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GP Week : Issue 164
Sauber lacked the raw pace to challenge for points on Sunday, with a poor qualifying on Saturday doing Perez and Kobayashi no favours ahead of the race. Although never in contention for points, Perez may well have finished higher up the order had he not been stuck behind Daniel Ricciardo for the first half of his second stint, before eventually coming home 14th. Losing four places at the start effectively ended Kobayashi’s hopes of a decent result, as he ran 19th before pitting early to shake up his strategy. He recovered to 15th but retired with two laps to go with a hydraulic leak. Caterham’s progress of late seems to have stalled as Kovalainen and Petrov spent another race in no-man’s land almost a minute behind the slowest representative runner in the midfield. Kovalainen was pleased with the balance and set-up of his car and easily beat Petrov. The Russian said his car felt very different in the race to what it had done in qualifying, and finished just 22 seconds clear of Marussia’s Charles Pic. More of the same at Toro Rosso this weekend with two mid-teen finishes for Ricciardo and Vergne. Neither were on the pace of the midfield pack over the course of the race meeting, with Ricciardo finishing a minute outside the points. A strong final stint saw Vergne close up on his team-mate, but he then had to pit to clear debris from his sidepods to avoid continuing overheating problems. He had been held up by Kobayashi throughout his second stint, but was otherwise faster than Ricciardo. HRT’s impressive reliability record was tainted somewhat on Sunday when Narain Karthikeyan pulled over to retire with a front-left suspension failure. Other than that it was an encouraging race for the minnows, with de la Rosa spending much of his race fighting with Marussia’s Glock. Although he was ahead during his second stint, a slower final pitstop dropped him behind the German and was unable to find a way past again. Bruno Senna kept Williams’ points tally ticking over with a solid drive to seventh place from ninth on the grid. He finished the race in a bunch of five cars, just seven seconds behind Alonso in fifth. Team-mate Maldonado was in the wars once again after being hit with a drive-through penalty for colliding with di Resta and pushing him off the road at turn 12 while overtaking him on lap 47. He admitted to being shocked by the penalty afterwards, although it was a poor start which dropped him from eighth on the grid to 12th on the first lap that cost him a chance of a points finish. Marussia’s drivers enjoyed and endured highly contrasting races at the Hungaroring, with Charles Pic lapping quickly and even battling with Caterham, while Timo Glock once again struggled with the balance of his car and spent the race fighting with the HRTs. Pic underlined Marussia’s recent improvements to take the fight to Vitaly Petrov on a two-stop strategy compared to the Russian’s three stops, eventually finishing 22 seconds behind. Glock spent half the race behind both HRTs before passing Karthikeyan on-track and de la Rosa in the pits to finish ahead. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX 4/1 0 4/1 0 7/1 0 5/1 0 6/1 0 7/1 0 F1 >>> BUDAPEST 34 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: