- Qualifying: di Grassi (21st) Glock (22nd)
- Race: Glock (14th) di Grassi (DNS)
It’s something of a weekend when you manage to out qualify your much more experienced team mate and still look like a muppet.
Step forward a Mr. Lucas di Grassi who, on his way to the grid for the race, was going round the 130R corner and managed to lose control. It looks, to our untrained eye, like he got off line, on the kerb and it snapped the car away from him and into the barrier.
He hasn’t been up to much at all this season and we at Badger wouldn’t want to jump up and down on the poor guy, laughing at his mistake (the silence from Virgin on any mechanical issue would certainly seem to indicate it was driver error). Instead, we’ll just say that we wouldn’t bank on having to write this column about him next year, that’s all.
Glock continued to impress, finishing fourteenth after pitting early to change his soft tyres. He was trapped behind Yamamoto for much of the race, which is surely a place no one ever, ever wants to be.
Badger’s best: Glock
- Qualifying: Senna (23rd) Yamamoto (24th)
- Race: Senna (15th) Yamamoto (16th)
One of the only times this season that HRT haven’t propped up HRHD, so for that they deserve some praise. Only a little though, and not for very long.
Senna drove to his best race result this season which, while nice, doesn’t exactly mean much. He kept going, others fell off, he gained places. Simple.
Yamamoto enjoyed his time in front of his home crowds (he would say that), but ended up finishing as the last runner. Ah well, better luck next time Sakon.
More broadly, both drivers continue to be shown up by Christian Klien’s drive last time out in Singapore. To step into a car and beat Senna by over a second in qualifying just proves that it’s not only the car that’s wonky in the weird and wonderful world of Hispania racing.
Badger’s best: Klien (yes, this is deliberate, so don’t go complaining)
- Qualifying: Sutil (15th) Liuzzi (17th)
- Race: Sutil (ret) Liuzzi (ret)
Very similar to Singapore in a lot of respects. Not fast enough and not lucky enough.
Qualifying in 15th and 17th must seem a long way from the heady days of regular Q3 appearances for the team and indicates that development has already shifted to next year’s car. It’s if it hasn’t that they’ve got problems.
During the race, Liuzzi was unlucky to be on the receiving end of Felipe Massa’s out of control Ferrari, describing it as “com[ing] into my side like a bullet”. A bit overly dramatic we think, but we know what he means.
Sutil managed to go round until nine laps from the end before his engine decided that no, it didn’t want to go any further and clapped out. He could probably have parked it out on the circuit rather than dropping oil all the way back to the pits but, hey ho, it didn’t matter to the team, did it? At least they got to pack up early and, well, do whatever F1 teams do once a race is finished. Retreat to the underground lair, perhaps?
Badger’s best: Sutil
- Qualifying: Kubica (4th) Petrov (13th)
- Race: Kubica (ret) Petrov (ret)
For another one of F1’s new boys trying to make sure he has a seat next season, this weekend wasn’t the greatest advertisement for his talents.
After starting well down the grid in thirteenth Petrov managed to crash into Nico Hulkenberg’s Williams at the start. Adding further insult to injury, he was also awarded a five-place grid penalty for Korea when the stewards decided that yes, it probably was his fault. It doesn’t get any better does it? Erratic doesn’t even begin to describe it.
Kubica, on the other hand, was his usual brilliant self. Fourth in qualifying and promoted after Hamilton’s gearbox shenanigans, he got ahead of Webber at the start and looked set to make the race very interesting. Until, that is, his wheel flew off. Always a drag when that happens, isn’t it? It seems like the wheel gun may have been at fault, but it’s still not a great reason for retiring. He deserves better.
Badger’s best: Kubica