Archive for the ‘BackmarkersF1 Alternate WDC’ Category

After giving our merciless verdict on the top dogs’ 2011 season, we now turn to the much more exiting midfield battle. Here are the final standings for the Midfield!

1.Rosberg 300                             

2.Schumacher 237                  

3. Sutil 209                                    

4. Di Resta 179                          

5. Kobayashi 159                     

6. Petrov 152                              

7. Alguersuari 143  

8. Buemi 124     

9. Heidfeld 117          

10. Perez 108                 

11. Barrichello 77        

12. Maldonado 38          

13.Senna 29

Rosberg is our well-deserved midfield WDC after another solid season, flawless though also quit colorless. Is it due to the German’s driving style, or the fact that his car is in a bit of a no-man’s-land when it comes to performance, but Rosberg never really manages to inspire, his drive in China perhaps coming closest to getting some Merc fans to jizz their pants until he was forced to go into fuel saving mode.

Rosberg 7.5/10 Unphazed by Schumi and thoroughly spanked the 7 time WDC for the 2nd year in the row. A few very impressive quali laps but needs to inspire more.

Schumacher got closer to Rosberg over the course of the season but in the end is not quite there yet. Somehow, perhaps illogically, I do feel that Schumacher will be on top of his game next year and if that Merc is competitive, we may be in for some fireworks.

Schumacher 6.5/10 Definitely more on the pace compared to last year, and some great drives – Monaco, Canada, Monza. Some dumb moves again though and desperately needs to sort out quali.

Adrian Sutil finishes a very solid third in our alternate WDC, thanks to a very impressive mid season comeback from what had been a very difficult season start. I was one of many ready to call lights out on Sutil’s F1 career after he started glassing rival team owners in the neck and generally getting spanked by his rookie teammate, but his drives in the latter half of the season were just plain impressive. He even convinced me – notoriously quick to pass judgment and very stubborn class a a-hole – that he does indeed fully deserves an F1 seat. However his future is still uncertain, as it seems very likely Force India will dump him, so he’ll be left begging Williams or Renault, the latter seeming unlikely given his history with Eric Lux. Still, under immense pressure to keep his seat the man delivered, and I love to recognize a fighter and a man with the cojones to rise up to the occasion like Adrian did.

Sutil 7,5/10 Would have been a solid 8/10 were it not for a fairly sucky first half of the season. Redeemed himself like a boss though.

For a rookie, Di Resta did more than was expected of him to deliver a very solid first season in F1. While his performance tailed off as the season drew to a close, he’s proven he fully deserved the shot he got in F1 after taking the unusual DTM route. While I believe he is overhyped by the British media, he has been solid and very mature. I am looking forward to what he can do next year.

Di Resta 7/10 Solid rookie season. Did what was expected of him.

After a fairly anonymous season – to his standards at least, Kobayashi manages to beat Petrov to fifth in the standings. Thrust in the lead driver role- much like the Russian – in only his second F1 season, Kobayashi’s race pace and overtaking skill were the key elements that allowed him to finish in this very respectable position. While DRS has taken away a key advantage from Kamui – his skill to overtake where others can’t – he still made it work with some remarkable consistency throughout the year and despite Sauber’s dropoff in performance near the end of the year. However, his quali performance has been lacking, as hot shot rookie teammate Perez outqualified him 8-10 this year.

Kamui Kobayashi 6.5/10 A tough year, but he showed some great resilience and can only have become a better driver for it. Bring on next year. His score dragged down by poor quali performance.

With the news of Grosjean’s signing at Lotus alongside Raikkonen still fresh in our minds, it is a bit strange to discuss Petrov. While I’ve been one of his harshest critics, I don’t like to kick a man while he is down. What can be said? The season started like a dream with the Russian nabbing a podium in Albert Park, but after that it just kept going downhill for him and the team. He provided us again with one of the most hilarious crashes of the year by going airborne in Malaysia, and while he kept Heidfeld honest he still got beaten by the German – albeit it by a small margin. Still, it was the veteran who was dumped for what the team described as his poor performance mid-season to make way for Bruno Senna. If Heidfeld was underperforming according to Boullier, what was Petrov doing then? Vitally clearly improved compared to last year, but since the base level was so low last year, that wasn’t too hard to do. With the Russian money not materializing in the volume Boullier expected, he’s now out on the kerb looking with hopeful eyes to Marussia, hoping to keep his F1 career alive with what started it…money.

