We complete our trawl through the runners and riders from the Canadian Grand Prix with a look at the tailenders, better know at Badger as the Sleeping Dogs.

Hispania

  • Qualifying: Liuzzi (21st) Karthikeyan (23rd)
  • Race: Liuzzi (13th) Karthikeyan (17th)

liuzziWhat did we see of Hispania this weekend? There was Felipe Massa slamming in to a wall whilst lapping one of their cars; we spied Colin Kolles looking skywards on the grid with a worried look on his face; and… that might have been it. We thought we saw someone wearing one of their caps in the crowd but actually it was an old BAR-Honda effort from Jacques Villeneuve’s days at the team. That sums it up in many respects.

But actually, dear reader, the Spanish outfit achieved something of a landmark in Montreal: their highest ever race finish. Okay, it was an unspectacular 13th, aided no end by the retirements of several cars in front of them, but it did involve finishing ahead of both Virgin cars and therefore leapfrogging the Anglo-Russian team in the constructors standings. Good work. I bet Kolles had a little cry afterwards, the soppy thing.

In fact Liuzzi had the legs on Glock and d’Ambrosio all weekend, out-qualifying both to lineup 21st on the grid. He’s doing a solid job for Hispania and with results like this may feel, rightly or wrongly, that they’re a good long-term project. Karthikeyan meanwhile continues to be kept in the shade by his team-mate, but he gets Badger points for perseverance. Break out the champers – it’s lucky 13 for HRT.

Badger’s Best: Liuzzi

Virgin

  • Qualifying: Glock (22nd) d’Ambrosio (24th)
  • Race: d’Ambrosio (14th) Glock (15th)

glockIt would appear then that Virgin have now slipped behind Hispania on pace. Montreal could have been a blip, but to be honest this has been coming for a while. Both cars qualified behind the Spanish squad’s machineS (d’Ambrosio fell outside 107% but was allowed to race as he’d totalled his car that morning and was using a new chassis) and whilst Glock did get ahead during the grand prix he eventually slipped back.

There will be some relief that they’re switching focus to their 2012 car as early as next month’s British Grand Prix, which will hopefully ensure a more competitive motor for their third season of competition. The niggling worry is this: will Glock, perhaps the biggest asset the Yorkshire-based outfit has, be around to drive it? It’s hard to believe he’s not shopping around for a new home following the troubled 18 months he’s endured at Virgin. He takes the Badger’s best award for one very simple reason: he is faster than d’Ambrosio.

Badger’s Best: Glock.

Lotus

  • Qualifying: Trulli (19th) Kovalainen (20th)
  • Race: Trulli (16th) Kovalainen (DNF)

trulliLotus are behind their 2010 vials this week, though that’s due to technical gremlins rather than pace: they were the best part of two seconds clear of Hispania and Virgin in qualy.

And it was in qualifying that Jarno Trulli finally outdid team-mate Heikki Kovalainen for the first time in 2011, leaving Felipe Massa and Narain Karthikeyan as the only men yet to outpace their stablemate’s on a Saturday afternoon. Just thought we’d throw that in there – nothing to do with having very little to say about Lotus this week.

Kovalainen slowed shortly after the restart and retired on lap 28. We’re told he then dried himself with a towel (size: medium; colour: beige) and changed in to more comfortable clothing. After a quick bite to eat he proceeded to watch the remainder of the race. It’s easy to forget that Jenson Button is driving the McLaren Heikki vacated 18 months ago.

Trulli meanwhile suffered brake problems and then ‘felt something moving around in the car’ (weird) forcing him to make an extra pitstop to allow the mechanics to investigate. The Italian team-mate he takes Badger’s Best. Enjoy ’em while you can, Jarno.

Badger’s Best: Trulli

Force India

  • Qualifying: di Resta (11th) Sutil (14th)
  • Race: di Resta (18th) Sutil (DNF)

direstaCanada was a miserable grand prix for the Silverstone-based team. Having looked set to enjoy his best weekend of the campaign (he wasmighty in practice) Paul di Resta reminded us all the that he’s still a rookie by running in to a Renault at the final hairpin, shattering his front wing and any hope of points. His race ended two laps from the flag, though he was classified 18th

Sutil was also in the wars, and further back in the pack, taking a drivethrough for passing Rosberg behind the safety car and then clouting the wall as he tried to make up ground. Game over.

Worryingly Force India have now slipped behind Toro Rosso in the constructors’ standings and find themselves a long way short of midfield kings Sauber. With Williams looking to be on the road to recovery Vijay Mallya’s team are at risk of finishing as the lowest ranked of the pre-2010 teams’. Improvement needed.

Badger’s Best: di Resta

 

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