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GP Week : Issue 166
Sauber rubber-stamped their standing as the sixth-best constructor thanks to another outstanding drive by Mexico’s Sergio Perez, with the 22-year-old taking advantage of a Q2 grid position to climb from 12th on the grid to second place at the finish. Key to his race was being able to start on the hard tyres before switching to mediums for the final stint, during which he easily overtook Raikkonen, Massa and Alonso. Kobayashi started eighth and finished ninth, but couldn’t replicate Perez’s pace as he was forced to start on the medium due to his Q3 grid slot. Heikki Kovalainen was the winner of Caterham’s intra-team battle in Monza, in what was a closely-fought tussle between him and Petrov. Kovalainen took the lead at the start, having qualified ahead, but rarely held a lead of more than two seconds. Petrov closed right up in the closing laps, but didn’t have the pace advantage to find a way by. Caterham still have a lot of pace to find if they are to break into the midfield, having finished over 35 seconds behind nearest rival and Lotus stand-in Jerome d’Ambrosio. Daniel Ricciardo looked set to record his second consecutive points finish of the year until the final corner of the race when his car refused to accelerate out of the Parabolica. The Australian thereby fell from tenth to 12th in the last few hundred metres of the race, having driven a superb race from 14th on the grid. Team-mate Vergne spun out of the race on lap 9 after losing control of his car under braking for turn 1. He complained of back and neck pains after jumping in the air off a speed bump, but was soon released from the medical centre. The team is investigate its cause. Like Caterham’s pair, HRT’s duo of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan enjoyed a close battle on the straights of Monza, with de la Rosa eventually winning out. The Spaniard qualified behind his Indian team-mate and spent the first stint in his wake also, but an earlier pitstop by one lap allowed him to gain the undercut advantage and take the lead, before beating him to the flag by 15 seconds. De la Rosa was impressively just 12 seconds adrift of the nearest Marussia. Bruno Senna took advantage of Ricciardo’s last-corner woes to claim his seventh points-scoring finish of the year, closing the gap to his team-mate to just four points. A great start which saw him jump from 13th to 10th was pivotal to his point- scoring effort. Team-mate Maldonado made two pitstops in an effort to make up for his 10-place grid penalty, which put him back to 22nd. He ran out of laps in the end while chasing down Senna. Marussia continued their impressive progress at the back of the field to finish yesterday’s Italian Grand Prix just ten seconds behind both Caterhams, after leaving Glock well and truly for dead in their ever-intensifying intra-team battle. Glock had a damaged front wing to blame for his poor pace, having qualified ahead of Pic on Saturday. Both made two pitstops and took the flag in 16th and 17th places. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: ITALIAN GRAND PRIX 36 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> MONZA 36 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: