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GP Week : Issue 14
Previous experience of the track from his Champ Car days ended up being the worst possible thing for Sebastien Bourdais on Friday as he had to completely relearn his reference and braking points. A mistake on set-up direction didn’t help matters and he wound up 19th and 16th for the day. Seb Vettel had a far better day, and was a happy 12th and 9th. Qualifying was a huge blow as Vettel totalled his car in the morning practice and was unable to take to the track for Q1 as his car was still being rebuilt. A new gearbox meant he’d start from the pits. Bourdais had also clipped the wall in practice, but with a repairable car took 16th on the grid despite the track condition. Considering he’d started from the pits, Vettel’s eighth place was nothing short of incredible. He raced beautifully to hold off the advances of Kovalainen’s McLaren all the way to the flag. Bourdais had less to smile about and finished 13th after a miserable weekend. Trulli began the weekend complaining of a green and slippery track both in the wet and dry conditions, and he remained philosophical over the team’s chances after taking the TF108 to 10th in the afternoon. Timo Glock went 13th and 15th. Despite loving the track, it caught him out in the afternoon and after putting a wheel into the wall he had to leave his car by the side of the road. On Saturday Trulli failed to make Q3 for the first time this season and was furious at the condition of the track, describing conditions as a “disaster.” He would start 14th. Glock, meanwhile, outqualified his team-mate for the first time in his F1 career and, although missing out on Q3, was happy with 11th. Sunday proved to be a tremendous result for the team as the topsy turvy race saw both cars finish in the points, with Glock fourth and Trulli sixth. Only a small mistake from Glock stopped the duo coming home in formation, but the result was enough to lift the entire team’s spirits. A fairly decent first day for Red Bull, who have looked good all year in practice, only to let it slip somewhat in qualifying. Webber nailed his RBR to sixth and seventh in the two sessions despite a small off at Turn 6. Coulthard, meanwhile, was confident the team had amassed a good amount of data, and was happy with his eighth and 12th positions for the day. Coulthard’s qualifying runs were blighted by traffic and the poor track surface, which he compared to driving on train tracks. He put his car 13th, while Webber went through to Q3 yet again. Disaster struck for the Australian when he buried his car into the wall on his way back to the pits after getting offline and onto the marbles. Unable to take part in Q3, he predicted the track condition would prove hard to handle on Sunday. And so it proved for Webber, who battled hard on the wrong (two-stop) strategy, and ultimately finished two places lower than he’d started. Coulthard, meanwhile, played a blinder and took an unexpected and yet thoroughly deserved podium with a one-stop strategy. PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING 11 12 SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO 14 15 RED BULL RACING 9 10 36