Tag Archives: Nick Heidfeld

What happened to those who left: 2011

7 Feb

With the 2013 F1 season soon to start lets look at what happened to the drivers who left F1 at the end of the 2011 season:

  • Adrian Sutil (90 F1 races / 95 F1 points) – last season Adrian did not compete in any major racing category.
  • Nick Heidfeld (185 races / 259 points / 13 F1 podiums) – over the 2012 season Heidfeld competed in the World Endurance Championship (3 WEC races / 42.5 WEC points / 1 WEC podium).
  • Jaime Alguersuari (46 races / 31 points) – Jaime spent last season commentating for BBC radio 5 on the Formula 1 season.
  • Sebastian Buemi (55 races / 29 points) – Spent last season as Red Bull’s test drive and also competed in the Le Mans 24 hours (the car didn’t make it to the end of the race).
  • Rubens Barrichello (326 races / 658 points / 68 podiums / 11 F1 wins) – After leaving Formula 1 Barrichello started competing in Indy Car (15 Indy Car races / 289 points) he finished 12th in the championship. Barrichello also raced as a guest in three races of Brazilian Stock Car.
  • Jarno Trulli (256 races / 246.5 points / 11 podiums / 1 win) – Jarno did not compete last season, but did you know that Trulli’s a co-owner of a vineyard.
  • Vitantonio Liuzzi (81 races / 26 points) – Liuzzi has been busy competing in the International Superstars Series (16 races / 181 points / 9 podiums / 2 wins) finishing 2nd in the championship, the Campionato Italiano Superstars (10 races / 92 points / 3 podiums / 1 win) finishing 3rd in the championship and he competed in the World Endurance Championship (3 races / 4 points).
  • Jerome D’Ambrosio (20 races / 0 points) – Jerome was Lotus’ test driver over last season and competed in the Italian GP after Grosjean was banned.
  • Karun Chandhok (11 races / 0 points) – Karun spent 2012 driving in the World Endurance Championship (8 races / 50.5 points)

Sauber – a brief history

15 Sep

Sauber have been one of the biggest surprises of the season, 3 podiums to their name and fighting for 5th in the championship, with a budget that is insignificant went placed next to the big 5. Here’s a brief history:

1993:

  • Peter Sauber founds Sauber F1 team.
  • Sauber ran with Ilmor engines.
  • They pick up 12 points and finish 7th in the constructors championship.
  • Karl Wendlinger picks up 7 points and finishes 12th.
  • Whilst JJ Lehto picks up 5 to finish 13th.

1994:

  • The team receives backing from Mercedes, and used their engines.
  • The team pick up another 12 points to finish 8th.
  • Karl Wendlinger stayed on for the first 4 races, before he picked up an injury, picking up 4 points to finish 19th.
  • Heinz-Harald Frentzen got his F1 debut season and picked up 7 points to finish 13th.
  • Andrea de Cesaris joined the team for 9 races, as a replacement for Wendlinger he retired from 8 but picked up a point for the team to take his season tally to 4 (he picked up 3 for Jordan) and finished 19th. This was de Cesaris last season in F1.
  • JJ Lehto drove for the team in 2 races, (after replacing de Cesaris) he picked up 0 points but finished 24th after picking up a point at Benetton.

1995:

  • Sauber become sponsored by Red Bull.
  • Started using Ford engines.
  • 18 points sees the team finish 7th in the constructors standings.
  • Wendlinger drove for the first 4 races  before being dropped and being recalled up for the final 2 races, Karl picked up 0 points. Wendlinger retired from the sport at the end of 1995.
  • Heinz-Harald Frentzen stayed with Sauber, he picked up 15 points, including Sauber’s first podium in Italy. Heinz finished 9th overall.
  • Rookie Jean-Christophe Boullion replaced Wendlinger and picked up 3 points to finish 16th before being dropped in favour of Wendlinger.  Boullion never drove in F1 again.

1996:

  • Sauber picked up 11 points to finish 7th.
  • Frentzen drove for the team for a third year, picking up 7 points to finish 12th, before leaving the team at the end of the year.
  • Johnny Herbert joined the team and picked up 4 points, all for a podium finish in Monaco. Herbert finished 14th.

