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GP Week : Issue 28
>>F1monza d Prix, Monza The wet conditions of first practice seemed to suit the Toyotas, who both lined up in the top 10. The afternoon was less of a success, however, and both drivers vented their frustrations after finishing towards the bottom of the pile. Qualifying in the wet saw a repeat of that first morning’s performance, as both Toyota’s made it through to Q3. Glock lined up ninth, with Trulli an impressive A home race for Toro Rosso and what a weekend it turned out to be. Both Sebs were top 10 in the wet and narrowly out of that top 10 in the damp afternoon. With the team hoping to score good points on merit, the deluge of rain in qualifying showed the talent of their drivers. Bourdais drove well under the still looming pressure over his seat to record fourth, but the story The rain usually gives a chance for the slower teams to shine, so Honda must have been praying for floods in Monza. They got it on Friday morning and Barrichello duly put his car second. Relatively normal service was resumed in the afternoon. Qualifying failed to shine and both Hondas were out in Q1. A dismal showing, particularly for Button who so regularly The rain came, and with it, something of a shock for F1. Force India topped their first F1 session as Adrian Sutil rose above the conditions to top the morning session, with Fisichella close behind in fourth. With the drivers comfortably mid-grid in the afternoon things looked good. Qualifying was a huge disappointment for Sutil, as he fell out of Q1 in 20th. Fisichella took Force India to their first Despite the controversy of Spa, McLaren and more particularly Lewis Hamilton arrived in Monza with the air of a team that had won the last race. Neither driver set a lap on Friday morning and in the afternoon didn’t trouble the top spots, Hamilton leading the way for McLaren in fourth. Saturday threw up a big shock, as a combination of bad timing, the wrong tyres and questions over set-up left seventh on the grid. The duo had a great race and were constantly in the mix for the big bucks. Glock had a spin early on, but thereafter had some great battles, as did team- mate Trulli. The pair came unstuck with a second stop for inters, however, and Trulli finished 13th with Glock just outside the top 10 in 11th. A disappointing finish to what might have been a good race. of the weekend was Vettel. He took a magnificent pole position, at 21 years of age becoming the youngest driver in F1 history to start a race from P1. The race was a disaster for Bourdais as he lost a lap with transmission issues at the very start. His team-mate Vettel drove superbly to record his and the team’s first ever Formula 1 victory, one of the most popular wins in recent times. revels in such conditions … a sign, if it was needed, of just how much work is required at the team. Button started from the pit-lane after the team made substantial set-up changes, and drove a strong race. Despite frustrating opening and middle stints, he raced hard at race conclusion for the scant reward of 15th. Barrichello wound up 17th after switching to inters too early. ever Q2 with a great drive to 12th position. Fisi raced hard at the start and had a few thrilling run-ins with Raikkonen and Hamilton. Damage picked up when he rear-ended Coulthard, which led to his front wing becoming dislodged and stuck under the car, sending him into retirement at Parabolica on lap 13. Sutil could only muster 19th in what he termed as “a race to forget.” Hamilton down in 15th. Kovalainen hooked it all up to take second on the grid in fine style. The race was frustrating for Kovalainen as poor grip and underheated brakes caused the Finn some headaches. He never challenged for the win or looked likely of doing so. Hamilton, meanwhile, was in his element in the wet and had a brilliant race. 33