French Grand Prix Analysis and Predictions

Discussion in 'F1' started by imperial83, Jun 29, 2005.

  1. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    It has seemed like an eternity since I last posted here, but in all reality there was nothing to post about. Most of the racing seemed to be happening behind the closed doors of FIA HQ, 6 Place de la Concorde, Paris, instead of the race track.

    The F1 season is at its mid point and due to the dynamics of the North American leg of the calendar, the following 4 races in July will be extremely important for the rest of the season. Magny-cours is a fantastic track to start some real racing.

    There will be tremendous pressure on Mr. Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin Director of Competition, to make sure that no tire failures occur for the remainder of the races regardless of performance. He will probably be reluctant to push the envelope any further. Make no mistake Michelin will be looking for a victory on French Soil. But this time they will bring an option for a safe tire and this time they will not hesitate to force teams to use the safe tire option.

    Bridgestone on the other hand will look to continue the momentum they have built up from North America. Hisao Suganuma is the Technical Manager of Bridgestone and his view of the upcoming race is as follows:

    “Magny-Cours is a challenging circuit with several slow speed corners requiring good rear traction. The grip performance of our tyres will therefore be very important this weekend and we have chosen tyres from our medium to soft compound range. The key for the drivers will be to keep their speeds up through the slow corners such as the Adelaide Hairpin and chicane. The nature of the dark Magny-Cours tarmac, however, means that while we want medium to soft compound tyres, they need to have good heat durability because if it is sunny, we could experience track temperatures of approximately 50 degrees Celsius. We also need to be vigilant about rear tyre degradation. Because of these factors, we have been working hard with our teams on new compounds to increase levels of grip and after encouraging test results in Barcelona recently, we look forward to seeing the latest compound developments in action at Magny-Cours this weekend.”

    Clearly Bridgestone sense this is their opportunity to go on the offensive, take some calculated risks and offer their teams a softer compound (potentially less reliable).

    The three Bridgestone teams that completed the USGP will be at a slight disadvantage. The Michelin teams did not complete the USGP and their engines were not utilized as much. Since engines must be used for two races in a row, the 7 Michelin teams can adopt a more aggresive setting at Magny-cours. This sentiment was echoed by Ferrari R&D Director, Gilles Simon.
    “Magny Cours follows on from Indianapolis which is one of the toughest circuits on engines and ours have already done around 600 kilometers on a very tough track,” continues Simon. “Our rivals, who did not complete the last race, will therefore be able to adopt a more aggressive plan in terms of distance covered by the engines and engine revs at Magny Cours. I would class it as a tiny advantage for them as our engines will be on their second race.”

    It will be a tiny advatange for Renault and McLaren but this will probably compensate for the defensive stance they take during tire selection.

    Driver dynamics:
    Just two races ago, Alonso had a commanding lead over the championship. He had won 4 races and finished in the points each time. He had a small error in judgment in Montreal and suffered the result of Michelin-gate at Indianapolish. Now starts the pressure from his French bosses to win at the home Grand prix. Adding to that is the pressure of disappointment from two races. This is compounded by the pressure from Kimi, who is growing in confidence and is looking very comfortable in the MP4-20. Can the young Spaniard win Magny-cours? Yes. Can he hold up under the mounting pressure? Only time will tell.

    So where does this leave Kimi. The iceman seems to be calm and composed. At Nurburgring he was certain of a victory, but a faulty right front Michelin tire prevented the victory. He took that in stride and did not show much concern. A win in Montreal showed that he was determined to succeed. The MP4-20 is one of the best cars I have seen to come out of McLaren for a long time. Incidents such as Michelin-gate do not bother Kimi. He will be out to win the French GP and get this second half of the F1 season started the right way.

    Michael Schumacher, 7 time world champion! He will be very cautious to down play the possibilities of an eight world championship. His first victory of the season was a shame because I really believe that he could have won without Michelin-gate occurring. None the less, when you have accomplished as much as Michael has in his career you do not hold back. Michael will be pushing as hard as he can in the F2005. He would like to secure a victory or a solid podium finish to secure his position in the standings and put him self within striking distance should Alonso falter along the way.

