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GP Week : Issue 122
F1 EUROPE >> Team-By-Team: European Grand Prix, Valencia Adrian Sutil was satisfied he got the most from his car on Sunday, allowing him to record his third top ten finish of the year and add two more points to his tally. He jumped Heidfeld at the start and stayed ahead for the whole race, and was running as high as 8th on occasion, but emerged behind the two-stopping Alguersuari for his final stint. Despite using DRS he was unable to get by and settled for ninth. Di Resta said he stopped too late at the end of his first stint, but doesn’t think he would have made the points in any case. A jubilant Jaime Alguersuari scored his second consecutive eighth-place finish in Valencia on Sunday, capping a successful home race that looked destined for failure after qualifying 18th on Saturday. His two-stop strategy allowed him to climb as high as seventh on occasion, before holding off Heidfeld during his short stint on the medium tyre at the end to secure eighth. Despite picking up three places at the start Buemi was unable to make progress and had to pit three times because of the tyre degradation. He was at a loss to explain the pace difference to Jaime. Sauber failed to finish inside the top ten for the first time this year, after Kobayashi struggled to get his two-stop strategy to work and team- mate Perez finished just short of the points on a one-stop. Unlike many others, Kobayashi opted for the medium tyre during his middle stint, a decision that cost him dearly and he was unable to make up the time when he returned to the soft for the final run to the flag. Perez stuck to a two-stop despite losing buckets of time towards the end of his first stint on the medium, and fell just 7 seconds short of a point. Virgin put some clear distance between themselves and HRT again in Valencia, finishing half a minute clear of the Spanish team and also managed to close the gap to Lotus to just 15 seconds. Glock rose to 18th on the first lap, overtaking both Lotuses, but was back behind them within three laps. He then took on a two- stop strategy, but couldn’t live with the pace of his main rivals, with Trulli’s slowing to the finish masking the true result. D’Ambrosio had a steady race to 22nd, but spent the first stint behind Liuzzi before pulling clear on a two-stop. HRT struggled all weekend with the tyres, with especially high degradation at the rear, making for an uncomfortable and difficult race for the drivers at the team’s second home race. After qualifying ahead of Virgin’s d’Ambrosio, Liuzzi stayed ahead throughout the first stint, and despite emerging ahead again after the first round of stops he was quickly overtaken and d’Ambrosio cleared into the distance. Karthikeyan finished over 90 seconds behind Liuzzi after losing touch with a slow first pitstop. With no retirements throughout the field and the status quo remaining at the back of the grid, Team Lotus had to settle for a disappointing 19th and 20th on Sunday. Heikki Kovalainen won the intra team battle, after pitting three times compared to team-mate Trulli’s two. Although both drivers were happy with their performances, they finished more than 50 seconds behind the nearest driver ahead, meaning there is still a lot of work to be done to score the team’s first points. 33