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.

Sauber

  • Qualifying: Kobayashi (8th) Perez (12th)
  • Race: Perez (7th) Kobayashi (DNF)

 

perezAfter Kobayashi gave us all a scare in practice, he recovered well to make the best from other’s mistakes to stick it 8th on the grid. In fact, both Saubers looked solid throughout qualifying and the race.

Koba had the most exciting afternoon, being his turn as the car Michael Schumacher seems to try and remold his Mercedes front wing on each race. A routine visit to the pits then became a bit hairy when the lollipop man’s trigger finger got itchy, being released into the path of Maldonado. An oil leak then put him out after 20-odd laps.

It was all smiles from the Mexican side of the Swiss garage. Preserving the tyres a la Button seems to be Perez’s specialty, and the rookie was nipping at Rosberg’s heels in the final laps. Ultimately, he had to settle for a gutsy 7th place. Nice one Checo.

Badger’s Best: Perez


Renault

  • Qualifying:  Petrov (14th) Heidfeld (16th)
  • Race: Heidfeld (8th) Petrov (12th)

 

heidfeldAll this talk of off-throttle blown diffuser exhaust gas nonsense – that’s the technical terms folks – meant that the Renault and it’s ground scorching peculiar exhausts were way off the pace at Silverstone. While Petrov merely had the excuse of rain affecting his qualifying, the weakness of Quick Nick in terms of one lap pace struck again.

Come Sunday, and the canny experience of the German came into play in the wet section of the race, negotiating traffic well and climbing up the order. The Russian on the other hand…didn’t. No pace in the wet, no pace in the dry, and an excuse of not being able to overtake in the crucial DRS zone (which if you can’t do, there really is something wrong) meant it was simply another lacklustre weekend from Vitaly. He didn’t even throw it off the track to entertain us. He truly is a changed man.

Badger’s Best: Heidfeld

Toro Rosso

  • Qualifying: Alguersuari (18th) Buemi (19th)
  • Race: Alguersuari (10th) Buemi (DNF)

 

alguersuariWhat is it with Toro Rosso and their yo-yo type weekends? You’d be fooled into thinking that the little Italian outfit have come up with a daring strategy of just ballsing up qualifying just to have fresh tyres for all of Sundays race. Credit to them, it seems to work. Slightly.

Jaime gets the prize this week, making the most of a strong tw0-stopper that was slightly hampered by not having enough speed to overtake Heidfeld, and then a recovering Schumacher. That’s three straight points finishes for the young Spaniard, which will obviously look good when the end-of-season culling for Daniel Ricciardo may – or may not – happen.

Buemi’s run of poor weekends continues. He was running in the packed midfield for a time until a nasty encounter with Paul Di Resta’s front wing cost him a shredded rear tyre. The momentum’s shifted Sebastian, keep looking over that shoulder.

Badger’s Best: Alguersuari

Force India

  • Qualifying: di Resta (6th) Sutil (11th)
  • Race: Sutil (11th) di Resta (15th)

direstaHome race hero Paul stunned many to plonk his Force India in 6th on Saturday. Just to recap, that’s seven times in nine races he’s beaten his more experienced teammate Sutil. That’s 77%. At this rate there may be a champagne glass incident heading the young Scot’s way. Allegedly.

Paul (love the fact there’s an F1 driver with that name) kept it steady through the damp period of the race to be 7th when the second stops came about, only to find that the team were waiting for Sutil, after the German suffered a puncture. The resulting delay bogged him in the midfield, which obviously got his blood pressure up as he nerfed Buemi at Luffield. An otherwise good debut peppered with a few mistakes – not all his own – meant 15th was the best he could do.

Adrian Sutil ran three stops and fell behind the likes of Heidfeld and Alguersauri because of this, crossing the line where he started in 11th. In terms of consistency Sutil was good, but the blistering pace Paul showed on Saturday, the Scotsman sneaks it. Seriously Paul, watch out for flutes of the glass kind.

Badger’s Best: di Resta

 

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