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GP Week : Issue 22
rand Prix, Hungaroring > F1HUNGARY > Toyota began the weekend admitting that things had run far smoother than they had perhaps expected. The track surface was dusty, but Toyota had good grip levels and found themselves fighting for position in the top 10. Nobody had really expected that pace to continue, but Glock and Trulli were able to fight with the big boys in qualifying as the Italian took ninth and Glock took a After his track walk on Thursday, Sebastian Vettel made a mark on the P9 grid slot. When quizzed on it he wouldn’t divulge the reason. If it was the grid slot he was hoping to take, Friday would have been a kick as that P9 turned itself into just 9 laps run all day, bottom of the time sheets with hydraulic issues. Come qualifying, Bourdais held up Heidfeld and was slapped with a five Another team running new aero parts, Honda began the weekend with 14th and 15th in practice, which was reason enough to be cheerful given that the team has not been blessed with anything but bottom four pace of late. Barrichello had a disappointing qualifying session, making a mistake on his final run to wind up 18th. Button took his car to 12th, his best qualifying The team began its weekend by continuing its development process for its new seamless shift gearbox. The team spent the majority of their time collecting data on the new systems. A return to the standard gearbox on Saturday meant that the drivers duly lined up 18th and 20th after Bourdais had taken his penalty. With a BMW, Williams and Honda also in the bottom group, Force McLaren arrived in Hungary with Lewis Hamilton hoping to become the first British driver since Damon Hill to record three wins in a row, and after a solid first day of practice, things were looking good. In qualifying he duly took pole position and the general consensus was that it would take something pretty major to stop him from romping to the win. With team-mate Kovalainen alongside him, he career best fifth. Come the race, Glock was in sterling form. On for a brilliant third, Massa’s engine blow handed the German an even bigger prize in second. Despite a problem at his first pitstop, Glock raced hard all afternoon and at one point had looked a real threat for Kovalainen. Trulli also had a good afternoon, eventually finishing seventh. place grid penalty to start 19th. Vettel made it to a pretty incredible 11th given his lack of running on Friday. The race was a nightmare. Vettel retired after a lengthy pit-stop caused some overheating and broken parts. Bourdais experienced two small refuelling fires and had to make an additional pit-stop to have fire extinguisher foam wiped off his visor. Not the best of weekends. performance since the Monaco Grand Prix. The race was not to go Honda’s way. While Barrichello made a strong start, Button bogged down and got left behind. A reversal of fortune saw Barrichello experience a small pit fire, and the delay pushed him down to 19th. He fought back to finish 16th, while Button raced hard to make up the places back to the position in which he’d started, 12th, by the flag fall. India stated it was content given how close the times had been. Fisichella raced well on Sunday and enjoyed a close battle with the two Williams cars and Barrichello’s Honda. He finished 15th. Adrian Sutil experienced yet more grief as brake issues made his afternoon a difficult one. He picked up a puncture and called it a day eight laps from home. also had a rear gunner. When the race began, however, Massa blasted into the lead and Hamilton’s strategy was changed to cope. Kovalainen was happy and lonely in third. Then Hamilton’s tyre issues forced a major rethink, and when Massa’s engine blew, Kovalainen was left out in front to take his first ever F1 win. Hamiltion fought back from his puncture to record fifth place. 31