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GP Week : Issue 179
FROM THE COCKPIT in my problem at the end. I got a reasonable start and made up a few places and was pretty pleased with the first couple of laps. But I did not have the pace to keep the Lotuses behind me and stay in the top ten, even though the switch to dry tyres was well timed. Like I said, I think the damage on that opening lap affected my overall performance all race long.” PASTOR MALDONADO “The intermediate tyres made the start of the race very difficult as it was very slippery, particularly in the first sector. We had a good strategy to pit earlier in the race and opt for the dry tyres. I made a small mistake on braking into Turn 11 which forced me to run wide and damage the front wing slightly. After a new set of tyres, the pace in the second stint was good, but unfortunately my race ended early after a KERS problem forced us to retire the car. We will now work hard to prepare as best we can for the next two flyaway races.” ADRIAN SUTIL “An early end to a race that promised so much for us. Both cars had the same problem with the wheel nuts and it cost us a lot of time in the pits. We’re not sure exactly what happened yet so the team stopped the cars to make sure we understand the issue. It’s a shame that this happened here because we had a very quick car today and I felt very comfortable as the track dried out. We have to stay positive, keep our heads up and remember that there are plenty of races left where we can make up for the disappointment of today.” PAUL DI RESTA “It’s frustrating to come away with nothing given how competitive we have looked all weekend. We saw an issue at Adrian’s first pit stop when I was sat behind him, which cost me about 15 seconds, and then I had the same issue with the wheel nut at my second pit stop. As a precaution the team chose to retire the car. The good news is that we have the performance in the car, but this is definitely a missed opportunity because we had the potential to score a lot of points today. We will go away, take this on the chin, and come back fighting in China.” FERNANDO ALONSO “Today, unfortunately, we were very unlucky. After making a good start, I touched with Vettel at the second corner: it was a surprise to find him there, almost stopped and I don’t know what speed he was doing. Despite the fact the car was damaged, it didn’t seem to be too bad and, together with the team, we decided to keep going, because if we’d stopped immediately and then again on lap 3 or 4 to fit dry tyres, we would have dropped too far back and definitely lost the chance to finish up the front. It’s easy to criticise this decision, but at the time it seemed like the right one. It was certainly a shame, because here we could have fought with the Red Bulls, but circumstances didn’t help and apart from the wisdom of the decisions we took, bad luck really played its part, when you think how many off-track excursions there were in Australia without any consequence and even here when the cars first went out on track. Now we are already focusing on the coming races in China and Bahrain, where we hope to do better than last year, so that we arrive in Europe with as many points as possible.” And GPWEEK driver of the day award goes to... MARK WEBBER. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings, even when you’re in control of a race and you and your teammate have been ordered to hold position and bring the cars home. As Skippy learned to his chagrin this afternoon, a gentleman’s agreement means nothing when there are world championship points at stake. And while GPWEEK’s driver of the day award doesn’t come with a clutch of WDC points, Webber might take some comfort from the knowledge that he drove an excellent race, out-pacing his teammate when the two drivers were operating on a level playing field ... 31 GPWEEK.com // 31 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> MALAYSIA