What comes after a Top Dog? Might it be a dog who chases? Perhaps, collectively, they’re known as Chasing Dogs? They are! And look – they’re right here now for your pleasure. Cheers lads.

Mercedes

  • Nico Rosberg: Quali – 7th, Race – 8th
  • Michael Schumacher: Quali – 12th, Race – DNF

rosbergThe shame! A last-lap pass from Jaime Alguersuari was enough to relegate Mercedes from Top to Chasing Dogs this week. That means fewer eyes on the screen and, almost certainly, a drop in sponsorship for the Anglo-German team. Nightmare.

Nico Rosberg looked pretty solid throughout, keeping pace with Button’s McLaren and the Ferraris early on and then racing Jenson out of the pits later on.

However, as the grand prix neared its conclusion his pace faded badly, to the extent that a man who would rather be a DJ than a racing driver was able to pass him on the final lap. P8 at the flag was disappointing.

Schumacher’s qualifying was ruined by a tyre problem. He started the race well but was then the victim of a bizarre game of chicken between Petrov and Alonso. End of.

Badger’s Best: Rosberg

Force India

  • Adrian Sutil: Quali – 10th, Race – 11th
  • Paul di Resta: Quali – 9th, Race – 10th

direstaI’m not going to write about Force India. I have no intention of doing so and furthermore I have no idea where rumours that I would are coming from.

Korea was a quiet one for the team. They qualified well with both Sutil and di Resta making the top ten but that pace wasn’t quite so evident in the race. Paul came home in P10, taking home a point, with Adrian taking the flag one place back. What will disappoint them most is to have fallen behind both Toro Rossos in the race

And that’s all you’re getting. Because when I said I wasn’t going to write about them, what I actually meant was that I did intend to write about them, but only 42.5% of what I would previously have done.

Can you taste that? It’s delicious satire.

Badger’s Best: di Resta

Williams

  • Rubens Barrichello: Quali – 18th, Race – 12th
  • Pastor Maldonado: Quali – 16th, Race – DNF

barrichelloHello mediocrity. Hello mid-pack obscurity. Hello one driver knocking the other out in Q1. Helllo running around for 90 minutes with no hope of getting into the points. Hello Pastor, have you broken down? Better call it a day then mate, you weren’t going anywhere anyway. Hello chequered flag. You are a welcome sight.

Goodbye any chance of climbing out of this rut before the season’s end. Goodbye Sam Michael – how on earth have you landed a job at McLaren? Goodbye Rubens.

So, what comes next?

Badger’s Best: Barrichello

Renault

  • Vitaly Petrov: Quali – 8th, Race – DNF
  • Bruno Senna: Quali – 15th, Race – 13th

petrovAnother fine mess, despite early promise. Senna missed practice running and then qualified a disappointing 15th. He ended the race 13th, though both positions were picked up from retirements in front of him…

… which were caused by team-mate Vitaly Petrov. The Russian was impressive in qualifying, lining-up eighth on the grid, but then made a right hash of the race by attempting to mount Schumacher’s Mercedes. He hobbled in to retire – another shot at points gone.

This is a team lacking a leader. Heidfeld couldn’t bring it, nor can these two. If Kubica can’t return in 2012 there are serious questions to be asked about who to put in the car.

Badger’s Best: Petrov