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European GP predictions by the Quali-flyer  

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2006 World Cup

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Europe, mid season, and its make or break time for the rest of the pack. Get out the superglue, nobody will touch Ferrari here. Last year Michael convincingly outqualified the two Williams BMWs, This year will see a repeat of his performance.

After a storming start, Rubens is drifting back into a support role. After a few hard charges a new long contract and a bitter demotion have put Rubens back in his box. He showed he can be quick when motivated, however .. look for him to be challenging Juan Pablo for the other steps on the real race podium.

The wild card here is McLaren. Are they starting to get their act together? I'm not convinced and they certainly don't have the speed of the Ferrari or Williams but I will stick my neck out and say David will be 6th with Jarno breathing down his neck and Kimi will take the fight right into BMW's back yard and pip Ralf for 4th.

Frentzen and Fisichella want rain and if it comes they will move up the grid, Barrichello will get second and Kimi might even challenge Juan Pablo if the track is wet enough to negate the power advantage of the Williams.

There will be some movement in the middle order with Sauber, courtesy of a one and a half year old engine, starting an inexorable slide down from the start of the season. Massa will relegate Nick back into the ranks but the rest will be pretty much status quo. The lines have been drawn and the pecking orders are generally established.

Only two drivers are left in the race for a perfect score. Salo and Webber will carry that win rate forward. Frentzen and Fisichella will go 8-1 and Michael will sit alone in 5th place courtesy of his 7-2 over Rubens. Villeneuve, Trulli and Raikkonen are heading for 6-3 While Montoya and Irvine will break their deadlocks by going 5-4 up.

The next couple of races will be very interesting, if only to watch the outcomes of the various team efforts at improving their packages. The two sure things though are that nobody will improve enough to unseat a certain red car from the top step of the podium for this season and nobody will manage to come close to knocking Webber off for the inaugural Qualifying Hero award in 2002.

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Japanese GP 
Qualifying Heroes

1 M Salo
2 J Villeneuve
3 M Schumacher
Japanese GP 
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Previous Races 
Also Ran Award
USA E Irvine
Italy D Coulthard
Belgium D Coulthard
Hungary JP Montoya
Germany JP Montoya
France R Schumacher
Britain A Yoong
Europe J Villeneuve
Canada D Coulthard
Monaco R Schumacher
Austria J Villeneuve
Spain D Coulthard
S.Marino A Yoong
Brazil R Schumacher
Malaysia E Irvine
Australia N Heidfeld

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