1997:

  • The team built it’s own engine under the name Petronas, although every part was made by Ferrari. This deal carries on until the start of the 2006 season.
  • Sauber finished with 16 points and 7th place (at least they’re consistent).
  • Herbert stayed with the team and picked up 15 points including a podium in Hungary to finish 10th.
  • Nicola Larini drove for the first 6 races before being dropped because he didn’t get on with the Sauber management. He picked up 1 point to finish 19th. Larini retired after 1997.
  • Gianni Morbidelli replaced Larini but missed a few races due to injuries in testing. He picked up 0 points and retired from F1 at the end of the year.
  • Norberto Fontana replace Morbidelli for the 4 races he missed, he picked up 0 points in the only 4 F1 races of his career.

1998:

  • Sauber get 10 points to finish 6th in the constructors championship.
  • Johnny Herbert gets 1 point to finish 15th. Herbert left Sauber at the end of the year to join Stewart.
  • Jean Alesi moves from Benetton, he gets 9 points, including a podium in Belgium to finish 11th.

1999:

  • Sauber only managed 5 points but still finished 8th.
  • Jean Alesi managed to get 2 points to finish 16th. Alesi left to Prost at the end of the year.
  • Pedro Diniz was signed from Arrows, he picked up 3 points and finished 14th.

2000:

  • Sauber pick up 6 points to finish 8th.
  • Diniz didn’t pick up any points and decided to retire at the end of the season.
  • Mika Salo joined the team after spending the previous year covering for injured drivers at BAR and Ferrari. Salo picked up 6 points and finished 11th. Salo then left to help Toyota prepare for the 2002 season.

2001:

  • With an all new line up Sauber got 21 points and finished 4th, their best ever season as Sauber.
  • Red Bull stopped sponsoring the team after a fall out over the signing of Kimi Raikkonen
  • Nick Heidfeld was signed from Prost, Heidfeld picked up 12, including a podium in Brazil points and finished 8th.
  • Future WDC Kimi Raikkonen joined the team having never raced in F1 before, he picked up 9 points to finish 10th. At the end of the season Raikkonen moved to McLaren.

2002:

  • Sauber picked up 11 points and finished 5th.
  • Heidfeld picked up 7 points and finished 10th.
  • Felipe Massa moved into the team with no experience, he picked up 4 points and finished 13th. At the end of the year Massa became the Ferrari test driver.
  • Heinz-Harald Frentzen rejoined the team to replace Massa for one race after Massa was injured. Frentzen didn’t pick up any points for Sauber but finished 18th after picking up 2 points for Arrows.

2003:

  • At the start of 2003 the points system changed from 10-6-4-3-2-1 to 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1
  • Sauber picked 19 points and finished 6th.
  • Heidfeld drove for the team for a third time, picking up 6 points and finishing 14th. Heidfeld joined Jordan at the end of the year.
  • Frentzen drove a 5th and final season for Sauber before retiring from the sport. He picked up 13 points and finished 11th, finishing 3rd in the US GP.

2004:

  • Despite picking up a bumper crop of 34 points Sauber couldn’t improve on their previous 6th place finishing 6th.
  • Experienced driver Giancarlo Fisichella joined the team for just one season, Fisichella got 22 points and finished 11th.
  • Felipe Massa returned his year as Ferrari test driver, Felipe got 12 points and finished 12th.

2005:

  • Despite a strong line up Sauber could only pick up 20 points and finished 8th.
  • 1997 World Champion, Jacques Villeneuve joined Sauber but only got 9 points and finished 14th.
  • Felipe Massa managed to pick up 11 points and finished 13th. At the end of the year Massa joined Ferrari, the team he still drives for today (2012).

