Schu tipped to take title today

Michael Schumacher, starting the Belgian Grand Prix on the front row of the grid and chasing his seventh world title of course, could have some early problems with the Renaults but few expect the French manufacturer's challenge to last for the duration

Schu tipped to take title today

Pole position man Jarno Trulli and team mate Fernando Alonso, who lines up third, both benefited from the use of intermediate tyres in qualifying and the Renaults are known for their lightning starts. It is therefore not unlikely that Schumacher could find himself third at the end of the opening lap.

However, with dry weather forecast for Sunday afternoon, race performance will also reflect to what extent the teams and drivers incorporated dry settings into their qualifying equation because, under the parc ferme rules, no set-up changes can be made between qualifying and race.

On Friday, Trulli was not happy with his Renault: "I struggled big time with set-up in dry conditions and wasn't comfortable in the car or able to push it and wore the tyres a lot. I just hope that it will be a lot better in the race."

Alonso said: "I have a competitive car in dry conditions too so I am quite happy."

Looking at the qualifying session speed trap and maximum speed figures does not reveal too much, due to the variable conditions and types of tyre used during the session. Conventional wisdom, however, suggests that even if the Renaults get the better of Schumacher's at the start, they will be unable to prevent him taking the win he needs to be sure of wrapping up title number seven.

All he really needs to do is beat team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who starts sixth.

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