Hot Rod or Hot Dog is our regular post-race feature where we select drivers who we think deserve recognition for strong performances and those who, quite frankly, should be ashamed of themselves.
There was a moment before the race on Sunday where Natalie Pinkham asked Romain where he could finish. He shrugged, mentioned he was looking for a few points, then merrily went on his way. No wonder he was so happy after the race.
There’s little doubt about just how strong the drive was – not only did he shock everyone in how his one-stop paid off (he came from absolutely nowhere), but his lap times convinced both Red Bull and Ferrari to gamble their chances on victory by moving to the same strategy.
It’s quite the feat to finish 2nd in a car outside of the “Top 3” teams, but to do it from so far back, on tyres so old, absolutely blew our minds.
When he gets past the first few laps, Grosjean has a knack of putting in some scintillating drives. That can only bode well if we’re to look for an 8th winner of 2012, don’t you think? Kimi had better sort out his scoresheet too…
Another fantastic race from the young Mexican; if he keeps going like this then he won’t be at Sauber too much longer (we know we and everyone else keep saying that, but it’s true). His drive to third was, it has to be said, the result of Ferrari and Red Bull being caught out with their strategies, but you need to be in and around those places to take advantage of any slip ups.
That said, it’s not all Perez – Sauber’s strategies are helping him achieve his potential. The “as few stops as we can get away with” approach is really paying dividends, especially when the car and his driving style seem to be very kind to the tyres.
He’s rapidly becoming a favourite in the Sett. Long may it continue.
Everything that went right for his team mate went wrong for Button. It’s almost too much to believe that he was that much slower than Hamilton – in fact, we don’t believe it. There must be something else going on – obviously, the best case scenario is that it turns out there was a fundamental problem with his car. With all the sensors and monitoring equipment, we’d be surprised. The worst case scenario would be that the direction in which McLaren have developed the car doesn’t suit his driving style and that he’s now completely screwed.
The truth, as ever, is probably somewhere in between.
Pedro De La Rosa
Cast your view back to the other end of the grid for a moment, and you’ll see a little piece of heroic driving happened on Saturday afternoon. Pedro De La Rosa put his HRT – a car suffering from no testing and woeful funding – clear of the Marussias in qualifying and, after Pastor Maldonado had gearbox change (again!), the Spaniard was in the top 20.
Even in the race the speed was there for HRT to secure a solid result, but the car wasn’t up to the task and the brakes gave up in a plume of black smoke. Game over, Pedro.
It was a shame, because at the time he was attempting a one-stop race and was keeping both Glock and Pic honest.
Don’t worry Pedro, we noticed.
We’ve already done him – read it here.
Read more of our thoughts on the Canadian GP here with our Top 5 from Montreal