Hamilton Favored for European Grand Prix

By: Anthony Fontanelle

With the ongoing spying scandal, it is hard to imagine that McLaren drivers can concentrate on their driving. But if the practice session on Friday is any indication of their apprehension, it looks as if Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are focused on the task at hand than the controversy.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest lap time during the morning practice session ahead of Ferrari rival Kimi Raikkonen in second and Alonso in third. This performance for Hamilton though does not come as a surprise to many. In only his rookie season, the British Formula One driver is leading the championship standings and has broken record after record including nine straight podium finishes.

Hamilton is favored going into the European Grand Prix even if Raikkonen has won the past two races in style. At the French Grand Prix, the Finn qualified third but managed to overtake Hamilton on second and teammate Felipe Massa in pole position for the win. At the British Grand Prix, the Finn once again failed to qualify for the pole position but he managed to win.

Race experts predict that Hamilton's familiarity with the NÃ?rburgring will be his advantage. Sky Sport News reported that Hamilton's record at 'the Ring' during his stint in the Formula Three Euroseries is enviable.

On the other hand, while Raikkonen has won the last two races, his performance in 'the Ring' is anything but spectacular. In his three races at the track, he failed to finish. But the Finn said that although he has not done well at the track in his former teams, the next race will be a new beginning for him. Raikkonen is in his first year as a Ferrari driver after a stint with McLaren.

Although Raikkonen and Hamilton are certain to draw attention, one should not disregard Massa and Alonso. Both drivers have already recorded two wins each this season. Alonso, after all, is a double world champion and is defending his crown this season.

Hamilton and Alonso will be onboard their respective MP4-22 for the event. The car has a Mercedes-Benz engine. The European Grand Prix in fact is a home race for McLaren's engine partner that also manufactures luxury automobiles and auto parts like to name one. On the other hand, the Ferrari team will be racing on their F2007 which has been performing well in the past two races.

With regards to the spying scandal which involves a Ferrari employee who allegedly passes secret technical details from Ferrari cars to a McLaren employee, the FIA is already conducting an investigation. Four days after the European Grand Prix, McLaren will face a World Motor Sport Council. Both Alonso and Hamilton are not worried about the scandal while Massa said that he does not want to talk about the issue.

The European Grand Prix will be the first Formula One race in Germany that Michael Schumacher will not participate in after his entry to the sport. The seven-time world champion retired after the end of last season after failing to beat Alonso for the world championship. This absence of Schumi behind the wheel is expected to affect the reception of German Formula One fans to the event.

While Schumi will not be participating in the event, five German drivers will. One of the five is Ralf Schumacher, Michael's brother. BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld who is fifth in the standings is also a German and his performance in the past races is expected to generate interest among German Formula One fans.

Extreme Sports
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Extreme Sports