In this edition of Hot Rod or Hot Dog we look at the teams in the midfield or, as they’re known in the Sett, The Chasing Dogs.

Renault

  • Qualifying: Petrov (10th) Heidfeld (16th)
  • Race: Petrov (9th) Heidfeld (12th)

An interesting one, Renault. Petrov, then Heidfeld, then Petrov again. It’s all going off.

A poor qualifying performance really did for the team this weekend, especially with Heidfeld down in sixteenth. He’s certainly not having it all his own way which, to be honest, we thought he would.

petrovThis column especially has a bit of a love/hate relationship with Vitaly Petrov. He looks good, then he goes and does something crazy. He’s quick, then he’s s…l…o…w… We don’t know what to think.

While he may not have finished on the podium, or set the world on fire (something we wouldn’t put past him), he finished above his team mate, which is all you can ask.

Heidfeld had problems with his KERS in the race, which hindered his progress somewhat and, when everyone else has got it, means you struggle to do anything meaningful.

Essentially, their main problem was that they two stopped. End of.

Badger’s best: Petrov

Sauber

  • Qualifying: Perez (12th) Kobayashi (13th)
  • Race: Kobayashi (10th) Perez (17th)

Sauber – a team on the up? They’ve made a better, and more encouraging, start to this season than last and it really seems like they’ve got their act together.

Perez did well to out qualify his more experienced team mate, but then lost a few positions at the start while Kobayashi gained.

kobayashi

That set the tone for the race, really. Kobayashi managed to lose the point from his nose cone and drove around with, quite frankly, a hole. It didn’t seem to affect him too much, with his main complaint that his overalls got all dirty. Bless.

Perez trew it around a bit, at one point managing to lose his way completely and bosh into the side of Adrian Sutil. He did, at least, have the grace to apologise afterwards, saying: “Most importantly I’m very sorry for the accident with Adrian (Sutil) – I am sorry for him and sorry for my team.”

James Key said afterwards that, as Mercedes had taken a step forward and gone past them in the championship, Sauber needed to up their game. That may be a touch optimistic, but they’re definitely looking in the right direction.

Badger’s Best: Kobayashi

 

Force India

  • Qualifying: di Resta (8th) Sutil (11th)
  • Race: di Resta (11th) Sutil (15th)

Well, isn’t this a bit of a story?

The race itself was a bit by-the-by for the Force India guys, but once again we’re looking at a situation in which di Resta impressed hugely and is causing his more experienced team mate some problems.

direstaWe at Badger have always rated Sutil, even though he’s been prone to throw it about a bit and end up coming a cropper. Were we too kind? Is he in fact a middling driver? Are we jumping on the di Resta bandwagon too quickly?

Whatever we’re doing, this is definitely one to watch during the season.

Badger’s Best: di Resta

Williams

  • Qualifying: Barrichello (15th) Maldonado (17th)
  • Race: Barrichello (13th) Maldonado (18th)

A lot of focus on finishing the race at Williams and on “data”. You know how we love data at the set. It’s a codeword for “this weekend went terribly, but we now know exactly how terribly it went”. Well done chaps.

Barrichello is a great driver and, very possibly, the person you want in a situation like this. He’s quick, he’s experienced and he’s got a good face. All three Good Things.

barrichelloMaldonado. Hmmmm. Maldonado. He’s just not very good is he? Against the ageless Rubens, he’s going to struggle. We could be looking at a situation like last year’s Renault team. Domination.

Well, at least Williams have got all those nice Venezuelan petro-dollars. It’s just a shame they have to run one car.

Badger’s best: Barrichello

We complete our trawl through the drivers’ Chinese performance tomorrow.

Be there or be square.

Driver character graphics provided by Unlap – purveyors of BadgerGP T-Shirts and more motor-sport themed threads