    Rubens Barrichello is now in fourth place in the standings and a switch away from the Scuderia seems more than likely for next season. He might have a point or two to prove before he leaves. One thing the Tifosi know is that Rubens has the heart of a lion. He is a passionate man and I would expect him to put in a few spirited drives in the F2005 before leaving. This will probably help Ferrari secure another constructor’s world championship.

    The constructor’s world championship:
    It takes two to tango! This is probably true when it comes to winning the constructor’s title. It is easy to secure the world championship if you have two consistent drivers rather than one star performer and one laggard. Just ask Flavio Briatore. Renault and Flavio are clearly losing their patience with Fisichella. At mcLaren, while Kimi seems to be performing miracles, Montoya seems to be having a hard time differentiating between the colors green and red. It will be hard to beat Ferrari, with both Michael and Rubens consistently scoring points and ending up on the podium. The Scuderia have sorted out most of the reliability issues of the F2005 and Bridgestone are banking on safety. Ferrari should be able to secure this year’s constructor’s title within the next 6 or 7 races.

    Silly Season:
    With the possibility of Jenson Button, Fisichella, Rubens and Massa moving to different teams the rumors are in full swing. This is just another distraction from the real racing. Button needs to score points for BAR. Fisichella could play a big factor in helping Alonso secure the driver’s title. Rubens needs to continue to perform as the Ferrari number 2 to secure the constructor’s title. Massa needs to cup of coffee to wake up because he still needs to prove himself to the potential future masters at Maranello. So get on with real racing guys and stop worrying about future contracts! Let your driving do the talking.

    BMW Williams:
    The “potential” Cinderella story has turned sour. BMW wants to race as a factory outfit and have entered the F1 field by buying Sauber. Williams thought they had exclusivity and for a little while with Ralf and Montoya driving for them, things were not looking too bad. Ralf could not deliver and Montoya was too busy blaming everyone. Williams may return to Honda for engines next year, but what does that mean for this year. “We have had success with WilliamsF1, but last year and at the beginning of this year we did not meet our common targets,” BMW Motorsport Director Mario Theissen told the teams official web site. However, he is hoping for things to turn around, “We want success, and we want it this year - we will pursue this target with no limits whatsoever. Our aim is still to win races this year.” Nick Heidfeld is looking ready for a victory and he has shown Mark Webber who is number 1 at Williams.

    Paul Stoddart:
    Someone please hand this guy his medication. Show some class Mr. Stoddart. I think Michelin, FIA and Bernie understand that Michelin-gate was a disaster for F1. So let the officials handle the business. You have an opinion and everyone respects it. But a new press statement every 24 hours is just overkill. We know you want Max’s job and we know you could probably do it better then Max so calm down and concentrate on racing before some teams start requesting the 10% rule to come back.

    So how will the French Grand Prix turn out:

    1. Kimi Räikkönen
    2. Michael Schumacher
    3. Jenson Button
    4. Fernando Alonso
    5. Nick Heidfeld
    6. Rubens Barrichello
    7. Juan Pablo Montoya
    8. Ralf Schumacher
    9. David Coulthard

    MY HOPE… as always:
    Ferrari 1 – 2! Nothing else matters!!!

    On a more personal note: 19th July, 2005 taught me a lot of things. It was hard to see people so pissed off at a sport I am so passionate about. There was no way to reason with them, they were fans just like me. Since no one had given them the right information, they were angry, angry at everybody! But some things really are more important than a 6 car parade. Fathers Day, coming home to warm meal and a comfortable bed, family, and great friends. Things go wrong once in a while but as wise man once told me “Adversity does not reveal character, it builds character”

    I would like to apologize sincerely about my comments on this forum in the past. I am mature enough to understand that words are like arrows. Once they are spoken they cannot be taken back. Bernardo66, Beast, Writerguy, Senna21, PSK, Turboflat, Tifosi12 and the many other I made a concerted effort to piss off sorry about being an a$$. In any case, I am not going to reveal my identity online. I will not post any personal photographs. I am adamant about that. So you can choose to ignore me but please let’s show each other the dignity to refrain from calling names.

