CAT's Mid Season Awards

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
CAT’s Mid Season Awards (so far)

With the mid-season break coming after race 11 it’s an opportune moment to look at some of the top performers of the season far. This is how I’ve placed them, what do the rest of you think?

Team of the season

3rd) Lotus Renault – When the car gets to the end it’s generally been in the points. The surprise package of the season in my eyes and a potential major upset in both drivers and constructors titles.

2nd) Mclaren Mercedes – Wins for both drivers and several podiums show just how good this car should be. Let down by pit stop issues which now seem to be resolved but should be right up their at the end of the season.

1st) Red Bull Renault – Topping the constructors table and second and third in the drivers. While they are not having it their own way as they have in the last couple of years they still look like the best all round performers. Consistency will win the title this year and the constructor’s title is theirs to lose.

Driver of the season

3rd) Kimi Raikkonen – Having finished every race and only been out of the points once, the only thing missing in this come back season is him standing on the top step of the podium and that will surely come. A surprise to some and a relief for others, Kimi has proven he isn’t back in F1 for a quick pay day or to make up the numbers.

2nd) Lewis Hamilton – The big question this year was if he could come back from a less than brilliant season in 2011. He has managed to do that and then some. Having put behind him the issues that plagued last year he has been rewarded with 3 poles and 2 wins plus several other trips to the podium. Now to sort that contract out.

1st) Fernando Alonso – Three wins, two seconds and every single race in the points with no finish lower than 9th. You have to wonder just where Ferrari would be without the Spaniard. This season has shown further proof that he remains the best driver on the grid. Time and again he flatters a car that has not produced a single Fastest Lap of the Race (not exactly a major barometer of car speed but a useful indication all the same). He deserves the title but will Ferrari sustain the challenge with their car?

The “One Off” award for doing it in a single race

3rd) Michael Schumacher, 3rd place,Valencia – Who would have thought that we would consider it a success that into his third year of his second coming in F1, Schumacher finally remembered where the podium was.

2nd) Sergio Perez, 2nd place, Malaysia - Reminded every one why he rightly is regarded as a future champion. But for a small mistake as he was driving the wheels of the car trying to catch Alonso it may have been his first win.

1st) Pastor Maldonado, 1st place, Spain - At long, long last Williams have moved up a notch on the total wins tally. Many thought the team would never see the top step again. The car had genuine pace all weekend and proved it by taking pole. Maldonado divides opinion with a reputation as a one man wrecking ball but he’ll always be on Sir Franks Christmas card list for that win.

The most disappointing team of the season

3rd) Caterham Renault – Come on !!! How long are we going to have to wait for them to catch up and join the mid-table teams. If I see one more article promising that famous “1 second a lap” upgrade I think I’ll scream. There is a very real chance that they will lose Kovalainen to another team and he has consistently out driven the car.

2nd) Force India Mercedes – There were signs that at the back end of last season ForceIndia would be a force to reckon with this season. After a couple of early points finishes the season seems to have fizzled out and they only find themselves in front of the usual suspects and Toro Rosso. Yes, on balance take out Williams’ win and the scores would look different but hey, Williams won.

1st) Mercedes – Almost half the points in the constructors table than that of Lotus and in the case of Schumacher, the most retirements of any driver. Yes they have won one race but other than that, they seem incapable of bringing the challenge to the top four.

The most disappointing driver of the season

3rd) Jenson Button – For some reason, after taking the first win of the season in pretty emphatic fashion the rest of the season so far has seen Jenson move from struggle to struggle. Can he turn it around in the remainder of the year or will he find himself playing a supporting role to his team mate?

2nd) Felipe Massa – It can’t be easy to be under constant pressure from all sides with regards to your place in the team. While the Ferrari is clearly not the best car on the grid, while his illustrious team mates wrings it for all it’s worth Massa finds himself going in the other direction.

1st) Pastor Maldonado – He won a race in only his second season in F1 and took pole as well and yet he still thinks it’s ok to use his car as a battering ram.

So, how would everyone else place the teams / drivers?
 

KekeTheKing

Banned
Supporter
Well done c_a_t. Here's how I see it.

I would move Lotus ahead of McLaren in the Mid-Season Team award.

I would replace Raikkonen with Webber for P3 in the Driver category.

