“Hot Rod or Hot Dog” is our regular post-grand prix column where we review all of the driver performances in that race.  As part of the process, one driver is declared as Badger’s “Top Dog”; it’s not necessarily the winner and, to be honest, it could be for anything.

It has to be…Kobayashi



It’s not often a driver who finishes fifth gets the Top Dog award. At least we think it isn’t. We’d have to check.

After such an eventful race, it’s probably no surprise that we didn’t see that much of Kamui on our TV screens but, while our prying eyes were elsewhere, he was making very good progress from his twelfth place starting spot.

The Sauber team have obviously decided that the best way to get the most out of their car is to do as few pit stops as possible. This is probably due to a combination of a) where they usually start on the grid, b) the way in which their car treats this year’s tyres and c) Kobayshi’s driving style.

Thus, in Monaco, it wasn’t a great surprise to see him making only one stop. Having started on the harder of the two compounds, he then switched to the super softs for the second stint, with the Japanese driver saying afterwards he thought they could have gone even longer on them. Amazing.

Yes, he was running fourth and got passed by Webber, but that’s what happens when you’re being chased by a Red Bull and yes, he booted Sutil to get past him but it’s Monaco and, to be honest, we’d much rather people had a go. These things happen and it’s one of the reasons we like him so much.

Is the lesson from this season’s strategies that doing something different is good? It seems to be that if you do more pits stops than you’d expect you do better and, conversely, if you do fewer then you’re also in good nick. It’s when doing the number of stops you’d expect that things really fall apart. Maybe that’s rubbish but, whatever it is, it doesn’t change the fact that Kobayashi’s our Top Dog.

Well done Kamui.