    I hope you all enjoy the Grand Prix of France in 5 days. We need some real racing and we need a Ferrari 1 – 2 under real racing conditions!

    I would to hear what you guys think. Does Ferrari stand a chance? Is Kimi going to win?
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  3. F2003-GA

    F2003-GA F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    Mclaren 1-2
  4. axemansean

    axemansean Formula Junior

    Jul 11, 2004
    I foresee more drama.

    And Imperial... wow did you suddenly mature over night?

    I too have been avoiding this forums because I am beginning to wonder if my love affair with F1 is worth it.
  5. jknight

    jknight F1 Veteran

    Oct 30, 2004
    Central Texas
    Hi Imperial - Welcome back!!

  6. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess

    Why not make yourself public. There are a lot of great members on here and i have met up with several of them at races, trackdays, Etc. Hell Ask NNO I give him tons of S$#@ on here and we get along great in public.

    Even though i may seem harsh i have yet to beat a FerrariChat member into a pulp. About the worse thing i have done is suckered a few into going to my favorite Mexican resturant and watching them procede to set there mouths on FIRE!!!! :D

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  8. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Glad to see ya back Imperial. You didn't upset me. The non-decision makers running F1 did that just fine.

    Looking forward to the French GP. My prediction:

    1 Alonso
    2 Kimi
    3 Button

    Gentlemen, start your engines! And keep 'em running past warmup...
  9. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    I forgot to mention the Ralf factor:
    This is the first time after winning at Magny-cours in 2003 that Ralf will get a chance to defend his victory. Remeber he did not race here in 2004.

    Ralf is very very very fast at Magny-cours. Toyota are looking better as time progresses. Can Ralf win here and give some much needed boost for Toyota? Or is Ralf too busy talking about his brother's career to bother about his own?

    I want to see a race RALF! You STILL got what it takes to be an F1 driver?

    Carol and beast you both have PMs
  10. bernardo66

    bernardo66 The Crazy Cat Man
    Moderator Owner

    Dec 14, 2003
    Montreal Canada
    Full Name:
    That sounds like a challenge!!!!
  11. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles W
    Yea, um.... I stopped reading your diatribe after I read:


    Momentum? Ferrari an Bridgestone won because there was no one else to race against.

    1) Kimi
    2) Truli
    3) Fisi
    4) MS
    5) JPM
    6) Alonso
    7) Webber
    8) RB
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  13. Dr Tommy Cosgrove

    Dr Tommy Cosgrove Three Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    May 4, 2001
    Birmingham, AL
    Full Name:

    I kinda see it this way too
  14. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    14 points from Canada! Ferrari 2 and 3 where all 10 teams competed!
  15. classic308

    classic308 F1 Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    Westchester, NY
    Full Name:
    have been avoiding these forums as I'm sick of the political BS. If Michelin had a clue at Indy we wouldn't be having these discussions. I agree with what Imperial83 says. I think the F2005 is getting better at every race and if Michelin plays it too conservative it can hurt them; Toyota is also getting better and it would be nice to see them get a victory here especially after Trulli's pole at Indy. However, here is my top three prediction:

    1) Kimi (as long as his car stays together he's been b!tchslaping the rest of the field)
    2) Freddy
    3) Michael

    Let's hope the championship is decided on the track and not in a boardroom..
  16. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess
    Come on down to Phx I promise you will never look at mexican food the same way :D
  17. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess

    Well lets see plus JPM getting the black Flag, Button collecting the wall Fisi hydraulic problems, Alonso going out and 2 safety car periods to clog up the pack.

    Ferrari would have been lucky for a 5th place finish in Montreal.
  18. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    What does luck have to do with it!

    JPM does not know the difference between red and green
    Button pushed too hard and made an error
    Alonso made an error

    It is part of F1. The Bridgestone and Ferrari combination made it to the Finish line. The others could not.

