Webber predicts close fight in Hungary

Webber predicts close fight in Hungary

Michael Schumacher has dominated the season so far with 11 victories from 12 races, but Jaguar's Mark Webber predicts that the Hungarian Grand Prix will be the toughest yet for Ferrari. The performance gap between the Scuderia and rivals has been...

Michael Schumacher has dominated the season so far with 11 victories from 12 races, but Jaguar's Mark Webber predicts that the Hungarian Grand Prix will be the toughest yet for Ferrari. The performance gap between the Scuderia and rivals has been steadily closing but no one has been able to outsmart Schumacher in regard to strategy.

Mark Webber.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.

Webber reckons Hungary won't be easy for the reigning champion. "Ferrari are in better shape than last year so I still predict they're going to be very strong, but it's going to be a very good race," he told the BBC. "He's (Schumacher) going to have to work for it, as he has done for most of the year."

The nature of the Hungaroring track surface could give the Michelin runners an advantage over Ferrari's Bridgestone tyres. "It's going to be down to the tyres again. Michael got lapped there last year by Fernando (Alonso), who had an amazing race," said Webber, refering to the Spaniard who claimed his first F1 victory in Hungary in 2003 and became the youngest ever driver to win a Grand Prix.

"Renault's car was very well suited to that particular circuit and Ferrari had a bit of an off-day, which doesn't happen that often. Ferrari were exposed and they got punished very heavily."

Webber thinks Schumacher has had some luck this year but it's not all been plain sailing for the German: "At Hockenheim Michael was fortunate with some of the retirements around him and Jenson (Button) starting a bit further back. There have been some easy Grands Prix for Michael, but he has had to work very hard at some races this year."

Ferrari recently admitted that it expects rivals to close in as there is little in the way of development to come on the F2004. Other teams are introducing upgrades on a regular basis but Ferrari has just about reached the end of any chassis improvements.

"There are small bits on the engine but most of the performance gain for the rest of the year will come from the work we are doing with the tyres," aid technical director Ross Brawn.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Ross Brawn
Teams Ferrari