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GP Week : Issue 133
F1 ITALY >> Team-By-Team: Italian Grand Prix, Monza Four points was Paul di Resta’s award for his first Italian Grand Prix at Monza, after bringing his VJM04 home in eighth place. The Scot had to bump across the chicane at the first corner to avoid the ongoing drama, but was still able to gain positions as those around him did the same. After adopting an aggressive tyre strategy he was able to climb to eighth, where he finished. The team was also expecting Sutil to finish in the points, but he had to retire on lap 10 with a hydraulic failure. Toro Rosso put a disappointing qualifying session firmly behind them to secure a double points finish in their home race, allowing them to close in on Force India and Sauber in the fight for sixth in the constructors’ championship. Alguersuari jumped from 18th on the grid to tenth within the first six laps, before gaining more places thanks to a late first pitstop. He carried that advantage through to the finish, taking seventh at the flag. Buemi believes he could have finished higher than his tenth place but for damage he sustained in the first corner incident. A double gearbox failure for Kobayashi and Perez gave Sauber their first double retirement of the year. Kobayashi had to pit for repairs at the end of the first lap after getting caught in the first-corner clash, before then retiring on lap 21. Perez made it 11 laps further and was in a much stronger seventh place, making his retirement all the more disappointing. Their failure to score and Force India’s four-point haul drops them behind the Silverstone team to seventh in the championship. Virgin Racing remained second best in the battle at the back of the grid at the weekend, with Team Lotus still holding a significant advantage over their English rivals. D’Ambrosio retired on the second lap with a gearbox failure, having encountered issues on the first lap, leaving Glock to fly the flag. He was unable to keep pace with the Lotuses ahead however and finished 50 seconds behind Kovalainen. HRT endured a disastrous first few seconds of their second Italian Grand Prix, after Ricciardo stalled on the grid and team-mate Liuzzi ended his race after spinning on the approach to turn 1. Liuzzi had made a great start but ran out of room avoiding a slower car and spun into Rosberg and Petrov who were negotiating turns 1 and 2 at the time. Liuzzi received a reprimand and a five -place grid penalty for Singapore as a result. Ricciardo eventually got going again after the team had fixed his water system, but was not classified in the results after finishing 14 laps behind. Heikki Kovalainen scored Lotus’s joint-best race finish of the year by taking the flag in 13th place, thanks to the vast number of retirements of the experienced teams. He was in a race of his own for almost the entire 53-lap distance, as team-mate Trulli was hampered from early in the race after getting hit by Massa following the Brazilian’s spin with Webber. Despite the damage on the Italian’s car however, he was still able to set a fastest lap with two tenths of Kovalainen’s. 35