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GP Week : Issue 54
Team-by-Team: German Gran New parts for Lewis Hamilton were rewarded with immediate pace and session-topping times. The same could not be said for Heikki Kovalainen, however, who, with the older version of the McLaren at his disposal, struggled to even knock on the door of the midfield. With the qualifying lottery, Kovalainen was able to exploit the level playing field and joined Hamilton well within the top The weekend hadn’t started out looking like it was going to be all that promising. Some new parts ran well and gave the team some confidence but with both Massa and Raikkonen struggling to make the top 10, there was a feeling that this was going to be another tough weekend. Qualifying was tough, but both drivers made it through to Q3 and lined up in eighth and ninth. Nothing special, they BMW’s weekend didn’t get off to the best of starts. Both drivers struggled massively to get heat into their tyres and felt that, after a confusing day of practice in which they’d run some new parts, they had a lot of work to do in order to understand what was going on with the car. Qualifying proved exceptionally tough for Kubica, who failed to get to grips with New aero parts gave Renault a feeling of optimism at the German Grand Prix, which appeared to be well founded following a promising practice day in which both Alonso and Piquet found themselves within the top 10. The qualifying chaos ultimately caught out the more experienced driver, as Alonso spun his way out of Q2. On a flyer, Piquet made it to Q3 to assure himself his Toyota was one of many teams to bring new aero parts to the Nurburgring, and after a day of practice in which the new bits were analysed, there were two distinct stories; Trulli was quick, while Glock was not. Qualifying, however, was a bit of a disaster. Glock wound up 19th while Trulli could only manage 14th in the rain affected session. It wasn’t looking good, 3 10, with the duo lining up fifth and sixth. McLaren’s race start was all about KERS, and Hamilton very nearly took the lead at the first corner. A tap from behind punctured his right rear tyre and ruined his race. Kovalainen ploughed on, holding up a train of cars in the opening gambit of the race with his slower car. Still, a dogged drive was rewarded with the final point in eighth. agreed, but better than being in the lower half of the grid. Come the race and Ferrari was suddenly on the pace. Both Massa and Raikkonen looked racey, although the Finn’s afternoon was curtailed with damage picked up from debris on the track. Massa pulled through to record his first podium since Brazil last year and the much missed taste of champagne. the car and wound up 16th. Heidfeld might well have made it into the top 10, but a late call to put on slicks did not reap the expected reward in the damp conditions and he qualified 11th. In the race Kubica struggled with tyre degradation and finished 14th, while Heidfeld felt he had a shot at points. 10th was his ultimate reward along with the frustration of a missed opportunity. first race start ahead of his team-mate ... ever. In the race itself Piquet was held up by traffic and struggled to get heat into his tyres. Alonso, however, was really flying and moved up the field to take a richly deserved couple of points in seventh. With the fastest race lap to boot, the Spaniard feels podiums are around the corner. and got no better when Glock was sent to the back of the grid for holding up Alonso on one of his flying laps in qualifying. The luck swung round full circle in the race. Trulli took on damage at the first corner and had to change his front wing. From then on his race was ruined. Glock powered through from plum last to finish narrowly outside the points in ninth after a truly great drive.