May 02, 2006
European GP Preview
Nürbürgring circuit used for the F1 race is 5.148 km or 3.199 miles long, equating to 308.863 km or 191.938 miles over the 60-lap race distance. This is a technical track, which is not really hard on tyres. It is difficult to overtake here, although there are opportunities entering the first corner and the hairpin. The first corner can often be the end of someone's race, this chicane being notorious for first lap accidents. The suspension setting needs to be such that the car can use the curbs and yet still be responsive to change direction in the chicanes.
Fernando Alonso heads into this weekend’s European Grand Prix with a commanding lead in the 2006 drivers championship after scoring two wins and two second placed finishes form the opening four events of the season. Fernando has new B spec RS26 engine at his disposal, Fisichella used the same in last race at Imola but qualifying in midfield at Imola didn’t really gave Renault to make most of the upgrade.
Rival Mclaren are set to race Mercedes' latest V8 engine at the Nürbürgring, after Juan Pablo Montoya tested it successfully on last Wednesday at Silverstone. Although Montoya did the V8 honors at Silverstone, however, only his teammate - Kimi Räikkönen - will benefit from the first new upgrade in European GP.
Mclaren are behind Renault by three or four tenths. The new engine could bridge the gap to within two tenths as per Mclaren 'F1 CEO' Whitmarsh
Ferrari arrive at Nürbürgring to prove to their competition that their Imola performance was reflection of their true form and not result of Imola track attributes which gel well with Ferrari and their tyre supplier Bridgestone. The team had been testing at two venues Paul Ricard and Fiorano. While there has been a cry from Honda about flexi rear wing of Ferrari, the team has held its ground firm claiming that its developments are well in line with FIA regulations.
Honda had a forgettable weekend at Imola two weeks ago, where after qualifying on P2 P3 both Honda drivers drove back and back during race, this compounded by some gaffes during the pitstop, let the team red-faced with embarrassment. After Imola Button personally gave pep talk to the Honda Personnel, whether or not it pays some dividend, we will know by this time next week.
Watch out for:
- First Corner (Valvoline Curve) Pile up on race start.
- High attrition rates which are common place in this race.
5 Previous Winners:
- F. Alonso (Renault, 2005).
- M. Schumacher (Ferrari, 2004).
- R. Schumacher (Williams, 2003).
- R. Barrichello (Ferrari, 2002).
- M. Schumacher (Ferrari, 2001).
"Winning is like a drug...I can't settle for second or third in no circumstances whatsoever" - Ayrton Senna