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GP Week : Issue 42
> F1CHINA> nd Prix, Shanghai Comparing Toro Rosso with their sister team is perhaps unfair, but the Toro Rosso squad is only a few races behind Red Bull in development terms, and with a Ferrari engine in the back end of the car, top 10 results should be the genuine aim. But the team seems to be lacking something at present, and when one considers what the sister team is achieving, the burden of responsibility will only fall There was little about the weekend that one could fault when it came to Red Bull. With one of the quickest cars on the grid, all they needed was some luck. An issue with their driveshaft boots left the team looking fragile, and reliability will continue to be a fear, but it was the way in which the guys dealt with the situation that was the making of their famous victory. Measured, sensible and at the same Williams had a really strange weekend in China. That the team is quick is in no doubt, and another practice-topping time from Rosberg was evidence yet again of the team’s ultimate pace, but something just didn’t gel in Shanghai. Rosberg was top 10 again in qualifying as Nakajima struggled, and the story continued in the race. Nakajima was in almost constant A gutting weekend for Force India, as a genuine chance for points went begging with just laps to go … again. The weather had played to Force India’s strengths. The team is nowhere near any of their rivals, and for the first time the two cars could only qualify in the final two positions. New developments are in the pipeline (diffuser and KERS) and the team will hope to move forward when they do, It feels like we’ve been talking about Brawn non-stop (in fact this will be the first GPWeek of 2009 without a BrawnGP car on the cover), but China brought home the reality that the team has only been around for two races and still has much to learn. That half Grand Prix in Malaysia was the only wet running Brawn has done with its BGP01, and a full wet race showed just onto the drivers. It’s lucky then that at least one of them is doing the job. Sebastien Buemi is positively walking on his French team-mate … nothing like being an underdog to give you a boost. The Swiss GP2-graduate has been a revelation and while Bourdais complained that the race shouldn’t have been started, Buemi went on to bring home some points. Enough said. time taking the risk of a bold strategy, they got the luck on their side for once with the weather. Vettel was imperious and Webber put in yet another incredible race, dicing wheel-to-wheel with Button. The race was no less than Red Bull deserved as after 74 efforts the man who had taken Toro Rosso’s first win, drove Red Bull to theirs. Fitting, and fantastic, a great weekend for the boys with wings. problems, getting racey but into conflict with a number of rivals and ultimately retiring with transmission issues. Rosberg, meanwhile, suffered from bad pit calls. He fuelled up too early and then took a gamble on inters when the rain was still falling. On another day it might have been an inspired move, but this time just wasn’t to be. No points, but still promising. but for now the rain was a godsend. Sutil shone brightest, putting in a great drive to rise up into an honest and credible sixth position. But with just a smattering of laps to go he aquaplaned while pushing a touch too hard and ended up in the wall. With only himself and the weather to blame, these are the kind of opportunities he and the team can’t afford to let slip by again. how far the boys have to go before they can compete with the likes of Red Bull in all conditions. Had Massa, Hamilton, Trulli and Glock had their luck intact, there is every reason to believe we might not have seen a Brawn on the podium. The team is still quick, and is still the one to beat, but it is not infallible and that’s a great thing for F1. 31