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GP Week : Issue 169
ROMAIN GROSJEAN’S CAR-CONTROL After a difficult Friday in which the team’s upgrades had proved disappointing, F1 returnee, Romain Grosjean, had two choices for qualifying: he could ‘stay clean’ and leave a little bit of margin everywhere (as befits a driver whose knuckles have been rapped); or he could ‘be Romain’ and graze the Singapore walls. For our collective Saturday evening pleasure, he chose Option Two. It wasn’t that quick – but then the car wasn’t that quick and nor was the great Kimi Raikkonen particularly impressive. What it was a reminder of just how talented young Romain was and is. In that one lap, he shrugged off the desultory post-Spa days and became again a racing driver. WHERE WAS KAMUI? The same could not be said for Kamui Kobayashi. Some drivers – like Timo Glock, who drove impressively all weekend – genuinely love the Marina Street circuit. Others – and here I’d suggest Kamui-san – do not. Taken at the flood, Singapore can be seen to be bumpy (particularly if you’re in a car that doesn’t ride the undulations well), hot, steamy, full of late-night meetings and unnatural sleep schedules. The Sauber in Singapore was a tense, oversteery shadow of the car we saw at Spa and Kamui never looked happy in it. At a time when he needs to be out there, demanding a drive in 2013 based on talent alone, Kamui didn’t even make it into Q2. I’m sure he’ll be back where he belongs at Suzuka; Singapore, meanwhile, was for Kamui a race to forget. ARRESTING PAUL Paul di Resta was superb to watch all weekend and his fourth place for Sahara Force India says more than I could ever put into words. I should also add my congratulations, though, to Gerry Convy, Paul’s (ex-DC) physical trainer (and constant companion over race weekends). To interview Paul after the race was to interview a driver who looked as though he had just finished a mild work-out in the gym. In Scotland. In the cold. If he doesn’t, as it now seems, race for Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes next year we’ll be robbed of something very special. DARING DANNY Daniel Ricciardo has been doing himself a heap of good in 2012, out-qualifying JEV on a regular basis and pretty much maximising what has been a difficult car. If his driving was developing one weak spot it was perhaps that he was being a little too ‘nice.’ Easy to say, I know, but the balance has to be struck between Romain’s aggression and ... Daniel’s courtesy. It all changed in Singapore, though, in those closing laps. Aussie versus Aussie. Daniel, on old primes, versus Mark Webber, on tyres that were 10 laps newer. Daniel won that little battle. No mistakes. No ‘after you, Claude.’ He didn’t even spend much time looking in his mirrors, as daunting as the presence of Aussie Grit would have been. 25 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> SPA 25 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: