The Badgerometer is where we compile a Top 5 things from the previous grand prix (or anything else we fancy when there’s no race) sometimes the racing is barely featured, but with the delight that was Chinese GP, it’s all about the race this week…
In at Number 5 on the Badgerometer is Team Lotus, and in particular Jarno Trulli, who managed to thrash his Norfolk built motor around the Shanghai track quicker than Fernando Alonso – yes, you read that correctly – the Italian’s fastest lap time was in fact nearly two hundredths quicker than the fastest race lap time posted by the Spaniard in his Ferrari – you can see the full fastest race lap times here – well done chaps!
Here at Badger we make no secret of having a soft-spot for the massively likeable Aussie and well, Mark Webber’s stunning recovery from 18th to 3rd on Sunday was immense. In the early stages he struggled, being the only car starting the race on hard tyres and with the car full of fuel he consequently failed to progress quickly, but oh how that changed once he changed to the softer tyres for the rest of the race.
Together with DRS and being on fresh grippy rubber he shot through the field and got himself from 6th to 3rd in the final 10 laps – reminiscent of the classic Mansell charge from the late 80s. After the race he made slight blunder by saying just how happy he was that someone beat Vettel – not quite what he meant to say, but a terrific faux pas…
…which brings us on to Number 3 – Vettel didn’t takeaway a Chinese victory. That’s not to say we’re Vettel-bashers here at Badger – the young German’s on form this season and being in the best car, he dominated the first two races and with a victory in China it would have been a worry for the championship battle overall.
Thankfully Hamilton’s impressive driving and daring overtakes together with a superior strategy put pay to Vettel making it three-in-a-row for 2011 and gives us hope of the battle for the title going towards Brazil.
Lewis Hamilton – yes he was first across the line in China, but on the Badgerometer he’s just pipped at the number 1 spot. He’s here at number two because he hugely contributed to the excitement of the Chinese GP. His move on Button for the lead was nothing short of spectacular and proved that the McLaren drivers can a) race each other and b) do so an both remain on track. Jenson really was caught napping with Hamilton’s dive up the inside into turn one, but he’s also wise enough to resist turning in on his team mate. He was less happy with Webber nabbing 3rd in the closing laps, but that was far from the worst thing he did during the race… So yes, well done Lewis for entertaining us all and not listening to your engineers – looking after the tyres seemed to be least of his concerns.
At the top of Chinese GP Top 5 has to be the race itself – yes, here at Badger we enjoyed the grand prix immensely – plenty of overtaking, good strategy battles and above all, the podium was decided in the closing laps of the race. Also, the Chinese GP event bodes well for the rest of the season – it seems that a massive field spread at the front is a thing of the past, thanks to DRS and KERS, cars are running closer together over the course of a race distance – brilliant news for F1 as a sport.
As a final word on the Chinese GP, we were pretty miffed with the lack of a certain short Irish chap – yep Eddie Jordan, where were you!? We find he adds so much to the coverage and back the BBC on their decision to be part of the F1 team and his absence was noted. Leaving Jake to only have Bruno Senna to bounce off during qualifying (DC was in the comms box with Martin) wasn’t nearly as good without Eddie. Jake’s great and it’s brilliant to have a nearly current F1 driver giving their views, but Eddie just adds that little extra something… n.ot just his dress sense (if you can call it that)