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GP Week : Issue 30
>>F1singapore and Prix, Marina Bay Toyota really wasn’t having the best of times in practice. Out of sorts and low on speed, Trulli had the biggest nightmare, spinning through the final corner and facing the wrong way down the straight. He opted for what he decreed the safest option, which was to drive the wrong way and pop into the pits. He was handed a 10,000 Euro fine for his troubles. Qualifying was little better for him After the glory of the Italian Grand Prix, Toro Rosso arrived in Singapore on a high. Neither car made it into the top 10 on Friday, with street specialist from his US racing days Bourdais particularly uneasy around the track. Qualifying cemented Bourdais’ woes with 17th position, while Vettel again made Q3 and a P6 grid slot after Heidfeld’s penalty was applied. In practice, Jenson Button was flying. 10th in the morning became eighth in the afternoon and the Briton was loving the street track. He felt he had yet to get the best out of the car and with understeer slowing his progress he was keen to move forward. Barrichello was having less fun and found himself frustrated and feeling like a “passenger.” Barrichello took 18th on the grid and Fisichella may have been the first man on to the track in Singapore, but that added little bit of experience did little for him. Both Force Indias were off the pace in practice, with Saturday’s final practice session seeing the Italian launch over the kerbs at Turn 10 and finish in the wall. The team did a great job to rebuild the car, which he then nailed into the barriers on his first qualifying lap. The team may have lost its appeal in Paris on the Tuesday, but arrived in Singapore in high spirits. And throughout practice and qualifying Hamilton was never lower than second. Kovalainen touched the wall in qualifying to sit a disappointed fourth. Hamilton almost didn’t make it out of Q2, and had it not been for Alonso’s issues may well have faced an uphill struggle. and 11th was his best position of the weekend to date, but Glock nailed his car to eighth, which became seventh with Heidfeld’s penalty. The race itself saw Trulli heavy and slow, creating a mighty train of traffic. In the end a hydraulics issue saw him DNF. Glock raced brilliantly and he held his nerve to take a fine fourth position, just off Hamilton in third. Bourdais suffered from a loose front end in traffic and struggled to find his limit. He struggled to finish 12th. Vettel came home a fine fifth to bring home more points for the team. It might have been fourth, too, but Vettel’s fight with Glock went in favour of the Toyota man, and even a post race protest by Toyota on Vettel for an unsafe release failed to dampen the result. Button 12th, with Button the happier of the two. The race was a bit of a nightmare. Barrichello pitted at just the right time for the Safety Car, but his engine died and his race was over. He didn’t even get the throwing of his gloves into the crowd right, as they fell into the river. Button raced hard for nil return, finishing cruelly outside the points in ninth. The duo lined up in their customary P19 and P20 for the race, and Fisichella was in fighting spirit, racing as high as second amongst the Safety Car mayhem. He finished 14th. Sutil had a disappointing afternoon. Massa drove into his path in the pit-lane, and then later in the race rejoined the track right in his path, leaving the German with nowhere to go but into the barrier. As it was Hamilton pulled out a podium on a day when Ferrari faltered massively. He didn’t want to take too many risks and so never really pushed above his means, settling for points and an increased championship lead. Kovalainen had to queue behind Hamilton at the first stop and after that had a tough race. He had picked up damage in an early contact with Kubica but raced well for 10th. 31