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GP Week : Issue 75
F1 AUSTRALIA >> Chandok makes it to the end AFTER his torrid start to the season in Bahrain, where he was only able to set five timed laps of the circuit, Karun Chandhok deserves a big pat on the back for bringing the Hispania home and giving the team its first finish. A couple of offs saw most of the floor destroyed, which did not make for an easy car to drive, but he hung on in and, with a second tyre swap seven laps from the end, improved all the way to the line. The Indian said it was just reward for all the guys hard work, and has given him much more confidence in the car: "I had a few issues with the car and we were quite safe on tyre choices which hurt the performance, but right now we needed to finish. "It's a big psychological boost for me. I dedicate this race result to all the mechanics and engineers who worked so hard since Bahrain, without any pre- season testing." Meanwhile, Virgin suffered another double DNF and Jarno Trulli was unable to start. Lotus praised Heikki Kovalainen's drive to 13th, the Finn claiming on Twitter "we're on the right track -- gonna get points this year." Fernando ies -- after rst corner shunt HAD the start been different, Fernando Alonso could have won this race. Instead, he had to fight his way up from the very back. He was, therefore, "super happy" to end up in fourth. Starting in third position behind Mark Webber, Fernando suffered wheel spin and was passed off the line by a lightening- quick Felipe Massa who tucked into second. Approaching the first turn, Alonso was stuck between Jenson Button on the right and Michael Schumacher on the left. The Ferrari was ahead of Button's McLaren when it turned in, but he was unable to back out in time and the pair banged wheels, launching Alonso into the side of Schumacher. The incident tore off Schumi's front wing, while Alonso was spun 180 degrees and was forced to rejoin in 22nd place. "Being last at the first corner, and then the reward at the end of the race has been much better than I expected," said Fernando. "I was not convinced that I could recover the positions to get into the points. The first laps with the intermediate tyres, if you see the times I was like two seconds quicker than anyone because I was not caring too much. I thought maybe I will crash or maybe I will recover my position -- so it was maximum attack. "The car was perfect, and now even thinking through the race and all the analysis -- there is the possibility that you can win the race even starting last because the car was so much quicker today than all the others. "I was very, very happy and very confident with the car. I enjoyed it -- and I prefer to start first and be bored until the end of the race, but it was an interesting race in terms of overtaking and in terms of battles." Alonso's tyres were graining badly at the end of the race, though, which meant he couldn't challenge Massa and had to work very hard to stay in front of Lewis Hamilton. His engineer came on the radio at one point to tell his driver how close the McLaren was. Fernando responded: "I don't want to know!" It was the quote of the race. 32