This edition of Hot Rod or Hot Dog is a touch behind schedule and may, we confess, be a bit light. It’s also been a bit of a collaboration, so thanks to Jimmy von Weeks and Craig Normansell.
- Qualifying: Alonso (3rd) Massa (4th)
- Race: Alonso (1st) Massa (5th)
Alonso: mega. Not much need to say a lot else, is there? Driver of the race and a very deserving winner of the British Grand Prix, Fernando’s first win in nine months was among his best. Is he best driver in F1 at the moment? We’re not here to debate that (but yes, he probably is).
Quickly on to team-mate Felipe Massa, who ran a solid but unspectacular race to come home fifth. It’s not that he isn’t trying (witness his last lap battle with Hamilton) it’s just that he isn’t quite quick enough to keep pace with Alonso. But then how many drivers would be doing a better job than Massa given that car? We don’t reckon you’d need more than one hand to count those who could. Felipe’s probably putting that car about where it belongs. He just suffers from the fact that Alonso ekes that little bit more from the red machine.
Badger’s Best: Alonso
- Qualifying: Webber (1st) Vettel (2nd)
- Race: Vettel (2nd) Webber (3rd)
It’s quite a thing when you finish second and third in a race and still come away with the vague sense you’ve not really done very well. Such is the rarefied air that those at Red Bull breathe these days.
After scrapping with Charlie Whiting about blown diffusers, the drivers then went and showed everyone that what really matters is what happens on the track. With Webber on pole and Vettel in second it was hard to feel too much sympathy for them or the team when they continued bleating.
This weekend also saw a slight shift in driver balance with Webber taking a very good pole. Although to be honest, if he was going to do it anywhere, it was going to be at Silverstone so it’s not quite the revelation it could have been. Nevertheless, an small step forwards.
Sadly, his run of form didn’t carry through into the race – Vettel passed Webber at the start and didn’t look back. Even though Vettel didn’t manage stand on the top step of the podium (shock horror! Stop the presses!), it was still very much business as usual in terms of race performance/finishing positions. Still some work to do, Mark.
Obviously the glaring omission from this discussion is the team orders. Sadly, there’s not really enough space to do it justice here, so we recommend you have a read of this. Essentially, Mark’s a number two driver. There, we said it.
Badger’s Best: Vettel
- Qualifying: Button (5th) Hamilton (10th)
- Race: Hamilton (4th) Button (DNF)
Not the home race McLaren had hoped for, though Lewis Hamilton’s fourth place at the flag was ultimately a very good result for the 2008 champ. Jenson Button meanwhile had a day to forget.
After a decent start that looked set to net a handful (though by no means a hatful – big difference) of points Button’s horrendous home race run continued with an unfastened wheel nut proving his downfall this year. What can possibly go wrong in 2012? We’re predicting he fails to even make the race due to exhaustion after engaging himself in one too many sponsors’ events.
Respect to Jenson for his early race dice with Massa though, a battle that proved the apparently mild-mannered Brit’s ability to get feisty when required.
Hamilton gave it his all, getting a great start and later passing eventual winner Alonso. He also fought of Vettel with great determination and gave no quarter to the faster car of Massa at the death. All in all fourth was as much – in fact perhaps a little more – as he could have achieved at Silverstone, and Lewis should be praised for his performance.
Badger’s Best: Hamilton
- Qualifying: Rosberg (9th) Schumacher (13th)
- Race: Rosberg (6th) Schumacher (9th)
Another weekend of loneliness for Mercedes: too fast for the midfield, too slow for the frontrunners. Rosberg qualified well but got a poor start to plummet down the pack. From there he steadily worked his way back towards the front. Sixth wasn’t a poor finish for the team, just average.
Another messy incident for Schumacher, who slithered in to the rear of Kamui Kobayashi’s early on. He then switched to slicks – thus informing the rest of the field that dry rubber was the way to go – but was hit with a ten second stop-go penalty (one he couldn’t serve post-chequered flag). His pace thereafter was good, allowing him to climb to ninth, but after his stellar start he should really have been on a par with Rosberg.
Badger’s Best: Rosberg
Driver character graphics provided by Unlap.