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GP Week : Issue 54
>>F1GERMANY nd Prix, Nurburgring The talk in Germany was all about Toro Rosso and their newboy Jaime Alguersuari, whom reports said would replace Sebastien Bourdais in Hungary. The Frenchman got fairly annoyed with all the questions, eventually lashing out at French TV to stop “busting his balls.” Still, at least he didn’t cry as he did in Belgium last year. He had good reason to though. He qualified last and retired after Coming off the back of a dominant weekend in Silverstone, Red Bull arrived in Germany and must have been thrilled to see that the weather conditions were, if anything, somewhat worse than in Britain. The cold weather would play into their hands. And they knew it. Webber duly shot to pole position, and with a heavy car as well. It was his first ever pole, and he barely seemed able to contain Williams decided to change their approach to Friday’s practice session in Germany, opting against low-fuel runs and deciding instead to concentrate more heavily on long runs and race set-up. As a result only Nakajima made the top 10, but both he and Rosberg seemed happy enough under the circumstances. Come qualifying, neither driver made it out of Q2 with Nakajima out-qualifying So near and yet so far ... again. The qualifying lottery on Saturday had played straight into Force India’s hands. Well, into Sutil’s hands at least. Fisichella was stuck in 18th spot, but Sutil rose to an incredible 7th on the grid after overcoming the elements and some very fast rivals. Points were in the offing, and they should have come his way. Sutil raced beautifully on Sunday, keeping pace with BrawnGP must have been wondering what it had done to upset whoever or whatever controls the weather, because Germany in the middle of July felt like a dismal winter test day at Silverstone. The team knew, with its notorious problems in heating its tyres, that this one was going to be tough. Practice went well enough with both drivers in the top 10, and qualifying saw Barrichello get the front row. With Button his hydraulics packed in. The big hug he received on the pit wall seemed to be a farewell gesture. Time will tell. Buemi again proved the quicker of the two and finished the race in 16th spot. The team will have a double diffuser, finally, in Hungary. Exactly who will get to drive with it, however, is the biggest question in F1. But most of us believe we know the answer. He won’t be French. his confidence. Not even a drive-through penalty could slow him down in the race. The Australian was utterly dominant and romped away with the victory. Vettel also drove magnificently to take second but he was no match for his team-mate. Red Bull is now the clear class of the field, and with both drivers tasting success, the battle is on. Rosberg 13th to 15th. Both hoped that the weather would play into their hands in the race, but as it turned out, Rosberg needn’t have worried. The German was in inspired form on Sunday, racing through the field to take fourth place. A fuel system issue also cost him time, and a potential podium finish. Nakajima was less fortunate and was punted off at the start. the Ferraris for much of the contest. Some quick in-laps saw him exit the pits after his first stop side-by-side with Raikkonen, and sod’s law being what it is, they touched. Sutil’s front wing exploded and it was all over as far as points were concerned. Fisichella made it up to 11th while Sutil finished 15th and everyone at Force India was left wondering what they have to do to break their duck. in third it didn’t look so bad ... until the fuel weights were published. Brawn was light, and Red Bull was heavy. Both drivers were put on three-stop strategies but Barrichello had a refuelling problem in one of his stops that ultimately cost him fifth. In the end it was Button that got P5, Barrichello got P6, and Ross Brawn who got an earful from the Brazilian for ruining his race. Smart move, Rubens. 33