Team-Mate Wars: Shanghai

Date published: April 19 2011

Mark Webber pulled one out of the bag in China, Felipe edged ahead of Fernando, while Paul DiResta beat Adrian Sutil’s mum…

Mark Webber pulled one out of the bag in China, Felipe edged ahead of Fernando, while Paul Di Resta beat Adrian Sutil’s mum…

Red Bull
Season: Webber 1 Vettel 2
Race: Webber
This has all the hallmarks of unnatural justice, I know. How can a driver who started on pole position and came second in the race NOT come away with the team-mate points. That’s what Seb fan(s) will be asking… Here’s the logic. Webbo drove a beaut. And it wasn’t his fault he got stuck in Q1 it was a team decision not to put him on the softs.

B

McLaren
Season: Hamilton 2 Button 1
Race: Hamilton
It’s not often you have a race where… tyre degradation is critical, Lewis adopts his Taz persona, collects a flatspot the size of Lincolnshire and still goes away from Jenson Button. It will be encouraging for Button that he could outqualify Lewis but the last 20 laps of the race were a bit mystifying.
After Malaysia he said that the tyres weren’t behaving quite like you’d expect them to – i.e. you’d look after them and they still went away, yet you could treat them mean and it didn’t seem to make much difference.


Ferrari
Season: Alonso 1 Massa 2
Race: Massa
Ferrari have yet to score a podium, but on current form it looks like Felipe Massa might get there first. Alonso has outqualified Massa three times now. Massa has outstarted Alonso three times in reply. This meant that Felipe got to change his tyres first which put Alonso back behind Michael Schumacher who seemed to be driving a Mercedes van not a W02. Quite fairly, I should add. At least he managed to keep ahead of the old fox till the flag.


Mercedes
Season: Schumacher 1 Rosberg 2
Race: Rosberg
Nico Rosberg scraped into Q3 whereas Michael Schumacher left himself too much to do. Teams are gradually getting themselves out of the habit of leaving their runs till late in the session when maximum rubber is down. With the Pirellis not degrading in the same way as the Bridgestones did the only benefit seems to be an undusty track.


Renault
Season: Heidfeld 1 Petrov 2
Race: Petrov
Nick never really recovered from the qualifying debacle caused by his team-mate. In the race Petrov got pretty feisty on two stops. Imagine what he’d have been like on three…?


Williams
Season: Barrichello 3 Maldonado 0
Race: Barrichello
A weekend so dire that Sam Michael has effectively said; ‘move me out of the way’. If Ferrari think they’re having a bad time of it 2011 they should cast their eyes down the grid. Even their close rivals want Williams to do better, because this is beginning to feel like the last days of Tyrrell. The one good spot of the weekend was Maldonado avoiding the Q1 drop. Those Turkish GP steps can’t come soon enough.


Force-India
Season: Sutil 0 Di Resta 3
Race: Di Resta
Considering how little single seater racing Paul Di Resta has done in the last few years, he is putting in a phenomenal performance. His mild-mannered post-race interviews belie a prodigious talent. To outqualify Adrian Sutil in three successive races, never having qualified an F1 car before is genius indeed. Either that or it’s Mrs Sutil standing in for Adrian, who hasn’t turned up for games.


Sauber
Season: Perez 1 Kobayashi 2
Kobayashi
Kobayashi is reasserting himself in the Sauber team while Perez is doing more of the things we expect rookies to do. The Mexican had a fair old clatter into Mrs Sutil during the race, but his overtaking move on Mark Webber was fearless. One or both of them must have picked up a lot of marbles as they ran side by side on Lap 9.


Toro Rosso
Season: Buemi 1 Alguersuari 2
Race: Alguersuari
A great qualifying result for the little bulls, but a dreadful start for both of them. Jaime seems to like this track more than Sebastien.


Lotus
Season: Trulli 0 Kovalainen 3
Race: Kovalainen
Kovalainen grabbed the race result the team have been waiting for, dispatching a Sauber and a Williams. The big pity was there was so much top notch overtaking going on that we only realised after the event.



Hispania
Season: Liuzzi 3 Karthikeyan 0,
Race/Qualifying: Liuzzi
HRT aren’t that far off Virgin and have come on leaps and bounds since Australia. Their great bonus is that all the top teams are desperate to save tyres in Q1, so none of them are going to be close to their full potential and winch the 107% mark higher. Both cars completed a race distance – as did everyone except Del Boy Alguersuari and his three-wheeler.


Virgin
Season: Glock 2 D’Ambrosio 1
Race: D’Ambrosio
Timo Glock can’t be enjoying this very much.


Lotus versus Virgin
Lotus 3 Virgin 0
The pace at which Lotus are improving means that the newbies trophy is going to become redundant very soon.


Boring versus Exciting GPs
Boring 1 Exciting 2
Possibly the most exciting final 10 laps of a dry race ever witnessed. Though not much fun if you’re a Ferrari fan.


Eddie Jordan Man of Wisdom or Complete Arse?
Man of Wisdom 1 Complete Arse 1
The worrying thing for Eddie Jordan must be that he wasn’t really missed. A bit like FOTA meetings really.


Star of the Race
Petrov 1, Vettel 1, Hamilton 1


Overtaking Move of the Race
Button 1, Webber 1, Hamilton 1


Star Arse of the Race
Barrichello (in Oz) 1, Malaysian Stewards 1, Jenson Button 1 (with distinction)


Jake Humphrey Checklist (per grand prix)
Unnecessary use of word tasty (2 races out of 3) In China we got “a very tasty trophy” (No Jake, it actually looks like something that sits in the window of your local Chinese takeaway) and also “some pretty tasty overtaking”.
Reference to Eddie Jordan’s old team (3 out of 3) even when he’s not there.
Is there going to be a party, they love a party etc? (2 out of 3) “Red Bull are usually partying in there” he said wistfully, wishing they were there so he could blag an alcopop.
Reference to EJ’s shirt (3 out of 3)
Nearly getting run over (1 out of 3). Having steered clear of cars in the first two races he was almost hit by a car making its way to the grid and then by a fork lift trick in China. It’s going to happen sooner or later…

Brundle’s ‘Del Boy’ Jewellery versus Coulthard’s White Trousers
Brundle 2 Coulthard 2

Andrew Davies