We’ve named our driver of the race, but what about the rest of the runners and riders from the Turkish Grand Prix? In part two of Hot Rod or Hot Dog we look at the mid-pack-runners, better known in these parts as the Chasing Dogs.
- Qualifying: Heidfeld (9th) Petrov (7th)
- Race: Heidfeld (7th) Petrov (8th)
The Renault drivers committed the cardinal F1 sin in Turkey by banging in to each other – then waving their arms about in an attempt to blame their team-mate. Children? Children! It was fairly 50-50 really, though Petrov probably shades the blame game.
Vitaly also won the qualifying contest, taking seventh to Heidfeld’s ninth. The Russian is a bit of a Turkish specialist, having always run well here in GP2, so that was no surprise.
But it’s the race that counts and the fact that Quick Nick beat him here – despite the Petrov’s robust defence of his position – means it is the German who wins the inter-team battle for Turkey. If, however, they were to engage in an actual physical battle our money would be on Petrov, who despite seeming the gentle sort can rip a phonebook in half and once give a bear a severe beating. At least that’s what someone said on a forum, once.
Back to reality – of sorts anyway – Eddie Jordan declared after the Turkish Grand Prix that the days of Renault scoring podiums (ie. two races ago) are over. As is typical of Eddie, this was probably something of a poorly thought through spur of the moment comment. Yes, they had an iffy (but by no means bad) race in Istanbul, but they’ve still got two decent drivers and a good car. They can still compete.
Anyway, time for the now-customary Renault question: what would Kubica have achieved this weekend? Answer: more than these two. Fifth, says Badger.
Badger’s Best: Heidfeld
- Qualifying: Buemi (16th) Alguersuari (17th)
- Race: Buemi (9th) Alguersuari (16th)
Apparently Sebastien Buemi drives for Toro Rosso, and the results say he scored a point in Turkey. You’d be forgiven for not knowing this as the TV director avoided him completely for the entire race. It’s also fair to say that Seb B. isn’t the most exciting man in the paddock, and so he was roundly ignored at the post-race media scrum.
That said another points-paying finish is an excellent result for the young Swiss, who now has six to his team-mate’s zero. Toro Rosso have finally openly admitted that Daniel Ricciardo will drive for them in 2012, so the battle’s on to see who can avoid the sack. Whether you can see him or not, Buemi seems best placed to hang around for another year. That said, you would give him a proper Red Bull car, would you?
As for Alguersuari, he raced Schumacher a bit (Wow! The oldest driver versus the youngest – that’s almost worth talking about) but really made little headway. Beaten by Buemi again, Jaime needs to seriously up his game if he’s to remain an F1 driver beyond his 22nd birthday. Mad.
Badger’s Best: Buemi (whoever he is)
- Qualifying: Kobayashi (24th) Perez (15th)
- Race: Kobayashi (10th) Perez (14th)
The fact that Kamui Kobayashi climbed from 24th on the grid to tenth at the flag was hardly surprising. His car is quick, he can pass and he was able to run the hard tyres for the first stint (whilst still carving past slow cars). Easy.
Not that we’re taking anything away from Kamui. He’s now scored points in three successive races (four if you include Australia) and looks the genuine article. What could he do at the wheel of a front-running car? We’d love to find out.
Perez meanwhile is finding life tough following his debut heroics, ending up pootling in to the pits on lap one with a broken nose. After that he ran without incident, ending up 14th and one place higher than he qualified. He’s by no means embarassing himself, but now needs a strong race to remind the world what he’s capable of.
Badger’s Best: Kobayashi
- Qualifying: Barrichello (11th) Maldonado (14th)
- Race: Barrichello (15th) Maldonado (17th)
Williams may be a Chasing Dog this week but that really doesn’t mean much, as their so-far-fruitless hunt for point continues. Well, for Barrichello it does. Pastor Maldonado is less hunting than stumbling about blindly in the woods hoping to happen across an injured animal that he can finish off and claim he bagged all by himself. Translation: the Venezuelan is struggling, quite badly, to adapt to F1. Remember Nico Hulkenberg? He was quite good, wasn’t he?
Barrichello did a solid job in qualy to be 11th on the grid, just missing out on Q3, but then went backwards in the race as his three stop strategy proved totally wrong. What is particularly worrying is that both Saubers, Adrian Sutil and Sebastien Buemi all managed to qualify below the Brazilian but finish ahead of him. The fire still burns inside Rubens, who turns 39 later this month, but you have to wonder how long it will stay lit for if things continue in this vein.
Pastor meanwhile keeps crashing in practice and then doesn’t look much good in qualy or the race. Nuff said really, though with the massive cheque his sponsors write for the team they can’t really complain.
Badger’s Best: Barrichello