2006:

  • The team received investment from BMW and for the next 4 seasons the team would run with BMW engines.
  • BMW Sauber picked up 36 points finishing 5th.
  • Heidfeld returned, his 23 points meant he finished 9th.
  • Jacques Villeneuve stayed with the team picking up 7 points finishing 15th. After Villeneuve had to miss the Hungarian GP due to injury he fell out with the management and retired from F1.
  •  Rookie, Robert Kubica replaced Villeneuve, Kubica got 6 points and finished 16th.

2007:

  • BMW Sauber had a phenomenal season, the 101 points they picked up led the team to 2nd place, BMW Sauber’s best finish.
  • Heidfeld got 61 points finishing 5th. Nick’s best result was a 3rd place in Hungary.
  • Robert Kubica stayed for a 2nd season picking up 39 points finishing 6th.
  • Future WDC Sebastian Vettel replaced Kubica for one race due to Kubica suffering an injury. In his very first race he finished 8th which contributed to his points haul of 6 points finishing 14th, (the rest of his points came at Toro Rosso).

2008:

  • Despite only finishing 3rd I for one regard 2008 as Sauber’s greatest year, their 135 points included the only race victory of the team’s history.
  • Robert Kubica had a fantastic year, winning the Canadian GP and finishing on the podium a further 6 times. Kubica picked up 75 points and finished 4th in the championship.
  • Nick Heidfeld’s 6th season with Sauber/BMW Sauber Heidfeld finished on the podium 4 times and picked up 60 points finishing 6th in the championship.

2009:

  • After two fantastic seasons BMW Sauber had a bad season, only picking up 36 points and only finishing 6th.
  • Kubica only got 1 podium, picking up 17 points and finishing 14th, at the end of the season Kubica left BMW Sauber and joined Renault.
  • Nick Heidfeld picked up 19 points and finished 13th.

2010:

  • At the end of 2009 BMW pulled out of F1 leaving Peter Sauber in complete control of the team.
  • Monisha Kaltenborn was named as CEO of the team, the first female CEO of an F1 team.
  • Sauber switched to Ferrari engines for the 2010 season, a deal that still exists.
  • At the start of the 2010 season the points system was changed from 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 to 25-18-15-12-10-8-6-4–2-1.
  • With the change of management the the driver line up was completely changed.
  • McLaren reserve driver Pedro De La Rosa came into the team, but after only picking up 6 points (finishing 17th) he was replaced for the final few races by the returning Nick Heidfeld who 6 points (finishing 18th). At the end of the year De La Rosa rejoined McLaren as the reserve driver whilst Heidfeld joined Renault.
  • After a promising display in the final two races of the 2009 season Kamui Kobayashi joined Sauber for 2010, picking up 32 points and finishing 12th in the championship.

2011:

  • Sauber picked up 44 points for the second season in a row but improved their championship position finishing 7th.
  • Kobayashi stayed on with the team picking up 30 points and finishing 12th.
  • Sergio Perez joined the team from GP2, Perez picked up 14 points finishing 16th in a promising rookie season.
  • Pedro De La Rosa replaced Perez for the Canadian GP due to Perez being ill. De La Rosa didn’t pick up any points before returning to his role as McLaren test driver.

2012:

  • Early on in 2012 1/3 of the Sauber team was transferred to Monisha Kaltenborn making her a part owner.

Romain Grosjean given 1 race ban. Is it fair?

4 Sep

At turn one of last weekends dramatic GP there was an almighty pile up at turn one forcing 4 drivers to retire and giving Kobayashi damage that would ruin his race, as a result of this Romain Grosjean was found to be guilty of causing the incident by the FIA and as a result of this he has been given a 1 race ban and a £40,000 fine. This decision was made due to the potential injury caused by this crash, but is it a fair decision?

At a first glance it would appear fair, I mean Alonso wasn’t far from suffering a serious – and maybe fatal – injury, but from watching replays of the crash I don’t feel Grosjean was entirely responsible for the crash and that the crash should have been put down as a racing incident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4v5mM98YQ-E

From watching this replay it appears that Grosjean made a slight error of judgement over how close his rear right tyre was to Hamilton’s front left and that he started braking for turn 1 slightly to early, these mistakes could very easily be put down as a lack of experience and a racing incident, but due to the result of this crash the officials decided he should be banned from competing in this weekend’s Italian GP.

