Schumacher, Raikkonen or Grosjean eighth winner of the year?

Second place Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren and Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari in Parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd 15, Italian Grand Prix, Race, Monza, Italy, 10 September 2006. DIGITAL IMAGE

Flashback: Kimi Raikkonen and Michael Schumacher were frequent winners before their respective comebacks to F1 but have yet to win with their new teams

Jun.20 (GMM) Michael Schumacher did not become Formula 1’s seventh winner of 2012 at the recent Canadian Grand Prix, but his boss Ross Brawn is hoping Valencia is a case of ‘lucky eight’ for the seven time world champion while both Lotus drivers are also victory contenders at the harbour-side circuit.

Michael Schumacher celebrates after setting the fastest lap in qualifying for the Monaco GPMercedes team principal Brawn admitted that it is possible that the sport’s unprecedented run of new and different winners this season could continue on Spanish streets this weekend.

“I’m thinking of Michael in our car,” said the Briton, “but the Lotus is good and they haven’t won, while Sauber have put in some great results too.”

Pirelli has been either credited or blamed for the results ‘lottery’ so far this year, and the tyre marque’s Paul Hembery also tipped Schumacher as a potential eighth winner.

“He probably would have won at Monaco, so why not here?” the Pirelli motor sport director is quoted by Auto Motor und Sport ahead of the European Grand Prix.

Another hot favourite is Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, although his teammate Romain Grosjean has been at least as impressive as the 2007 world champion.

“I’ve never won in Valencia,” said Finn Raikkonen, “so it’s a good target.”

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 celebrates on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 22 April 2012.Fellow Finn Heikki Kovalainen agreed that a bet on Lotus would be well placed.

“Yes, Lotus have been in good shape but so far they just haven’t quite put everything together,” the Caterham driver told the broadcaster MTV3.

“Romain Grosjean has driven well so he is definitely putting up a good fight to Kimi,” added Kovalainen.

He also tipped Schumacher as a potential 2012 race winner.

“He has been quite fast in many places, but very unlucky on the technical side – he has had six or seven different problems,” noted Kovalainen.

The great German is therefore surely out of the running for the title, but there remains a swathe of candidates ready to come into true contention.

“This championship is going to be won on consistency and it’s easily possible that the world champion will only have one or two race wins,” admitted Sam Michael, the sporting director at title leader Lewis Hamilton’s McLaren team.

“You won’t need to win five or six grands prix to win this year’s world championship,” he is quoted by Sky Sports.

Boss Martin Whitmarsh agrees: “Whereas in previous years there was an emphasis on the ‘big’ results, this year it seems that minor points placings could provide a decisive edge in the title battle.”

Subbed by AJN.

  • Hawk

    I beg to differ.
    Consistency without winning is not enough. The 7 points diff at the top of the race scoreboard is all the more important now. If you do not win, know that one of your rivals for the WDC is going to. The likes of Kimi, Romain, MSC, JB, Sergio, Kamui, (Massa, Pastor,.. wishful?) are also going to stabilise but not necessarily win which will make it complicated for the frontrunners because they will be sharing the precious points. Drivers should target at least 3-4 wins to be comfortable. And the earlier the better psychologically.

  • Andy – London

    As much as I would love to see Michael win a grand prix this year, I can’t see it happening. Before his DRS failure in Canada he was running in a low position and never looked on the pace all weekend. Monaco was the one that got away.

    I would love nothing more than to see Michael on the top step of the podium again, and it would be a popular win along the paddock for the “old boy”.

  • ride me sideways

    i hope kamui wins

  • vX-2

    It’s Spain = Alonso. It’s not that hard to predict? It his ‘homeground’

  • seb

    eyes on the prize. it will be button. sad to say consistency will win this year’s WDC. and next year change the gaddam tires!

  • Psych4191

    It’s going to be hot in Valencia, which means the Lotus is going to be the fastest car. It’s up to Kimi and Romain to pull the best out of it. If they can, one of them will win this GP.

  • george

    KIMIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!Come on the Iceman

  • Hawk

    The podium is going to have a 2nd time winner. It is going to have Lewis, Alonso, Vettel in no certain order. It is time to separate the men from the boys.

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