Petrov 5.5/10 He did get a podium so deserves credit there. However he just did not improve enough to impress anyone. Had his 2 chances now in a decent car and didn’t take it.

Heidfeld 5/10 Ok he got a podium as well but utterly failed as team leader and was disastrous in quali even though his race pace compensated for that.

Senna came along and stunned us with a superb Spa quali lap on his first outing for the team, but then brought us all back into the real world with a dumb turn one crash. After that he was ok in Monza quali and race, but for the rest of the season he failed to impress. While I’m a sucker for nostalgia I fear the Brazilian has just not done enough to retain an F1 seat. His Brazilian sponsorship may still decide otherwise though.

Senna 5.5/10 Coming in mid-season is never easy, but he should have done more to really get himself noticed.

On to the Toro Rosso duo, it was a bit of a shame that their fight got decided by Buemi’s misfortune in the final GPs, but Alguersuari had definitely upped his game already before Buemi started getting his by weird failures. That said, the young Spaniard kinda sucked early on in the year, as the seasaw battle with Buemi continued unabated in their second year together. It would be good to see a new element like Ricciardo thrown into the team to have another yardstick. Both drivers being competitively average making it hard to choose between either is not a good reason to keep drivers. That said, Alguersuari is actually younger than Ricciardo, a fact which should not be forgotten. Perhaps there is still some margin for growth there?

Alguersuari 6/10 Some great races later on but blighted by a crappy season start. Buemi 6/10 Good start to the year but tailed off later. Neither of the STR guys impressed me this year.

Sergio Perez somewhat surprisingly only finished 9th in this WDC despite an impressive rookie season. Branded just another pay driver before the season started, he gave his talented teammate a real run for his money and even outqualified him. That said, his race pace was found lacking on occasion, and his wet weather driving seems to be below par. Of course he also did well to recover from a nasty crash in Monaco which forced him to sit out 2 GPS, further explaining his low finishing position.

Perez 7/10 Very impressive as a rookie. Does need to work on race pace and wet weather racing.

On to the most depressing team of 2011 with a look at veteran Rubens Barrichello. While last year he pretty much had the measure of much touted Hulkenberg, against all expectations he had a tough time in quali against the Venezuelan Maldonado, just scraping ahead to beat him 10-8. His experience assured him of a beter race pace as he ended the season 7-5 in front, although had it not been for Maldonado DNF’ing after his altercation with Hamilton in Monaco, Rubinho would have even finished behind Pastor in the official standings. Ok, the car sucked monkey balls this year, but Rubens never showed he still had what it takes. He kept talking about his motivation to keep on driving, and I believe him, but if his experience as a development driver is put into so much doubt looking at the dog Williams produced this year with his input, It saddens me to say that Rubvens has simply overstayed his welcome in F1.

Barrichello 5/10 Motivation alone does not merit a drive. Experience must lead to good technical input helping to develop a great car, which clearly didn’t happen.

Maldonado was a bit like this year’s typical pay driver rookie. Lots of spins and crashes, a fairly horrid race pace and some real brainfart moves. His quali lap in barcelona particularly did show a flash of real talent but it simply was not enough throughout the year. Combined with his very unsportsmanlike conduct in Spa, I’d prefer to see the rapist face with the charisma of a kitchen sink be out of an F1 drive next year. Even his pay driver money isn’t clean.

Maldonado 4/10 Lotsa money, but simply not good enough.

A quick look at the WCC leads to these conclusions:

1.Mercedes 537

2.Force India 388

3.Renault 298

4.Toro rosso 267

5.Sauber 267

6.Williams 115

At season start it looked like the Renaults were going to be the team to beat in the midfield, or even be the ones to graduate into the top dogs category, but then all went to shit in the Enstone based team after the initial double podium with Vitaly and Nick. In the end, the Renaults were happy to finish ahead of Team Lotus, in a way making Fernandes’ prediction that they’d be racing LRGP by the end of the year, but not in a way either of them would have hoped for : at the back of the grid. While in the official standings the weight of the double podium finishes left Renault just scraping ahead of Force India in the WCC, in the BackmarkersF1 universe, where it’s easier to consistently nab points and value driver and team performances objectively, FI thoroughly spanked Renault to come a solid second to Mercedes, a full 90 points ahead of Renault!

