Virgin Take Advantage of Team Lotus Woes

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British Grand Prix

Pre-Race

Last time out, Leigh in the comments said that it was about time Hispania would decide to change their driver line-up, I, just wrote it off. Of course, a few days later, it was announced Australian and Red Bull protégée Daniel Ricciardo would replace Narain Karthikeyan for the British Grand Prix onwards.

Qualifying 

Crazy weather saw a huge shock in Q1, as Heikki Kovalainen set the 16th fastest time, ahead of both Toro Rosso cars and Nick Heidfeld. He would eventually start on the grid in 17th, well ahead of his team mate Jarno Trulli. Timo Glock also created a notable surprise, also ahead of the German in 19th. Ricciardo would start his first race in 24th.

Race

It would be a disastrous start for Team Lotus. Despite Kovalainen making up a few places from the start, his gearbox would only last for three laps, before he was forced to come into the pits and retire.

Jarno Trulli failed to last much longer, mechanical problems causing him to stop out on track, which basically allowed Timo Glock to have a clear drive out in front.

Jerome D’Ambrosio was under some pressure from Vitantonio Liuzzi for a while, but was never close enough to make any sort of move. Ricciardo pounded around the back, well behind his team mate.

All that left was that Glock took the 10 points for the first time this season, and for the first time this season, Team Lotus has had a double retirement (something which has not yet happened for Virgin).

  Driver Team Race Pos. Points
1 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin 16th 10
2 Jerome D’Ambrosio Marussia Virgin 17th 6
3 Vitantonio Liuzzi Hispania 18th 4
4 Daniel Ricciardo Hispania 19th 3
5 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus Ret 0
6 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus Ret 0

Daniel Ricciardo (19th): “I guess that was the main aim for this weekend to see that [Chequered flag]. So that was good. it started off quite difficult with the other, started quite close to the others but they pulled away from me.”

Heikki Kovalainen (Retired): “I had a really good start but then lost fourth gear and had to retire the car. The conditions out there were exactly what they should be for real drivers – a mix of two types of circuit, one wet, one dry, exactly what I love racing in and the type of race we could have taken advantage of.”

Standings

Drivers Championship

Although there has been no movement, everything seems to have closed up a little bit. Trulli retains his 13 point lead over his team mate, but Kovalainen must now be weary of both D’Ambrosio and Glock, who are within a race victory of him. Glock also reduces the gap to the Belgian to just four points. In some what similar fashion to Bruno Senna last year, Liuzzi is plodding along safely enough in 5th, while Ricciardo only has to get 10 more points to catch up to Karthikeyan.

  Driver Team Points
1 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus 55
2 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus 42
3 Jerome D’Ambrosio Marussia Virgin 37
4 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin 33
5 Vitantonio Liuzzi Hispania 23
6 Narain Karthikeyan Hispania 12
7 Daniel Ricciardo Hispania 3

Teams Championship

A perfect weekend for Virgin sees the gap to Team Lotus now only 27 points. I’m not going to lie to you, I could try and make this sound really interesting now, but it will still probably require some sort of miracle for Team Lotus not to win.

    Team Points
1 Team Lotus 97
2   Marussia Virgin 70
3   Hispania 38

Next Races

Because of fantastic timing, one of the few back to back races this season and I will be missing them both because of a scheduled holiday. The fact the FIA don’t organise their F1 calendar around mine is simply outrageous.

Anyways, the next update will be a bit delayed, probably coming in the week starting Monday 8th August.

But, there are still races going on at the Nurburgring in Germany, and Budapest in Hungary.

The last time we visited the Nurburgring, back in 2009, when the new teams were bidding to be involved in F1, Kovalainen would finish 8th, with Timo Glock just behind him.

Of course with Hungary, we can actually have some precedent for a change, with the same layout and the new teams as last year. It was a first as well, as all six cars would go on to finish the race. Typically, it was a Lotus 1-2, with Kovalainen coming out on top.

I’d love to predict but I fear it may be a bit obvious, Kovalainen will shockingly out-qualify Jarno Trulli and assuming both cars work, will win both times. I know, I’m such a risk taker.

And of course, if last year is anything to go by, Karthikeyan will return in place of Liuzzi.

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Posted on July 10, 2011, in New Teams Championship and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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