‘Sixth place like a win’ for di Resta

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Paul di Resta says finishing sixth is a “massive achievement” for Force India.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Bahrain result was like a win for Force India, says Paul di Resta (The Guardian)

“Sixth position for us is a massive achievement, probably the same for us as Sebastian [Vettel] winning the race given the car we have.”

Webber pleased to leave Bahrain (BBC)

“I am pleased the weekend is over. There should be no real celebrations today.”

Ted’s Race Notebook (Sky, UK only)

“Every single team boss and every single person I’ve spoken to in Formula 1 has said, ‘I tell you what, though: they shouldn’t have done that UniF1ed’ – not least because you’re not allowed to use Formula 1 for any political aims, and it’s difficult to see how they haven’t done that.”

Bahrain: Holding race the right decision (Autosport)

Bahrain International Circuit chairman Zayed al Zayani: “I think we have proved to the world that whatever is happening on the political scene has nothing to do with what is happening on track.”

Chequered Flag (The Times, subscription required)

“It was a success for tear gas, attack dogs and brutality. This was a sporting event that should not have happened. That it did is to the shame of Bahrain and Formula One alike.”

Between a rock and a hard place (GP Week)

“Jean Todt received political support from Bahrain during his election, and his son Nicolas’ ART [Lotus GP] racing team is part-owned by Bahrain’s crown prince, who is also chairman of the F1 circuit. FOTA boss Martin Whitmarsh’s McLaren team is 40 percent owned by the Bahraini royals. With money and friends like that, it’s easy to turn a blind eye.”

IAA takes actions against 3 British journalists (Bahrain News Agency)

“The three journalists had entered the Kingdom on tourism visas; covered local events without having obtained requisite prior permission; brought unlicensed equipment into the Kingdom; and took part in a non-peaceful and unlicensed demonstrations.”

IFJ Condemns Media Restrictions in Bahrain ahead of Controversial Grand Prix (International Federation of Journalists)

IFJ president Jim Boumelha: “This selective approach to media accreditation is arbitrary and totally unacceptable. The authorities were only too happy to tout the return of the Grand Prix to Bahrain as a sign that the situation is normal. Yet, they deliberately set out to deny independent media to verify this claim on the ground.”

Bahrain is bewildered by the world’s hostility (The Telegraph)

Senior police adviser to the government of Bahrain John Yates: “The decision not to give visas to certain correspondents is one, as the Crown Prince said, that the government may wish to reflect upon. The death over the weekend of Salah Abbas al-Qattan, an anti-government protester, is also a powerful reminder of the tragic consequences of the unrest.”

Formula One dodged a bullet in Bahrain (The Globe and Mail)

“While Ecclestone told reporters after the session that the television coverage also missed two other drivers, that is simply not true. A review of the session clearly showed that every driver appeared on screen either in or out of the car, except for the Force India pairing.”

On the front line… at Starbucks (Joe Saward)

“All Formula 1 got from Bahrain was awful media coverage. It was universally negative. There are some, Bernie Ecclestone among them, who do not believe that there is such a thing as bad publicity. One should never forget that Bernie uses controversy on a regular basis to create interest in events.”

Bahrain: F1 can’t hide stalled reforms (FT, registration required)

“Yet despite the crown prince’s hopes, doubts remain over whether Bahrain can use the F1 as a springboard to introduce reforms that can be built upon to create to an outward-looking economy.”

Formula One clouded by money and pollution (The Times, subscription required)

“Even life and death become trivial in the mind-altering world of F1. It is hardly surprising, then, that F1 made the ridiculous decision to race in Bahrain yesterday. Everyone could tell that nothing but trouble would come from it, and that F1 would be criticised everywhere in the world.”

No winner in the real contest of Bahrain’s Grand Prix (Reuters)

“‘I would like to wish all the Formula One teams today the best of luck,’ King Hamad said in a message on Sunday before the race, ‘And thank you for showing your faith in our country by coming here.'”

