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. With three German drivers and one team, we were tempted to call it Chasing Alsatians.

Mercedes

  • Qualifying: Rosberg (6th) Schumacher (10th)
  • Race: Rosberg (7th) Schumacher (8th)

rosbergHow can you talk about Mercedes without bringing up how mundane they were in Germany. Rosberg gets the nod thanks to his solid display of ruining Felipe Massa’s race – we learned this from Rob Smedley – and finishing ahead of his older teammate. Not too fast, not too slow. Just…there.

Schumacher, on the other hand, is slowly becoming a deft hand at being an above average midfield runner. This week’s attempt at destroying a Mercedes front wing didn’t materialise, despite dicing with his fast-becoming-nemesis Petrov early in the race. You could imagine the German marque’s mechanics wincing every time those two got close. A rookie like spin cost the elder racer a chance of getting in front of the young whippersnapper, and that’s really what divided them at the end. Solid, but oh so unspectacular.

Badger’s Best: Rosberg


Sauber

  • Qualifying: Perez (15th) Kobayashi (17th)
  • Race: Kobayashi (9th) Perez (11th)

perezYou just feel there isn’t a collective sigh when Kobayashi picks up one of the wooden spoons on offer and doesn’t get out of Q1. It means that the team has a fired up driver who wants to get up the grid as soon as the red lights go out, which is exactly what the got in Germany. 17th to 12th on lap 1, and a swift move on Barrichellp a few laps later pretty much sealed some points for the plucky Japanese driver. Excellent job, well done.

Sergio Perez though, fresh off the news he’d be allowed to play with a Ferrari later in the year, suffered a spin at the dreaded Turn 10 while chasing a Toro Rosso down. That’s three so far. A spirited fight back from 22nd, thanks to moving to a two-stopper, meant 11th was a great afternoon’s work, but KK gets the award thanks to those two shiny World Championship points.

Badger’s Best: Kobayashi


Renault

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

petrovDuring my childhood I remember a film called Vice Versa, a body swapping comedy starring Judge Reinhold and Fred Savage. And watching the Renaults on Sunday, you’d be tricked into thinking it was the F1 equivalent between Petrov and Heidfeld.

Let’s think back 12 months. If a Renault had a bit of argy-bargy on the first lap then crashed out while overtaking, you’d automatically think it was Vitaly. How times have changed for the Russian. Putting the car into Q3 and then doggedly holding off quicker cars – and Jenson Button – shows how far the man from Vyborg has come. And in essence, just how far back “Quick” Nick has fallen behind.

The trials and tribulations for Heidfeld continued, first with experimenting with a more radical exhaust system – which were ditched after Friday – and then playing catch up because of it. Being nudged out of qualifying by your teammate doesn’t help either. Probably because of these frustrations, Nick managed to take it out on Paul di Resta after a few turns and was cutting his way back through the field before Sebastian Buemi refused to see him and barged him off the track. Kudos for waving while skipping over the gravel at speed though, that’s a mean feat. Who would’ve thought Heidfeld would be the one to give way for a Bruno Senna Friday session? Madness.

Badger’s Best: Petrov


Toro Rosso

  • Qualifying: Alguersuari (16th) Buemi (24th)
  • Race: Alguersuari (12th) Buemi (15th)

alguersuariA weekend to forget for both Junior Red Bulls. And that’s with all seriousness – it was terrible. Jaime wins this by default to be honest, as there’s not much to mention bar the fact that he held of Perez and pressured him into a spin, and put the right lap times in to jump Maldonado’s Williams in the second round of stops. It’s a shame, as the young Spanish charger has been on a purple patch of late with points finishes.

As for Buemi; where do we start. An exclusion for irregular fuel wasn’t his fault, but squeezing Heidfeld off the track is inexcusable. Thankfully, the stewards thought the same and little old Sebastian has a five-place grid penalty to overcome next time out in Hungary. The only race Buemi is winning right now is who’s going to be kicked out for Daniel Ricciardo first at the team.

Badger’s Best: Alguersuari

 

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