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.

Toro Rosso

  • Qualifying: Buemi (17th)Alguersuari (18th)
  • Race: Alguersuari (8th) Buemi (13th)


alguersuariWe don’t usually see Buemi or Alguersuari so far up this list and, to be honest, on Sunday morning we weren’t expecting to.

After qualifying 17th and 18th respectively and with Alguersuari apparently ‘concentrating on race setup’ they managed to have a very good grand prix, making their way up through the field to finish 8th and 13th.

Alguersuari, the better placed of the two drivers at the flag, pitted twice and was the only points scorer to achieve that distinction. He’s also, in the last two races, managed to go out in Q1 and still finish eighth. Impressive stuff (and timely, given the fact that Ricciardo is going to get a drive at some point).

Given that, Buemi will be looking over his shoulder a touch more than he was a couple of races ago. The team won’t mind that one bit.

Badger’s Best: Alguersuari

Force India

  • Qualifying: Sutil (10th) di Resta (12th)
  • Race: Sutil (9th) di Resta (14th)


sutilSutil’s race in Valencia was a study in putting together a solid weekend and not doing anything mental.

After managing to out qualify di Resta for only the second time this season, he was fast during the race and stopped at the right time, managing to push all the way through and ended up in ninth. There’s not really that much more to say than that. Will it be enough to keep him in a seat next season?

di Resta endured an altogether more troubling weekend. Hulkenberg managed to bin his car in practice resulting in only a few laps of running. Then, to top it off, he stopped a couple of laps too late during the race, after his tyres were well and truly shot. A case of not quite, but nearly.

Badger’s Best: Sutil


  • Qualifying: Heidfeld (9th) Petrov (11th)
  • Race: Heidfeld (10th) Petrov (15th)


heidfeldLet’s be honest, the only interesting things to happen to Renault cars during the race were:

a) Heidfeld being passed by Sutil at the start, passing him back and then being repassed. None of which were tremendously exciting.

b) Petrov having a dreadful start, which completely ruined his race.

c) Schumacher exiting the pits and hitting (albeit not heavily) Petrov.

More broadly, Renault will be pleased to have scored a point given their lack of performance. From ninth and eleventh on the grid, they must have expected more. In fact, hold on a second, Eric Boullier, Renault team principal, said exactly that: “given where we qualified, we were looking for a lot more from today’s race. P9 and P11 on the grid is enough to have a really competitive race“.

Badger’s Best: Heidfeld


  • Qualifying: Kobayashi (14th) Perez (16th)
  • Race: Perez (11th) Kobayashi (16th)


perezYou can always guarantee that no matter how many stops other drivers/teams make, Sauber will be making fewer. So it was in this race, with Perez making one (yes, that’s ONE) stop and Kobayashi making two.

It very nearly paid off too, with Perez just outside the points, even though he was nearly five seconds a lap of the pace at one stage. Mad.

Sauber will have been glad to have had the young Mexican back in the car – you don’t want de la Rosa hanging around for too long, do you? After last season’s debacle, Sauber have really got their act together this year. Having Kobayashi in the car helps too – if he doesn’t get a top drive in the next few years, there are going to be a lot of disappointed people. Mostly us at Badger, it must be said.

Badger’s Best: Perez

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