Amnesty International Says Bahrain Court Is "Toying" With Life of Hunger Strike, One of 14 Imprisoned Activists, As Hearing Is Delayed Again (Amnesty International)

“Amnesty International today condemned the delaying tactics of a Bahrain court – after the second postponement of an appeals hearing for 14 jailed activists – in light of the critical condition of prominent activist Addulhadi al-Khawaja, who is on his 75th day of a hunger strike. The human rights organisation said Bahrain is “toying” with al-Khawaja’s life and demanded his release, along with the other 13 activists.”

Nigel Roebuck on the Bahrain GP (MotorSport)

“Ecclestone has always claimed to have a long list of countries ‘queuing up to have a Grand Prix’. That being so, might it not be a sound idea to replace Bahrain with one where there is no need for armed personnel carriers around its circuit? He is quite wrong in his affirmation that ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’: the fee from last weekend’s Grand Prix may have been hefty, but the damage to F1’s image incomparably greater still. Bernie himself may not care too much about that, but the manufacturers and sponsors of F1 will perhaps feel differently.”

McLaren’s awful day leaves British duo in search of answers (The Independent)

Jenson Button: “Traditionally this year we’ve got two main strengths. Our starts and our race pace. Well, my start was terrible and the race pace just wasn’t there. There was just no real positive from the day.”

Martin Whitmarsh: “There’s a lot of pressure nowadays” (Adam Cooper)

Martin Whitmarsh on Lewis Hamilton’s two pit stop problems: “The first one was what we call pegging, where the drive pegs don’t align with the drive holes, which is not something you should blame the operator for. You’ve got to make the system as tolerant to not pegging as possible. The second one was a cross thread, which is what we had at the last race.”

Lewis springs back into action (The Sun)

“I was not going to Mugello but that might change now. I need to get back in the car. We need to figure out why the tyres are going off.”

James Allison – “There is No Reason Why We Can’t Deliver Even Better Results” (Lotus)

Kimi [Raikkonen] gave us a scare in the opening laps when he lost a place to a much slower Felipe [Massa] and in doing so also damaged his front wing. We could see from the data that this impact lost us some aerodynamic performance which Kimi then had to carry for the remainder of the race.”

Bahrain GP Review (Williams)

“We are currently still investigating the failure mechanism and have brought back the damaged components for further analysis. In addition, we are studying the video footage as directly prior to the failure Vergne had contact with Pastor [Maldonado].”

Comment of the day

Some great stat-work by James Brickles:

Four different drivers from four different teams have also set the fastest lap in each race.

Australia. Button – McLaren
Malaysia. Raikkonen – Lotus
China. Kobayashi – Sauber
Bahrain. Vettel – Red Bull

Four different drivers set fastest lap in the first four races of 2009 but two were from the same team (Brawn). […]

1987 was the last season 4 different drivers from 4 different teams set the fastest lap in the first 4 races. They were Nelson Piquet (Williams), Teo Fabi (Benetton), Alain Prost (McLaren) and Ayrton Senna (Lotus).
James Brickles

From the forum

Happy birthday!

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On this day in F1

Today in 2007 a company run by Bernie Ecclestone took a 15-year lease on the Istanbul Park circuit.

At the time this was seen as a move that would safeguard the future of the race, but the Turkish Grand Prix was dropped from the calendar at the end of last year.

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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61 comments on “‘Sixth place like a win’ for di Resta”

  1. please Keith, enough of the Bahrain articles! i love the sporting and technical side of F1, not the politics.
    *runs and hides*

    1. @sato113 As the race has been and gone it’s probably going to quieten down now. At least until next year, though a lot could happen in 12 months.

      1. Keith,
        I’m disappointed by the way you quoted Joe’s article.

        1. I’m not. It gives a view other than the opposite sides of the situation.
          Like him or not, Joe Saward is a journalist who takes his job and his blog very serious.
          He doesn’t say all is well, doesn’t say that holding the race was a good idea, but he does give a balanced view which shows that there’s always more to a story.
          Let me tell you this: I’m dutch and I always thought that our people were heroic in WW2. I Learned at school that by the of the war almost everybody was part of the resistance. Later in life I learned that we helped the Germans with their hunt for jews like no other country… And what really happened? Most people got on with their lives, providing for their families. Joe Saward talked to some of those, instead to both extremes.