This shows just how skewed the standings got by those podium finishes. Another interesting note in the midfield fight is Sauber and Toro Rosso finishing on equal points, while in the ‘real’ WCC Sauber scraped ahead due to Kobayashi’s points finishes in the final 2 races. The picture would have of course been different had the team not been robbed of the nice points they could have gotten in the first GP of the year which saw them get DSQ’d for a technical infringement.

Furthermore, Sauber could have taken the fight to the FIs and the Renaults, were it not that they trusted the FIA too much. Upon the FIA announcement that they’d ban exhaust blowing, Sauber halted all development on that aspect, which resulted in a clear drop in competitiveness over the season. Nevertheless, even though they are equal on points with STR, Sauber still edges ahead thanks to Kobayashi’s fifth place in Monaco.

So, how did the midfield stack up in your opinion? Feel free to give your judgments in the comments below!


Well this is it ladies and gents, the final Backmarkers F1 WDC standings. With all three championships basically decided long time ago, this was perhaps not as spectacular as expected, but it does give us an opportunity to analyse each drivers performance in detail. Despite the length of the season, some teams and drivers ended up very close to one another, and our alternate points scoring system sees some significant changes in the midfield compared to the official standings. Today we are doing this a little different, as of course the end of the year deserves a bit more of an in depth look at our standings and the performance of each driver, so I have split these post up so as to spare you the wall of text. Today we start with the top dogs, and give our final Backmarkers F1 verdict scoring the driver’s season on a scale to 10. You are of course very much invited to do the same in the comments below.

The Top Dogs

1. Vettel 147

2. Button 82

3. Webber 75

4. Alonso 73

5. Hamilton 66

6. Massa 18


Well, fingerboy is now a double champ, and has been so for quite a while in fact. I am not a fan of the guy but cannot hate on his season. He drove superbly, made just one single mistake in Canada and was flawless for the rest of the season (on race day at least, he had a few brushed in practice as he was testing the limits) and just utilized the potential of that Red Bull to the fullest to become a well-deserved WDC.

Vettel: 9/10 Near perfect were it not for slip ups in Canada and Germany, but mostly not a 10 because of that fucking finger.

With the win in Brazil giftwrapped by SebVet and Red Bull to Mark Webber, he ends an embarrassing season in third, and somehow seemed to be happy about it. While the whole team is adamant that the gearbox issue was real, the fact that Vettel set a fastest lap after he let Webbo through totally undermines that. That, and the fact he only lost by 16 seconds in the end, nursing a – by Horner’s accounts’ –near dead gearbox for about 30 laps. Also the fact that it was just so damned convenient to let Webbo win his little race this year so he doesn’t go back to OZ completely demoralized. The Red Bulls were the class of the field again in Brazil for the first time in quite a while it must be said, so they didn’t have to worry about a stray Mclaren or Alonso sweeping in to steal the race if they slowed Vettel down to let Webbo win. BackmarkersF1 calls BS on that Red Bull PR ladies and gents. His starts especially have been shockingly bad all year long and could not even get close to Vettel on Sundays and in most quali sessions.

Webber: 4/10 Consistent……ly Average. 3 poles to 15, One win to 11…Nuff said. Webber has been spanked by Vettel all year, and most of the time could not even compete with the Mclarens.

In Brazil Hamilton got a third DNF to his name for the year with a real gearbox issue , albeit only the first one through no fault of his own in a year he will try to forget as fast as possible. All the antics with Massa aside, the other contacts and the Ali G comments, what probably stings the most is the fact that for the first time in his illustrious F1 career – and likely his whole single seater career though I cba to research that now lol – that Hamilton has been beaten by his teammate over the course of a season. However there was some silver lining, his quali lap in Germany and India, and the 3 race wins sort of made his season easier to bear. If a bad season results in three wins, you probably should not be too depressed after all.

Hamilton: 6/10 A rollercoaster season combining utter brainfarts with stellar drives. Not good enough.

Now I’m not going to brag, but am proud to say I predicted a very strong season for Button before it even started in my YT vids. The Pirelli tires, Button’s maturity and expert driving especially in changeable conditions made this to me the most impressive season in Button’s career, more so than his WDC winning year with Brawn. The DNFs he had were through no fault of his own, and while his quali pace still left to be desired, by the end of the year he had largely remedied that and thus finishes a very respectable second in our WDC.

