Well, that was delightfully mental wasn’t it? After faffing around for an age with safety cars, the rain and seemingly endless driver canvassing they finally got going and provided some sort of race. While it was fairly exciting, we can’t help but feel that given the conditions it should have been more exciting. Controversial? Let us know below…
- Qualifying: Alonso (3rd) Massa (6th)
- Race: Alonso (1st) Massa (3rd)
It’s all going Ferrari’s way at the moment. Alonso, in a stat that speaks as much to the frailties of the Red Bulls as the Spaniard’s skill and speed, has won four of the last seven races.
His victory in Korea was, may we say, more than a touch fortunate, and was based largely upon being able to a) stay on the track, b) not have mechanical problems and c) Lewis Hamilton’s inability to find any real pace in his car.
His only real problem during the race was when a rogue wheel nut made a burst for freedom during his pitstop, allowing Lewis Hamilton through into a (then) second place. As it was, the problem was swiftly remedied by the Briton running wide at turn one after one of the many safety car interludes. To be honest, we at Badger think he would have got Hamilton anyway – he was simply a lot faster.
Massa’s race was just, well, a bit dull. He started sixth, three people fell off the track, so he finished third. Simple. He’s probably doing just about enough to deserve to keep his seat.
Badger’s best: Alonso
- Qualifying: Hamilton (4th) Button (7th)
- Race: Hamilton (2nd) Button (12th)
It’s one of our favourite F1 truisms that McLaren make the most of what they’ve got. However, this weekend’s success was more to do with other drivers Korea-ing off the track (see what we did there?) than any special strategy from the Woking team.
Hamilton had a) Webber crash in front of him b) Webber collide with Rosberg, also removing him from Hamilton’s path and c) Vettel’s engine explode. There comes a point where you realise that it’s simply your weekend, even though his car wasn’t up to much at all.
In a situation where he should have come into his own (and his desire to race was evident from the start) he simply couldn’t turn his enthusiasm into speed.
On the other side of the coin was the current World Champion, Jenson Button, who endured a simply rotten weekend. If Michael Schumacher had endured that sort of weekend, Eddie Jordan would have been retiring him before you could say “seven World Championships”. No grip, an inability to brake properly and Adrian Sutil going nuts all combined to make Button’s weekend one of his worst ever.
In a post race interview with the BBC, a clearly devastated Jenson admitted that his title hopes were as good as gone. It’s definitely time to throw his weight behind Hamilton; although we at Badger certainly wouldn’t begrudge him continuing to fight until it was mathematically impossible for him to retain his championship.
Badger’s best: Hamilton.
- Qualifying: Rosberg (5th) Schumacher (9th)
- Race: Schumacher (4th) Rosberg (ret)
Nico Rosberg’s race is quickly dealt with. Start, pass Hamilton, look quick, get hit by Webber, end up in wall. A real shame, as it promised so much more.
Schumacher, on the other hand, enjoyed the perfect storm. During the safety car period at the start of the main race, he was testing the limits of the track and generally looking alert. That’s the Schumacher we know and love respect.
After that, he passed a couple of cars and moved upwards as people dropped out. Solid without being spectacular, at least it felt like he was driving to the limits of the car and not within himself.
Unfortunately, that impression could have more than a little to do with Rosberg not being there by way of an easy comparison. Always beware those who look good when their team mates aren’t there.
Badger’s best: Schumacher
- Qualifying: Kubica (8th) Petrov (20th – after five place grid drop)
- Race: Kubica (5th) Petrov (ret)
In all honestly, the only time we remember seeing a Renault on the track during the race was the wreckage of Vitaly Petrov’s car strewn across the track by turn seventeen.
Apart from that, it’s hard to recall anything else (it was quite early on a Sunday morning, so cut us some slack).
Essentially, it was the same old story. Robert Kubica did well, preserved his tyres and was able to push on towards the end of the race to finish fifth. Even he didn’t want to race at the beginning which, given he looks like he’s got a touch of madness about him, we at Badger found surprising.
Everyone’s favourite Russian, Vitaly Petrov is developing a nice sideline as the master of positive spin. Here’s some of what he said at the end of the race:
I was in a strong position in P7 when I crashed. Of course, I am disappointed to end the race in the wall and not in the points, but it was encouraging to be running in the top ten.
Yes Vitaly, encouraging. After your team spent the entire afternoon trying to get you up from 20th position, I’m sure it’s of great satisfaction to them that you were “encouraged” by running in the top 10. Stop binning it into walls and then we might have more sympathy.
Badger’s best: Kubica