          1. Edit: To be fair, he did talk to the royal’s. But still, read it and appreciate there’s always grey where there only seems to be black and white…

          2. @verstappen Giving a sense of the multiple points covered in a 3,719 word article using just a couple of sentences was always going to be tricky.

            The point of the links section is to say, in effect, “hey, this is interesting, take a look at this”. If the selection I chose encouraged you to do that, and you were obviously able to appreciate the huge amount of ground covered in that article, then I’m satisfied.

            In retrospect, instead of quoting this one perhaps the clever thing to have done would be to just write “there’s no way I can summarise this huge article in a quote, just go read it”.

        2. @Jimmy only now after reading Keith’s response I realise I misinterpreted your ‘by the way’ – you weren’t offended by the fact Keith quoted the article, but by the quote he chose.
          Well, I’m just happy Keith put up that link and I guess there’s indeed no way to summerize that one in a proper quote…

          1. Sorry I just realised my reply should have been to @Jimmy not @verstappen

            Seeing as I run this site, you think I might know how to use it by now!

    2. While the press is still doing comment pieces it still makes sense, and after all this reflection is important.

        1. Didn’t Ross Brawn mention that the Bahrain GP should be reconsidered? There is no way it should be allowed to hold another race! Not while the Royals run the country!

          1. If the country is stable a year from now, then there is no reason why the race should not be run. Even if the protest movement dies, the al Khalifas remain in power and life goes back to the way it was before 2010. Then the country won’t be too dissimilar to China.

          2. And if they aren’t running the country there is still no way a GP will be held.
            Seriously i read and ask lots of people about this stuff and am disappointed of how the world media handled the situation.

    3. With all the uproar over the race, what kind of message does it send when the Formula 1 community just ignores it two days after the race took place? People have been demanding that the race be cancelled for weeks, and the issue has divded a lot of opinions here. The race might have left Bahrain, but that doesn’t mean the issues in Bahrain have been resolved. Refuses to acknowledge – much less address – the issue now that it doesn’t directly affect Formula 1 only makes the problem worse.

      1. @prisoner-monkeys I dont think @sato113 was being serious, I’m in the same boat as him but I understand that things need to be tied up.

      2. @prisoner-monkeys @george I was being serious. I agree, that the news shouldn’t be neglected 2 days after the race. I just think there’s way too many Bahraini links in the round up recently. I read actual news websites for that kind of stuff. I understand this website should cover the politicial side, but this is overkill IMO.

  2. Firstly congrats to Di Resta. Secondly McLaren I hope issues get sorted as I can see things slipping for both drivers now. And thirdly I can see lotus Renault doing very well this year.

  3. Good for Di Resta I was surprised my thought in the beginning of the season Hulkenburg was going to get the better of Di Resta.

    But great job!!!

    1. I reckon Sutil would be getting the better of Hulko too

  4. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
    24th April 2012, 0:51

    Just as a matter of interest Keith how do you decide the ‘Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:’?

    1. @mike-the-bike-schumacher Basically I’m looking for content that provides new information (providing it’s from a credible source), puts forward an interesting or alternative point of view, is funny or entertaining, or noteworthy in some other way. As far as possible, I try to look at coverage beyond the usual F1 outlets to give broad view.

      I often get requests from people to promote their F1 blog or site – if I see something on there I like, it’ll end up in here.

      As you can imagine, the huge increase in the amount being written about F1 over the past week because of Bahrain has made producing the links section to my satisfaction much more time-consuming.

      1. ya that’s cool keith, my interest is satisfied! Ur doing a good job as always!!

      2. You should have been more careful about the image you give though. This site seriously gave strongly the wrong impression to it’s readers about Bahrain ether threw the links provided or by articles it self.
        That is obvious by their reaction and posts.

        I’m kind of glad to see a link like Saward’s this time around but still the impression has been one sided.
        I’m not some supporter of the royal Bahrain family but unlike others that like to jump in the headline bandwagon(unfortunately you are a little guilty of this too this time Keith) i searched a lot before i open my mouth and the situation isn’t as simple as it seems.
        As F1 goes, yes indeed for F1 it was a bad decision because it gets bad publicity and even some sponsors might rethink their involvement.

