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GP Week : Issue 33
> F1china> e of ‘08 Out of the title hunt ... ROBERT Kubica’s disappointing weekend in which a failure to qualify in the top 10 resulted in only a sixth place finish means that after a season in which he had played the role of dark horse, his championship aspirations are at an end. Kimi Raikkonen’s third position means that the Finn sits just six points behind the Pole going into the final race of the season, and Kubica is determined to see off the threat of the reigning World Champion to record a brilliant end-of-season championship position. “After a very difficult qualifying I’m pleased with sixth,”he said after the race. “I made up a position at the start and then another two when Jarno Trulli and Sébastien Bourdais touched in the first corner. The balance of the car was still not good in the first two stints, and it only changed in the final stint after we changed to the softer compound. There is now one race left, and I shall try hard to defend my third place in the drivers’championship.” Renault delight as fourth place assured ANOTHER double points haul for Renault in the Grand Prix of China has assured the team of fourth place in the 2009 Constructors’Championship. Although Fernando could not take a hat-trick of Eastern victories on the back of his Singapore and Japanese wins, a strong fourth place finish from the plucky Spaniard coupled with an eighth place for Nelson Piquet moves the team 20 points ahead of season-long rivals Toyota with a maximum of 18 points on offer at the Brazilian Grand Prix. “It was a good race for us today,” said Flavio Briatore. “We were able to show our true level of performance and that we are stronger than BMW and very close to Ferrari.” Alonso was also delighted with his race, as the points he gathered for fourth place, together with a DNF for McLaren’s Heikki Kovalainen means that the 2005/2006 World Champion moves ahead of his former team-mate by 53 points to 51. “Fourth place is the best result we could have hoped for today and so I am therefore extremely satisfied with my race. We had good pace, close to the Ferrari, which is another reason to be pleased. We have now won the battle for fourth place in the constructors’ championship, which was our objective, and so we can approach the Brazilian Grand Prix with confidence and aim to make the most of the final race of the year.” 29