    The golden rule in racing:
    Make it to the finish line!
    Desrving points for Bridgestone and Ferrari.
  19. beast

    beast F1 Veteran

    May 31, 2003
    Lewisville, TX
    Full Name:
    Rob Guess
    I prefer my victorys by shear domination or hard racing not by capitalising off the misfortunes of the competition.

    If i won a race because the guy i was racing with broke down or crashed it was a hollow victory in my book.
  20. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    I agree it was a hollow victory! But one can never tell. Ferrari were on a different race strategy than other teams both in Canada and in USGP. So it would have been interesting to see if they could have won regardless of the misfortunes of other teams.

    I really think the F2005s were good enough to win at the USGP. It was a hollow victory in USGP and a hollow 2 -3 in Canada too. But can't blame Bridgestone for showing up with the right equipement and can't blame Michael and Rubens for not crashing into the walls.
  21. senna21

    senna21 F1 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Full Name:
    Charles W
    No, the golden rule in racing is, those that have the gold rule.
  22. F1racer

    F1racer F1 Rookie

    Oct 5, 2003
    Full Name:
    Finally the French GP is coming.
    I haven't been posting or reading the racing forum for about a week.

    Happy that the 7 Michelin teams didn't lose any championship points but its frustrating that we have to have till september to hear the verdict.

    Now we have a 3 way fight for the drivers championship....Kimi, Alonso and Schu.
    Lets go back to racing and hope we will have a repeat of the 2003 season.

    french gp prediction:
    1) Raikkonen
    2) M. Schumacher
    3) Montoya
    4) Fisichella
    5) Alonso
    6) Ralf
    7) Trulli
    8) Heidfeld
  23. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    Well they did not do a good job ruling on June 19th, now did they?
  24. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    Last year at Magny Cours, Schumacher and Barrichello finished first and third with the Brazilian making a daring last lap pass on Jarno Trulli to gain the final podium position.

    Tyre supplier Bridgestone have been working hard on new compounds for Magny Cours while also keeping an eye on rear tyre wear due to the typical heat build up on the track surface.

    One concern Ferrari has is the fact that both Schumacher and Barrichello completed the US Grand Prix and unlike its nearest championship rivals, will be using an engine that has already completed 600KM this weekend in France.

    Michael Schumacher's Comments:
    “I love the countryside in the heart of France. The nature and the peace and quiet of the area make me eager to compete in the race. This is mainly because it is a demanding circuit and not an easy one to take on by any means. The surface temperature here can be very high, this makes things more difficult during races when the track can become very slippery. It is important to prepare for this but it is not something that I like."

    "I prefer taking curves flat out without having to consider the grip levels of the circuit. Still, we have to consider what effects the track will have on our new tyres which, as we know, cannot be changed between qualifying and the race."

    "We tested intensively last week at Barcelona and we are well prepared for Magny Cours. We have scored good results here in the past and taking into account the progress the car has made over the past few weeks, I have to be optimistic about Sunday’s race."

    Source Ferrari

    He is hungry for another win!!!

    PS: Michael loves the French countryside and Red Bull absolutely hate it!
  25. bretm

    bretm F1 Rookie

    Feb 1, 2001
    Northern NJ
    Full Name:
    Michelin 1,2,3

    1. Kimi
    2. Alonso
    3. Webber (one can only hope...)

    I really don't like Bridgestone. For whatever reason, the company just irks me a bit, and I had a set of Potenzas on the 308 ~5 years ago and they were not good at all. Come on Pirelli, step into F1...

    I'd like to say I think Ferrari is moving up, but I just have a gut feeling they're gonna get trounced this week. Hopefully I'm wrong.
  26. watt

    watt Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2004
    Way Back In, NZ
    Full Name:
    Giuseppe T Hemingway
    1] at N Bring, Kimi spent enough time mowing the lawn, hitting the curbs and flat spotting the tyre that it is not clearly a tyre failure, but abuse.

    2] imperial, the upper classes use their real names on the internet, as they are willing to have their remarks attributed to them, because what they say is part of who they are. thus, others take them more seriously, and even accept more joking around as well.
  27. imperial83

    imperial83 F1 Rookie

    May 14, 2004
    point taken. Thank you :)

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