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GP Week : Issue 33
Team-By-Team: Chinese Gran While Lewis Hamilton led the way in practice, Ferrari saw nothing to fear as their drivers took second and third positions in the morning. A more disappointing afternoon did not sway the team’s confidence as, just as in Fuji, two race distances had been run and much data collated. Come qualifying, the two Ferrari’s simply couldn’t match Hamilton’s pace, BMW entered the penultimate weekend of the season in the hunt for both championships, but left it having lost their grip on both. Heidfeld was the happier of the two drivers from the outset, as Kubica struggled to find a set-up for the circuit. Neither car was perfectly balanced and this manifested itself in a disappointing qualifying session. Heidfeld took his car into the top 10 but was then slapped with Coming off the back of two wins, Renault arrived in China in high spirits and the weekend did not disappoint. With both Alonso and Piquet making the top 10 in first practice, the duo filled P2 and P3 in the afternoon. The second qualifying session was incredibly tight and while Alonso flew through to Q3 Piquet missed out by just 0.007s. The Spaniard nailed his Renault to The Williams drivers struggled to make an impact on the first day, but after an under par performance in 2007 were at least contented with the manner in which they had made use of their tyres. Their performance improved over the first day as Rosberg and Nakajima improved by about a second between practice sessions giving hope for a better weekend than expected. Qualifying did not quite go to plan as While Coulthard could only muster a set of 14th places in practice, Webber was far happier and improved his pace on the first day from 11th in the morning to fifth in the afternoon as the promise of a good weekend looked high. Saturday was therefore a huge disappointment. Webber’s blown engine in practice meant that he had to take a 10-place grid penalty after qualifying sixth. Coulthard 32 but positions two and three on the grid gave hope that the win was still there for the taking. The race itself proved not to lend itself to the Ferrari drivers, as the team suffered what it held to be its worst race of the year. Given that it finished with both drivers on the podium reflects how tight this championship has become. Will work hard over the next two weeks. a penalty for impeding Coulthard. Kubica was out in Q2 and left staring wistfully as his championship hopes went up in smoke. The race itself was therefore something of a pleasant surprise for BMW as Heidfeld ran home fifth and Kubica sixth. Although falling out of contention for the titles, the team had pulled together and created a result from what had looked to be a pretty awful weekend. fifth on the grid and looked forward to a good result. Fighting with Toyota for fourth in the championship, the ultimate race result therefore could not have been better. With Alonso finishing just off the podium in fourth, Piquet drove yet another solid race to finish eighth and give the team the advantage it needed to claim that fourth place in the championship. Nakajima qualified 17th and Rosberg 15th which became 14th with Webber’s penalty to leave the duo with much to do in the race. Nakajima made the best improvement, eventually finishing 12th, while Rosberg finished where he had started after complaining of a short top gear. The team will hope to bow out of 2008 on a high in Brazil. struggled to 16th, but was promoted a place due to Webber’s misfortune. Webber started on a light strategy. It was a gamble that didn’t pay off and he finished 14th. Coulthard had a better afternoon and made up five places to finish tenth. From the promise at the outset it had been a tough weekend and as with most teams, Red Bull moves to Brazil hoping to leave the season on a high.