If that is the reason the FIA gave Grosjean the ban then they should look back  to the final race of the 2010 season to find another time when a car went over the top of the other when at turn 6 on lap 1 Adrian Sutil’s Force India went over the top of Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes. This crash forced the retirement of both of the drivers and forced the rest of the field to use a different track layout for a few laps (the only change of the route was to skip the chicane where the crash happened). As a result of this crash – which like Grosjean’s could have caused a serious injury – Sutil received no disciplinary action, whilst Grosjean’s similar crash has given him a one race ban and a £40,000 fine, this shows a lack of consistency from the FIA, something many fans have repeatedly criticised the FIA for.

Despite the unfairness of the decision it has happened now and Renault will have to field a different driver for the team this weekend, here are some of the main contenders:

Jerome D’Ambrosio: current Lotus reserve driver.

  • Jerome was the second driver for Marussia last season and the young Belgian put in a solid rookie season which didn’t merit being dropped from the team.
  • Positives: He’s had lots of experience with the team in pre season testing and drove all season last year. He’s highly regarded and he could pick up points for team.
  • Negatives: He’s never driven a competitive car in race conditions before.
  • Chances: 8/10

Nick Heidfeld: drove for Lotus (who were Renault) for the first half of last season.

  • Nick put in consistent performances for Renault last season including a podium in the second race of the season in Malaysia.
  • Positives: Nick’s a consistent performer and is likely to put in a good performance and pick up points.
  • Negatives: Was dropped last season for not being good enough, he’s unlikely to have got better over the past year and is famous for being the driver to hold the record for the most races (and points) without a win.
  • Chances: 4/10

With such short notice it is very unlikely that Lotus wouldn’t choose D’Ambrosio for the coming weekend and it should provide us an good insight to how good Jerome can be with a competitive team.

 

Valencia driver ratings.

21 Jun

Sebastian Vettel 5/10

Starting to get a bit dull with Vettel constantly winning, this is reducing his scores as he’s only achieving what’s expected.

Webber 6/10

Qualified 2nd to prove the Red Bull can be drove quickly by him but couldn’t match Alonso in the race. Sadly for Mark it’s going to take a huge push to turn around the standings and finish 1st.

Hamilton 7/10

Well he finished the race but didn’t really perform to the expected expectations. In the race Lewis finished half a minute behind the top 3. Seems like race pace is the problem for McLaren as Hamilton was swamped by both the Ferraris at the start.

Button 6/10

Not at the same level as he was in Montreal and qualifying 6th ruined his chances of winning, Jenson almost lost 6th to Rosberg in the race but he quickly got it back again. The big problem JB had was finishing a whole minute behind Vettel.

Alonso 8/10

Provided the excitement  in the race by attacking the Red Bulls but still couldn’t match Vettel, qualifying 4th wasn’t as good as he may have been expecting but took Hamilton early to set up an attack on Webber.

Massa 8/10

Another good performance by Massa will help Maranello to regain confidence in him. Biggest problem was using too many sets of softs in qualifying and this held him back in the race. Took Hamilton at the first corner and could have gone up to second at the second corner if he hadn’t held back.

Rosberg 6/10

Another good performance by Rosberg, if he keeps this up he may pick up his first win in the next few seasons.

Schumacher 4/10

The only reason he was so far back was due to hitting Petrov and losing the front wing – something he admitted was his fault later. But Schumacher  wasn’t as good as he has been.

Petrov 3/10

Not good is all I can say, Vitaly failed to qualify for Q3 and then manages to finish 15th! The only excuse Vitaly can have for his performance is that Schumacher’s conflict with him fazed him.

Heidfeld 6/10

Showed Vitaly Petrov that the car was worth of doing well at Valencia by out qualifying his team mate to make it to Q3 (qualifying has been one of Nicks weak points this year) and then holding on to a point for the finish. After Renaults great start to the campaign I think their car is starting to lag behind the leaders.

