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GP Week : Issue 163
“Outstanding” was how team principal Peter Sauber put his team’s performance in Germany on Sunday, and that was even before Kobayashi was promoted to fourth in the post-race stewarding dramas! Starting 12th and 17th, few were holding out hope for Kobayashi and Perez but exceptional pace on both types of tyre catapulted both through the field. Perez lost mountains of time behind Hulkenberg during his middle stint, before ultimately dropping behind Kobayashi, while the Japanese believed he could even have beaten Raikkonen had he qualified better. Caterham still lag far behind the midfield as they still seek to score their first world championship point, with Petrov finishing over 45 seconds behind the slowest representative midfield runner. The Russian was trailing team-mate Kovalainen when the Finn ran into front wing problems mid-way through the race, but did well in the closing stages to keep Williams’ Bruno Senna behind. After two competitive opening stints, Kovalainen struck front tyre graining problems, and pitted a fourth time in the closing laps for a new nose which solved the problem. He was then just focused on making the finish. Toro Rosso’s performance yesterday afternoon typified the Italian squad’s season so far, with Ricciardo and Vergne racing in a battle of their own behind the main pack. Ricciardo’s sterling qualifying effort to start 11th made little difference in the end as he lost touch with his rivals early on, only just beating Vergne to the flag. The only consolation prize was finishing ahead of a wounded Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean. HRT enjoyed a rare race-long battle with Marussia’s Timo Glock, as the Spanish team recorded their sixth double finish of the year. De la Rosa spent the entire race hanging onto Glock, but had his overtaking chances hampered by blue flags. He finally made a move stick with four laps to go to secure 21st. Team-mate Karthikeyan was in close attendance throughout the race, but just ran out of laps to pass Glock at the end. He crossed the line just three tenths behind. Williams notched up their fourth non-scoring Grand Prix of the season after a luckless race in Germany, with Maldonado and Senna both picking up car damage during the race. Senna had to pit for a new nose on the first lap which dropped him to the very back of the field, but encouragingly for the team the pace he showed thereafter would have put him in the fight for points had the race gone smoothly. Maldonado then picked up damage by running over debris on lap 12, costing him vital grip as he dropped from sixth to 15th. Marussia continue to close the gap to Caterham ahead, albeit not as quickly as they would like, but is was local favourite Timo Glock who suffered most on home soil. The German endured persistent balance problems with his MR01 and spent the entire race battling to stay ahead of HRT’s de la Rosa, a battle he ultimately lost with four laps to go. Pic finished more than a minute further up the road in the sister car. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: GERMAN GRAND PRIX F1 >>> HOCKENHEIM 9/1 0 5/1 0 6/1 0 7/1 0 6/1 0 35 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: