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GP Week : Issue 30
Team-By-Team: Singapore Gra Standing out on track during free practice, it was easy to see why Ferrari had reason to be optimistic going into F1’s first night race. The bumpy track simply didn’t seem to be affecting the red cars as much as their rivals. They just seemed to glide over the roads and after 500km run in practice seemed happy with their lot. Qualifying was an astounding result A weekend of contrasting fortunes for the BMW boys, who never looked like race winners but should probably have done better than they did. Heidfeld always seemed the more confident of the drivers at the team and yet it was Kubica who always ended up the faster. Qualifying was a superb result for the duo, fourth and sixth in the session, but when Heidfeld was demoted three places The fact that Alonso and Piquet seemed relatively equally balanced over the course of opening practice belied what was clear from watching their lines on track. Alonso was committed and sure, while Piquet seemed almost to be running on a different line. Still, it seemed to work for the Brazilian, but not quite as well as for the Spaniard who topped two of the three practice sessions. If there was one man (other than Alonso) who typified the very notion that street tracks separate the men from the boys, it was Nico Rosberg. The German was lightning fast all weekend, sixth in first practice and fifth in the remaining two sessions, his was a name many linked with a possible podium. After getting caught up in the Trulli Train in the early part of the race, he Mark Webber got off to the worst possible start at a new street circuit by diving headlong into the barriers on his third lap of practice. Things got slightly better in the afternoon but the lost track time was always going to hit him hard. A pair of P15s for Coulthard suggested that Red Bull’s pace wasn’t going to be spectacular. The duo were out of qualifying after Q2 and both were fairly disappointed as 30 for the team as Massa swept to pole by over half a second from Hamilton, with Raikkonen third. The race was a huge let down. Massa’s pit-stop problem ruined his race as the resultant time-loss and drive-through penalty dropped him out of contention. Raikkonen binned fifth place a few laps from the flag. A shocking end to what should have been the perfect weekend. for ruining Barrichello’s lap, it all started to turn sour. The race again saw contrasting fortunes, but in the opposite direction. Heidfeld complained of constant traffic but finished sixth, while Kubica was the unfortunate recipient of a drive-through for pitting in a closed pit-lane. He finished 11th on a day when two of his three title rivals failed to score. Showboating surely? We never got to find out. Piquet went out in Q1 and a fuel issue for Alonso saw him out of Q2. Come the race, the team wasn’t expecting much. Gambling on an early stop, Alonso benefitted from Piquet dumping his car into the barriers. The Safety Car gifted Alonso the advantage lost in qualifying. A great result for a team which has had little to celebrate in 2008. battled through and was unfortunate to have to pit in a closed pit-lane. His pace out front when the race resumed won him that coveted podium, however, and he withheld intense pressure from Hamilton to claim second, his best career finish to date. Nakajima took longer to adapt to the street track, but had a corking race to grab the final point in eighth place. A brilliant team result. from the middle of the pack they knew overtaking would be tough. The advent of the Safety Car in the race came at just the right time for the Red Bull boys as they had both just made their pit stops. It should have been a great result. As it was, Webber endured gearbox difficulties and DNFed, while Coulthard had pit issues and tried to leave with his fuel man attached.