Adrian Sutil 7/10

Showing signs of closing the gap in qualifying to his teammate Paul Di Resta by out qualifying him and making it to Q3 (although not going out to set a time is disappointing for him) and then a good race clawing up 1 place to finish with 2 points.

Paul Di Resta 5/10

Not Di Resta’s best race as he failed to outperform his team mate in qualifying before managing to lose two places in the race to allow this to not go down in his all time best races.

Kamui Kobayashi 4/10

You know a race isn’t going to have overtaking when Kobayashi doesn’t manages to lose places in the race and isn’t making headlines for amazing manoeuvres. Kamui would have got a 5 if it hadn’t been for the way you just expect him to liven up a race.

Sergio Perez 7/10

Another good race by the Ferrari prospect (he’s part of their driver training program and is a serious contender to replace Massa at the Scud) saw him rise from 16th to 11th and made up for his teammates lack of excitement.

Rubens Barrichello 5/10

Average at best qualified 13th and finished 12th in a rather uneventful day at the office.

Pastor Maldonado 4/10

Another Williams driver who did next to nothing to liven up a dull race although his stalling at a corner bringing out a red flag was the most exciting thing to happen in qualifying. Managed to lose 3 places during the race, all to drivers who shot up the race timings.

Sebastian Buemi 8/10

A good rise from 17th to 13th ensured that the fight for the Toro Rosso seat is becoming even more tense and exciting, apart from that he was very much like the race: dull and uneventful.

Jaime Alguersuari 10/10

Can I give higher than 10. In a otherwise dull race Jaime set Spanish hearts racing by rising, wait for it, 10 spots to finish 8th. I’m a fan of Jaime and this race proved the potential he has, I can only hope he carries on like this to secure the Toro Rosso seat.

Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Timo Glock, Jerome D’Ambrosio, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Narain Karthikeyan 6/10

Sadly none of them were taking any headlines or really overtaking. The main reason for this is probably that there wasn’t a safety car which would have gave them a chance of taking a risk which may pull off.

The race as a whole 1/10

In one word dull. In 5 dull dull dull dull dull. I’m enjoying the new Pirellis but they just couldn’t liven it up. I think that with this race losing it’s pull factor that we need two races in Germany (Hockenheim  and Nurburgring) both are great tracks and deserve the GP and Germany has the highest number of drivers in the championship and the two of the current biggest icons: Schue and Vettel.

The German occupation of the F1 podium.

18 Sep

Since 1950 there have been 60 German Grand Prixs and this year alone there have been 6 German drivers and between the nation they have 8 drivers championships until Vettel wins this year and then they have 9 which takes them to the title of the second most successful country in F1 1 ahead of Brazil. Despite this though the first German drivers championship was in 1994 when Michael Schumacher won to be the first German champion, so having taking them 44 years to get a champion it them took them only 18 campaigns to take them to 9 champions or one every 2 years.

The first good German driver was Karl Kling who amassed 12 points in 1954 to get 5th, in the same year Hans Herrmann finished joint 6th with 8 points, these were in the days when a champion would only get between 30 and 40 points. It then took a whole 4 years to get another German in the top 10, Taffi von Trips finished joint 10th with 9 points in 1958, he then made joint 6th in 1960 with 10 points, driving for 3 different teams in the process, before flying up to 2nd in 1961 only losing out to Phil Hill by 1 point with 33 points. He never made the top 10 again and it took until 1975 for another German to make it to that threshold again, Jochen Mass picked up 20 points to finish joint 7th and 9th in 1976 with 19 points, he then became the first German ever to make it to the top 10 3 years in a row with 25 points in 1977 to finish 6th.

With a new generation there were new hopes but the 80s were a disaster for German motorsport with no driver managing a 10 ten standings finish until 1992 and a certain Mr Schumacher came along. He finished 3rd in 1992 with a German record of 53 points, in 1994 he was 4th with 52 points and 92 in 1994 gave Germany it’s first ever world champion.

