Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Results and observations of the European GP

The headline says it all. Schumacher unstoppable at the Nurburgring. After a strange outing in Monaco where Michael hit the wall in the tunnel late in the race, thus ending his season winning streak at 5, he came back to take the European GP. After building a "devastating 17s lead" by the 7th lap it was just a matter of keeping it on the track. Rubens Barrichello, driving the second Ferrari, used a cunning two stop strategy (as opposed to the three stop strategy that the majority of teams used) to take 2nd. This gave Ferrari their 4th 1-2 finish in 7 races and puts them 45 points ahead of the next team in the Constructors Championship. Michael leads the Drivers Championship by 14 points. Second place is held by Rubens so it's looking good for the 6 time world champion to get his 5th consecutive title. It's still early in the season, though, and there already are some interesting happenings this year.

The most significant is the success of both the Renault and BAR-Honda teams. They stand 2nd and 3rd respectively in the constructors championship. Williams-BMW being 4th would normally be the talk of the season except for the situation at McLaren-Mercedes. The disastrous showing of the once proud and storied team is shocking, to say the least. They only have 5 points so far, just 1 more than the young Toyota team. The success of the Renault and BAR teams has not gone unnoticed by Ferrari. They are already working to try and get a little more speed from their engine and chaise. If Toyota could keep their engines from blowing they might be much higher in the standings, too. I'm sure that there will be some interesting races coming in the middle third of the season.

Can Ferrari keep their dominance? Will Renault or BAR find that little bit of performance that can catapult them to the top? Can Toyota fix their engine and keep it from blowing, albeit in such spectacular fashion? What about McLaren? Will Minardi-Cosworth ever get any points this season? We'll just have to see what the future holds.

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