Banter Wars Australia: big enough fuel tank brainwave
This update is a little late to the party given that we are in the middle of the next weekend and is painful for me to type after Virgin's futility at the weekend but type it I must so here I go.
Lotus cleaned up for the second weekend in a row and now sit on 83 points which let Richard extend his lead out to 63 points, over HRT who leapfrogged Virgin into second on the back of Karun Chandhok doing his best Alex Yoong impression for 20 points. Virgin picked up a few consolation points in qualifying but until we can finish a race we are going to be in trouble.
Not putting a big enough fuel tank in the car is a cringe worthy error, this isn't some slight CFD error that cocked up some of the aero or someone dropped the wheel nut at a stop. This is a fundamental error with the basics of the car.
I'm hopeful that while that's being sorted we can have a look at the hydraulics and see if we can't get that solved too. Combine that with a nice aero update (read thievery from the frontrunners) when we get back to Europe and maybe Virgin can get back into this. I may be clutching at straws but a good performance at our home race in Britain could bring us roaring right back into this.
HRT must be elated that they got round for a full race albeit plenty off the pace. Still I shall not throw stones in my glass house as they did think to install a large enough fuel tank to make it to the end. Congrats to Lloyd's Armada on that brainwave.
Heikki's Lotus actually looked halfway decent in Australia which is an impressive feat for a brand new team for sure. Finishing two laps down was quite impressive and definitely the kind of performance the other new teams should be striving for at this point.
Timo Glock did make it past the halfway point for Virgin which was our longest run yet in fairness. If we could sort out the reliability and the fuel tank I think we would be able to push Lotus on Sundays. That's a big if though and it does look like the boys from AirAsia have got a couple of tenths on us pace-wise.
Qualifying in Australia went the way of Lotus and they locked out the front row of the banter wars grid with a good chunk of time to Virgin who picked up their only points of the weekend with a 3-4 in quali. HRT brought up the rear but both cars were within a second of the Virgins which shows that with a bit of running they can make it a three way fight.
Driver Team Qualifying Race Pos. BW Pos. Pts. Pos. BW Pos. Pts. Karun Chandhok HRT 24th 6th 0 14th 2nd 20 Bruno Senna HRT 23rd 5th 0 20th (RET) 5th 0 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 19th 1st 10 13th 1st (FL) 30 Jarno Trulli Lotus 20th 2nd 5 24th (RET) 6th 0 Lucas di Grassi Virgin 22nd 4th 1 16th (RET) 4th 0 Timo Glock Virgin 21st 3rd 3 15th (RET) 3rd 0
What we need here at Banter Wars is for Virgin to sort out the fuel tank and hydraulics and HRT to get a little more from their car, which I'm sure they will given their lack of testing, then we can have an excellent three way fight and hopefully Richard eating some crow by the end of the season. That aim can be helped by Lotus posting a double DNF this weekend in Malaysia, Richard's double scoring home race.
|2||R Kubica||Renault||+12 secs|
|3||F Massa||Ferrari||+14.4 secs|
|4||F Alonso||Ferrari||+16.3 secs|
|5||N Rosberg||Mercedes||+16.6 secs|
|6||L Hamilton||McLaren||+29.8 secs|
|7||V Liuzzi||Force India||+59.8 secs|
|8||R Barrichello||Williams||+60.5 secs|
|9||M Webber||Red Bull||+67.3 secs|
|10||M Schumacher||Mercedes||+69.3 secs|
|11||J Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||+71.3 secs|
|12||P De la Rosa||BMW Sauber||+74 secs|
|13||H Kovalainen||Lotus||+2 laps|
|14||K Chandhok||HRT||+5 laps|
|DNF||T Glock||Virgin||+17 laps|
|DNF||L Di Grassi||Virgin||+30 laps|
|DNF||S Vettel||Red Bull||+31 laps|
|DNF||A Sutil||Force India||+45 laps|
|DNF||V Petrov||Renault||+45 laps|
|DNF||B Senna||HRT||+50 laps|
|DNF||S Buemi||Toro Rosso||+58 laps|
|DNF||N Hulkenberg||Williams||+58 laps|
|DNF||K Kobayashi||BMW Sauber||+58 laps|
|DNF||J Trulli||Lotus||+58 laps|