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GP Week : Issue 5
Renault began the weekend in Bahrain with their drivers occupying a steady position around the very centre of the pack. Alonso was 10th and 12th, with Piquet 13th and 10th. The Spaniard, surviving contact with Sutil, declared himself desperate for more speed, while Piquet was happier with the balance of the car having worked hard on brake balance. On Saturday Piquet was unlucky to miss out on Q3 in what was a hotly-contested Q2, eventually having to settle for 14th. Alonso meanwhile made it through to the final knockout and took 10th on the grid. The race start was tough for both drivers. Alonso was involved in the incident with Hamilton, while Piquet suffered a gearbox problem. The Brazilian fought on regardless, but when the issue became a danger he was asked to retire the car. Alonso struggled with a damaged car after his altercation with Hamilton, eventually finishing 10th. The team admitted it needs to provide its drivers with a better car to match their expectations. AT&T WILLIAMSF1 7 8 RED BULL RACING 9 10 As with most teams, Williams enjoyed a trouble-free day on Friday. Rosberg found himself behind only the Ferraris in the morning with Nakajima in sixth, while in the afternoon Rosberg took over sixth spot with Nakajima in eighth. The bad memories of Malaysia’s lack of competitiveness were further erased when Rosberg topped third practice on Saturday. In qualifying however Nakajima failed to make the best use of his tyres and wound up 16th. Rosberg fared far better though, taking 8th position. Rosberg repeated his 2006 performance with 8th position in the race, too. His overall analysis was that he had hoped for more from the weekend, but in the end coming away with a point after a tough race was not a bad result. Nakajima meanwhile struggled. He made a poor start, but recovered to 14th. 100% reliability for the weekend Williams may have had, but the team is only too aware that if it is to reach the levels it wants, the car simply needs more pace. David Coulthard showed much promise for RBR on Friday with ninth and seventh positions over the day. Webber showed similar consistency a few spots further back, on a different program, in P12 and P13. Friday’s performances however once again flattered to deceive as Coulthard failed to make the cut in the very first qualifying session, with Webber missing out on Q3 by a minute margin. They would start 17th and 11th respectively. Webber made a blinding start and, taking advantage of the first few laps of madness, made his way up to the edge of the points. Some great driving and slick pitwork brought him out in seventh, where he stayed until the race’s conclusion. Coulthard meanwhile had a tougher afternoon, finishing 17th. He described himself as a pinball in the first corner and the resultant puncture dropped him down the field where he encountered Button. A spirited fight ended in a collision, but DC carried on, changed his nose and made it to the flag. ING RENAULT F1 TEAM 5 6 F1 bahrain >> 33