Being as there were 24 cars on this year’s grid, and what with this being the 24th of December, we’ve selected a significant link between the 2010 season and each number between one and 24 – and a Badger article that covers it. This, ladies and gents, is the final door on Badger’s Advent Calendar – thanks a million for joining us for the epic 2010 F1 season and know that your presence is very much desired as we delve headfirst in to 2011.
1 is the number a very chuffed Sebastian Vettel will wear on his car next season following his world title triumph in Abu Dhabi. Read Badger’s almost instant reaction to the young German’s championship success here.
2 is for the two races Jenson Button won in his first season at McLaren. That’s two more than a lot of people predicted before the campaign got underway, and we reckon the 2009 champ can be pretty pleased with his first year at the Woking-based team. Read the Australian report here.
3 the number Michael Schumacher insisted on running for his not-so-storming F1 comeback. In fact following his attempts to put Rubens Barrichello in the wall at the Hungarian Grand Prix Badger decided it was time for the seven-time champ to hang up his helmet once more. Read our reaction here.
4 drivers raced for Hispania in 2010, and between them Karun Chandhok, Bruno Senna, Christian Klien and Sakon Yamamoto did enough to see the team credited with 11th in the constructors championship. It was good news for the likes of Badger too, as we had plenty of news to report on with the oh-so-frequent driver changes, our favourite being Sakon’s apparent food poisoning in Singapore. Cheers, lads!
5 is the number of times Fernando Alonso was on the podium over the final six races of 2010, one shy of what he needed to be champ. It was a season of extremes for the man F1 fans love to hate, with the controversy that followed his German GP victory producing equal column inches to the praise he received for his wins in Italy and Singapore.
6 is the number of ‘flyaway’ races F1 will visit at the end of next season. Six! Remember the days when the European season would end and be followed by one far-off event, perhaps in Japan or Australia? Those times have past – welcome to 20-race-season, (almost) global F1.
7 was the number of races Lewis Hamilton completed before winning his first Grand Prix of 2010 at round eight in Canada – though the Brit would still emerge as a genuine threat for the title. A pair of DNFs in Italy and Singapore effectively ended his challenge, but the McLaren man still entered the final race in with a shout. Badger did a spot of karting with Lewis and had a chat with him in 2010 as well, which was rather nice.
8 is the number Nico Rosberg will have on his Mercedes car next year, despite finishing well ahead of team-mate Michael Schumacher (who takes number seven) in the championship. It was an impressive year for Nico and one that hinted that – unlike the younger Hill, Villeneuve and Piquet F1 racers – he may prove superior to his old man. The highlight of his season? Being named Badger’s Top Dog for Bahrain, of course.
9 is the number of times Force India’s Adrian Sutil finished in the points this season, quite a step up from once in 2007 and 2009 and zero in 2008. Here’s what we said at the launch of the team’s 2010 challenger.
10 is the number of races Timo Glock finished in 2010, his best result coming with 14th in Japan. Nevertheless we can’t really think of a time when Timo put a foot wrong this season, and hope he’s able to scrap a bit further up the grid in 2011. His rather fantastic Virgin Racing team hosted Badger during the Silverstone weekend – check that out here.
11 was the number of times veteran Italian Jarno Trulli finished in 2010. The wine-loving Italian endured a tough season, suffering a glut of hydraulic problems with his Lotus car. But – thanks to a 12th place finish for team-mate Heikki Kovalainen in Japan – the team secured 10th in the constructors championship and both drivers will be back in what we expect to be a much better car next season. Read our views from inside the launch of their 2010 machine here.
12 was the turn at which Mark Webber ran wide during the Korean Grand Prix, subsequently ending up in the barriers, collecting Nico Rosberg and very much out of the race. It was a key moment in his world championship defeat, though we reckon that fractured shoulder played a big part to…
13 is the number F1 forgot and – as per usual – was not raced in 2010. Badger weighed in on the 13 debate as part of our Advent Calendar, and if you missed it why not check it out here. Triskaidekaphobes look away now.
