Motor Racing / British Grand Prix: The five teams expected to set the pace round Silverstone

Click to follow
The Independent Online
LOTUS-FORD V8

11 Mika Hakkinen (Fin)Age 23 GP 22 Wins 0

12 Johnny Herbert (GB)Age 28 GP 23 Wins 0

THE heartening revival of one of the most famous marques in motor racing continues to pick up speed. Hauled back from the brink of extinction by Peter Collins and Peter Wright 18 months ago, they have gained strength and momentum this season. The promise of their new car, powered by a trusty Ford Cosworth engine, has been ably demonstrated by two of the brighter young talents in Formula One racing, Herbert and Hakkinen. And now the sponsorship expert, Guy Edwards, is beginning to bring in the money which is necessary to fund their ambitions.

FERRARI V12

27 Jean Alesi (Fr)Age 28 GP 47 Wins 0

28 Ivan Capelli (It)Age 29 GP 86 Wins 0

THE drama goes on for Italy's beloved Prancing Horse. Not merely ruled out of championship contention virtually from the start of the season, they also have been outstripped by Benetton-Ford and could now come under pressure from an improving Lotus-Ford team. Management and structural changes count for little if the car is not competitive, and committed though Alesi has been, he simply does not have the equipment to challenge the front- runners. At least he can take some satisfaction from his performances. The same, alas, cannot be said of Capelli.

BENETTON-FORD V8

19 Michael Schumacher (Ger)Age 23 GP 14 Wins 0

20 Martin Brundle (GB)Age 33 GP 91 Wins 0

THE team have, in every sense, settled down this season, and are beginning to reap the rewards. Under the astute leadership of the Italian Flavio Briatore and the Scot Tom Walkinshaw, who in recent years masterminded the Jaguar campaign in the World Sportscar Championship, Benetton have emerged as a top three force, with an excellent car and a driver line-up to match. Brundle has started to assert himself after an uncertain start to the season, when he was no doubt taken aback by the pace and self-confidence of the young German, Schumacher.

McLAREN-HONDA V12

1 Ayrton Senna (Bra)Age 32 GP 134 Wins 34

2 Gerhard Berger (Aut)Age 32 GP 123 Wins 7

CHAMPIONS for the previous four years, they were left in the blocks by Williams-Renault and have been struggling to catch up ever since. Honda have improved their engine but the MP4/7 remains some way behind the Williams, as was apparent in last week's French Grand Prix. They are optimistic that changes to the chassis, due at the next race, in Germany, will enable them to close the gap, but already the championship appears to be a lost cause for both the team and the defending drivers' champion, Senna.

WILLIAMS-RENAULT V10

5 Nigel Mansell (GB)Age 38 GP 173 Wins 27

6 Riccardo Patrese (It)Age 38 GP 232 Wins 5

THEIR magnificent first half of the season has exceeded even their own expectations. The FW14B, fitted with active suspension, has been in a class of its own and Mansell, focused on the World Drivers' Championship as perhaps never before, has made the most of it. The whole team operation has been sharp from the opening race and it seems their first constructors' title is already assured. Mansell, who has given the team all six of their wins, has had the ideal No 2 driver in Patrese and should at last realise his title dream.

(Photographs omitted)

Comments