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GP Week : Issue 47
>>F1MONACO nd Prix, Monte Carlo Practice time was important for the Toro Rosso boys and both Sebs duly kept their cars out of the barriers on Thursday. Both Buemi and Bourdais were pleased with their day’s work, and despite not having front-running pace, they were both confident of a good showing from the weekend. It was again the rookie who showed his more experienced team-mate the way A weekend of missed opportunities for Red Bull, as the team finally got to run its new rear end. Practice was dismal with technical issues hampering both Vettel and Webber. But the promise was there and it was telling that Vettel was hugely upset to have only been fourth on the grid for the race start. With both drivers in the top 10, keeping Sir Frank Williams admitted that his team had been doing a bit too much showboating in practice in 2009, and that the low fuel runs weren’t truly indicative of pace. Even so, Rosberg again went fastest in the practice session and was hopeful of good things from the weekend. Nakajima, too, looked promising and both drivers duly made it into the top 10 in qualifying, Force India has got to be wondering what it needs to do to get a break in Monaco. It wasn’t a bad start to the weekend for the team as Sutil found himself comfortably midfield in practice, and Fisichella agreed with his team-mate that this could turn out to be an OK weekend. Qualifying was a brilliant reward for the squad. Both drivers made it into Q2 with Sutil in 15th and Fisichella 13th. Brawn’s fifth win from six races and their third 1-2 of the season is the big news, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Brawn had not started the weekend well, and was genuinely concerned about its pace in practice. With newer rivals to contend with, it looked like Monaco might not be the Brawn-fest some had anticipated. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, however, and Jenson Button delivered in qualifying as Bourdais wound up 14th and Buemi in 11th, and the prospect of points looked good. It was not to be for Buemi, however, who clattered into Piquet and killed both their races. He later apologised. Bourdais, meanwhile, rose through the field, made the best use of retirements ahead and kept his head for eighth and a point. Job done. their noses clean should have rewarded them with a good haul of points. Vettel, however, had an uncharacteristically sloppy race, and finished up in the barriers. Webber took advantage of those ahead of him having trouble, set some good lap-times in clean air, and came home with fifth position and some good points. The team will hope to be fighting with Brawn again in Turkey. with Nakajima 10th and Rosberg 6th. The German looked racey and should perhaps have taken fifth following Vettel’s retirement. However, he insisted that sixth was the maximum the car could do on the day, and that was where he finished. At least it was points. Nakajima had a tougher time, struggling with traffic and crashing at the end of the race. At the start, the Italian lost a place and he ultimately blamed that for his race result, which was only 2s off a point. Had Bourdais straight-lined the chicane once more he would have been handed a drive- through, and the points would have been Fisi’s. As we said, they just can’t get a break. Sutil finished 14th but having seen his team-mate’s pace was confident going forward. another last gasp pole position with a brilliant lap around the Monaco streets. With Barrichello third, things were looking good. At the start, Barrichello got a great one and leapt up into second and from there it was all about the white cars. Nobody could touch them, and with every race Button is looking more and more the World Champion in waiting. 33