Banter Wars Malaysia: We have a fight
The last time I wrote one of these updates my faith had been severely dented by the whole Virgin fuel tank issue a week later and I find myself celebrating Virgin's first race day triumph in the Banter Wars arena.
Let's ignore the fact that Richard extended his lead in the standings; this was due in the most part to Malaysia being Lotus' home round and therefore a double points weekend for the boys from Air Asia.
If we look at the actual points scoring totals of the drivers and teams from the weekend we see the following:
Driver Team Qualifying Race Pos. BW Pos. Pts. Pos. BW Pos. Pts. Karun Chandhok HRT 22nd 4th 1 15th 2nd 20 Bruno Senna HRT 23rd 5th 0 16th 3rd 15 Heikki Kovalainen
Lotus (Home Race)
15th 1st 10 18th (NC) 5th (FL) 5 Jarno Trulli Lotus (Home Race) 18th 3rd 3 17th 4th 10 Lucas di Grassi Virgin 24th 6th 0 14th 1st 25 Timo Glock Virgin 16th 2nd 5 23rd (RET) 6th 0
- Virgin - 30 points
- HRT - 36 points
- Lotus - 28 points
Without the double points bonus Richard's drivers would have actually come out on the losing end of the weekend. Given that both myself and Lloyd have our bonus rounds (British and Spanish GPs respectively) and can hope for a big points fall on those days. Richard having his fall on a weak weekend for Lotus could prove to be decisive in the long run.
From my own perspective its a huge relief to see a Virgin car make its way to the finish without incident and to come in first of the new boys. I have to admit my surprise that it was di Grassi who pulled in our first big points of the season I thought it would have been Timo Glock but we all know anything can happen in F1.
Hopefully di Grassi will now go from strength to strength and bring a regular challenge to his teammate and the two Lotuses.
There's little to be read into a topsy turvy rain affected qualifying session that told us absolutely nothing about absolute pace. For the next race however I'm hoping to see Virgin mixing it up in quali and trying to take some good points away from Richard in that session.
Lloyd will be happy to be the first out of the three of us to record a double finish and to reduce the number of laps behind the winner to a much more respectable number this week. Is anyone else surprised that Karun Chandhok looks to be a good amount faster than Bruno Senna? I thought Chandhok was going to be another one year and done F1 driver but it seems he might have some potential.
Richard will be hopefull the reliability worries get sorted by the time China rolls around; he very nearly had a double non-finish in his bonus round as Trulli's car was clearly on its knees by the time the end of the race. Kovalainen looks to be regaining his confidence after being broken by the McLaren corporate machine and is going to be dangerous going forward.
Overall it was a great weekend for fans of the teams involved in the Blue Flag Cup. It showed that there's going to be a good competition among the new teams to be the best rather than the Lotus walkover that looked like it was coming after the opening rounds.
Roll on another exciting banter wars weekend in China.
|1||S Vettel||Red Bull||1:33:48.412|
|2||M Webber||Red Bull||+4.8 secs|
|3||N Rosberg||Mercedes||+13.5 secs|
|4||R Kubica||Renault||+18.5 secs|
|5||A Sutil||Force India||+21 secs|
|6||L Hamilton||McLaren||+23.4 secs|
|7||F Massa||Ferrari||+27 secs|
|8||J Button||McLaren||+37.9 secs|
|9||J Alguersuari||Toro Rosso||+70.6 secs|
|10||N Hulkenberg||Williams||+73.3 secs|
|11||S Buemi||Toro Rosso||+78.9 secs|
|12||R Barrichello||Williams||+1 lap|
|DNF||F Alonso||Ferrari||+2 laps|
|14||L Di Grassi||Virgin||+3 laps|
|15||K Chandhok||HRT||+3 laps|
|16||B Senna||HRT||+4 laps|
|17||J Trulli||Lotus||+5 laps|
|NC||H Kovalainen||Lotus||+10 laps|
|DNF||V Petrov||Renault||+22 laps|
|DNF||V Liuzzi||Force India||+44 laps|
|DNF||M Schumacher||Mercedes||+46 laps|
|DNF||K Kobayashi||BMW Sauber||+48 laps|
|DNF||T Glock||Virgin||+53 laps|
|DNF||P De la Rosa||BMW Sauber||+56 laps|