However future tyre supplier Pirelli have not been bound by such restrictions and with Nick Heidfeld released from his contract at Mercedes, the experienced German hit the rough Mugello circuit to put the new rubber through its paces.Now though, the Formula 1 circus kicks back into gear and the drivers and teams will be refocussing their efforts as they approach the season run in – there are now only two European races left, before the series moves to events in Asia, South America and the Middle East.
Mark Webber leads the championship standings from Lewis Hamilton by a slim margin of only four points; however this weekend may well be a vitally important one for the reigning Champion, Jenson Button. Weather conditions for this weekend’s Grand Prix at the famous Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium are forecast to vary from wet and slightly cold to fresh and sunny and it is the changeable conditions that Button needs to take advantage of.The McLaren driver has not won since the Chinese Grand Prix four months ago and he is slowly but surely beginning to fall behind the leaders. A poor result this weekend and very soon McLaren could potentially start considering their options and get Button to pump Hamilton; however the 2008 Champion has himself not won since June and is also in need of a good result to keep his championship challenge alive. While Hamilton may be just behind Webber, the Red Bull is clearly a better car.
There are no outside chances for team orders with the Austrian / English squad – Mark Webber is on a roll and decent results in the final two European events will see his confidence soar. Ever since Vettel’s victory at Valencia (and Webber’s crash), the Aussie has looked truly stunning.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso has also played himself somewhat back into contention – his controversial win at the Hockenheimring and his 2nd spot at Hungary now mean he is only 20 points behind Webber. With 175 points still to play for, the 2010 Formula 1 World Championship is far from being over.