We turn to the midfield runners now as HRHD runs into its second part…
- Qualifying: de la Rosa (9th) Kobayashi (12th)
- Race: Kobayashi (6th) de la Rosa (ret)
After being really quite nasty about Sauber earlier in the season, we have to confess their recent showings have much better, no, scrap that, very impressive. Both cars in and around the top 10 in qualifying and a strong race showing – whatever James Key’s done since taking over, it’s really worked. Hopefully the sponsors will now get on board for next season.
Kobayashi, after his great performance in Valencia and, most importantly, his Hot Rod prize, really performed well again to take a richly deserved sixth place, helped by the safety car and Alonso’s penalty. He’s really come into his own in recent weeks, displaying both speed and calmness in equal measure. It turns out he likes playing it cool as well, saying after the race that he “didn’t find it especially hard, [and] didn’t even sweat.” Alright for some, eh?
Unfortunately for de la Rosa, especially after his ninth place in qualifying, his race rather fell apart (quite literally in fact) when he was hit by Adrian Sutil and proceeded to drop bits of his car all over the circuit. Not ideal and led to the end of his Silverstone adventure.
Badger’s best: Kobayashi
- Qualifying: Sutil (11th) Liuzzi (20th – including a five place grid drop)
- Race: Sutil (8th) Liuzzi (11th)
This is another interesting team mate battle that, half way through the season, has swung back and forth. Sutil’s got the upper hand at the moment but Liuzzi’s shown enough promise to make him think twice. We at Badger just aren’t sure whether it’ll be enough to keep him in his race seat next season, especially if Paul di Resta is able to bring some sponsorship money into the team.
A good weekend for Sutil, even though his strategy had to be changed. After starting on the hard tyres with the intention of doing a long stint, he found that they didn’t hold up very well, so he came in for softs and really struggled for the last ten laps of the race or so. He managed to demonstrate yet again that he’s difficult to get past – even Vettel in the far quicker Red Bull wasn’t able to find a way through till the last lap.
Liuzzi’s race was spoilt on Saturday after his penalty for blocking Hulkenberg, although he seemed manically happy after the race, saying how much the enjoyed it and felt like he could have got into the points.
Badger’s best: Sutil
- Qualifying: Buemi (16th) Alguersuari (17th)
- Race: Buemi (12th) Alguersuari (ret)
Another race in which Alguersuari qualified between 15th and 18th (that’s eight now, in case you were wondering). Going out with the new cars in Q1 isn’t cool. Just say no, Jaime, just say no. He’s very much a race day driver, whose 100% finishing record was brought to an abrupt halt at Silverstone after his brakes went. Not an ideal circuit for that to happen at either.
Buemi enjoyed a miserable time of it, coming out behind Liuzzi after the pit stops, getting stuck and graining his tyres. He was remarkably honest after the race, saying he thought a point would have been possible, but they just didn’t do a very good job. More of this honestly please. We like it.
Another interesting team mate battle here, and one which will be especially interesting as the season progresses. Look out for Alguersuari’s performances after Hungary – it’s where started last season.
Badger’s best: Buemi
- Qualifying: Kubica (6th) Petrov (15th)
- Race: Petrov (13th) Kubica (ret)
The first time Robert Kubica hasn’t finished a race this season and, therefore, the first time he’s been beaten by Petrov. It’s a bit of a hollow victory, but you know what, Vitaly will take what he’s given. Result.
He’s still treading, much to our chagrin, the well worn comment boards with things like “it’s good to have finished the race because it gives us lots of data and gives me more experience of the track”. Data Vitaly, yes, that’s why you’re there. Data. You’re really like one of those Google streetview cars, just trundling round collecting lots of nice data. Honestly. Unless he a) picks up in the second half of the season or b) finds another massive wedge of cash, he might find himself out of a seat next season.
Kubica, fresh from signing a new contract, retired after 19 laps with a driveshaft problem. Before he departed though, he was involved with Alonso in the main stewards’ controversy of the day, being passed by the Spaniard off the track, resulting in a penalty for the Ferrari man. Apart from that, there wasn’t much else of note. One small thing though Robert. Cheer up, you miserable bastard.
Badger’s best: Kubica
Part three and Driver of the Day to follow…