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GP Week : Issue 168
After upsetting the established order at Monza, Sauber left Singapore empty-handed having lacked outright pace throughout the weekend. Poor qualifying performances saw Perez and Kobayashi down in 14th and 17th respectively. Split race strategies proved ineffective and points were out of reach for the three-stopping Kobayashi. Perez crossed the line in 11th but was promoted to tenth to score a solitary point as a result of a penalty for Red Bull’s Webber. Two Safety Car interventions were disastrous for Kovalainen’s strategy as the Finn was forced to pit for a fresh set of tyres after the second stoppage, leaving him no chance to progress. Petrov had an eventful race. He collided with Massa’s Ferrari at turn one, puncturing the Brazilian’s left-rear tyre and damaging his front-wing and then lost more time when he had to be wheeled back into his garage with a wheel nut problem. He re-emerged fro the pits shortly after but ended the race in 19th. The Singapore Grand Prix continued a positive trend for Toro Rosso as the Faenza-based team showed it has the tools to compete with the established top-ten runners. Ricciardo benefited from the Safety Cars to scythe up the order and finish in a respectable ninth place after managing to keep Red Bull’s Webber behind him towards the end of the race. Team-mate Vergne was also battling hard for a strong points haul with Sauber’s Perez at around half-distance when, on lap 38, his car was obliterated by Schumacher ’s out-of control Mercedes. Pedro de la Rosa equalled his best performance of the year with a 17th place finish. The Spaniard was up as high as 15th at one stage but lost ground on heavily worn tyres in the latter stages of the race and was forced to make a late stop. Karthikeyan proved that there’s no room for error on the wall- lined Singapore street circuit. He struggled to generate enough tyre temperature in the early stages and was eventually side- lined when he went off the racing line, lost control of his HRT and struck the wall at turn 19 – the incident responsible for bringing out the first Safety Car. It was a mightily disappointing weekend for Williams. Maldonado once again demonstrated that he has raw speed when he plucked the second fastest time out of thin air in qualifying and was racing for a podium before hydraulic problems forced him into the pits to retire. Senna’s progress in practice was curtailed when he brushed the wall in FP2 and he then started the race in 22nd after being handed a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change. The Brazilian featured in the top ten on occasions but failed to make the finish when his FW34 lost power on the final lap. Despite colliding with the wall early on, Timo Glock achieved 12th place – Marussia’s best ever result – around the Marina Bay street circuit to propel the team up to tenth in the Constructors’ table and ahead of chief rival Caterham. In trying to hold on to Kovalainen during the first stint, Glock missed his braking and collected the wall at turn 19. Fortunately, the damage wasn’t terminal for the German and he continued on his way and used the two Safety Cars to overhaul the Caterham driver. For team-mate Pic, a failed two-stop strategy meant he had to settle for 16th place. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: SINGAPORE GRAND PRIX 37 GPWEEK.com // 37 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> SINGAPORE