Middle Of The Road

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
It seems the midfield have largely been ignored as the spotlight falls on the 'Big 3' at the front and the 'Little 3' at the back. So here is my take on the remainder of the field.

[bg=#CCCCCC]Mercedes[/bg] - Unfortunately for Mercedes, they make this list. They never were at the pace of McLaren or Red Bull, and only really excelled Ferrari at Istanbul. Nico Rosberg has been consistently picking up points, with 3 excellent podiums thrown in, but he's essentially doing an embossed version of the role he did for Williams last year. They lie 4th in the Constructors' Championship in no man's land between Renault and Ferrari, and Schumacher has been unimpressive.

[bg=#FFFF00]Renault[/bg] - It seems unfair to categorise Robert Kubica as a midfield runner. His podiums in Australia and Monaco have been excellent and he is the only driver not in a Red Bull to reach Q3 in every race. He is up ahead of Massa in the Drivers' Championship. Based on this, and Renault's blemished history regarding second drivers, it is difficult to judge Vitaly Petrov. The Russian's only points came in the wet Chinese GP, but he has been unlucky not to score more in Turkey for example. However, he has not been near his team-mate at any point. Kubica has contributed most of the points total that gives Renault a WCC 5th place.

[bg=#FEFEFE]Force India[/bg] - Although the Force's qualifying performances have dipped of late, Adrian Sutil has been hanging around the minor points places at every race in the European season thus far, in addition to an excellent fifth place borne of the qualifying confusion in Malaysia. However, Vitantonio Liuzzi is not quite good enough to consistently join him and is surely treading water until being replaced with the promising Paul di Resta for next season. Though Force have scored in all but the Chinese race, on current form maintaining 6th from Williams looks a difficult task.

[bg=#0000BF]Williams[/bg] - Williams started the season poorly, picking up the minor points on a few occasions. Most of that work was done by Rubens Barrichello, who has consistently been their better driver. However, at the last two races, Williams have returned to the position they were at 12 months ago, with Barrichello taking a few big points hauls. Though Hulkenburg hasn't been slow, points have been difficult to come by for him, with only two so far. If form continues, they're unlikely to stay 7th, but they have difficult opponents ahead.

[bg=#FEFEFE]Sauber[/bg] - The season started with great difficulty for Sauber, who seemed unable to get cars to the finishing line. Their reliability has picked up of recent weeks however. They've spent a lot of time losing out in Q1, but there have been some excellent breaks into Q3 from Kamui Kobayashi, and at the previous race by Pedro de la Rosa. Kobayashi picked up their first point in Turkey, and got lucky (although he was excellent) in Valencia, but his performance at the British GP was exemplary. Kobayashi accounts for all their points, and they are one of the teams on an upward trend.

[bg=#6000BF]Toro Rosso[/bg] - Red Bull II have predictably dropped off the back of all the other 2009 teams on pace, especially since they are no longer allowed to make near-carbon copies of the RB6. They are the only team save for the newbies to have not reached Q3, and the pace has not been there largely. However, both Jaime Alguersuari and Sebastien Buemi are point scorers, Alguersuari impressing in Malaysia and acting as Michael Schumacher's viewpoint on many occasions! Buemi scored three points finishes in Monaco (where STR seem to score quite often), Europe and Canada where he was particularly impressive. Toro Rosso may be the back of the 9, but they're not entirely unimpressive.
 

MajorDanby

Motorsports' answer to Eric the Eel
Contributor
Nice TBY,

Speaking of Kubica and Renault, I can't help but think that we have seen the best of them for this season. Its looking more and more fact rather than rumour that they avoided development of the f-duct earlier on in the season to concentrate more on the EBD, which at the first iteration in Valencia seemed to work better, and looked more elegant than Ferrari's effort.

Now with the other teams getting their EBDs on line they look to be dropping back in pace. One can't help but think that their lack of the f-duct they will struggle in Hockenheim. Saying this, they have impressed me this season, and I think they have set the groundwork for a decent challenger next season. Kubica has been shining.

Sauber are another team that has impressed me, or maybe it is more just Koby, who clearly seems to have the measure of De la Rosa, especially in recent races. Peter Sauber, taking the reins again appears to have worked.

Again, I'm also quite impressed with Williams' recent efforts who have shot up the field with a couple of excellent drives from Rubens, who clearly has the measure of the Hulk so far. Something I didn't quite expect.

I've been very disappointed with Mercedes, who obviously after a wonderful year as Brawn, seem to now have inherited a lot of the problems of the old Honda team. I guess these things can skip a generation?
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
MajorDanby said:
I've been very disappointed with Mercedes, who obviously after a wonderful year as Brawn, seem to now have inherited a lot of the problems of the old Honda team. I guess these things can skip a generation?

It is not unexpected really.

In 2009, Brawn had a car designed and funded by Honda who essentially ignored the entirety of the 2008 season and diverted all resources into 2009. Not surprising it was top.

This year, Mercedes have a car designed by the Brawn GP team, overburdened and relatively poor as it was, which was still fighting for a Championship in 2009.

What has disappointed me is that Schumacher used to push a car, and now it seems he's falling back from it.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
I've been disappointed with STR this year.

At the start it looked like Alguesuari was starting to get quite strong within that team but he's lost a bit of momentum, with 11, 12, 12, 13 and 21st positions in the last 5 races.

However when you take into context his age and his sheer lack of experience driving cars, let alone F1 cars, he's doing okay. I'm not a fan of Buemi, he seems to fall into that category of drivers who has reasonable speed but lacks the ability to "make things happen". Perhaps that's too harsh on him, and he is on a decent run right now, picking up a few points at Canada and Valencia.

I just believed that STR would be fighting with Force India, Williams and maybe even Renault for that spot around 8-12 a bit more often, what with the backing they had last year. As far as I know this year's STR is essentially last year's RB5, produced under a different name to circumvent the FIA's ruling on "mother" teams.

It'll be intriguing to see how their season pans out, I like Alguesuari a lot but he needs another 3-4 years of Grand Prix driving before we will see him star, in my opinion. Buemi is young too and overall if they keep faith with their drivers they could have a good, if midfield, future.
 

MCLS

Anti F1 fan
Valued Member
Enja said:
As far as I know this year's STR is essentially last year's RB5, produced under a different name to circumvent the FIA's ruling on "mother" teams.

No, Torro Rosso had to make their own chassis from scratch
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
McLarenSupremo said:
Enja said:
As far as I know this year's STR is essentially last year's RB5, produced under a different name to circumvent the FIA's ruling on "mother" teams.

No, Torro Rosso had to make their own chassis from scratch

Really?

I was under the belief that Red Bull Racing developed the car under the company name of "Red Bull Technology" so as to, as I say, circumvent the ruling.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Nice summary TBY.

I would say that Renault are currently the best of the rest with Williams looking like they are back on the road to recovery.
However, Force India have a slight lead over them and could easily finish ahead of them this season.

In a way I want Williams to get back to where they were but at the same time I'm really pleased to see Force India doing so well.
 
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