We turn now to the last part of Monza’s Hot Rod or Hot Dog – the Sleeping Dogs. How tremendously exciting.

Lotus

  • Jarno Trulli – Quali: 19th, Race: 14th
  • Heikki Kovalainen – Quali: 20th, Race: 13th

Not a bad race for Lotus overall; after qualifying towards the back of the grid there was a chance both drivers would have been affected by Liuzzi’s accident. However, both managed to avoid it, with Kovalainen even describing it as “hardcore”, which seems an odd choice of words to us.

After that he just moodled (yes, that’s right, moodled) round, coming home 13th. His freshly-contracted-for-2012 teammate, Jarno Trulli, sounded absolutely delighted after the race, even though he finished one spot behind his team mate, using words like “happy”, “excellent” and “fantastic”. It’s remarkable what a new contract will do, eh?

Next year will be a big year for Lotus. They’ve made a real step up from their first year and now they need to prove they can get in amongst the midfield. It seems only fair, after all the work he’s put in, that Jarno should be there to enjoy it if they do.

kovalainen

Badger’s Best: Kovalainen

Virgin

  • Timo Glock – Quali: 21st, Race: 15th
  • Jerome d’Ambrosio – Quali: 22nd, Race: DNF

An upgrade pack and some optimism for Virgin! They weren’t quite able to stick with Lotus during the race, but they were at least closer than they’ve been for a while. In other news, they think the upgrade will work even better in Singapore. Hold on to your hats.

It was a bit of a damp squib for Jerome d’Ambrosio, who managed to qualify below his team mate and then have his gearbox fail on the formation lap. All that effort, hope and expectation gone in a second.

Timo didn’t exactly sound delighted with it all, saying “the race today was okay, even though the car was a bit difficult to drive, which is a little disappointing after yesterday’s qualifying.” Roll on next year’s McLaren partnership.

glock

Badger’s Best: Glock

HRT

  • Tonio Luizzi – Quali: 24th, Race: DNF
  • Daniel Ricciardo – Quali: 23rd, Race: DNF

Ah, qualifying 23rd and 24th and then retiring.  Not one for the HRT scrapbooks.

Liuzzi managed to have his accident at the beginning of the race, which obviously scuppered him and a whole load of those around him. At least he apologised, “I am really sorry for Petrov, Rosberg and the other drivers who were forced to retire because of this.” Wasn’t that nice of him?

Ricciardo also had a tough time of it. Apparently the car went into anti-stall, then stuck in third gear and then, to top it all off the engine cut out. Ah.

That said, those plucky HRT engineers managed to get him out an running again, only for him to have an overheating issue. After another spell in the garage he was back up and running, finishing a mere 15 laps off the pace.

Badger’s Best: Ricciardo

 

Sauber

  • Kamui Kobayashi – Quali: 17th, Race: DNF
  • Sergio Perez – Quali: 15th, Race: DNF

Speaking of a weekend to forget for HRT, let’s take a brief moment to look at Sauber.

After qualifying way below where they would expect, they then managed to both have gearbox failures. Brilliant.

After a number of really good weekends in the middle part of the season, they need to make sure that Monza doesn’t define their end of season.

perez

Badger’s Best: Perez

Driver character graphics provided by Unlap – purveyors of BadgerGP T-Shirts and more motor-sport themed threads