Part 3 finds us at the wrong end of the grid with the new teams and Force India.
- Qualifying: Sutil (19th – including a five place grid penalty) Liuzzi (21st)
- Race: Liuzzi (16th) Sutil (17th)
This weekend was not what you’d call ideal. In fact, it was probably one of the worst race weekends Force India have ever had to endue. Just to give you a picture of their strife, here’s a brief breakdown of their problems.
Sutil was forced to sit out practice 3 on Saturday morning due to problems with his drivetrain, which then led to a gearbox change. This meant that even before qualifying he knew he was going to be docked five places. Then, during qualifying, Liuzzi managed to smash up his car fairly comprehensively, so qualified 21st. Sadly, it was only going to get worse (and considerably more embarrassing).
Come the race, the two team mates touched into the first corner, meaning Sutil didn’t make up any places and Liuzzi thought he’d damaged his front wing. They both then headed to the pits – Sutil for a change of tyres to get his stop out of the way and Liuzzi, unsurprisingly, for a new front wing.
Cue a mix up in the pits and one of Liuzzi’s super soft tyres was fitted to Sutils car. Cue another round of pitstops to correct the error and a referral to the stewards.
Badger’s best: Liuzzi
- Qualifying: Glock (23rd) di Grassi (24th)
- Race: Glock (18th) di Grassi (ret)
Another tale of woe for the Virgin team.
Glock managed to accrue a ten-place grid penalty in qualifying for changing the gear ratios. Really guys, how did you manage that? In the search for last place, he was only saved by his team mate not entering a lap in qualifying at all due to more gearbox problems.
The race was slightly more positive for young Lucas, making up four places at the start and generally being quite quick (relatively, anyway), until his suspension went. Cue yet another retirement.
Glock managed to get himself stuck behind Senna’s HRT until the pit stops and from then on maintained a steady if unspectacular pace. He made a very reasonable point after the race, saying he hopes the team “can find a way to get a smoother build-up over the weekend because it will make life a lot easier.” Never a truer word was spoken.
Badger’s best: Glock
- Qualifying: Senna (20th) Yamamoto (22nd)
- Race: Senna (19th) Yamamoto (ret)
It was decided this weekend that everyone’s favourite Indian driver (sorry Narain Karthikeyan…) should take a break, to allow Yamamoto to stay and Senna to return. They’re just going crazy at HRT, aren’t they?
Not a terribly exciting weekend. Bruno thought he did well in qualifying, but presumably would have still only beaten his team mate in normal conditions. He got a slow puncture during the race, but managed to finish. Yamamoto had problems with his gearbox and retired reasonably early on.
While they keep changing their drivers, it’s going to be hard to compare their respective pace. When we’ll start to take a proper interest is if/when Klien gets put in the car.
Badger’s best: Senna
- Qualifying: Trulli (17th) Kovalainen (18th)
- Race: Kovalainen (ret) Trulli (ret)
A mixed weekend for the Lotus team – a good performance by Trulli in qualifying (nearly a second faster than Kovalainen) was followed by another gearbox failure early in the race and another retirement.
Kovalainen didn’t really have much pace throughout the weekend, with his main contribution being thwacking de la Rosa as he was being lapped.
All that said, Lotus are still the quickest of the new teams by quite a margin.
Badger’s best: Trulli