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GP Week : Issue 115
Sutton - WW Advert - 255x297_Layout 1 22/03/11 23:31 Page1 Mercedes will put more focus on honing their race set-up at future grands prix after struggling hugely with high fuel loads during the early part of yesterday’s race. They seemed to have turned a corner on Saturday when Nico Rosberg qualified in third place, but the German finished only fifth on Sunday, 47 seconds behind the winner. Although he started well by passing Webber into the first corner it soon became apparent that he was unable to match Vettel’s pace, and by the time Webber repassed to take second on lap five, Rosberg had already fallen three seconds adrift. He lost a place to Alonso on lap seven and only began showing decent pace from half distance. “ The race balance that we gave Nico wasn’t as good as we had hoped and on high fuel, the car was too hard on its tyres. That spoiled the first half of the race but in the second half, our pace was more respectable,” explained team principal Ross Brawn. “Nico began climbing back through the field towards where we had hoped to be racing; however we were too far back by then. Fifth place is still a respectable result taking everything into account, but fine- tuning our race set-up will be a particular priority for the next races, especially at circuits where the tyres are delicate to manage.” Rosberg said he was happy with his performance, having run McLaren close for fourth, but says the team must work on improving their race pace. “My start today was fantastic to overtake Mark and be running in second place on the first lap, but from there I was struggling with my tyres on the first stint,” said the German. “Our strategy worked out well to bring me back into a decent position so we can be reasonably satisfied, and I’m happy to be in front of Jenson and just a few seconds behind Lewis in the McLarens. We don’t know exactly why we are better in qualifying than in the race but we will work on this.” Mercedes lament poor early race pace Mid-race puncture costs him seventh Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi secured his third consecutive points finish of 2011 after a battling drive from the last place on the grid to finish tenth at the flag. Unlike most other points finishers on Sunday, Kobayashi stopped just three times, and had a tyre strategy of Hard-Soft-Soft-Soft to thank for his impressive performance. The Japanese driver’s weekend was thrown into disarray on Saturday when he failed to set a time in qualifying following a fuel pump failure on his very first lap, meaning he would start from the very back of the grid after receiving a dispensation from the stewards to race. As he didn’t set a time he didn’t get within the 107% target and had to get clearance from officials to race. While tenth may have been an admirable achievement from last on the grid, Kobayashi could have finished even higher had he not been dealt a puncture after a brush with Toro Rosso’s Sebastien Buemi. The problem cost him ten seconds but also put him back out in front of slower traffic, without which he thinks he could have finished in seventh. “It was a lot of fun today, I really enjoyed this race. I found overtaking here a lot easier than last year in Hungary,” began Kobayashi. “Before the race I had promised Peter [Sauber] to score points today. It is just one point now because we lost so much time due to a puncture, which was the result of touching Sébastien Buemi when I overtook him. Otherwise I think I could have finished seventh and scored more points. “ The car was great and also the team had a very good strategy for me, so I want to thank them for this. In the end I had to be a bit careful and save the tyres, because the last stint was quite long with 20 laps, but it worked out well.” Kobayashi battles from last to tenth FORMULA 1 Round 4 TURKEY Points – drivers: Vettel 93, Hamilton 59, Webber 55, Button 46, Alonso 41, Massa 24, Heidfeld 21, Petrov 21, Rosberg 20, Kobayashi 8, Schumacher 6, Buemi 6, Sutil 2, di Resta 2, Manufacturers: Red Bull 148, McLaren 105, Ferrari 65, Renault 42, Mercedes 26. Sauber 8, Toro Rosso 6, Force India 4, Pos # driver Team Laps Time Grid 1 1 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 58 1:30:17.558 1 2 2 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 58 +8.8 secs 2 3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 58 +10.0 secs 5 4 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 58 +40.2 secs 4 5 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 58 +47.5 secs 3 6 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 58 +59.4 secs 6 7 9 Nick Heidfeld Renault 58 +60.8 secs 9 8 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault 58 +68.1 secs 7 9 18 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 58 +69.3 secs 16 10 16 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 58 +78.0 secs 24 11 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 58 +79.8 secs 10 12 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 58 +85.4 secs 8 13 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 57 +1 Lap 12 14 17 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 15 15 11 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 11 16 19 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 57 +1 Lap 17 17 12 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 57 +1 Lap 14 18 21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 57 +1 Lap 19 19 20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 56 +2 Laps 18 20 25 Jerome d’Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 56 +2 Laps 23 21 22 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 55 +3 Laps 22 22 23 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 53 +5 Laps 20 Ret 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 44 Retired 13 DNS 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 0 F1 TURKEY >> 30