The eagle-eyed amongst you may well have realised that this week’s HRHD is structured somewhat differently. Ever the innovators at Badger, we’ve decided to split up the piece for your reading comfort so, instead of the article arriving in one huge mass of pleasure, we’ll be drip feeding it to you over the next few days.
Let us know what you think of this innovative and sparkling new method…
- Qualifying: Vettel (1st) Webber (2nd)
- Race: Webber (1st) Vettel (7th)
The racing had to take a back seat this weekend, as Red Bull’s two drivers and the team managed to cause a huge scene by being, quite frankly, idiots.
Dominant in qualifying and the race, the real story of the weekend was the Tale of Two Front Wings. Practice 3 saw Vettel’s front wing decide it didn’t really fancy being stuck to the front of his car (after all, that’s what all the other front wings were doing…how dull) and partly fall off.
Now, seeing as this was one of only two new front wings Red Bull had available and the only other one was on Webber’s car, some bright spark thought it would be a good idea to move the wing from Webber to Vettel. Cue deep and profound anger from Webber and a lot of pointless self-justification from Red Bull. If there were two front wings prior to the weekend and one broke, then having to choose between the drivers would be difficult enough. However, to take the wing off one driver’s car and move it over to the others is ridiculous.
All of that just made Webber’s burst off the line, past Vettel, into the lead and waltz to victory more satisfying. The fact Vettel then got a puncture and had his race ruined was a not too unpleasant side effect. Is Vettel as bad as Red Bull? Did he actively encourage the switch? We’re not sure – let us know what you think below.
Badger’s best: Webber
- Qualifying: Hamilton (4th) Button (14th)
- Race: Hamilton (2nd) Button (4th)
Not the perfect home GP for the McLaren team, but what’re you supposed to do when another team are simply so much faster?
Hamilton had the upper hand on Button all weekend, something that’s no longer a growing trend, but rather is a fully grown fact. Over the last few races Hamilton has looked, and been, faster than the current World Champion.
Another problem for Button, although a nice one to have we concede, is that he’s got very good at salvaging races expertly, which tends to paper over the rather large qualifying cracks. Another poor performance meant that he was always facing a hard task in the race, but it was one he performed, as ever, with aplomb. Is it that he can’t set up the car as well or as quickly as Hamilton, or simply that he’s being outraced? Answers on a postcard…
Well done to Hamilton for staying with Webber for as long as possible and for being the divine instrument responsible for puncturing Vettel’s tyre, but until McLaren find a bit more pace on a Saturday he’s going to find it hard to win without more Red Bull mistakes.
Badger’s best: Hamilton
- Qualifying: Rosberg (5th) Schumacher (10th)
- Race: Rosberg (3rd) Schumacher (9th)
The worm has turned. Rosberg is back on top, merely cementing that fact over the course of the race. Schumacher, by contrast, still looks off the pace both in terms of raw speed and race craft.
A podium finish for Rosberg (albeit helped by Vettel’s puncture and Alonso’s poor getaway) has to be counted as a great result, especially in terms of how fast their car actually looks. There wasn’t really that much to report for Nico from the race or qualifying – he’s done well, simple as that.
We don’t really want to spend any more time than is absolutely necessary going over old ground, but Schumacher’s looking off the pace. The manner in which he reacted to Jake Humphrey’s question during their “drive-in” interview on the BBC coverage suggested that, not only is he sick of the questions about his performance and future, but that he’s also acquiring quite a defensive posture on it all. Given that a racing seat with a) big manufacturer backing and b) Ross Brawn in charge is at stake, he must be feeling the pressure. Seeing him mugged towards the end for a couple of positions just wasn’t right – it’s like watching your Dad dance like he did thirty years ago.
Badger’s best: Rosberg
- Qualifying: Barrichello (8th) Hulkenberg (13th)
- Race: Barrichello (5th) Hulkenberg (10th)
Barrichello’s on a roll. Not only is he beating his young team mate handsomely, he’s also managed a fourth and a fifth place in two consecutive races. Not bad. Not bad at all.
The team really seem to have improved the car massively. From being on the outskirts of the top 10 on a good day, they’ve managed to force themselves upwards into the “take advantage of any of the big three/four teams making a mistake” slot. Let’s just hope they can keep the pace of development up, as to see a Williams on the podium would be a Job Well Done.
Hulkenberg, if we’re honest, continues to disappoint. Perhaps it was the hype, perhaps it’s the fact Willi Weber is his agent but, whatever it was, he’s not living up to it. We imagine he’ll stay at the team next season as he’s not yet proven himself good enough to progress to a top team and Williams kept a similarly young Rosberg around for a while when he wasn’t exactly convincing.
Badger’s best: Barrichello
Parts two, three and Driver of the Day to follow…