        BUT Bahrain’s situation is more complicated by far, you don’t have some simple lovers of democracy trying to get rid of a big demon.
        The royals might not be the most lovable guys in the world but right now i bet lots of simple citizens in Bahrain are scared to death of the possibility of losing them. And that’s because their is a lot of religious fanaticism in this supposed democrat lovers and the possibility of seeing a new government ten times more oppressive than the current is very strong. Such stuff strongly remind old times at Iran.
        Lets face it, this royal guys at least keep lots of elements in their country a lot more free and liberal compared to some other Arab nations.
        Wanting even more democracy is nice but bringing this guys down like this is opening the pandora’s box. There are very low chances that a truly more democratic government will be succeeding the current regime.

        So though am sure they should normally have many things to give account for(although that goes for many supposedly elected westerns leaders as well) things aren’t that simple at all and am surprised that so many media outlets and reporters are doing nothing but sensationalism to promote their careers instead of really caring to report of the political situation of the country and the troubles of it’s citizens.
        Consequently am disappointed on how easily you transmitted their sensationalism through this site and affected your readers especially since you seem to not have grasped the complexity of the matter yourself.

        I know is late writing all this and in this page but i just had to say it and i was busy before.

  5. Force India have done a great job to get 6th! I bet Daniel Ricciardo would rather miss Q3 and pick up points than start 6th and go no where. Hope Toro Rosso can get a better race package, as it would be nice for the young guns to be consistently in the top 10.

  6. I’ve never had a subscription to the Times, nor would I ever pay a broken penny to get one, but this opening sentence of their article is just too infuriating:”Even life and death become trivial in the mind-altering world of F1″. This is surely a pathetic new low in journalism and it doesn’t even matter what is written in the rest of the article. I would expect such a sentence from the Sun or Mirror maybe.

    Also pathetic is Lotus cars’ amateurish approach to being Indycar engine supplier. What was the problem to say “hey we started working on the engine late we’re gonna enter in 2013”. No shame in that. On the other hand the current situation is very embarrassing. I’m very sad for Jean Alesi-my all-time favourite driver, as always betting on the wrong horse…

    1. 90% of journalism is like that these days.

      When you read an article of journalists being arrested now it’s because they behaved them self like pigs and got no decency, a real disgrace for people who working hard to provide us with objective view of things.

      It seems to me like every second person who works in media now have to go through FOX TV college in order to get a job.

      I really believe and for some reason proud of what Nigel Mansell is trying to do with kids by getting them education so they can make their own choices instead what ever the man behind the curtains trying (with success) to feed us.

    2. @montreal95 Bit much to pass judgement when you admit you haven’t read the full thing.

      1. @keithcollantine I disagree. As I wrote in the original post, my criticism relates to the opening sentence without any regard or care about what’s written in the rest of the article, which can be good and true etc(I would doubt anything written by the Times, regardless, but that’s my personal opinion which has nothing to do with the above criticism). The opening sentence implies that because of the nature of F1, which could be regarded as a dangerous sport by some, it has developed a disregard to life/death situations. And the second sentence( “it’s not surprising then, blah blah blah…”) just enhances it. When reading it, I immediately remembered idiotic articles written by some motor sport haters in the aftermath of Wheldon and Simoncelli deaths.

        So, I stand by my view. Regardless of what’s written in the rest of the article, this kind of cheap attention grabbing, poorly worded, wrong implying, opening sentences are pathetic journalism.

  7. Joe Saward has been one of the most outward critic of the Bahrain GP for several weeks now. But even he himself had to admit, that sometimes the reporting of events bore no relationship to the reality on ground.
    The whole sensationalising of the event was akin to a mass hysteria.
    There are still indeed issues Bahrain needs to sort out, and issues other media outlets and politicians need to reflect on.

    1. joe is really not credible, he can take any absurd positions… Bahrain GP should not have gone ahead at any cost…. purely for security reasons & not political.

    2. No offense, but this sentence

      The whole sensationalising of the event was akin to a mass hysteria

      is pretty ironic, given that it sensationalises the media’s coverage… mass hysteria, really?

