The final part of the best and worst in Belgium concludes with the slowest of the slow – known at Badger as the Sleeping Dogs.

Lotus

  • Jarno Trulli – Quali: 19th, Race: 14th
  • Heikki Kovalainen – Quali: 17th, Race: 15th

trulliJarno Trulli was weirdly giddy following the Belgium Grand Prix: “For me and the whole team that was a really good race,” the Italian gushed. “Racing like this, with no problems and with a car I can fight with all afternoon is very satisfying.”

Yes, Jarno is a happy boy now that his power-streering issues are sorted and he’s keen to let the world – and the team, who he’s hoping will give him a new contract – know it.

An opening lap clash with team-mate Heikki Kovalainen was more damaging for the Finn than Trulli, and despite his floor being a bit out of whack Jarno ran a steady race – even scrapping with Senna’s Renault at one stage – to finish 14th. Decent going.

Kovalainen’s moment in the sun came in qualy as he scraped past di Resta to make it in to Q2. He could do no better than 17th but it’s another chink of light at the end of the tunnel. His race was compromised by the turn one clash, which cost him his nosecone, but after a pitstop he was able to climb back to 15th: behind Trulli, ahead of the Virgins and Liuzzi’s HRT. Again, not too shabby

Badger’s Best: Trulli

Virgin

  • Timo Glock – Quali: 20th, Race: 18th
  • Jerome d’Ambrosio – Quali: 21st, Race 17th

dambrosioOur only real glimpse of the Virgin team during the Belgian Grand Prix came when Timo Glock ploughed up the inside of turn one and in to Paul di Resta’s Force India. We can just about forgive Bruno Senna for doing the same thing – he’s not raced in close to a year – but Timo’s an old pro. We were a little surprised at his gigantic over ambition.

Action-wise that was about it, really. Glock took a drive-through that left him behind local(ish) lad d’Ambrosio, who can take plenty of cheer from finishing his home race ahead of his team-mate. Yes he was 17th, but when you’re at the wrong end of the grid you can’t be picky. Well done to him.

It’s all a bit irrelevant anyway. The 2011 car is well and truly in the bin now: all focus is on 2012 and that can’t-come-soon-enough technical hook-up with McLaren.

Badger’s Best: d’Ambrosio

HRT

  • Tonio Luizzi – Quali: 22nd, Race: 19th
  • Daniel Ricciardo – Quali: 23rd, Race: DNF

liuzziThere’s not a great deal to say about HRT’s Belgian Grand Prix. They were slow on Saturday, registering the slowest two qualifying times to start 22nd and 23rd, and didn’t look much better in the race. That said Liuzzi was only one hundredth of a second shy of beating d’Ambrosio in qualifying, so hats off to the Italian for his effort.

In the grand prix Ricciardo’s car ground to a halt just as Lewis Hamilton was bouncing off the inside wall at Les Combes. HRT buried that bad news nicely. Meanwhile Liuzzi went around and around and around and around and around and around until the word ‘around’ had lost all meaning. And he finished last.

Not that we’re being negative. They’re still plugging away, gawd bless ’em, and Tonio’s even said he wants a contract extension in to 2012. It’s a tough job, but some jobbing Italian racing driver has to do it.

Badger’s Best: Luizzi

Toro Rosso

  • Jaime Alguersuari – Quali: 6th, Race: DNF
  • Sebastian Buemi – Quali: 11th, Race: DNF

alguersuariAs distressing nineties childrens’ entertainers The Chuckle Brothers used to say, ‘oh dear or dear.’ Not that the Toro Rosso lad were playing the part of bumbling odd job men with creepy moustaches this weekend: in fact, both were very good.

Well, Alguersuari was good in qualifying. His race lasted less than a lap thanks to Bruno Senna’s attempts to impersonate a snow plough. Jaime had qualified a heady sixth and then leapfrogged Mark Webber at the start. Seven seconds later his wheel was hanging off and he was creeping into retirement. Still, mega work in qualy for the youngster and he now looks least likely to make way for Ricciardo in 2012.

Buemi’s 11th spot in qualifying wasn’t as impressive as his house-music-loving team-mate’s effort, but the Swiss benefited from Jaime’s nightmare start to leap all the way to sixth in the early stages. That was ruined when he came together with Perez on lap five, an incident for which both men refuse to accept the blame. Seb was forced out, ruining what had looked like a magic weekend for the Italian outfit. Alguersuari takes home the Badger’s Best award for his seriously impressive qualifying performance.

Badger’s Best: Alguersuari

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