Three races into the season and already some people will be feeling the pressure, which will be spurring them on to try for a good result this weekend in Spain.

And how nice it is to be back to having a race to talk about instead of other offtrack shenanigans!

So who needs to have a good race at Barcelona?

  • David Coulthard :-  I’ve spoken before about how he really needs to put himself on the scoreboard, and this weekend is as good a time as any to start.  He has said himself recently that he feels his season hasn’t really started yet and he needs to put that right as soon as possible.Whether you agree with him that he wasn’t to blame for the accidents he has been involved in during the first few races, I think most people would admit that he has been unlucky so far to say the least.

    The history books don’t record luck though, good or bad, so if he wants to be retained by Red Bull for next season he has to be able to bring them back some points, preferably more than his teammate.

    I think this weekend is big for DC, and he really must finish the race at the very least otherwise people will be writing him off as being over the hill and on his way out of F1.

  • Lewis Hamilton  :-  All told, Hamilton isn’t in a bad place at the moment - third in the Championship behind Kimi Raikkonen and Nick Heidfeld, only five points off the top spot with 15 races still to go.Of course it could all have been so much better, so Lewis and his followers will be feeling disappointment more than anything else at the moment.  The three week break has probably done him some good and allowed him to approach this race weekend with a clear mind.

    He can’t really afford to let Kimi stretch his lead any further though, but as long as he is within a race win (ten points) he won’t be too concerned.  The next couple of tracks are historically suited more to Ferrari which may be a worry for both the McLaren drivers, but they really need to be the best of the rest.

    Perhaps the biggest worry for Hamilton is that his teammate, Heikki Kovalainen, is tied with him on 14 points and despite attracting minimal publicity, he has been driving well.  Is Hamilton feeling the pressure of having a “lesser” driver doing just as well as him, in much the same way as Alonso did last year when the roles were reversed?

    Lewis Hamilton needs to have a good weekend, not just a good race or a good qualifying, and even if he can’t beat the Ferraris, he simply must beat both his teammate and the BMWs.

  • BMW :-  Which brings me on to the German marque.  They have had an amazing start to the season and are closer to the Ferraris than most people thought they would be.They are leading the Constructors Championship and while noone would think it a failure for them to relinquish that lead to Ferrari, for them to really be considered the third (or even second) best team they really need to keep racking up the points and stay on top for as long as possible.

    Whether they can do that this weekend remains to be seen, but for the good of F1 I hope that they do - it becomes a bit stale if it’s the same old teams winning week in, week out.  As long as they can aim to get a driver in and around a podium spot at each race then they are in for a heck of a season.

  • Felipe Massa  :-  There were big question marks over Massa after his less than impressive start to the season, but he managed to answer his critics at the last race.To ensure the critics stay away from his door though he really needs to put in two impressive perfomances in a row and leave Spain with an armful of points this weekend.

    Massa is a bit of an enigma.  After seeming to come good while driving alongside Schumacher, I really thought he would get the upper hand over Raikkonen when he joined the team last year - how wrong I was!  It seems to be that if everything goes his way and he is in the right mood then he can beat anyone in the world, but if any one thing goes even partly wrong then it just upsets his whole weekend.

    Unlike the great drivers, Massa doesn’t seem to be able to cope with problems.  Instead he lets them get on top of him and effectively plot his downfall.

    Another bad race this week will see his critics pile more pressure onto his shoulders which can only make matters worse.  Ideally he will want to finish ahead of his teammate in order to keep his Championship challenge alive, but even a second place to Kimi would suffice for now.

All in all I’m really looking forward to the weekend - as indeed all F1 fans will be.  Anything that deflects attention away from the ongoing Max Mosley saga can only be a good thing!