The German era of dominance is now beginning, seemingly from nowhere but it led to another championship in 1995 when Schumacher took the championship with 102 points, a slow Ferrari then stopped him managing a hat rick but he was still 3rd with 59 points. In 1997 Schumacher was disqualified from the championship for driving dangerously but another German took the chance, Heinz-Harald Frentzen finished 39 points behind Villeneuve but still managed to finish 2nd in the championship with 42 points. 1998 was the year of the Schumachers Michael finished 2nd with 86 points and Ralf 10th with 14 and in 1999 there a record 3 Germans in the top 10 Heinz-Harald Frentzen 3rd (55 points) Michael 5th (44) and Ralf 6th (35).

Another new decade and with 3 drivers competing for points Germans were expecting something special, they got it. Michael won the 2000 championship by 19 points amassing 108, Ralf finished 5th with 24 points and Heinz-Harald 9th with 11 and in 2001 there was another new German on the scene Nick Heidfeld who finished joint 7th with 12 points whilst Michael got 123 and the championship and Ralf was 4th with 49. 3 again for 2002 (that’s 4 times in a row) again Michael won the championship with 144 points Ralf 4th with 42 and Heidfeld with 7 points finished 10th. Only 2 for 2003 Michael won by only 2 points with 93 whilst Ralf claimed 5th with 58 points. The two brothers made up the German F1 storm in 2004 Michael winning (again) with 148 points and Ralf joint 9th with 24, and in 2005 it was much the same Michael 3rd (62 points) and Ralf 6th (45). Three again for 2006 Michael 2nd (121 points), Nick Heidfeld 9th (23) and Ralf 10th (20). With Michael retiring (for the first time) at the end of 2006 2007 was a year when another German prodigy hit the scene, Nico Rosberg finished 9th with 20 points 41 behind Nick Heidfeld who finished 5th, and in 2008 the next great German driver hit the scene Sebastian Vettel, Heidfeld was 6th (60 points) Seb 8th (35) and Timo Glock 10th (25). In 2009 the Germans had gone a whole 4 years without a champion and Sebastian Vettel did his utmost to end it, he finished 2nd with 84 points, Nico Rosberg 7th with 34.5 and Timo Glock 10th with 24 points although he didn’t compete in the last 3 races as he had a leg injury.

With the previous decade being so successful German fans were expecting something big and they got it, Sebastian Vettel taking his inaugural championship with 256 points whilst Nico Rosberg was 7th with 142 and a recently returning Michael Schumacher was 9th with 72. So far 2011 has been dominated by a German with Sebastian Vettel set to be the youngest driver to win 2 world championships.

This rise from being an average at best nation having 2 superstars with 8 championships between them is nothing short of phenomenal and reminisces of the British dominance between the years 1962 to 1976 when they won 9 championships in 15 seasons although they did need 5 drivers to manage such a feat. But as the phrase goes all good things must come to an end and it did for GB with a drought for 15 years before Nigel Mansell took the title in 1992, so with that in mind which country will be the next, Spain? France? or maybe one of the countries in the Americas or the far east.

The 6 word sum up!

17 Aug

As we are in the summer holiday I’m going to write a 6 word summary of each driver this year.

Sebastian Vettel: Someone please stop him winning everything.

Mark Webber: Unfairly treated but still good teamwork.

Lewis Hamilton: On stewards office speed-dial and complaining.

Jenson Button: Winner in wet and double centurion.

Fernando Alonso: Never loses hope and amazing starter.

Felipe Massa: At last back from terrible injury.

Michael Schumacher: Way past it but carries on.

Nico Rosberg: Embarrasses Team-mate, podium contender, bad car.

Nick Heidfeld: Smashing his own record, never wins.

Vitaly Petrov: Did look good but not now.

Rubens Barrichello: Awful car, but driver hangs on.

Pastor Maldonado: Good qualifier generally retires in races.

Adrian Sutil: Not good enough compared to team-mate.

Paul Di Resta: Great driver, best performance  Silverstone qualifying

Kamui Kobayashi: Risk all, drive fast and overtake.

Sergio Perez: Amazing,  will take Massa’s seat soon.

Pedro De La Rosa: Never stops racing, last minute wonder.

