibly this compromise that makes the Ferrari so hard to set up for some of the circuits.

Michael Schumacher

Acclaimed by many as the best driver on the circuit today. His strengths show not only on the racetrack where he has the ability to consistently drive at very close to his maximum for very long stints, if not whole race distances, but also in his ability to think and plan on and off the track. He is very good at setting up for races and qualifies well too.

Although he is still in the hunt for the drivers championship, his recent retirements has gone a long way to ruining his chances. Winning from here, although still achievable, is looking less and less likely.


Barrichello, having won a race will be motivated to do it again. He seems to be a lot better at setting his car up lately so that problem may well be behind him.

His biggest problem now is that it appears as if the Ferrari is falling back into the reach of BAR and Villeneuve is starting to breathe down his neck.


A very fast car, that is still in development. The BMW motor is amazingly fast and reliable, taking into account that this is its first year of racing.

Williams is a very experienced team with a great track record but I am still surprised that they managed to get the whole package so competitive this early in the season.

Reliability remains their biggest problem and we must expect quite a few more engine failures over the season. Once they get the motor reliable they will be able to focus more on performance improvement.

They also seem to have a chassis with very little mechanical grip

Ralf Schumacher

Ralf is very fast and has improved a lot in the last year. Recently he has had a few unforced errors, reminiscent of his early years in F1. He may be trying a little too hard.


Now that his future in F1 is fixed for at least the next two seasons, we can expect Button to be totally focused on his racing, which is getting better and better


Benetton will not do well on most of the circuits left this season. Their engine is not up to scratch and even with the changes made by Flavio Briatore after Renault bought this team they need a new engine before they can be competitive.

They do have very good mechanical grip that will be competitive on the really slow circuits but none of those are left.


A seriously underestimated driver.

He is fast, consistent and accurate. Fisichella may be one of the fastest drivers in F1 today but until Benetton build a car that can prove it we will never know.


He is not getting a break this year. He is too tall to comfortably fit in the car and it shows.


They are getting competitive fast. Honda are not only supplying them with better and better engines but are also getting involved chassis, steering brakes etc. Honda are turning this team around. Right now they are not far behind Ferrari and if their recent improvement is anything to go by, they will have the pace to race for podium positions before the end of the season.


Many make the mistake of thinking that this flamboyant driver is more concerned with the limelight and fame than winning races. Villeneuve is very competitive and in the right car could easily be in the hunt for the championship.


He is not as fast as Villeneuve, but then he also does not have Villeneuve’s experience.


If you asked me at the end of last season I would have said that Jordan had the potential to be very strong this year. They are not trying out a new engine, the formula has not changed and all they needed to do was to evolve last year’s car.

At last they seem to be getting better, gaining speed and reliability, but far too late.


Michael Schumacher has always maintained that Frentzen was fast and last year, when the Jordan had some pace, H.H. did very well.

I felt that Frentzen was very tentative when overtaking, but that could have been the early symptoms of this year’s no overtaking disease. Either way it does not matter as on track overtaking is virtually eliminated.


Trulli seems to go through spurts of being fast, followed by very pedestrian performances. Although I initially thought that this was a characteristic of Jarno, I am now starting to come to the conclusion that this inconsistency is a problem with the car, not the driver.


A middle of the road team. Sauber must have known when they contracted to use last year’s Ferrari engine that they were not going to be the fastest on the circuit and would be forced to compromise on aerodynamic and chassis design. That has produced a car that is not particularly fast under any circumstances but also not slow.
I am surprised that they seem to improve over the season. In the past (possibly because they use the previous season’s Ferrari engine) their performance has always waned over the year.


Salo can be fast. He has certainly been faster than Diniz for most of the year. Give him a reliable and fast car and he could surprise us.


Diniz is losing ground to Salo.


At the beginning of the season I predicted that this team was going to make rapid progress. I was wrong.

All the potential was there. A huge budget, the most promising team at the close of the previous season and Ford backing.

Somehow it took forever to get the momentum going. Reliability was appalling and even when they got everything right the car was pretty ordinary.

They are still not getting it together so now all we can hope for is that they focus on next year.


Irvine has never been one of the fastest drivers in F1 and I do not expect him to ever be regarded as the equivalent of Michael Schumacher or Hakkinen. He has however shown that he can be fast if given the right car and if the Jaguar picks up pace Irvine could do well.


He has retired. Exiting with more dignity than Hill did could be a good move.


A fast team with a slow car. I am always amazed at how well they do on practice circuits but have come to accept that we cannot expect much on race days.


A driver with a reputation for crashing and if the last few races are anything to go by he is working hard at not spoiling his reputation.

de la Rosa

I think he is quite capable and he has managed to do some very fast laps on the off season. With a decent car he could do well.


Not only is the Prost pathetically slow in all aspects but it is unreliable. Now they have lost their backers, sponsors and engines for next year too . Oh yes: and every race so far this season. What more can go wrong?

The Fawlty Towers of the racing industry.


As Alesi is the oldest driver in F1 there is probably little point in offering an opinion as his most exciting future is already behind him. I believe that he is driving for the sheer pleasure of being there and no longer has any aspirations to win a championship. Just as well because the Prost car hardly gives him a chance to drive.


A promising driver that has to suffer the embarrassment of poor equipment.


When you have a budget as small as Minardi’s it is hard enough to attend every race and qualify.


Another fast driver that is unable to show his potential. He may be lucky and get offered a drive with a faster team.


New to F1, Mazzacane has not had an opportunity to show off his skills.

The Heretic

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