Disappointing Teams
3. Force India
2. Caterham
1. Toro Rosso

Disappointing Drivers
3. Vettel
2. Button
1. Schumacher
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
In the same categories

Team 3. Sauber 2. Lotus 1. Red Bull
Driver 3. Webber 2. Hamilton 1. Alonso
One-off 3. Mercedes (China) 2. Toro Rosso (Australia) 1. Maldonado (Williams)
Dis Team 3. Toro Rosso 2. Caterham 1. Mercedes
Dis Driver 3. Rosberg 2. Vergne 1. Button
 
KFC's Mid-Season Report:


Team by Team Rundown:

Red Bull Racing:
Summary in a Sentence:
A solid start to the season sees them leading the championship by a healthy margin over their main competitors.​
Highlight:
A dominant performance from Vettel in Bahrain, backed up with a podium position from Webber gave them 40 points to head back to Europe with.​
Lowlight:
The race after, in Spain, gave Red Bull only 8 points, they're lowest of the season at a track historically suited to their car.​
KFCITW gives them:
10/10​

McLaren Mercedes:
Summary in a Sentence:
A consistent on track and inconsistent pit-lane performance, with Hamilton leading teammate Button in the standings.​
Highlight:
Hamilton's incredible drive in Hungary, where he finished top in all sessions bar one.​
Lowlight:
Their home race at Silverstone, where the team struggled for pace, generally, all weekend.​
KFCITW gives them:
9/10​

Scuderia Ferrari:
Summary in a Sentence:
If they had two good drivers, they'd be unbeatable.​
Highlight:
Alonso.​
Lowlight:
Massa.​
KFCITW gives them:
7/10​

Mercedes AMG Petronas:
Summary in a Sentence:
Had terrible reliability, particularly for Schumacher, and thus the number of points in the championship has been limited.​
Highlight:
Rosberg's dominant victory in China.​
Lowlight:
Schumacher's pole position in Monaco being taken away, and his DNF in the race didn't help matters either.​
KFCITW gives them:
4/10​

Lotus F1Team:
Summary in a Sentence:
A very good comeback by their two drivers - Raikkonen and Grosjean - meaning they are third in the championship, one point behind McLaren​
Highlight:
Bahrain, where the team scored a double podium.​
Lowlight:
Monaco, where they only picked up 2 points courtesy of the Iceman.​
KFCITW gives them:
8/10​

Force India:
Summary in a Sentence:
Generally been off the pace of the other midfield runners, with Hulkenberg catching his teammate towards the end of the first half of the season.​
Highlight:
Europe, where the team collected 16 points with a 5th and a 7th place finish.​
Lowlight:
Britain, as di Resta retired on the second lap, and Hulkenberg lost points on the final point after running wide.​
KFCITW gives them:
6/10​

Sauber:
Summary in a Sentence:
With two young drivers, Sauber have been consistent and sit 6th in the championship.​
Highlight:
Pérez's 2nd place in Malaysia, and another podium in Montreal.​
Lowlight:
Hungary - no points.​
KFCITW gives them:
8/10​

Scuderia Toro Rosso:
Summary in a Sentence:
Disappointing generally, with no points since Malaysia.​
Highlight:
Ricciardo's qualifying in Bahrain, 6th.​
Lowlight:
Vergne crashing with someone [can't remember] in Europe.​
KFCITW gives them:
5/10​

Williams:
Summary in a Sentence:
If their drivers didn't crash, they might get some points.​
Highlight:
Maldonado winning in Spain.​
Lowlight:
Maldonado everywhere apart from Spain.​
KFCITW gives them:
6/10​

Caterham:
Summary in a Sentence:
They'll catch up… eventually.​
Highlight:
Getting rid of Trulli.​
Lowlight:
Replacing him with Petrov.​
KFCITW gives them:
6/10​

HRT:
Summary in a Sentence:
Their car looks nice, shame I could run faster than it.​
Highlight:
Error 404… page does not exist.​
Lowlight:
Australia.​
KFCITW gives them:
4/10​

Marussia:
Summary in a Sentence:
Rubbish.​
Highlight:
Not being called Virgin anymore.​
Lowlight:
Commentators can't say that 'it’s turned to custard for d'Ambrosio' anymore.​
KFCITW gives them:
3/10​
 

F1 Shift.net

Points Scorer
I think McLaren has to be at least on the list for most disappointing team, they shoot themselves in the foot far too often and have probably taken their drivers out of contention for the title
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
Personally, I would base the team of the season so far on the improvement since last year, along with the ultimate pace/reliability of the car and what they've managed to extract from it. My top performing teams are thus something like this:

1. Lotus - They had a fairly poor season last year under the Renault name, barely finishing ahead of the midfield. What a transformation! They have arguably the fastest race car on the grid and were it not for having to accommodate to new drivers and a few non-finishes they could well be leading the constructors championship having won multiple races. What's also impressive is that they seem to have matched, if not exceeded, the development rate of the "big boys".

2. Williams - They got 5 points in 2011, they already have 53 in 2012 despite their drivers. I think they'll only be battling for a few points here and there for the rest of the season, but to have turned things around so drastically since last year, grabbing a win in the process, is amazing.

