Thursday, June 4, 2009

Turkey GP Preview: Will Istanbul bring about a Ferrari Renaissance?

The last 3 years have seen Ferrari’s Massa dominate the Turkish GP and this season after how much the Ferrari has improved in the last few races, Turkey could be the place where the team could put down its foot and put one last stand to defend its constructors championship and also make life for Jenson Button miserable and give him a stiff challenge for his race towards the drivers title. Massa knows his way around the circuit well and the circuit will also suit the Ferrari’s and don’t be too surprised if Massa and Kimi pull off a Ferrari one-two.

Jenson Button has clearly proved that he is the best driver in Brawn GP and he has clearly proved that he is way better and quicker than teammate Barrichello, who may have a sense of déjà vu all over again as he once again has a teammate who is beating him race after race. This could also be the last opportunity for Barrichello to challenge Button and if he fails then Jenson will be backed to the hilt to win the drivers’ championship.

Vettel had a race to forget at Monaco and his Red Bull is expected to once again provide stiff challenge to both the Brawn’s and the Ferrari’s, but also expect his teammate Webber to do something spectacular as his long awaited first win is not too far off and this could be his best season to pull it off.

Hamilton was strong in Monaco till his crash in the qualifiers which effectively ruined his weekend but with no new off-track distractions, this could be the race for him to prove himself that he is a good driver who is not dependent only on his car. Though it may be tough for him to win the race, but if he is lucky enough a podium place is well on the cards while his teammate Heikki Kovalainen will once again try to use this as an opportunity to prove that he is as good as Hamilton and would like to outscore him once again.

Toyota and BMW had a miserable Monaco GP, while atleast Toyota has had a decent start to the season but with various rumours floating around about the future of the team, well this could be the season that they can pull off their best performance and anything less than a race win this season could see them off the grid for the 2010 season while BMW need a miracle to just score points. The irony of their situation was that though they at one stage last season had a realistic chance of challenging for both the titles, they continued to develop this season’s car and we all know how this season has so far been a nightmare and the best thing for the team is to forget the year and start focusing on the next season.

Williams and Renault both are capable of scoring points thanks to Rosberg and Alonso but they at the moment do not have the cars to even get a podium finish. Williams and Rosberg though seem to be the fastest in practice are not able to produce the same pace at the race but personally Rosberg if he continue to perform the way he does, he can land a seat with a top team while Alonso’s next move is dependent on Kimi’s impending retirement plans and even with a poor Renault he continues to fight it out and prove that he is infact the best complete driver on the grid. So far this season their teammates Nakajima and Piquet have been sitting at the bottom of the grid and though Nakajima will survive due to his Toyota connections but the future of Piquet looks very bleak.

STR is another team which expects a good result from Turkey and though the team has an identical chassis to its sister team RBR but this is a proof that drivers make a difference and though with a Ferrari powered engine, both the rookie Buemi and 4 time Champ Car winner Bourdais have been a bit consistent but given the track conditions it will be a great result for the team if both can score points.

Force India though nearly scored points in Monaco, from now on, the team is there to make up for the numbers and they could well the next Minardi as they continue to languish at the back of the grid while rivals STR is slowly building up a substantial lead over it.

You can expect a very exciting Turkish GP and you have the likes of Button, Vettel and Massa all favoured to win but I do feel that Ferrari will have an edge and this could be the best place to start of their winning habit once again.

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