Fernando Alonso’s second title once seemed inevitable, but his fellow racers now think the Spaniard may be overcome by a resurgent Michael Schumacher.
”The pace isn’t there at the moment,” Honda’s Jenson Button, a fellow Michelin runners, told ‘Speed TV’.
”Personally I think Bridgestone are doing a very good job, and it’s going to be difficult for Renault to beat them.”
Williams’ rookie Nico Rosberg is also well placed to observe that fellow Bridgestone-clad squad Ferrari is ‘looking damn strong’ as 2006 enters its final third.
He told his Castrol column: ”You’d have to say they’re probably now the favourites for the title.”
Alonso’s Renault teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella, was quoted in La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper as explaining just how hard it was to drive the ‘R26’ at Hockenheim.
”At some moments it was nearly impossible,” said the Roman, describing the severe tyre blistering.
”Honestly I did not expect the situation to turn around like this. The Michelin tyres were not perfect, but some other cars with Michelin were ahead of us.”
Schumacher, therefore, is delighted to ride the wave of momentum to Budapest, and unusually has posted very optimistic comments on his personal internet website.
Ferrari’s German said: ”I am normally very careful with such statements, but we have a very good chance to perform well once again.”