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GP Week : 29-Apr-2008
The Renault boys had a cracking first day in the office with Alonso and Piquet lining up sixth and seventh in the morning, while the young Brazilian stepped up to a brilliant second, with Alonso third in the afternoon. Come qualifying, hopes were high for a decent result and both drivers made it through to Q3. Piquet took a highly respectable 10th, but it was Alonso who took the headlines with second on the grid. The Spaniard said in the press conference that his best hope for the race was seventh, so it was safe to assume he’d probably be pitting around the start of the third lap in the race itself! He stayed out much longer than that – lap 17 in fact, but ultimately a blown engine put paid to what had been an aggressive race from the home hero. Piquet meanwhile slipped off the track early on and ended up in a scrap with Bourdais, which ultimately led to their dual retirement. AT&T WILLIAMSF1 TEAM 7 8 RED BULL RACING 9 10 Rosberg was held back on Friday by a set-up which sent the car in completely the wrong direction in the morning, down in 12th place. He and the team were back on track in the afternoon with 7th position but he was still unhappy with his balance. Nakajima meanwhile felt more optimistic. 15th in the morning became a fine fourth in the afternoon, and the Japanese driver was buoyant for qualifying. He subsequently outshone his team-mate, as Rosberg, still complaining of an ill-balanced car, wound up 15th, with Nakajima in a season best 12th. The Japanese driver made good on his potential by coming home seventh to take two valuable points to take his tally to five in the first four races. Rosberg meanwhile ended up with an early bath after his Toyota engine apparently let go robbing him of an almost certain points finish. It had been a tough weekend for the German, who had raced impressively during the opening laps to make amends for his disappointing qualifying performance. David Coulthard pointed to the increased temperatures in Barcelona as the reasons behind the importance of a day of practice at a track which almost every team had driven around endlessly just a few days before the start of the grand prix weekend, and the Scot was rather impressive with a pair of P8s. Webber, meanwhile, went sixth in the afternoon, pointing to the new aero parts premiered at the test as the reason for the burst of pace. Qualifying was a major let down for Coulthard however, and he described himself “shocked” with 17th position. Webber however managed seventh after a morning in which he hadn’t run. The Australian brought back points for the third race in succession on Sunday, and was delighted with the team’s performance. Coulthard, meanwhile had a bit of a nightmare, and finished 12th thanks only to the high attrition. He picked up some damage courtesy of Sutil’s first lap idiocy, and was involved in a silly accident with Glock, caused once again by his apparent indecisiveness over defending a corner. ING RENAULT F1 TEAM 5 6 F1 BARCELONA >> 29