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GP Week : Issue 51
Team-By-Team: British Grand Not a terrible start to the weekend for McLaren with both drivers sitting around the edges of the top 10, but the team knew that the high-speed nature of Silverstone was always going to expose the weaknesses of their technical package. The nightmare got increasingly worse as the weekend wore on, with Hamilton out of qualifying in Q1, down in 19th position As at McLaren, the Ferrari’s overall balance seemed relatively good in practice, but Massa and Raikkonen just struggled for speed and also to get heat into their tyres. 17th and 18th wasn’t filling anyone with any confidence, and despite a marked improvement in qualifying, the team was still unhappy with its pace. Massa was frustrated with himself that A new front wing at BMW but no KERS for Silverstone, and it was a tough one for both Robert Kubica and Nick Heidfeld. Kubica experienced technical issues all the way through practice, and come qualifying just didn’t have the knowledge of the car to pull out anything wildly competitive. 12th was his best. It was a marked improvement on Heidfeld, though, who could only muster The R29 was expected to handle Silverstone’s fast corners well, so it was no shock to see both cars in the top 10 in practice. But competitive race pace was going to be the toughest part of the weekend, and the team knew it … An issue at the rear of his car in qualifying left Nelson Piquet in 14th, but he seemed optimistic of fighting for points. Fernando Alonso, meanwhile, Another team with an upgrade, Toyota was hoping for a big step forward at Silverstone. The wind was holding everybody back on the first practice day, but there seemed no reason for alarm. The car was working well and both Jarno and Timo were positive of a bright weekend. Qualifying certainly gave the team reason to smile, with both cars in the top 32 after Sutil’s accident brought out the red flags. Kovalainen made it into Q2, and the team was happy enough with that. Come the race and Hamilton was embroiled in a huge fight with Alonso and Piquet, which he and the fans enjoyed hugely. Kovalainen was the innocent victim of Bourdais moment of madness. No points and little hope at McLaren. he’d missed Q3 through a mistake, but Raikkonen made it up to ninth, which was where he’d expected to be. That Massa ended up fighting for a podium was a genuine surprise, especially to Massa, who said he felt like he’d won the race. Raikkonen had a tough race strategy-wise and only made up one position, but it’s another double points finish for Ferrari. 15th in the other car. That was exactly where Heidfeld finished, despite causing major damage to his front wing on the opening lap of the race. A risky strategy for Kubica of heavy fuel and prime tyres didn’t pay off and he lost a position to finish in 13th. Like for McLaren, it was another disappointing outing for a team that many expected a lot of in 2009 ... had been fuelled heavy for the top 10 shootout, leaving both drivers relying on strategy. Come the race, the buzz word was disappointed, although Piquet out performed Alonso in a race for the first time since Nurburgring 2008. Alonso was involved in a big scrap with Hamilton and also with Heidfeld, but was annoyed to have finished down the order in 14th. eight, and Jarno hitting fourth on the grid. The race didn’t pan out though. A slow start for Trulli was compounded by an inability to get heat into the tyres. It was only towards the end that Glock picked up some real pace and was able to shoot for the points, but he narrowly missed out and took ninth. Trulli had to settle for seventh.