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GP Week : 29-Apr-2008
Honda turned up to Barcelona with the RA108 sporting its brand new ‘dumbo ears,’ but the car didn’t quite fly as well as expected. With Button’s testing work curtailed by bad weather the previous week, he needed all the track time he could muster on Friday. P10 in the morning and 15th in the afternoon, he was confident of pushing into the top ten in qualifying. Barrichello meanwhile languished in 18th and 17th positions, complaining that the car had felt totally different to the test. The duo very nearly made it into the top 10 though, on Saturday afternoon. Barrichello wound up the quicker of the pair in 11th, with Button shortly behind him in 13th. Barrichello endured a tough race, and contact with Fisichella in the pits dislodged his front wing as he exited. He was back in next time round for a new wing, but his race was run soon after. Button meanwhile ran a quiet but determined race and came home a superb sixth to rack up his first points of the season. While Toro Rosso’s test of their new car had been promising at Barcelona, the car had finished in the wall, so the team arrived with an old car and one driver with no recent mileage at the track. That driver was Sebastien Vettel, who took 20th and 18th positions. Bourdais didn’t fare much better, taking a set of P19s. With their rivals making gains at the test, the team was aware that its results were probably a fair reflection of pace. Qualifying went far better. Although Vettel was stuck back in 18th, Bourdais made it through into Q2 which was an achievement in itself. He took P16. The pair didn’t last long in the race however. Vettel’s day was over on the first lap (again) as an “over optimistic” Sutil took his compatriot out. But while Vettel was an innocent party in his departure, Bourdais was less so in his. Finding Piquet alongside him at turn 10, the Frenchman simply continued to turn in. Both went out. Friday was pretty tough for Toyota. Trulli admitted he had struggled with the windy conditions, and that a set of P14s was not what he had hoped for, but he didn’t allow himself to get too carried away, referring to the car’s good showing in 2008 as a reason for confidence. Glock was similarly frustrated and would up 20th in the afternoon, saying the track felt completely different to how it had been at the test. Qualifying went far better, but Glock was unable to make it out of Q2, eventually settling for 12th. Trulli again made it into Q3 and took eighth. Glock had a poor start, losing places and picking up damage after getting caught in the melee. He changed his nose at the pitstop, but had to come in for a second nose when Coulthard’s indecision caused the two to collide. Trulli fought hard for the final point. A communications error led to the Italian unnecessarily coming into the pits late on, robbing him of a pretty certain sixth place. PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING 11 12 SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO 14 15 HONDA RACING F1 TEAM 16 17 30