Sebastian Buemi: Best Toro Rosso but only just.

Jaime Alguersuari: Good for age, still needs improving.

Jarno Trulli: The power steering is not right.

Heikki Kovalainen: Reliable Finn usually leads new teams.

Karum Chandhok: By far the fastest Indian driver.

Narain Karthikeyan: Always at the back whatever happens.

Vitantonio Liuzzi: Starting to compete with Virgin and Lotus.

Daniel Ricciardo: Will go far may win championships.

Timo Glock: Stupendous in Wet, average in dry.

Jerome D’Ambrosio: Nothing special but always good enough.

Hungaroring Driver Ratings

1 Aug

Sebastian Vettel: 7/10

Not a bad performance but after an amazing start to the season you have to rate him by what you expect of him and although he did manage his standard pole position he didn’t manage to win. The Hungaroring showed us all what Vettel’s weakness is, it’s when the track is changing from wet to dry on corners which are at least 90 degrees, that’s what lost him the Montreal GP and caused him to spin yesterday, losing the lead to Hamilton.

Mark Webber 7/10

Lost the race in qualifying when the lack of DRS and KERS ruined his Q3 time but he still managed to qualify 6th. But a good race where he kept out of trouble gave him a good result of 5th. Didn’t really see much of him during the race.

Lewis Hamilton 8/10

Had a very good race up to the point where the rain returned and the car started to spin, which let Button take the lead and gained him a drive thru for forcing Di Resta off the track. After that he had a great fight with Button which showed just how team principles should let their drivers race.

Jenson Button 10/10

Only really qualifies for a 10 as he scored his 11th victory in his 11 seasons, and exactly 5 years after his initial victory, on his 200th GP. But despite that he drove a great race especially being behind Hamilton when the rain started allowing him to be on the right strategy managing to do what he does best and handle the rain situations as he’s never won a GP for McLaren where it never rained during the race.

Fernando Alonso 8/10

Looked all weekend like the Ferrari was the weaker car of the top 3 and still managed to finish 3rd – with a bit of help from Webbers poor start and Hamilton’s drive thru/ pitstop problems – with a race that – apart from the start where he was off the track more than he was on it – he rarely showed up at all due to his lack of spinning and overtaking from the middle of the race onwards.

Felipe Massa 9/10

If we were measuring perseverance he would get a 10. After an amazing qualifying performance where he managed to out perform his team mate for the first time since Spa last year, Massa had a good start despite ending up behind both Mercedes up to the point where he spun the car at turn 2 leaving him in the wall and with damage to the back of the car, but did this stop him, no. Instead he carried on and went all the way from 13th to 6th before the end of the race, and he was on for 4th until his tyres gave way and let both Webber and Hamilton through.

Michael Schumacher 6/10

He was actually leading the race for a whole 3/4 of a lap  before pitting. Had a good start getting ahead of both Ferrari’s, but after taking the lead things went downhill with the car spinning and stalling ruling him out of the race.

Nico Rosberg 5/10

After a strong start where he was up to 4th, Nico had a poor middle ending up in a 5 way race for 8th just losing out to Buemi to finish 9th. After this race Mercedes should give up on the 2011 car and start just working on the 2012 as the car clearly isn’t quick enough to challenge for anything this year.

Vitaly Petrov 3/10

I don’t have a clue what’s happened to Renault after a great start to the season, the only thing I can imagine it is, is that their innovative  forward facing exhaust is stopping them do other aerodynamic things which are now worth more than the exhaust in the races. As well as this though the car should be finishing at most 10th and for Vitaly to finish it 12th in a race without any major problems for the driver is a poor performance.

Nick Heidfeld 6/10

Had one of the worst fires in recent history for motorsport with the car starting to explode at one point probably because some parts were rapidly cooling (and shrinking) due to the fire hydrant and other parts still expanded due to the heat. But back to the driving, another poor qualifying performance had ruined his chances of a good race and things started to go wrong when he tried an overtaking move at turn 1 instead managing to lose a place as he ran wide.

