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GP Week : Issue 20
F1 GERMANY >> Toyota was as a fairly routine day in the bottom half of the pack. Everyone was happy. Come qualifying and Toyota were really rather pleased with themselves. Glock was rather unlucky to miss out on Q3, and lined up 11th. Trulli banged in fourth place in Q3 and was hopeful of points. The race was thus a big disappointment. Trulli fought well, but never really had the car underneath him to challenge and finished out of the points. Glock inadvertently caused the turning point of the race with his big crash. What looked like a rear suspension failure pitched him into a huge shunt after what had been a great drive. Reported to be a touch groggy but OK, he’s expected to be racing in Hungary. Local hero Sebastian Vettel was the star of the show on Friday, putting his Toro Rosso seventh in the wet morning conditions and 11th in the afternoon to round up a pretty good day for the youngster. Mr Bourdais on the other hand was finding things far more difficult, with a flywheel sensor and then gearbox issue curtailing his running time. Come qualifying, Vettel was a superstar and took his Toro Rosso to an amazing eighth place, forming in the meat in a Red Bull sandwich. Bourdais struggled a bit and wound up 15th. The strange thing was that in the race he had pretty similar pace to Heidfeld, which begged the question of what he might have achieved with better qualifying. Vettel drove like a demon to finish eighth after proving to be the thorn in the side of most of the field. A great drive from the youngster. Honda’s drivers had better be hoping next year’s car is a bullet, because this season is a write off. But for a lucky podium in Silverstone, there has been little by way of celebration at Honda, and although practice saw both drivers getting closer to the top 10, there was no major reason to be optimistic of a turnaround in form. Qualifying was another disappointment as Barrichello took 18th, Button 14th. The race was similarly annoying for the team. The Honda boys spent most of it fighting with each other, but bad timing with the pit-stops under the Safety Car meant Button got caught out and couldn’t un-lap himself. Still, at least it had kept him out of the trouble sent Barrichello’s direction by Coulthard who had him off and into retirement. Button pulled the Honda home 17th and is no doubt praying for this year to just finish quickly. Force India showed off its new wheel spinners in Germany … very bling! Following on from the test the team was in a pretty confident mood, but qualifying was the usual routine for the duo. Although they did their best, the car was only good enough for the final row and that’s exactly where they plonked it. Usually Safety Car periods play into the hands of those who rely on a random element to give them an outside shot at points, but for Force India it just didn’t work out that way. Fisi finished 14th and Sutil took 16th, but the Italian was handed a 25 second penalty for un-lapping himself after taking a stop under the Safety Car. No, it doesn’t make much sense to us either. McLaren was the in form team coming into the German Grand Prix. And so they proved to be, as the McLarens topped every single session of the weekend. Whatever they’re putting in the water in Woking seems to be working rather well as, even without their new anvil wing engine cover, the team and the car was clearly the fastest thing on track. Hamilton’s race was exceptional, and even though he admitted he prefers leading from lights to flag, nobody can deny its marvellous fun actually watching the guy race. Kovalainen was good as always but just doesn’t seem to be able to hook things up in race trim. Did the honourable thing and let Lewis through but must be hurting inside that he isn’t competing at the same level force in F1. 31