The final part of our driver analysis looks at the back end of the grid, known in these parts as the Sleeping Dogs. This week the regular cast are joined recurring special guest Williams.

Williams

  • Rubens Barrichello: Quali – 12th, Race – 14th
  • Pastor Maldonado: Quali – 18th, Race – DNF
We realise that it’s probably not top of his mind, but for Barrichello to finish what could be his final Grand Prix in Sleeping Dogs isn’t good. We wish it wasn’t so. We really do.

He’s been a reliable and, in parts, very very fast racer for nearly as long as this Badger’s been alive. That’s some achievement and, had he had a bit more luck along the way, he could have been World Champion. Imagine what it must feel like to a) have to be scrabbling around for a contract and b) driving that Williams. It’s not the ideal end to a career. At all. It’s been a season with two top ten finishes and not one top ten start. Awful.

The race itself started as so many have this season – with an absolutely dreadful start. To line up 12th and finish 14th (with, we should add, retirements further up) just goes some way to demonstrating how utterly wretched this year’s Williams has been. If it is the end, it’s a sorry end.

barrichello

Maldonado managed to go out in first qualifying for the fourth time this season. He then proceeded to have a silly spin after, in his own words, “losing control of the car”. Which we suppose is what a spin is. He’s not that great, although we suppose he might “do a Petrov” in his second season. Maybe.

Badger’s Best: Barrichello

Lotus

  • Heikki Kovalainen: Quali – 19th, Race – 16th
  • Jarno Trulli: Quali – 20th, Race – 18th

Lotus continue to operate in a strange no man’s land. Neither as bad as Virgin or HRT, but not quite as good as the majority of the midfield.

The BIG NEWS from this weekend was that they (well, Kovalainen) managed to finish above a Renault. The Renault had been given a drive-through, but still. Progress. Suffice it to say that next season will be a big test for the whole team.

Let’s hope we’re not seeing them in Sleeping Dogs too much.

kovalainen
Badger’s Best: Kovalainen

Virgin

  • Timo Glock – Quali – 24th, Race – DNF
  • Jerome D’Ambrosio: Quali – 23rd, Race – 19th

Look, do we have to? [ed – yes, you do. Now]

The triumph of low expectations? This is what D’Ambrosio had to say:
I think today was a great race and a great way to finish the season for me. We did a good job in qualifying yesterday and today was one of my best races so far.” He finished 19th and, if we are to believe basically everyone who’s ever seen an F1 car, let alone worked in the sport, he won’t be back next season.

dambrosio

Glock managed to star in his own little comedy routine, where the Virgin pit crew didn’t attach his left rear wheel properly, leading to his retirement. Ha! What larks!
Must try harder.
Badger’s Best: D’Ambrosio

HRT

  • Tonio Luizzi: Quali – 21st, Race – DNF
  • Daniel Ricciardo: Quali – 22nd, Race – 20th

We’ve become weirdly protective of HRT at the end of the season. Maybe it’s the fact this Badger is tired, or maybe it’s that we know they’re rubbish but that they’re not going anywhere, so we may as well get on board.

Let’s all revel in their rubbishness and hope that a) they get some money and b) they don’t run the same chassis next year.

That said, Pedro de la Rosa is not a choice that inspires much confidence.

Badger’s Best: Ricciardo