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GP Week : Issue 45
Team-By-Team:Spanish Gran McLaren had a big package of developments to test on its cars in Spain, and while some worked others didn’t, ultimately leaving the team frustrated after practice. Qualifying didn’t change the team’s fortunes either, as Kovalainen failed to make it out of Q1 and Hamilton was left out of proceedings after Q2. Come the race a fairly wild start from A lighter car gave Ferrari hope of a big step forwards in Spain, and their pace confirmed that the team had indeed started on the long road back to competitiveness. But once again the team was caught napping in qualifying as Kimi Raikkonen failed to make it out of Q1. He was furious, and so was the team, especially as Massa went on to line up fourth. A new nose, new wings and new confidence for BMW and the team was to be repaid with some points in Spain. Heidfeld was running minus KERS and experienced brake problems in practice, but confidence was still high of an improvement. The comparative increase in competitiveness was apparent in qualifying as the German took 13th and Renault had some major developments on Fernando Alonso’s car, and some lesser upgrades on Piquet’s R29, but the Brazilian was the faster of the two in first practice. Alonso restored the normal order in the afternoon after netting a top three result. Come qualifying, the two were surprisingly close. Given that Alonso’s updates were thought to give him an With a significant aero update, most pundits expected Toyota to fly around the Circuit de Catalunya. If you spoke to anybody in Spain, Toyota were the favourites for the race. Simple as that. Unfortunately for Toyota it didn’t work out that way. As the team’s top brass threatened to pull out of F1 over 2010 regulations, their drivers struggled to find pace. 32 the Champion saw him fall to the back having driven most of the straight on the grass, but it did at least keep him out of the accident at Turn 2. Kovalainen retired with gearbox issues, while Hamilton fought hard to finish ninth and admit that his hopes of retaining the championship were over. Sorry Lewis, but we could have told you that after winter testing ... On heavy fuel, he was many pundits’ favourite for the race win. Ultimately it wasn’t to be. He got the jump on Vettel at the start but could do nothing about the Brawns. While Raikkonen was forced out with a Hydraulic issue, Massa should have been fourth at worst, but running out of fuel he had to back off and finished sixth. These errors have got to stop soon. Robert Kubica took 10th, a marked step up for the team. Kubica struggled in the race with a complete lack of grip and finished 11th. Heidfeld, meanwhile, celebrated his birthday with a solid race to seventh place. That the team can be happy with this result, after spending so much of last year in development, speaks volumes about how low expectations have sunk. extra 0.3s per lap, Piquet’s performance in qualifying was outstanding and he duly netted his best grid slot of the year in 12th. In the race he was held up by the crash at Turn 2 and struggled for pace all afternoon. Alonso fought hard against Webber and ultimately finished a fine fifth – a solid drive in front of the home fans in Barcelona. Qualifying did see the drivers line up 6th and 7th, with Glock in the ascendency. But the race was over quickly for Trulli. Pushed wide at Turn 2 he came back on track spinning and caused the monster shunt that brought out the Safety Car. Thankfully unhurt, his afternoon was over. Glock raced hard but just didn’t have any discernable pace. He wound up 10th.