      If Bahrain was actively keeping out journalists it was because there was just nothing to report on? Saving them the bother of showing up? Move along, nothing to see here…

      It’s a backwards argument to say ‘the media’ exaggerated things because nothing happened at the track – of course it didn’t, there was a total clamp-down. When a government makes as many efforts to control who sees what where it seems pretty obvious that 1+1=2. Bahrain and F1 have got only themselves to blame for the media coverage they’ve received.

      1. When a journalist writes “there are armoured vehicle everywhere”, he hasn’t exactly lied if he indeed has seen one armoured vehicle, but he would have so distored and misreprisented fact’, that we who are dependent on them for factua coverage can become emotionally disturbed.
        There were many who chose not to watch the GP and several who watced it in a mournful mood.
        The end result was the who atmosphere of the event was destroyed.

        Journalists are not unknown to have an agenda behind their reporting. They have often been used as tools to generate social tension. Of late more media houses no longer offer factual reporting, but rely more and more on creative writing and propagation of their own opinion, which as often is the case, has no bearing with reality.

        1. When a journalist writes “there are armoured vehicle everywhere”, he hasn’t exactly lied if he indeed has seen one armoured vehicle

          Well, no that would be a lie – but do you have an example of such reporting on Bahrain?

          Of late more media houses no longer offer factual reporting, but rely more and more on creative writing and propagation of their own opinion, which as often is the case, has no bearing with reality.

          Such as? I mean outside the obvious suspects like Fox news, Huffington Post and print tabloids?

          1. Fairfax and News Ltd for two.

      2. Completely agree with @Maciek, as usual.

        And in addition, I’m a bit disappointed that people had to change their tune after being spoken to about their reporting. It’s pretty obvious what was happening and it’s quite scary to think people were naïve enough to believe what they saw (were actually shown).

  8. Webber: “I am pleased the weekend is over. There should be no real celebrations today.”

    That statement could as well be a reflection of his own race than the situation about Bahrain.

    1. I am pretty sure he indeed refers to the Bahrain situation. He knows there’s nothing to celebrate about his own performance

  9. The mention of Lewis possibly going to Mugello did occur to me after the awful display in Bahrain. I was thinking even if they only turn up and Lewis or Jenson drive a single day.

    They really need to be there with the team, showing the team spirit and dedication that makes a driver World Champion. There has always been talk about Sebastian putting a lot of time in with the team and I expect Lewis and Jenson have put some time in but if they want to be World Champions this year they need to stop flying to LA and Hawaii and get down to that track, with their team and put some effort into getting that car sorted out.

    Yes, giving the test/young drivers time in the car is great and the test drivers, particularly Paffet are great at what they do (so I hear) but in a situation like this where the Championship is tight, the tyres are hard work and things are not going smoothly. They need their drivers.

    1. i’m not sure about this, i’d have test drivers take maximum time on the car. they are guys which are developing the car using various simulators… if they get chance to drive the real car for testing they can get a good idea about the car handling in real & in virtual…. this will help them to calibrate the simulators.

      1. I’m not saying they have to drive, though I think maybe half a day each midway through might be handy or an afternoon each possibly. More that they should be there supporting the team and showing us how serious they are about getting on top of this season.

    2. The thing is, with different driving styles etc the 2 drivers need to find a set up that wont hurt the rear tires too much, the test is a great chance for them to do this. At the race weekends obviously they are playing with set up through practice but there’s only so much they can do with the limits on tires.

      1. The problem with set up is that it needs to take into account more than just driving style, the argument for having the test drivers in the cars is that by giving them real experience in the car they improve the sim to race correlation and can ensure the base set up that the team go into FP1 with at each track is much more accurate and requires less fiddling from the race drivers. This means the drivers can spend more time evaluating parts if necessary or making the final tweaks that will mean the difference between pole and 4th in this tight season. If the base set up is rubbish then the drivers might spend all weekend chasing the perfect set up that they never find. Apparently one of the strengths of the Red Bull last year was it’s ability to turn up to a race weekend and basically be awesome out of the box, the drivers could then spend more time fiddling or making sure it was perfect for the race.

        My reason for JB and LH turning up is both a moral boost and possibly a jump in the car to evaluate what the test driver is doing role. I don’t know the rules around multiple drivers in testing but I don’t see why you couldn’t have JB and LH in the car during the afternoon after Paffet has spent the morning doing set up work or evaluation.

