In this edition of Hot Rod or Hot Dog we take a look at those teams in the very congested midfield, known in these parts as The Chasing Dogs.
- Qualifying: Alonso (2th) Massa (3rd)
- Race: Massa (6th) Alonso (DNF)
This season is quickly becoming a write-off for Ferrari. Only a small matter of 85 points behind McLaren and 155 behind Red Bull after seven rounds. This means they’ve been outscored by 12 points per race by McLaren and an astonishing 22 points per race by Red Bull. Wowzers (do people still say that?).
Canada threatened to put them back where many think they belong – at the summit of F1. A strong qualifying performance by both drivers gave them an excellent platform to work from during the race; sadly (well, at least for some), it didn’t quite play out that way. In a race variously described by Stefano Domenicali as “leav[ing] a bitter taste in the mouth” and by Pat Fry as “a lottery [in which] our numbers did not come up”, both drivers suffered mishaps, accidents and eventual disappointment.
Alonso went, like Button, for the intermediate tyre just before the red flag and then had a coming together with the eventual race winner. Here at Badger, we’d file that one under “racing incident”. Justified pass, justified defence, but one that left Alonso beached on a kerb and out of the race.
Massa had an altogether more strange incident with Narain Karthikeyan. When lapping the Hispania driver and after going off the racing line to pass, Massa found himself spearing into the barriers at the side of the track. We’re tempted to blame Felipe for that one to be honest. Nicely caught though, and an eventual sixth place finish (passing Kobayashi on the line as well) meant it wasn’t a total loss.
When will Ferrari get it together properly? Will it happen this season? So many questions, too little time.
Badger’s Best: Massa
- Qualifying: Kobayashi (13th) de la Rosa (17th)
- Race: Kobayashi (7th) de la Rosa (12th)
Let’s get the fact that Pedro de la Rosa was in the Sauber out of the way first. Perez took part in first practice, didn’t feel right, told the team and had to sit out the rest of the weekend. Obviously the person you want in your car in this situation is Pedro, he of the massively successful Grand Prix career. It probably didn’t help their official reserve driver, Esteban Gutierrez, was in Mexico.
After all of that faff, Pedro had an underwhelming weekend. He didn’t go out in Q1 with the newbies (that honour went to Jaime Alguersuari), but did start from 17th. Not ideal. He then toddled round in the race to finish 12th (while running into Jenson Button and getting stuck in first gear), which looks less impressive when the only people still the race behind him were two Hispanias, two Virgins and a Lotus.
Kobayashi had an altogether more satisfying Canadian experience. It looked for a while like he might even get on the podium but, with a drying track and faster cars behind, he was swallowed up by the chasing pack. Being passed by Massa on the line wasn’t his finest moment either.
Badger’s Best: Kobayashi
- Qualifying: Buemi (15th)Alguersuari (18th)
- Race: Alguersuari (8th) Buemi (10th)
The best result of the year for Toro Rosso, which just goes to show how important absolutely crazy grands prix can be for smaller teams.
After a fairly underwhelming qualifying session all round (Alguersuari’s comment was: “there is still room for improvement on my side and in terms of how we set up the car to suit me, especially in qualifying” – that excuse runs out of mileage after a certain amount of time in F1, Jaime), the race was a lot better.
Alguersuari managed to change tyres at exactly the right time to come home 8th, a result he described as “giv[ing] us wings”. He know which side his bread is buttered.
Buemi came home tenth, to give Toro Rosso a double points finish. Now there’s something we don’t say very often.
Badger’s Best: Alguersuari
- Qualifying: Maldonado (12th) Barrichello (16th)
- Race: Barrichello (9th) Maldonado (DNF)
Another weekend, another race in which Maldonado out qualified Barrichello. Is the man from Venezuela faster than we gave him credit for?
You would have thought Barrichello would only have been happy with the way the race turned out. To start sixteenth and end up 9th is, obviously, very good. You don’t need us to tell you that.
However, he was left feeling it should have been 6th or 7th, after taking avoiding action round Kobayashi and running wide. Maldonado, from memory, got caight up in the same incident, except he managed to bash a braking Rosberg, damage his front wing and had to retire.
Is it time for Rubens to bow out gracefully at the end of the season?
Badger’s Best: Barrichello
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