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GP Week : Issue 177a
At what may be his final F1 grand prix, Kobayashi suffered with overheating tyres in practice, but felt the top ten was a realistic proposition if conditions were wet. The Japanese racer was unable to improve on 14th as the track was all but dry at the end of Q2 with team-mate Perez lining up two places ahead of him. Both drivers were confident of a strong race result and Kobayashi started well on the Primes and eventually finished ninth after spinning while attempting a pass on Schumacher. Perez’s race lasted until Turn 4 when he was caught up in Vettel and Senna’s accident. Van der Garde stood in for Kovalainen in FP1 so the Finn had an intense second practice session to set up his Caterham. Petrov reported high tyre degradation after Friday practice and admitted to lacking pace on the harder compound tyres relative to his chief rivals. Petrov out-qualified Kovalainen for the fifth time in seven races and lined-up 19th, but the Russian drove a determined race in tricky changeable conditions to finish 11th and secure the coveted tenth place in the overall Constructors’ standings. Kovalainen ran as high as sixth in the opening stint but fell to 16th. The heat put Toro Rosso at a disadvantage in free practice and the team hoped for wet conditions for qualifying and the race. A short rain shower shortly before Q1 gave Ricciardo and Vergne hope of a good result, although the pair struggled as track temperatures increased and a dry line appeared and they started from 15th and 17th respectively. Despite being a lap down after running a long first stint on slicks, Vergne recovered well to take points for eighth, while poor strategic calls hampered Ricciardo’s race, the Aussie eventually finishing 13th. There was a rather subdued atmosphere in the HRT garage given the uncertainty surrounding the Spanish outfit’s future and a lack of running during free practice meant it was unable to refine the F112’s set-up. Karthikeyan out-qualified the vastly more experienced de la Rosa, whose left-rear suspension and tyre were damaged in a collision with Grosjean as they climbed the pit-straight. However, both drivers clung on in changeable conditions, de la Rosa finishing in 17th immediately ahead of his Indian team-mate. v It was a disappointing end to the 2012 season for Williams. Senna arrived in his homeland off the back of three consecutive points finishes. He looked pacey on a drying track in Q1, but failed to make it through to the top-ten shootout and, from 11th on the grid, came to blows with Vettel at Turn 4. Maldonado got in among the big boys in qualifying but later received a ten-place grid drop for missing the weighbridge in Q2. His race was also short-lived, as he span out at Turn 3. Pic was confirmed as part of Caterham’s 2013 driver line-up in the build-up to Friday practice and his running was curtailed when his MR01 was struck by an alternator problem with 20 minutes of FP2 left. Glock was blighted by excessive understeer during FP1 but out-qualified his younger team-mate. In the race, a collision with Vergne’s Toro Rosso forced Glock to pit for repairs and meant he only finished 16th. Pic was embroiled in a tussle with Petrov that ended with the Russian taking 11th place – a result that denied Marussia of tenth place in the Constructors’ standings. Sauber Caterham Toro Rosso HRT Williams Marussia TEAM-BY-TEAM: INTERLAGOS GRAND PRIX 42 GPWEEK.com // 42 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> BRAZIL