Button 8,5/10 Incredible maturity,superb wet weather driving, establishing himself as team leader at Mclaren, when in 09-10 everyone thought he’d be eaten alive by Hamilton. Not 9/10 only because he was still lacking in quali.

Fernando Alonso has been impeccable as always this year, grabbing the Scuderia’s only win in Silverstone and while some on track moves reeked of the – now legal – team orders which blighted his great season last year, he consistently did what only the truly great drivers can do. He dragged that Ferrari by the neck and outperformed it race after race. With the third best car, he somehow seemingly always managed to be on the podium.

Alonso 8/10. Solid to the core. The man is a machine and didn’t even get any points deducted for being a douche this year as he kept it clean.

His teammate was a tad less impressive, leaving the whole paddock and most F1 fans wondering what he is still doing in an F1 seat, let alone in one of those very coveted top flight teams! Yes, he had a horrific accident and we’re all glad he survived well enough to still be racing but let’s face it, the magic is gone (if it ever existed in the first place). Alonso is probably the best there is right now so there is no shame in getting beat by him, but Felipe cannot even perform the role Ferrari so loves to give to Brazilians … as supportive no2. If anything, Massa has hindered Alonso more than he has helped him in races. While I hate team orders like that, it’s about the only use Massa has at Ferrari at this point and even there he failed to deliver. It seems he’ll still be in a Ferrari next year. It baffles me, but if somehow, someway he finds back his mojo, I’ll be the first to salute him…..But it’s never gonna happen.

Felipe Massa: 3/10 Well he outqualified Alonso a few times, the only thing saving him from an even lower score.



1. Red Bull 222

2. Mclaren 148

3. Ferrari 91

Looking at the constructers there are no surprises there, Ferrari being dragged down by Massa, and Vettel scoring just one point less than both Mclaren drivers combined to snatch the WCC for Red Bull.


So, how do you think the top drivers stacked up this year? Give your merciless verdict in the comments below!

With sadness I only just realized as the Abu Dhabi GP came to an end that the 2011 season has just one race left on the calendar. It felt like the first 8 races or so were still early season, before you knew it we were in midseason and only now do I realize that this is really the end already. I am already dreading this long hot dry season months – yea no winter for me here, suckers  – before we even get to see some early testing.

This melancholy isn’t helped of course by not having much excitement left in the championship, the only notable fights that remain to be decided is who will be 2nd in the WDC and the fight for 6th, 7th and 8th in the WCC. Even our spectacularly devised alternate WDC does not offer much more excitement, with the tightest battle being for best of the rest behind the Mercs in the midfield, but even there it is almost certain that Sutil will run away with it after a brilliant late season charge.

The Top Dogs

1. Vettel 141

2. Button 78

3. Alonso 70

4. Hamilton 66

5. Webber 65

6.Massa  15


The top dogs didn’t offer much excitement for the 2nd race in a row, though that was in part largely helped by the Abu Dhabi ‘all bling no soul’ Tilkedrome and DRS which made whatever passing there was totally artificial. It also didn’t help that we were denied a possible Vettel-Hamilton showdown when the German retired with a puncture on turn 2. That said, there was some nice wheel to wheel action courtesy of Webber who tangled with Massa and Button as yet again the Aussie managed to lose a spot at the start.

Button got nabbed by Alonso who turned up in p2 after nabbing Button as well; showing Webbo how an f1 start is done. Despite these brief moments of excitement, nothing really changed up front as Hamilton took a controlled race win ahead of a superb Alonso and an almost equally impressive Button, who dragged a wounded car up onto the podium despite severe pressure from Webbo in the first stint. Webbo saw his chances at a podium evaporate as he got schooled in wheel to wheel racing by Button, leaving him unable to pass despite having DRS available against a KERS-less Mclaren. Red Bull then had a rare pit stop slip up at the end of his first stint to seal his fate.

Massa, who in qualifying was again off hitting stuff and cutting corners, was racing Webber for his best finish of the season….a lowly 4th, until he dropped it in turn one with a quite inexplicable rookie spin, which saw him drop into the clutches of Rosberg who finished only 2 seconds behind. Looking at Massa’s weekly failures it becomes more and more ridiculous for Ferrari to keep him in that seat. He didn’t even have a Hamilton excuse this weekend, he just threw it off the track all on his own. You can be the biggest Massa fan alive, but it’s become impossible to deny he just does not have the pace.

