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GP Week : Issue 176
After a disappointing qualifying session for both drivers it was up to Kobayashi and Perez to make the most of their car’s smooth aero balance and make up positions on track. The Japanese driver struggled to keep the heat in his tyres throughout the race, and was unable to make much progress, while his Mexican teammate was more successful, eventually working his way up to P11. It was a disappointing outcome for a team celebrating a semi-home GP. Both Petrov and Kovalainen struggled to get heat into their tyres off the start, which made it difficult for the green and gold pair to pass their rivals in black and red. The team had to make up for qualifying behind Marussia, and once the Pirelli rubber was up to its optimal operating temperature both men were able to slip past Pic and Glock with relative ease. Caterham now have one chance left to reclaim P10 in the constructors’. It was a day of mixed results for the Faenza squad, who saw Vergne retire as the result of broken suspension. Ricciardo did his best to make up for his teammate’s retirement by taking the toro by the horns and beginning an overtaking fest the likes of which he has never before delivered during an F1 grand prix. The Australian driver was unable to make it into the points, but impressed with his ballsy fight through the pack. While no one expects HRT to do much more than circulate at the back of the pack, the Spanish outfit had a decent Sunday and managed to eke more performance out of their tyres than their strategists had thought possible. Both Karthikeyan and de la Rosa made clean starts, but the end of de la Rosa’s race was hampered by a broken seat that forced the experienced driver to change his driving position rather than face retirement. With both drivers finishing the race in the points it was a successful Sunday for the Grove racers, despite a nail- biting near miss between Maldonado and Senna in the middle of the grand prix. The Venezuelan was attempting a pass, and narrowly avoided taking out both cars in the process. Senna spent much of the race frustrated behind a freshly-shod Hulkenberg who proved tricky to pass. After their best qualifying result of the 2012 season, Marussia were looking forward to out-performing rivals Caterham on track. But the Banbury racers were hampered by their lack of KERS, which saw both Glock and Pic passed in fairly short order. Glock had a good battle with Kovalainen in the closing stages of the race, but Pic’s best efforts were hampered by a loss of balance caused by contact on Turn 1 on the first lap. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: AUSTIN GRAND PRIX 37 GPWEEK.com // 37 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> UNITED STATES