“Hot Rod or Hot Dog” is our regular post-grand prix column where we review all of the driver performances in that race.  As part of the process, one driver is declared as Badger’s “Top Dog” – not necessarily the winner, it could be for their choice of breakfast or anything else that justifies this accolade…

It has to be Petrov…


After being slated by most, if not all, of the Badger team all the way through last season (particularly in this column), it’s time we showed him some respect. He only finished in the top ten 4 times during 2010 which, given the car he had, was a woeful return. So, to finish third in Australia and to drive with such confidence is a welcome boost to a Renault team shorn of its best driver.

It was a great drive all weekend from the Russian, exemplified by the fact that he went about much of it under the radar. Was last season’s holding off of Fernando Alonso the making off him? It certainly proved he could keep his head under pressure, but the key difference this time was that he was using it at a time when he could achieve a good result on his own merits, not clinging on for dear life to a position on a rubbish track.

The fact he said afterwards that the result was for the whole team and he was “totally ecstatic” shouldn’t come as any surprise. It is, after all, fairly standard F1 fare. That said, when said with a brilliant Russian accent and, to be honest, a nice face, it seemed to carry more weight. Lewis Hamilton, take note.

Well done Vitaly, let this Top Dog award be the gateway to better things.


Driver character graphics kindly provided by Unlap – purveyors of Badger TShirts and other great motorsport-themed threads.