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GP Week : Issue 144
45 F1 BRAZIL >> Team-By-Team: Brazilian Grand Prix, Interlagos Adrian Sutil produced one of the drives of the day to finish ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in sixth place – his joint-best result of the year – thereby securing ninth place in the drivers’ standings. The German started eighth, overtook Rosberg on-track and had Hamilton’s retirement to thank for rising to sixth. Team- mate di Resta opted to stick with a two-stop strategy but finished 18 seconds behind in eighth place. Like many others he had been dealing with a gearbox problem from half- distance. The four points scored elevated him to 13th place in the standings ahead of Toro Rosso’s Alguersuari. 11th and 12th places were not enough for Toro Rosso to overhaul Sauber’s lead on them in the constructors’ championship, with the Italian outfit finishing the season in 8th place. A poor start by Alguersuari hampered his points-scoring chances, although he ultimately finished ahead of team-mate Buemi thanks to a longer penultimate stint. Both drivers two- stopped, with Buemi pitting six laps sooner than Jaime the second time around. Slow out-laps cost both drivers a place to Petrov, and Alguersuari a tenth place finish. Jaime and Sebastien took the flag in 11th and 12th instead. Ninth place courtesy of Japan’s Kamui Kobayashi ensured Sauber seventh place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Toro Rosso, with a two-stop strategy helping him up from 16th on the grid. He stayed close to di Resta throughout his final stint but was unable to challenge him for eighth place as Petrov closed in behind. Team-mate Perez may well have finished in the points also but for a spin at turn 8 half-way through the race. He was ahead of Petrov at the time of the spin, but dropped to more than 30 seconds behind him at the finish. It was confirmed on Sunday night that Jerome d’Ambrosio would be replaced by Charles pic at the team next year, but the Belgian nevertheless went out on a high by comprehensively beating both HRTs despite qualifying behind them both on Saturday. Team-mate Glock only made it as far as his first pitstop before having to retire when his left- rear wheel came free. Jerome had passed both HRTs at the start and stayed ahead throughout the race. He was over 15 seconds clear of Liuzzi when the Italian retired and took the flag 20 seconds ahead of Ricciardo in 19th place. Despite qualifying ahead of both Virgins in qualifying, HRT were unable to take the fight to their closest rivals during the race, especially during the final stint on the medium tyres. Both Ricciardo and Liuzzi lost places at the start, and although the latter stayed on d’Ambrosio’s tail during the first two stints he dropped away before retiring with a failed alternator ten laps from the finish. Ricciardo’s laptimes were somewhat erratic from the middle stint as he struggled with blue flags, although his pace did recover in his final stint when it was too late to catch d’Ambrosio. 16th and 18th may not seem a result Lotus will be shouting about for years to come, but by finishing ahead of both Virgins and HRTs they secured 10th place in the constructors’ championship which will net them tens of millions of dollars in extra commercial revenue next year from the sport. Adding to the celebrations was Heikki Kovalainen finishing ahead of Bruno Senna in the works Renault. Kovalainen took the flag some 30 seconds clear of Senna, with Trulli just eight seconds behind the Brazilian. Kovalainen pitted three times, while Trulli stopped just twice.