Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Are BMW true title challengers this year?

In a word, No.

They're made good progress this year and it's really been steady progress ever since they bought into the team, but are they at the stage where they can challenge for the championship? I would say not. They're not fast enough to trouble Ferrari and while a win or two isn't out of the question, they just don't have the experience or the strength to keep up the relentless pace of development that Ferrari and McLaren can do.

Can they beat McLaren though?

Maybe. While McLaren are a stronger team, they are somewhat hobbled by having to limit their development, and their showing in the past two races hasn't been outstanding - Hamilton in particular had a very scrappy race in Bahrain and the ultimate pace of the team in Malaysia wasn't outstanding.

However, if I was forced to say right now whether I thought BMW would beat McLaren, I'd have to say no. BMW have great qualifying pace but their race pace isn't quite as outstanding. What's more is that McLaren are a formidable team and they can fight back from their current slump having been in this position many times before. This is new territory for BMW and I'm not sure they're always going to make the right decisions - especially when the pressure is on at the end of the season.

However, having three teams in the mix is great for F1 and whatever happens will be great for us as viewers.

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