When your teammate can score 10 podiums, and your best finish all year is 5th, you should be finished with that team, but Ferrari is Ferrari and logic is not always their thing. In Abu Dhabi Alonso was consistently lapping 1 sec/lap faster than Felipe for crying’ out load. Sure, Alonso is a genius behind the wheel, but that’s the kind of gap you may let a rookie get away with, but you definitely shouldn’t forgive a 30 y/o veteran in his 5th year with the team. Anyway, with Vettel’s record streak broken with this retirement, Massa is the only one left with a chance to get his name in the record books in Brazil….to be the first Ferrari driver having failed to finish on the podium during a full season.

Button now is almost a shoe in for 2nd in our WDC, as Alonso needs to win in Brazil to still stand a chance, while all Jenson would have to do in that case is finish 5th. With this win, Hamilton did jump Webbo in the standings, making this season all the more humiliating for the Aussie bastard if he were to finish 5th to his WDC teammate.


The Midfield

1.Rosberg 282

2.Schumacher 236

3. Sutil 184

4. Di Resta 164

5. Kobayashi 144

6. Petrov 142

7. Alguersuari 135

8. Buemi 118

9. Perez 104

10. Barrichello 75

11. Maldonado 38

12.Senna 29


In the midfield Rosberg again firmly put down Schumi in a tough first lap tussle to later streak away and grab another dominant midfield win. Sutil all but sealed the title of best of the rest as he finishes third and extends his lead over teammate Di Resta to 20 points. In light of our standings, Sutil most definitely deserves a seat somewhere next year.

Another piss poor weekend for the Renault team saw a DRS-less Petrov finish outside of the points as Kobayashi jumps him in the standings by 2 points with 1 race to go, the Japanese driver finally breaking into a solid points finish again. Meanwhile Buemi is losing out to Alguersuari as he is again forced to retire through no fault of his own, while Jaime had a difficult race and grabbed a penalty when he ignored blue flags but still managed to grab 4 points.

The difference between the STR teammates is now 17 points so it will be incredibly hard for Buemi to still overhaul Jaime. That said, while Jaime has been driving very well lately, he probably would have finished behind in the WDC had Buemi not suffered all this bad luck. Even Perez could theoretically still overhaul Buemi should something happen to the Swiss as the Mexican has now closed up to within 14 points.

Barrichello drove a solid race from the back of the grid to pick up 6 more points while Maldonado was dumb enough to get penalized twice for ignoring blue flags and finished outside of the points again. Barrichello forgot he was in a Williams as he passed the leader Hamilton with DRS..seriously Rubens has an issue with getting lapped, he’s been doing strange things all year. While Maldonado has performed better than expected this year –by which I mean that he still sucked, only less than I had expected – I’d have loved to see the Hulk retain that seat and give us a better benchmark to evaluate Rubens.

It’s sad that with all the petro dollars Pastor doesn’t even have to worry about his seat for next year either while Barrichello is now reduced to practically begging the team to keep him on. It is really all getting a bit sad how Rubinho is clinching at straws and I think he should just have a nice big cake in Interlagos and say goodbye to F1 in front of his home crowd. Senna meanwhile wrapped up another bad weekend putting his short f1 career at risk but at least he picked up 2 points in our standings.

The Backmarkers

1.Kovalainen 118

2.Trulli 91

3.Glock 68

4.D’Ambrosio 68

5. Liuzzi 29

6.Ricciardo 21

Back in the back of the pack Kovalainen again didn’t get the memo that he is supposed to be in a backmarker car as he gave the midfielders another run for their money, pushing the Williams and Renaults as well as finishing a full minute ahead of his washed out teammate. It makes even less sense than Ferrari with Massa for Trulli to retain his seat.

With Kovalainen they already have their experienced lead driver who looks intent on becoming a franchise player and take them to the top. Unlike Alonso, he also doesn’t mind having a quick driver as a teammate so why not give a promising young gun –ahem Alexander Rossi or whichever big talent doesn’t get picked up for a race seat- next year-  a shot alongside Heikki instead of a whiny old man who’s been thrashed all year long, whether he had power steering or not.

