Hot rod or hot dog

Badger’s series of team and driver analysis: The Top Dogs, the Chasing Dogs and the Sleeping Dogs…

The second part of this week’s Hot Rod or Hot Dog sees us taking a look at the midfield runners from Germany.

Still the best of friends? credit: LAT/Autosport

Mercedes

  • Qualifying: Rosberg (9th) Schumacher (11th)
  • Race: Rosberg (8th) Schumacher (9th)

A team now going backwards at quite a lick, it seems clear Mercedes have begun to focus on next year’s car to the detriment of this year’s model. From talking of the “big four” teams at the beginning of the year, we’re now down to the “big three”, with Mercedes not even certain of having the fourth quickest car on the grid any more.

At the home race for both Schumacher and Rosberg, both drivers were fairly evenly matched again, but it’s the younger of the two who continues to get more out of the car. What was Schumacher’s rustiness has now developed into his lack of testing time, rather than perhaps the more obvious answer that Rosberg is quicker.

On a completely different note, Rosberg will be hoping that they get it right next year. If he was going to trundling around in the midfield, he may as well have stayed at Williams.

Badger’s best: Rosberg

Sauber

  • Qualifying: Kobayashi (12th) de la Rosa (14th)
  • Race: Kobayashi (11th) de la Rosa (14th)

A frustrating race for Kamui Kobayashi by his own account. However, we at Badger see this as a positive sign for both him and the team. Frustration implies a hope of better things; something in very short supply earlier in the season.

Both drivers complained about the tyres after the race, remarking on the lack of grip offered when the car was fully fueled. However, both then had quite separate moans. Kamui was left to bemoan the car’s lack of top speed while fighting with Schumacher and Petrov, while Pedro was looking good for a very racy end to the Grand Prix after coming in for soft tyres close to the end. However, it all fell apart a bit when he was lapping Heikki Kovalainen, who closed the door on him while being lapped, leaving Pedro to come into the pits for a change of front wing with the knowledge his afternoon was thoroughly wrecked.

Overall, Kobayashi was quicker again, as expected. He’s cementing his place for next season (if sponsorship money hadn’t already done that) and putting Pedro under pressure. Just how cheap can he be?

Badger’s best: Kobayashi

Williams

  • Qualifying: Barrichello (8th) Hulkenberg (10th)
  • Race: Barrichello (12th) Hulkenberg (13th)

Another team who’ve made a large leap forward in recent races, but who slipped into bad old habits in Germany. It’s all very well starting in the top 10, but if you can’t stay there it rather defeats the point of being there in the first place.

Let’s start with the good. Two cars in the top ten is a result, if not a massive result in fact. Even Hulkenberg got himself in there.

Now, the not so good. Both drivers’ races were spoiled by their starts and, having lost track position, the car was quick enough to keep up but not to pass. That said, you’d have to have been driving a rocket ship to pass at Hockenheim, so we at Badger wouldn’t feel too sorry for yourselves, chaps. On another note, Hulkenberg described the race as “uneventful”. You’re telling us, Nico.

Badger’s best: Barrichello

Toro Rosso

  • Qualifying: Alguersuari (15th) Buemi (16th)
  • Race: Alguersuari (15th) Buemi (ret.)

Quite an interesting race for the Toro Rosso team, all things considered.

Having seen some of the bigger teams get involved with scraps between the drivers, Alguersuari and Buemi obviously wanted some of the action. It’s probably best we let the drivers tell it in their own words:

JA: “I was on the inside going into Turn 6 and I braked well leaving enough space, but there seemed to be some problems in front of me, as the cars ahead all slowed much more than is normal. I braked again, but it was not enough and I drove into him [Buemi]. Naturally, I am sorry for that.”

SB: “I made a really good start and was able to pass three or four cars and then when we came to the hairpin, I was braking in the middle of the corner and my team-mate came from a long way back and ended up driving onto the top of my car.”

As you can see, a slight difference of interpretation. What they really needed to do was both go out and have some fisticuffs – that would have made it a lot more interesting. They’re both in helmets after all, so we at Badger think it would have been fine. A tip for next time, lads.

After all of that nonsense, Jaime trailed round to finish fifteenth. Needless to say he’s now “looking forward” to Hungary and doubtless having someone taste his food.

Badger’s best: Alguersuari