Our first foray into the fast and not-so-fast of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts at the sharp end of the grid – otherwise known as the Top Dogs.

McLaren

  • Lewis Hamilton: Quali – 2nd, Race – 1st
  • Jenson Button: Quali – 3rd, Race – 3rd
hamiltonA return to form for Lewis Hamilton? Or was it?Without Sebastian Vettel past the second corner and with Jenson Button struggling with KERS, as well as Fernando Alonso driving out of his skin to keep himself anywhere close to the McLaren, it should have been a stroll in the park. And, in the end, it was.

A very good performance in qualifying followed by an error-free race was just what the doctor ordered for the newly single Englishman. Let’s hope Brazil proves to be as controversy free.

His teammate endured an ok but slightly frustrating time of it. Not as fast as Hamilton all weekend and hampered in the race by a dodgy KERS, it was never going to be a classic weekend for the newly-moustached Jenson Button.

For shame. That facial hair deserved a podium step all of its own.

Badger’s Best: Hamilton

Ferrari

  • Fernando Alonso: Quali – 5th, Race – 2nd
  • Felipe Massa: Quali – 6th, Race – 5th

alonsoA fantastic performance from Fernando Alonso. Simply superb. It’s really only a shame he wasn’t rewarded for such efforts with a race victory. From lights to flag he drove beautifully and kept Hamilton honest.

Regarded by many, including Badger’s own Jimmy von Weeks, as the most complete (and therefore best) driver in F1, Alonso went a long was to proving it in Abu Dhabi. Without stating the obvious, he needs a quick car…well, quickly…or he and his Ferrari team may suffer as everyone else did in the Schumacher years. He deserves better.

Felipe Massa. What to say. He did alright, without being spectacular. A stupid spin didn’t come as too much of a shock and, were he not to have accepted so completely his number 2 driver status, we think Ferrari would be looking for someone new to partner Alonso. He’s not even doing much as a wing man.

He’ll be hoping for some home comforts next time out at Interlagos. Although probably not the sort provided in 2008.

Badger’s Best: Alonso

Red Bull

  • Sebastian Vettel: Quali – 1st, Race – DNF
  • Mark Webber: Quali – 4th, Race – 4th

webberWe’re not writing about Sebastian Vettel at the top of this page. Odd.

Anyway, that aside, it seems logical to assume that barring his tyre failure he would have either won or been very close to winning. However, seeing as he lasted about 10 seconds in the race, we’re not going to talk about him that much. Fair? Fair.

So it is that we come to Mark Webber, who seems to have been given some sort of slow pill this season. He hasn’t done too much wrong – it’s just he hasn’t been fast enough to do anything. At all.

Whether it’s his age (doubtful), his place in the team (possible) or his mental state after watching his young team mate dominate this season’s early races (possible), it’s clear something isn’t right. You don’t go from being very fast to not that fast in four months. That said, he seems to have managed it.

It’s all just very sad. We like Mark Webber. A lot.

Badger’s Best: Webber

Mercedes

  • Nico Rosberg: Quali – 7th, Race – 6th
  • Michael Schumacher: Quali – 8th, Race – 7th
rosbergThere’s just not too much to say. At all. They’re fine. They’re not really competing with too many other teams. None, in fact. They’re just pootling along in their own little “not quite as good as the top 3, not as bad as everyone else” zone.

Schumacher’s been more competitive recently and Rosberg beat him this time. There was a mildly diverting ding-dong at the start, but nothing much beyond that. Michael got beyond Nico, who then took the place back. Stop the front page!

Please be a little better or a little worse next season. It’s a bit boring otherwise.

Badger’s Best: Rosberg