- Qualifying: Sutil (14th) Liuzzi (17th)
- Race: Liuzzi (6th) Sutil (ret)
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first. After a seriously dodgy qualifying session for, well, both the drivers actually, the race got a lot better for one of them.
Liuzzi’s seventeenth place seemed to confirm that he was in for yet another horrible weekend. He was, in fact, meant to start eighteenth, but was promoted a place after Petrov’s penalty. Going out with the new teams at this stage of the season is not ok, has never been ok and will never be ok.
After that, he drove sensibly and tidily to sixth place, taking advantage of pit stops and mistakes by other drivers. The problem is that he’ll probably go back to being woefully inconsistent for the last couple of races.
Now, onto the real Force India story of the weekend, the return of the loon that is Adrian Sutil, who decided he should crash into/wildly swerve towards any car that got near him.
Apparently he had a problem with his brakes. Far be it from Badger to doubt that explanation, but we feel that simply pressing the brakes too late doesn’t count as a ‘problem’ per se.
Anyway, while it was nice to see Sutil returning to his barmy roots, he managed to do so on a weekend where Liuzzi looked at least vaguely competent, as well as incur a fine and a penalty for next time out in Brazil. Vijay Mallya described it as “not do[ing] himself justice”. Fair.
Badger’s best: Liuzzi
- Qualifying: Barrichello (10th) Hulkenberg (11th)
- Race: Barrichello (7th) Hulkenberg (10th)
A good, solid run for both Williams drivers today, sadly undermined by tyre problems towards the end of the race.
Essentially, in the last few laps Barrichello’s rear tyres said “no” and gave up the ghost, meaning he slipped back two positions into seventh.
Hulkenberg had a similar, but more immediate problem, with a slow puncture meaning he had to pit, dropping back from sixth to eleventh. A spirited performance after that (as well as having a top speed advantage and new tyres) allowed him to pass the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari on the last lap.
All in all, it could have been worse, but it also could have been a whole lot better. Chin up lads, everyone loves Brazil.
Badger’s best: Barrichello
- Qualifying: Kobayashi (12th) Heidfeld (13th)
- Race: Kobayashi (7th) Heidfeld (8th)
A race defined by early pit stops for both drivers, neither of which really worked out. Getting stuck in traffic and ending up having to trail round at the end with shredded tyres is not our idea of good strategy.
Heidfeld had a fun (if not absolutely terrifying) duel with Adrian Sutil that seemed to last the whole race, a competition made all the more ‘interesting’ by the fact that Heidfeld couldn’t really see out of his mirrors. Probably for the best, all things considered.
Kobayashi also had an encounter with the runaway Force India, thankfully without sustaining any serious damage.
To go from where they were earlier in the season to being able to make slightly dodgy tyre calls and still finish both cars in the top ten shows just how far they’ve come. The addition of Nick Heidfeld to the team has had a real effect and begs the question of why the switch wasn’t made earlier.
Badger’s best: Heidfeld
- Qualifying: Alguersuari (15th) Buemi (16th)
- Race: Alguersuari (11th) Buemi (ret)
To be honest, there’s not much to say about Toro Rosso this weekend.
Buemi went on a mini Sutil run and bashed into a couple of people, passing a number and then eventually ending with a terminal accident for both him and Timo Glock. The Virgin driving German seemed less than impressed with the Swiss afterwards, saying “It’s just a huge shame that we couldn’t finish the race and all because of the mistake made by Buemi. It just seemed that he was all over the place.” Ouch.
Alguersuari had an altogether more productive weekend, out qualifying his team mate handsomely and then nearly finishing in the top 10. It’s still not anywhere near ideal to be out of the points with so many other cars retiring but, you know, it’s something.
More broadly, we at Badger feel as though we don’t really have any handle on the young Spaniard – he’s not an easy driver to pigeonhole.
Badger’s best: Alguersuari