D’Ambrosio for his part seems a bit down since it’s becoming clear he won’t keep his seat since for the 2nd GP in a row he got out qualified by an HRT and was running dead last for a while. It’s starting to look he isn’t even trying to keep the seat anymore. In the end his poor start didn’t matter since the Belgian was forced to retire with brake failure fairly early on in the race. This saw another nice drive by Timo Glock – you have to respect how every race he keeps going for it and gets the max out of that pos car-  get rewarded with hopping ahead of his teammate again.

All will be decided in Brazil as just 2 points separate the Virgin pairing now. Liuzzi got lucky his charging teammate had some bad luck these past races so he will still finish ahead in the WDC as the gap is now a near insurmountable 8 points. It’s still telling Ricciardo is already regularly outracing and outqualifying him so Liuzzi’s F1 career is really hanging by a thread and next to HRT I see no other option left for him…

Driver of the race

This was a pretty tough one to call as I’m again tempted to give it to Kovi for another stellar yet anonymous drive. Alonso and Hamilton are prime candidates as well and even Button is too for dragging a car with some serious gremlins on the podium. In the end I’ll settle for Alonso’s superb drive, for a brave first lap with nice overtaking without DRS and for hounding Hamilton all the way in an inferior car. Mr. Eyebrows, Backmarkersf1 salutes you.

Please do share your thoughts on the race and driver of the day in the comments below!

Breaking with my tradition of leaving everything to the last minute here on backmarkersf1, I’m bringing this round of our alternate WDC standings early, with plenty time to spare for you to take it in ahead of the next GP. Partly because it was also very easy to compile this week since we saw only 2 changes of WDC position throughout the field.

The Top Dogs

1. Vettel 141

2. Button 75

3. Alonso 64

4. Webber 62

5. Hamilton 56

6. Massa 13

While most fans, teams and pundits alike were generally quite impressed with the new track in India, the top dogs made it a very boring spectacle at the front of the grid. We saw Vettel pulling his usual 5 second gap in the first few laps to then manage that gap for the rest of the race like a baws.

Button offered some excitement with a nice pass on Webber on lap 1, who despite making a fairly good start for once still did not manage to finish the first lap ahead or equal to where he started it. Button tried to keep Vettel honest and did well to hang on but it was soon clear Seb had more than enough in hand to stave off any serious challenge.

Alonso got by a disappointing Webber in the pits to close out the top 4 and drag that pos Ferrari on the podium yet again. Luckily we had good old friends Massa and Hamilton get up close and personal, resulting yet again in tears and whining from Felipe baby. To pretty much everyone’s astonishment – not least Rowan Atkinson who wins the prize for most epic reaction face in a GP ever-  Massa got called off his high horse and slapped with a penalty.

While again ridiculously inconsistent, I for one have been screaming all year that the lead driver also have a responsibility to help avoid contact, and Massa just turned in knowing full well a car was there as he’d been spotting his mirrors quite obviously before the contact. You cannot just give carte blanche to a lead driver to turn into whoever he wants and still be in the right. For a more in depth discussion on this turn to the latest backmarkersf1 podcast. Massa then soon repeated his mistake from quali to break his butt on a hard sausage as he fails to score points in the alternate wdc yet again, remaining stuck at 13 points, a whopping 43 points behind his best friend Lewis. Button is very close to clinching second as he now leads Nando by 11 points with just 20 left up for grabs and chances are quite slim that Mr. Eyebrows will be able to clinch all of those.

The Midfield

1. Rosberg 257

2. Schumacher 218

3. Sutil 169

4. Di Resta 152

5. Petrov 142

6. Kobayashi 134

7. Alguersuari 131

8. Buemi 118

9. Perez 96

10. Barrichello 69

11. Maldonado 38

12. Senna 27

We saw some more jockeying for position going on in the midfield, with both Mercs profiting the most from the MAS-HAM love fest as they finish on yet another 1-2 in the midfield. Repeating his strong end of season form, Sutil comes best of the rest behind the Mercs, and these kinds of solid drives is exactly what he needs to save his drive at FI. With his teammate out of the high points scoring position, Sutil created a little bit of breathing space again after Di Resta started to put him under pressure with some solid drives of his own.

Di Resta and the Hulk may get a lot of man love, and while he’s been incredibly dumb to go glassing owners of other fF teams in the neck and I hate to admit it, Adrian is proving he’s deserving of  a seat in F1, though it’s looking like it won’t be with FI so then with Williams perhaps if they judge the Raikkonnen move too risky. Di Resta had an aggressive tire strat backfire, starting on the hards and hoping for a safety car but I was happy to see FI get some points in their pseudo home race.

