In some races this season we’ve been spoilt for choice – there are three or four drivers who could easily have taken the title of Top Dog – but Germany’s race didn’t give us that kind of choice. While there were a number of very good drives, there weren’t a lot that stood out as truly fantastic.
In the end, the best of a truly middling bunch has to be Kamui Kobayashi. He started twelfth and finished fourth – a great return by anyone’s standards. Yes, he was promoted by Sebastian Vettel’s 20 second time penalty, but only one place. Twelfth to fifth would still have been an impressive achievement.
It’s important to note that he did all of this while stopping twice. At various points over the last two seasons Sauber have operated a strategy designed to complete at least one fewer stop than the rest of the field, banking on their drivers and car to be kind on their tyres. This time it worked, indicating their car has underlying pace.
That said, he was the highest placed driver on the grid to start on the medium compound tyres, demonstrating that Sauber also haven’t lost their penchant for going against the grain.
This being Kobayashi, he still found time to throw his car up the inside of other drivers and generally be quite racy. We’d love to see him at a top team, but he probably wouldn’t fulfill their criteria for a sensible driver to rack up points for the constructors’ championship.
Well done Kamui, you’re this German GP 2012 Top Dog.