14 is the number of races Sauber gave Pedro de la Rosa before showing the 39-year-old Spaniard the door and bringing in Nick Heidfeld. The only question that remains is this: why didn’t the Swiss team simply give Quick Nick the job in the first place? It’s irrelevant now, as the allegedly oh-so-mega Sergio Perez joins Kaumi Kobayashi for 2011.
15 is the position in which Felipe Massa finished at this year’s Brazilian Grand Prix – a miserable result in what was a miserable season for the 2008 championship runner-up. From being nailed by Fernando Alonso as they entered the pitlane in China to being forced to hand his victory to the Spaniard in Germany there were few bright spots for Felipe this year. Let’s hope 2011 brings him more to smile about, and perhaps a story from Badger. His 2010 was so quiet that we didn’t end up writing one…
16 is the age of Nabil Jeffri, the Malaysian hotshoe who became the youngest man EVER to test an F1 car when he got a run in the Lotus team’s machine back in September. Scary, we think you’ll agree. What’s next? 11-year-old Mick Schumacher trying out a Ferrari?
17 is the position in which Vitaly Petrov qualified for his very first Grand Prix back in Bahrain. From there the Russian had an inconsistent season, enjoying highs in Hungary and Abu Dhabi but also spending too much time in the gravel traps of the world. He’ll be back at Renault next season, but he’ll need to perform far better against Robert Kubica to prove that he’s not simply a cash cow for his team’s owners.
18 was the number of times everyone’s favourite Polish F1 driver – Robert Kubica, obviously -made it in to Q3 this season, missing out just once – at the season-closing race in Abu Dhabi. We at Badger were so impressed with Bobby K’s performance that we named him our driver of the year – read all about that here.
19 is the season number Rubens Barrichello will enter in 2011 following a solid display with Williams in 2010. Incredible, we think you’ll agree, and it was enough to prompt Badger to produce a full review of his career to date.
20 was the average age of the Toro Rosso team’s drivers entering the 2010 season, with Sebastien Buemi (21) and Jaime Alguersuari (19) representing one of the most inexperienced pairings in F1 history. Next year they’ll face pressure from newly-appointed third driver – and young driver test star – Daniel Ricciardo. Can the youthful duo survive another season in the F1 pressure cooker? We reckon Ricciardo will be full-time before the season’s out.
21 is the number of points scored by Tonio Liuzzi in 2010, though with team-mate Adrian Sutil wracking up over twice that the Italian won’t judge it as a great season. Rumours are rife that reserve driver Paul di Resta will take his seat next year – the Scott was DTM champion in 2010 – but Tonio says his place is safe. At least he can rejoice in the fact that he was named Badger’s Top Dog for Canada.
22 was the number of points accumulated by Nico Hulkenberg during his rookie F1 season. But despite this decent haul – and a stunning pole position in Brazil – the German will be replaced at Williams by Pastor Maldonado in 2011. Read our thoughts on that – before the deal was done – here.
23 years (and roughly four months) is all it took Sebastian Vettel to become world champion, making him the youngest man ever to claim the title. Badger took a look back at all of the men to hold the ‘youngest champion’ honour – why not read about them here: Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3.
24 is (roughly) the number of times per-race we’d see the back-end of Kamui Kobayashi’s Sauber stepping out in the braking zone. After a slow start the Japanese racer turned 2010 in to a brilliant season, proving one of the most entertaining drivers on the grid. We named his our Top Dog for his home GP and we’re hoping for plenty more in 2011.
So that’s it – the 2010 F1 season, as covered by Badger, done by the numbers. Like a race-winning Williams car or a year in which Mark Webber doesn’t break a bone on a mountain bike this one is now very much consigned to the history books as we turn our full attention to the 2011 season. Being the most upbeat, optimistic F1 site available (seriously, we’ve done tests) everyone at Badger genuinely believes that the upcoming season will be even better than the one we’ve just enjoyed. We’d be rather thrilled if you could join us for it – we couldn’t (and wouldn’t) be doing this without you, our frankly fantastic readers.
Merry Christmas Folks!
The Badger Team.