The hard tire gamble did not really pay off for any of the three drivers attempting it, namely Di Resta, Petrov and Perez, though Perez managed another gritty drive to take home 10 points but another very solid third place for Jaime makes it now impossible for Perez to catch up. Buemi’s run of bad luck continued as his engine blew, and this allowed Jaime to leapfrog him in the standings after trailing the whole season. Another DNF for Kobayashi – this time his own fault as he rejoined the track, cutting into the path of Glock’s Virgin and ruining the latter’s race as well-  even sees the young Spaniard close up to a mere 3 points behind Kamikaze Kamui. Petrov managed some points in a fairly anonymous race but now trails Di Resta by 10, as Senna finally performed decently again in a car struggling with KERS gremlins to get his tally up to 27.

Rubinho did himself and his quest for a 2012 F1 seat no favors by ramming into the ass of his teammate at the start, but somehow managed to pick up the final point. Kobayashi’s misfortune was of course also triggered by a gung ho Barrichello missing his braking point and pushing Kamui wide. With Williams openly looking for a new driver, and Maldonado all but confirmed thanks to his petro dollars, times are getting tough for Rubinho. Maldonado for his part performed decently until a mechanical failure saw him retire from the race.

The Backmarkers

1. Kovalainen 108

2. Trulli 85

3. D’Ambrosio 66

4. Glock 64

5. Liuzzi 26

6. Ricciardo 24

7. Khartikeyan 15

Kovalainen continued his domination of the backmarkers field by snatching yet another pole and a win, now also mathematically clinching him the backmarkers WDC. During the first two stints he was even able to run as high as tenth, in part due to the hard tire strats and accidents of other guys, but also due to genuine pace.

For a long time I kept my eye on the live timing and he was definitely keeping Maldonado honest, hovering at around 4 secs behind for a whole stint. Karun Chandhok must have been raging to see himself denied the drive of his life by a guy who finished 5 laps down though granted, Trulli was not to blame. He got punted into a spin by that other Indian exiting turn three, suffering a puncture and some floor damage and did well to bring that crippled car home. Speaking of Narain, I must admit I was quite impressed with his performance – bar the Trulli punt.

After all, he had not raced the car for months yet despite his antics with Trulli he kept Ricciardo honest as the HRT duo spent most of the race ahead of a struggling D’Ambrosio. With Liuzzi not racing and Trulli’s DNF, Daniel picked up solid points for fourth after losing out to Narain with a bad pitstop  and now only trails Vitantonio by 2 points, very impressive since he had about 7 races less to do get there.

Jerome managed to jump the HRTs in the final stint but for a while it was looking very bleak for the Belgian. Nonetheless, his second place here sees him leapfrog the unlucky Glock for third in the WDC, but with reports now surfacing that Frenchie rich kid – yet also quite talented I must admit- Charles Pic is eying the Marussia seat, and Wickens also waiting in the wings, Jerome will need to beat Timo fair and square in the next two races to retain any hope of a contract renewal.

In a late but fun addition to these posts I”l now start giving my driver of the race awards and invite you to do the same in the comments below!

my driver of the race…….Kovalainen. For racing the midfield in earnest with a car that’s getting better but is still a few tenths shy. He’s been posting one flawless weekend after another and deserves this one.

Posted: October 25, 2011 by thevillainf1 in BackmarkersF1 Alternate WDC

With the races in Japan and Korea back to back our backmarkersf1 not so supercomputer suffered a meltdown – too soon? – so we had to skip one alternate WDC standings session. Let’s see if having 2 races to score will give us some upsets in the standings.