3. Ferrari - They started the season with a car they didn't really understand and were well off the pace. However, they rallied behind Alonso with strategy, pit stops and reliability that far exceeded their rivals. This, in addition to the car excelling in wet conditions kept them in the championship hunt and before we all knew it they ended up with one of the fastest race cars on the grid, with Alonso ominously placed at the top of the drivers championship.

4. Sauber - To keep it short, another team that has already far exceeded its points tally from last year, topped off with what was oh so nearly a victory in the wet at Malaysia. Sauber are punching well above their weight and have established themselves as the fastest team outside the "big 5", and are now even as fast, if not faster than Mercedes.

5. Red Bull - Compared to the dominance of 2011, I guess you could say Red Bull have been a disappointment. They seem to have been hit the most by the exhaust blown diffuser ban and seemed a little lost at the start of the season (or at least Vettel did). The brilliant Newey and his team quickly turned that around though, and we find them with a big lead in the constructors, and 2nd and 3rd in the drivers, championship. With Massa and Button struggling, they'll be difficult to catch.

6. McLaren - They were the only (proper) team to not go with the stepped nose concept, which really was a brave thing to do because they would have known that most people would be going down that route. It paid off and they started the season with the fastest car on the grid, being particularly dominant in qualifying. They should lead the constructors and drivers championships as a result, but they don't and this is why I place them 6th. Multiple pit stop errors, gearbox change penalties, the fuel sample farce and seemingly a complete lack of development until Germany sees them 2nd in the constructors, narrowly ahead of Lotus and Ferrari. They do at least seem to have redeemed themselves, with the big upgrade package working and their pit stops now regularly the fastest on the grid, but have they left themselves too much to do?

The rest of your selections I broadly agree with, although I think Toro Rosso have been far more disappointing than Force India and Mercedes should probably get at least some credit for their strong start to the season.

EDIT: For completeness, I'd go with 7) Mercedes, 8) Force India, 9) Caterham, 10) Toro Rosso, =11) Marussia/HRT
 

sushifiesta

Champion Elect
Contributor
To follow that up, I might as well write up who I think have been the most impressive drivers so far too, particularly since I think I'll end up making some controversial choices ;) .

1. Alonso - He has extracted every single morsel of performance out of the Ferrari at every race. Alonso at his best is an amazing sight.

2. Hamilton - He's been slightly less flawless than Alonso, but the points he's lost have virtually all been due to factors out of his control. Coming off the back of a difficult 2011, Hamilton has rediscovered his form and will push Alonso right to the wire if McLaren give him the car and performance to match his talent.

3. Raikkonen - Coming back to F1 after a few years out is not easy. He's used all his experience and rediscovered his great speed immediately to bring back points in all but one race and five podiums, making him a threat in the championship.

4. Grosjean - Grosjean has had too many accidents, some his fault, some not. However, he has also been extremely fast, outperforming Raikkonen in qualifying and picking up three podiums. Personally, I didn't see this coming after his difficult first appearance in F1, and that's why I place him 3rd. His speed, along with his positive attitude, should give him a long future at the front of F1.

5. Perez - Coming in to F1 in 2011, he was probably considered a pay driver. That is a long distant memory. He's backed up his impressive 2011 with an equally impressive start to 2012 and was unlucky to miss out on victory in Malaysia.

6. Maldonado - Were it not for the occasions where the red mist has descended and he's done something stupid, I would be putting Maldonado around 3rd. At the end of last season pretty much everyone, myself included, ranked him as a slow pay driver. His win in Spain was amazing, soaking up the pressure from Alonso, and he has backed that up with much better pace than his (average) team mate. He has been hurt by his special talent for making accidents, but if that can be tamed dare I say that he could be a formidable driver in the future?

7. Webber - Right back on the pace of Vettel after a difficult 2011, but he has had a bit of an up and down season at times.

8. Schumacher - His points tally is horrible, but that is largely due to mechanical failures out of his control although I can't contest that he has also made a couple of schoolboy errors that have been a feature since his comeback. However, he has had seriously good pace this year, and could well be ahead of Rosberg in the championship were it not for the retirements. Unfortunately Mercedes have lost their way in the development race, but I think we've seen glimpses of the Michael of old and he probably would have won Monaco were it not for the grid penalty.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
They did? 20th and 22nd in Quali (with Perez no setting a time below them) and second to last and a retirment in the race - plus Timo Glock's fastest lap was 2 and a half seconds slower than the fastest lap of the race.

Hopefully they don't define doing well as beating Karthikeyen.

After a good start I have to say Marussia have managed to fall back into the clutches of HRT for about the third season running. If HRT bothered to do some testing and hadn't uprooted their entire project during the summer you have to wonder if they could have started at least on terms with Marussia - they seem to out develop them every year!
 
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