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GP Week : Issue 12
Toro Rosso had its brand new STR3 in Monaco. The briefly tested Red Bull Racing clone made its debut on possible the toughest track of all, so the squad was happy to get through the first day with both cars in one piece. Bourdais was 13th and 18th on his first Monaco visit since F3000 in 2002, while Vettel sat 19th and 20th. Not the best start. In the end, neither made it out of Q1. Vettel wound up 18th with Bourdais 16th with both complaining of poor balance. Vettel had already been handed a five place penalty for a new gearbox, so started from 19th. In the race itself, Bourdais went out at the same place and at the same time as Coulthard, and the two formed a little Red Bull sandwich at Massenet. Vettel was revelling in the tricky conditions that had so nearly seen him bring home a great result last year at Fuji. He kept his head, raced hard, and brought the car home in a stunning fifth place. Running revised front and rear wings to suit the high downforce nature of the Monaco circuit, Toyota had a disappointing practice day. Neither driver made it into the top 10, with Trulli tagging the barriers in the first session. Glock was enjoying his first F1 experience in Monaco, but was similarly off the pace. Qualifying saw Trulli however as the man to go furthest, taking 8th position after what he described as a tough session. Glock was 11th, having missed out on Q3 by a tenth of a second. The race itself was an ultimate disappointment. Glock was a regular spinner, having both front and rear wings replaced in the course of the race to wind up 12th at the chequered flag. Trulli didn’t have quite the spins his team-mate did but nevertheless was similarly caught out by the conditions and the tyres changes. He finished 13th. The team will be hoping to make more of the weekend in Canada, as with a similar layout to Monaco, they will not want to face similar results. The Red Bull drivers were frustrated after practice. Webber simply didn’t find the car to be suited to the track, while Coulthard suffered a throttle actuator problem in the morning, leading to lost time and ultimate annoyance. Qualifying saw both cars make it through to Q3, although Coulthard didn’t actually take part in the session. On the run down to Nouvelle Chicane, the car turned when the Scot engaged the brakes, sending him into a heavy shunt with the barriers. Coulthard was unhurt but the car was a mess and with a new gearbox needed, would see DC hit with a five-place penalty. Webber put his car 9th, heavily fuelled. The race itself again saw mixed fortunes. Coulthard brought out the first Safety Car when he hit the same damp patch which had sent Alonso into the barriers at Massenet. His race was over on the spot. Webber, meanwhile, had a fairly quiet race and just kept it all pointing in the right direction to take a strong fourth and his fifth consecutive points finish. PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING 11 12 SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO 14 15 RED BULL RACING 9 10 34