        1. @nefor I dont know about Lewis, as he said yesterday he might be at the test, but Jenson will be in Hunagry at May 1 as stated here.

    3. @nefor I imagine that McLaren could get on top of any tyre issues without Hamilton or Button about, but yeah, showing their faces would no doubt help them.

    4. Lewis is just wasting his time, Mclaren are getting it wrong in their strategis for him. I was looking at Lantham on the saturday, he looked exhuasted, probably overworked and stressed with all their data, he probably has a greater work load since he maybe lower in the engineering heirarchy, as such he probably also comes second in the decision making loop when it comes to strategies.
      How the team keeps dumping Lewis in traffic at critical stages of the race after a stop , and how he keeps falling behind his team mate, 3 races in a row, despite being ahead by several seconds, after the round of pit stops.
      Mclaren are loosing valuable constructor points and are gifting Redbull a championship.

      1. Interesting.

  10. After the race, I already felt bad for the McLaren mechanic having to deal with the fallout of the two bad pit stops, but after Whitmarsh’s comments, it’s really a shame that he’s blaming himself. Obviously **** happens sometimes and people love to find a scapegoat for a problem. It seems pretty obvious that their issues in the race was not one person failing, but either random bad luck or a flaw in their system, or both. It sounds like McLaren are rallying around their mechanic and I hope he comes to realize that it was not all on him. After all, this sport and entertainment. It’s not like he’s working in a hospital.

    1. I totally agree. If it had happened once, I would have said it was probably the mechanic’s fault, or just random bad luck. The fact that it has happened three times suggests that it is a flaw in McLaren’s system

    2. But the problem is Hamilton had two different time delaying issues on the same end.
      Withmarsh suggesting that a changing of that individual rectified the fault, is even more damaging to the mechanic, than simply suggesting they had design flaws.

      It is classic Withmarsh.
      Instead of doing the talking on the sundays, with the Vroom of his motors and lap times, he does his talking on the mondays, with verbose monolouges and literary pantomimes.

  11. Interesting article on how Tavo Hellmund and Kevin Schwantz designed the layout for the Circuit of the Americas.

    1. @prisoner-monkeys That’s a great read, thanks for that one.

      1. I find it especially interesting to learn that Tilke himself didn’t actually design the circuit. Hellmund and Schwantz conceptualised it, and then one of Tilke’s engineers was tasked with making it a reality. I’m still not keen on the way some of the corners are so obviously lifted from other circuits – the Hockenheim section looks unnecessary – but I was happy to note that some of the corners were only loosely inspired by other circuits. Particularly the first corner, since the Österreichring is no more.

        1. Great article! Thanks

    2. Great read, looks like this track may be a good one; it keeps us fans happy because of all the elevation changes and what look to be pretty exciting corners and keeps Tilke & the FIA happy with its safety.

    3. Fingers crossed everything will go to plan – the circuit feels like it has great potential.

  12. Mclaren have been pretty rubbish so far. They’ve probably got the best car (maybe not at Bahrain but I can’t comment on that) and they’ve only got one win. They should be quite far ahead on points given how miserable the Ferrari is and that Red Bull haven’t had it easy but it’s like they don’t want to win. I know most won’t want Seb to win again, and I don’t really want him to beat Alonso to 3 titles, but the really evil side of me would find it quite funny if he beat the Mclaren duo after such a poor start. I feel sorry for the pitcrew though as I think they’ve got the toughest job in the paddock.

  13. I’m with Lewis. He needs to be in the car at Mugello. Not for the whole test, mind, I still think Paffet and Turvey deserve track time (otherwise, what’s the point of having test drivers?) but if McLaren and/or Lewis want to improve their tyre wear then it makes sense for him to be in the car.

    People say that Lewis doesn’t lead the team enough, this is a positive step for him. Taking the initiative and trying to pull the team in the direction he wants to go. To me, he seems to be maturing and understanding what exactly is expected fo him. Good for him.

    1. thanks, @damonsmedley, but I was too late, it had already been taken down!

  14. Thanks for the C.O.T.D Keith :)

    It really interested me that 4 teams have already managed to set the fastest lap in the first 4 races. It shows that we’re in for an extremely tight season.

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