Rubens Barrichello 5/10

Williams like Mercedes just need to start concentrating on the 2012 car as neither driver is doing any good with this car (although you do have to wonder weather Nico Hulkenburg could get the car to a respectable  position). Looked at one point like he was going to get points but then things didn’t go his way and he started to slip down the order.

Pastor Maldanado 4/10

Not a good race at all for the Venezuelan somehow managing to end up back in 16th only ahead of the ‘new’ teams, Pastor is going to have to show the selectors that he can perform in the race as well as in qualifying otherwise he may be looking at the exit.

Adrian Sutil 4/10

Has no excuse for finishing 14th as his team mate managed a great 7th place, especially after a very strong performance at the Nurburgring and a more than respectable qualifying performance.

Paul Di Resta 7/10

At last he managing to prove the massive potential everyone’s placed on him by finishing 7th, only behind the top 3 teams. It was very good race by Paul made even more exciting by having Hamilton trying to have a head on collision, (an incident that made me think of the joke about the man driving down the motoway when his wife hears that there’s a driver driving down the wrong side so she rings him and tells him “Be careful there’s someone driving down the wrong side” to which the man replys “1, there’s hundreds of them”) that joke is better when told by someone funny.

Kamui Kobayashi 6/10

Average at best from Kobayashi who actually found himself having to defend and not just attack at the end of the race. Tyre strategy probably ruined him as he could have finished about 8th if the 2nd pit stop had been a few laps later, but all in all not a bad performance.

Sergio Perez 4/10

Had a very good qualifying performance starting 10th, but I think the rain at the start is what ruined his race as a few laps in to the race he was 20th. But as the track got dry he started to rack up positions to finish a decent 15th. To help his driving Sauber should rig up a skip pan track and send Sergio out on it in cars not worth as much as F1 cars but also having less grip so that Sergio can improve his driving in the rain, which at the moment seems to be his biggest problem.

Sebastian Buemi 10/10

After having to start 24th Buemi must have thought that a points finish was impossible but, it wasn’t as he proved not only finishing 8th but also finishing ahead of team mate Alguersuari who started 16th. I think he was helped by the rain as the drivers just ahead of him probably struggled more due to them having less grip.

Jaime Alguersuari 7/10

Another points finish is just going to make the Toro Rosso selectors with a close to impossible decision as Buemi Alguersuari and Ricciardo are all performing exceptionally. Not only that but also Jaime managed to again qualify ahead of Buemi, which has always been Jaime’s weak point.

Heikki Kovalainen 6/10

An uneventful race except when he was under investigation (a crime he was later cleared of). But after that it wasn’t long till he had to retire after a water leak.

Jarno Trulli  5/10

Coincidentally also had a water leak which left him out of the race on lap 17 not really long enough to make any judgement on him.

Timo Glock 6/10

Was the fastest of the ‘new’ teams although that could be because of the Lotus cars retiring. Having said that was he was leading both Lotus cars during the rain, mainly because Glock is a rain specialist.

Jerome d’Ambrosio 3/10

A poor race, qualifying at the back  and then being beaten by a HRT being driver by a driver in only his second race, after this season I’m still not sure why Virgin dropped Di Grassi as he had more potential and was better for developing the car.

Vitantonio Liuzzi 5/10

Not a good race although in a HRT will you ever have a good race. Sadly for Vitantonio he was beaten by Ricciardo which is not a good performance as far as Liuzzi’s concerned.

Daniel Ricciardo 10/10

A very impressive performance shows why he’s the next big thing for Red Bull as the HRT should not be worth beating Virgin especially when his more experienced team mate finished 2 places behind.

CONSPIRACY

When Heidfleds car exploded not safety car was sent out something that should always happen in a situation like that. So why wasn’t it, lets first of all think about the consequences if they had sent one out, all the cars would have become bunched up including Sebastian Vettel who id the safety car had come out could have had another chance to win the race as he’d already lost the race by that time, and so by not sending the safety car out Hamilton maintained his lead over Vettel. Surely this could mean that the reason the stewards didn’t send the safety car out was to help Hamilton or Button win and liven up the season.