CAR Online's Grand Prix reporter Tom Clarkson presents his guide to how each of the cars will perform at the British Grand Prix. First up, the Ferrari F2008...
The class of the field at aero-sensitive tracks such as Barcelona, Magny Cours and Silverstone. The red cars topped the testing times at the ’Stone last week and they enter the GP weekend as firm favourites for victory.
BMW SAUBER F1.08
The third fastest car on the grid, but impeccable reliability has turned it into a world championship contender. Lacks the aero efficiency needed to be super-quick around Silverstone, but expect Robert Kubica to challenge for the bottom rung of the podium.
The car’s improving all the time and good aero efficiency will make it a contender for points. It seems particularly well suited to Bridgestone’s medium and hard compounds, which are the tyres being used at Silverstone.
The car is good with very high (Monaco) or very low (Montreal) downforce levels. It’s Achilles Heel is the middle ground needed at somewhere like Silverstone, so the boys from Grove can expect a difficult weekend.
RED BULL RB4
Aside from Australia, where both cars retired, there hasn’t been a race this year at which the RB4 hasn’t scored points. It’s quick on all types of circuit, but its biggest strength is aerodynamics – a prerequisite at Silverstone. More points are on the cards.
Was France a one-off? Jarno Trulli took third place on merit, making the TF108 look a serious contender on medium-to-fast circuits. It will be interesting to see how the car stacks up against the Red Bulls this weekend; my gut reaction is just behind them.
TORO ROSSO STR3
Thanks to the Red Bull link, the STR3 bears a very close resemblance to the RB4. As a result, expect the car to be well suited to Silverstone’s fast sweeps, albeit a tad behind the cars of Webber and Coulthard.
With the team beginning to focus its efforts on 2009, the new aero package being introduced at this race is the last major upgrade expected on the RA108 this year. It had better be a good one…
FORCE INDIA VJM01
Expect this car to be one of the most heavily revised on the grid, thanks to new aero and mechanical upgrades being introduced at this race. How far up the grid this pushes them remains to be seen.
A versatile car that has the potential to win the world championship, but one of its weakest circuits relative to the Ferrari will be Silverstone. A podium would be a good result for Lewis or Heikki.