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GP Week : Issue 75
34 Team-By-Team: Australian Gr Button fared well in qualifying with fourth place, albeit six- tenths off pole, while Hamilton failed to get into Q3 -- was his 'hoon rage' throwing him off the scent? In the race, Lewis drove what he described as "one of the drives of my life", but suffered due to McLaren's two-stop strategy. Button's strategy was absolutely perfect, changing tyres on lap six ahead of everyone else. He then preserved his tyres magnificently. When Vettel was thrown off, Jenson had it under control. Hamilton was jousting for fourth when he was hit from behind and limped home a damage-limiting sixth. The perfect result on Saturday made Sunday seem like a formality, but once again Red Bull's spirit was crushed. Vettel was in charge until lap 26 when he pushed the brake and the car spiraled into the kitty litter. Left-front brake failure. He's been peerless in these two races, yet only has 12 points to show from a possible 50. Webber had wheelspin at the start and lost out to Massa. The team waited too long to bring their drivers in, Mark having to plod around until lap 10 on wets while Button was lapping several seconds quicker. Leaving the pits, he couldn't find second and slid off. At the end he was locked onto fifth place Hamilton but lost downforce and skidded into the back of him. Ninth was a lot less than he wanted. Kubica did the perfect job. In qualifying he got the maximum from the car to seize ninth, started well, and a very fast pitstop on lap eight put him ahead of second- placed Massa. On his first lap on slicks he was unable to hold off Button, who had had two more laps to get used to his dries. He absorbed pressure from Hamilton and Massa to take an unexpected runner-up prize. Petrov showed his inexperience in qualifying, unable to sew three sectors together and complaining of balance issues. He pitted for slicks at the same time as everyone else but was caught out by them a lap later, dumping the Renault at Turn 3. Lining up sixth and seventh, Rosberg and Schumacher lost time in qualifying due to a couple of small mistakes on Nico's part and traffic on Michael's. The veteran had words with Alonso afterwards, having been blocked. In the race, Rosberg made a bad start and later struggled with degradation on the options, necessitating a second stop. He would go on to benefit from Hamilton and Webber's collision, netting fifth. Michael had an afternoon to forget after he lost his front wing at the start and was then unable to pass Alguersuari for tenth until the final breath. Would the old Michael have been held there so long? P8 was a satisfying result for Barrichello while his rookie team mate Hulkenberg was struggling with the bumps and the traffic. Fifteenth was not where he wanted to be. Barrichello came in for a second set on lap 31 thinking this was the strategy everyone would undertake. As a result, he handed Luizzi seventh place on a platter and rolled home eighth. Hulkenberg was taken out on lap one by an out-of-control Kamui Kobayashi. The accident could have been quite nasty. The team maintains the car is right behind the top four. Alonso was best-of-the-rest in quali, setting the third-fastest time while team mate Massa struggled with the low temperatures and lined up fifth. Come Sunday, though, it was Massa who was the star and he made a sensational start, snatching second. He changed to dries on lap eight and stayed on them all the way to the flag, but Kubica managed to pass him in the pits -- second was his for the taking. Alonso got wheel-spin at the start and was then hit by Button and Schumacher, spinning the car and forcing him to drive from the back. It was a fantastic climb through the field on a one-stop strategy, and he was rewarded with fourth.