close can it get ?
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I thought that the Hungarian Grand Prix was not very exciting but it certainly livened up the competition for this year�s drivers� championship.
Alonso winning his first formula one race again shows that Renault have the chassis to do well. There is no doubt that they are going to be very competitive once they have a more powerful engine.
I was surprised to see McLaren doing better than Williams (except for Coulthard who was driving his own race). They are still getting pretty good value out of last year�s car.
Ferrari are in serious trouble. It may have been a rare off day for Michael
Schumacher but he looked awfully pedestrian. To finish behind Webber's Jaguar
is bad enough but when last has he been lapped without suffering from problems
This year�s championship now looks as if it will be decided in Japan
during the last race of the season. For the sport that is great news but for
Ferrari and Michael Schumacher fans it is not looking good. If I was a betting
man I would not be putting money on them.
There is, of course, a very real chance that once the season is over Bridgestone and Ferrari will protest on the basis that as Michelin were forced to change their tyres by the FIA they were illegal in all preceding races and should therefore be disqualified. Winning or losing this argument will determine the outcome of the season.
Monza (track layout) is the first of the really fast circuits this season. Cars will exceed 350 km/H (217mph) down the main straight before braking to around 120 km/H (74mph) for the Retifilo Tribune chicane. Accelerate back up to 340 km/H (211mph) through Curva Grande and hard on the brakes again for Variante della Roggia (one hell of a name for just another chicane) which is negotiated at 120 km/H (74mph). After that there are no slow bits left. Curva de Lesmos slows the cars to 120 km/H (74mph) again and then it is rev limiter stuff virtually all the way to the Parabolica which is a fast (170 km/H or 105 mph) u-turn that leads onto the straight.
Overtaking is possible on all of the long, fast straights providing that the overtaking car has a power advantage.
Williams must feel that they have a very good chance this weekend. The
change in tyres forced onto Michelin by the FIA should not affect them at
Monza even if the new tyres have slightly less grip. Their power superiority
matched with a good chassis has to work in their favour.
McLaren must also be racing under team orders. There is no way that
Coulthard could win the championship so he will be asked to support Raikkonen.
Renault feel that the new, narrower, front tyres has improved their
performance. This is not surprising as narrower tyres will reduce aerodynamic
drag and we all know that they are down on power.
The rest of the field are unlikely ti finish in the points unless one or more of the leading cars retire. Jaguar may have improved but they will not be fast enough BAR don�t have the legs either and Toyota is also too slow.
In my mind Jordan and Sauber are drifting back into the clutches of Minardi. Their season is over.
If the different Michelin front tyre has any affect (which I think is
unlikely at Monza) it will be to make the cars a little faster in a straight
line. The reduced surface may mean that the tyres will not last as well but I
am not sure that this is an issue in Monza.
Monza is very likely to change the order in the lead of the drivers� championship.
Agree or disagree ?
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