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GP Week : Issue 28
Team-By-Team: Italian Grand The weather played havoc with everyone’s day, and Ferrari was no exception. After confirming Raikkonen’s continued tenure with the team on Thursday, the Finn duly went fastest in the in the afternoon with his team-mate Massa in sixth after the duo had run just five laps in the red- flagged morning session. Come qualifying, Ferrari had mixed fortunes. Raikkonen was caught out by After the washout of Friday morning, BMW had a highly productive afternoon, placing second and third around the still damp Monza circuit. After the dry test session before Spa, the team had utilised its time wisely to prepare for the rain which was expected to affect the whole weekend. Qualifying duly threw up a few surprises as Robert Kubica joined Raikkonen in failing to make it out of Q2 as the deluge The Renault team had a mixed day, proving fast in the wet and surprisingly off the pace in the dry. Alonso and Piquet both finished in the top 11 in the morning, but a spin for Piquet in the afternoon left him last, with Alonso in 18th. Qualifying was another one to forget for Piquet, who failed to maximise on the tricky conditions to end up in the bottom five that read like a who’s who of drivers Rosberg looked on it from the word go in Italy, taking fifth in the tough morning conditions on Friday in which his team- mate Nakajima failed to set a time. Rosberg repeated his fifth place in the afternoon but Nakajima struggled again. Qualifying replicated the performance of Friday, as Rosberg again nailed fifth, while Nakajima joined the rabble of strugglers who went out in Q1 in 18th, his Although failing to set a time in the morning, an eighth in the afternoon practice on Friday left Mark Webber optimistic. Coulthard put in a 12th and an 11th and mid field was where you’d expect to see him of late. The Scot was unlucky with traffic in Q2 and failed to make it into a Q3. Webber had no such problems and soared to a superb third on the grid. 32 the changeable conditions in Q2 and wound up a lowly 14th. Massa had put in a banker early on and made it through to Q3 where he finished sixth. The race itself, oddly enough, didn’t pan out quite as well as expected. While Raikkonen was never expected to feature heavily in the running (finishing 9th as he did), Massa finished where he’d started with three points for sixth. just caught him out. Heidfeld fared better and made it to Q3, only to wind up 10th. The race ended up playing right into the team’s hands. The drivers had swapped positions with realising it in the wet start, and from there they set about their races. Kubica’s strategy played out perfectly to net him third while Kubica held off Massa for fifth. More important points for a team still in the title chase. under threat for 2009. Alonso made it to Q3 and lined up a promising eighth. The Spaniard put in a great race on Sunday. He, like his team-mate, ran a long first stint but Alonso was one of the first to change onto inters. As his rivals came in for the same rubber, Alonso moved up to fourth. Piquet had a more difficult afternoon but still brought the car home 10th having impressed the team. worst showing since Malaysia. The race was really a story of what might have been. Rosberg was up one place at the start with Bourdais’grid woes and the German fought valiantly in the early running. Changing onto extreme wets he had to pit again for inters and fell to the back, eventually finishing 14th. Nakajima collided with Coulthard a few laps from home, finishing 12th. His start was fantastic and he seemed to have found a good rhythm for the race, until getting stuck behind the one-stopping Alonso and Heidfeld after his first stop. It ruined his race and after contact with Hamilton in the closing stages he had to settle for 8th. Coulthard had a few good scraps but a problem with his brake balance meant he annihilated his rears and struggled.