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GP Week : Issue 18
Having never raced at Silverstone before, Sebastian Vettel was loving the track and slotted straight into the groove on Friday. He wouldn’t leave the top 10 all weekend. Seventh in the morning he improved to sixth in the afternoon and was happy with the balance. The same couldn’t be said for his team-mate. Understeer in the morning was dialled out for the afternoon but that just led to the car making downturns in other areas. A slight improvement saw Bourdais get up to 13th in qualifying but he was still unhappy with the car. Vettel meanwhile took eighth in Q3 above championship leaders Kubica and Massa. The German’s race was over before it had started, the innocent victim of an over-confident move by Coulthard on the opening lap. Bourdais however managed to avoid first lap contact and brought his car home 11th. He gambled on extreme wet tyres which improved the handling of the car, but by the time of their fitting his race was over. Vettel’s pace should give the team reason for confidence moving to Hockenheim. A nightmare first day for Toyota. The morning went well enough, although unspectacularly for the team, but it was the afternoon session that was supposed to be the important one. It was, but for the wrong reasons. First Glock had clutch issues that forced him to miss most of the session, and then the team had to revert to their original rear wing after their latest development broke on the Hangar Straight, pitching Jarno Trulli into a shunt from which he was taken to the medical centre. Passed fit to continue with the weekend, neither he nor Glock really recovered the lost time on Saturday and wound up 14th and 12th respectively. The team wasn’t looking forward to the race, and when the rain started to fall, Glock caught Mass’s penchant for spinning at every corner and slipped way down the order. Trulli however was able to hold it all together and snatch seventh position on the very last lap from Nakajima. For the Italian, it had been a veritable silk purse from a sows ear kind of day. Red Bull began the weekend with their two big announcements. DC was retiring and Webbo was staying. With that behind them, they could concentrate on the weekend. Their work began immediately with a fairly trouble free Friday – only an electrical glitch hampered Webber’s running in the morning, and the duo both wound up in the top four in the afternoon. Come Saturday, however, Red Bull could hardly believe their pace. Second on Friday afternoon, Webber took second in final practice and followed it up with second on the grid. He was slightly stunned but delighted. Coulthard was disappointed to be 11th. The race was a nightmare. Webber spun on the first lap after bogging down at the start and being passed by Hamilton and Raikkonen. Coulthard meanwhile got it all wrong and was out by the end of the first tour. Webber recovered to tenth, but the team was left to contemplate what might have been after such a promising start to the weekend. The team knows it has got good pace now, and needs to keep itself together to maximise its potential. PANASONIC TOYOTA RACING 11 12 SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO 14 15 RED BULL RACING 9 10 36