New Team Championship Mid-Season Review: The Drivers

It’s the summer break, twelve races down and just seven more to go in this season. Now, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and the like can battle all they like for the World Championship, the only one I care about however is the one involving Lotus, Hispania and Virgin Racing. Its been an interesting twelve races, some have been mighty impressive, others have failed to shine. So here we look at the seven drivers who have raced so far this season:

Sakon Yamamoto:

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 24: Sakon Yamamoto of Japan and Hispania Racing Team prepares to drive during qualifying for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring on July 24, 2010 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Andrew Hone/Getty Images) Hispania. 7th place, 3 points.

He could go down as one of the most unpopular drivers on the grid. None his own doing, he just happens to have a bag of cash to help the struggling Hispania along. But he replaced two of the most popular drivers on the grid and compared to both of them, has looked distinctly average. He has set the slowest time in all three of his races and was last in both races he finished. The race in Germany was a particular low, switching on the pitlane limiter to start the race and retiring by pressing the fire extinguisher switch. Not impressive at all.

Bruno Senna:

July 29, 2010 - Budapest, Hungary - BRUNO SENNA (BRA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT), Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Hungarian Grand Prix, Preparations.

Hispania. 6th place, 22 points.

It is a slow car the Hispania, but Karun Chandhok has shown how to score high points despite all of that. Sadly however, Senna hasn’t managed to match the reliability of Chandhok. He has six retirements to his name in just eleven races, the worst start to finish ratio out of anyone. Sure his lack of race seat at Silverstone didn’t help, but he would still be comfortably in sixth place either way. The issue with Senna is when he does finish, so does everyone else.

Lucas di Grassi:

Apr. 01, 2010 - Sepang, Malaysia - (L to R): Bruno Senna (BRA) Hispania Racing F1 Team (HRT) with LUCAS DI GRASSI (BRA) Virgin Racing..Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations.

Virgin Racing. 5th place, 36 points.

Looking at the facts, it hasn’t been too bad for di Grassi. Only recently has his team mate overtaken him and the standings and he certainly hasn’t been humiliated by him either. Yes, his qualifying record stands at a dysmal 1-12, but come race time, that changes to 5-7, that is fairly close. But the thing with that is Glock’s poor finishing record, when Glock has finished, di Grassi has only finished ahead of him once. He is second best to the German clearly.

Timo Glock:

May 27, 2010 - 05963608 date 30 05 2010 Copyright imago Crash Media Group Thursday Timo Glock ger Virgin Racing VR 01 Turkish Grand Prix 28 30 May 2010 PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK motor aviation men Formula 1 F1 F World Cup GP Turkey Istanbul Portrait Vdig 2010 horizontal Highlight premiumd.

Virgin Racing. 4th place, 38 points.

If we look at pace, Timo is up there with the Lotus cars, his qualifying has always been the third best of the new teams and in Hungary he even managed to get above them. But when it comes to the race he has been poor. He didn’t even finish one until the Spanish Grand Prix, ever since then he has been solid, and so far has yet to pick up less than 4 points from when he has finished, an achievement only managed by the current leader. Good times should be coming for Glock and the top 3 isn’t too far away.

Jarno Trulli:

June 13, 2010 - Montreal, Canada - Jarno Trulli (ITA) Lotus on the grid...Formula One World Championship, Rd 8, Canadian Grand Prix, Race.

Lotus. 3rd place, 42 points.

I’m not really too sure what to make of Trulli’s performance so far this season. They have all been very mixed. He has his good performances, but then also has his bad ones. Our best bet is to compare him to his team mate Heikki Kovalainen. His strength in qualifying is being beaten by Kovalainen. Race wise he is also well behind. He may be top 3 but I don’t think he is having the best season that he could be having, is Jarno Trulli way past his best?

Karun Chandhok:

HOCKENHEIM, GERMANY - JULY 24: Karun Chandhok of India and Hispania Racing Team is seen before the final practice session prior to qualifying for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheimring on July 24, 2010 in Hockenheim, Germany. (Photo by Andrew Hone/Getty Images)

Hispania. 2nd place, 45 points.

The lovable Karun Chandhok, the fans favourite but ultimately not Hispania’s favourite. His ten races have been brilliant, if we forget Bahrain. He has retired just the twice, and for a new team, and in a Hispania, that is impressive, and one of those being the fault of another driver. This series rewards consistency more than speed, this is why Chandhok looks good, he has treated the Hispania car so very well and even after missing two races, Trulli, Glock, di Grassi, they still haven’t caught up with him. Sadly though, with the improving reliability of all three teams, even if he is in the car at Spa, I can see him sliding down the order.

Heikki Kovalainen:

NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 08: Heikki Kovalainen of Finland and Lotus talks to the media in the paddock during previews to the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 8, 2010, in Northampton, England. (Photo by Malcolm Griffiths/Getty Images) Lotus. 1st pace, 56 points.

One word, brilliant. You want another one? Dominant. Five wins and one second place. When he has finished, he has finished well. He is the quickest out there by a mile, even if he has one of the worst reliability records. I said on Chandhok this series is based on reliability, well Kovalainen has made the statement look irrelevant. The fact he has a habit of not finishing races is the only reason why he isn’t over 30 points in front.


Posted on August 5, 2010, in New Teams Championship and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. No idea who’ll be in the Hispania come Belgium but in Hungary Senna/Yamamoto were close and I get the feeling that with one more race Yamamoto could be “up” there with Senna/Chandhok – and that won’t say much for them if he does.

    Trulli has been the big disappointment though.

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