The Top Dogs

1.Vettel 131

2.Button 69

3.Alonso 60

4.Webber 59

5.Hamilton 56

6.Massa 13

With a win and a third place there is still no stopping Vettel as he cruises his 2nd WDC home.  Button has been looking like the main man to come best of the rest, but his impressive string of consecutive podium finishes ended in Korea, where after a horrendous start he could not make any headway as he watched the great Webbo-Hammy fight unfold in front of him without ever getting involved in the fight himself. Despite having the quickest car in quali for the first time this year, both Mclarens were struggling for race pace, and Lewis drove a great race to hold off Webber for so long and grab a well deserved second place. Webbo definitely looked quicker over a lap, but the Mclaren’s key advantage in traction out of turn one left Webber looking at Lewis’ rear wing for most of the race. Surprisingly, Ferrari did not issue any team orders right away as Massa maintained his position off the line ahead of Alonso, but was quite clearly holding the Spaniard up. That said, fair play to Ferrari, what would be the point of crushing Massa’s spirit even more when the WDC is long gone anyway for Alonso, so for once the Ferrari pitwall gets my praises….untill they let Alonso jump Massa in the pitstops.  A tad sloppy stop for Massa dropped him into traffic and when Nando finally made his stop he came out comfortably ahead and left Felipe for dead with a very impressive final stint. It must have been a fairly depressing weekend for the scuderia, as at no point did they really challenge the top 2 teams, and Alonso rightly ‘gave up’ as the race came to a close. Button’s win in Japan saw him finally pull some sort of a gap to those behind as he is now 9 points clear of Mr Eyebrows. Webber follows one point behind and Lewis finally got some good points on the board again but is still 3 points further back. As for Massa..well he may have outqualified Nando in both races but only got 1 point out of it, nuff said.

 The Midfield

1.Rosberg 239

2.Schumacher 193

3.Sutil 157

4.Di Resta 148

5.Petrov 134

6.Kobayashi 133

7.Buemi 118

8.Alguersuari 116

9.Perez 86

10.Barrichello 68

11.Maldonado 38

12.Senna 21

Here again the winner has long been decided, especially now that Schumi got punted off in true simracing style by Petrov in one of the more…noob…moves of the year. Despite his misfortune MSC still has a pretty firm grip on p2 with the midfgield being dominated by the Mercs, so here as well the pack is battling for the crumbs. The Force Indias look to have the best cards in hand, with Sutil and Di Resta pulling a respectable gap to their nearest competitors. Sutil should really start worrying about the Scot now as he’s closed up to being just 9 points behind in the battle for third. Petrov’s robbed himself of some crucial points for p5 with his kamikaze move and even though the Saubers had a horrid race in Korea, Kobayashi has closed back up to within just 1 point of the Russian.

There is no end in sight for the Toro Rosso knifefight as Buemi and Alguersuari keep duking it out. Buemi got very unlucky in Japan with his wheel falling off and Jaime has been driving very well indeed. Jaime even qualifies for driver of the day in Korea, but don’t forget Buemi was close behind even after having suffered from some first lap shenanigans so don’t count the Swiss out just yet. The duo is now separated by just 2 points. Perez had a glimmer of hope to catch them but a bad weekend in Korea saw him fall back again 20 points behind Alguersuari. Barrichello – now surely in his final F1 races – nabbed some decent points but is still 18 points behind Perez and Maldonado’s DNF could have been an opportunity for Senna to close up had he not sucked so badly in Korea and Japan. After a promising start in Spa and Monza, Bruno has been quite disappointing and will need some fireworks to retain a seat for next year. What he is delivering now is simply not enough.

The Backmarkers

1.Kovalainen 98

2.Trulli 83

3.Glock 64

4.D’Ambrosio 60

5.Liuzzi 26

6.Ricciardo 21

7.Khartikeyan 11

8.Chandhok 2

Man what a boring championship all around, even with our alternate WDC, all three champions are just about known already. Kovi has put his foot down and stomped the old man Trulli in the past few races, with the Lotus now properly racing cars in the back of the midfield. He finished on the lead lap in Suzuka, and beat both Saubers fair and square in Korea. Given a lap or two extra he’d had even gotten Senna as the latter’s tires had gone completely and Kovi was pulling in seconds per lap near the end.  All this is very promising for TL/Caterham’s performance next year, Williams better watch out. While D’Ambrosio probably had his best race of the year in Japan starting with outqualifying Glock and a good chance to have finished ahead had he not been boned in the final pitstop; his race in Korea was probably his worst of the year. Almost 1.5 secs off Glock’s pace in quali and beaten by Ricciardo’s HRT in the race, a very bad weekend for the Belgian, who’s seat is now heating up as newly crowned WSR champion and Marussia sponsored Robert Wickens is now  knocking on the door to F1. Jerome will need some very solid performances and a nice bag of sponsor money to find himself on the grid next year.

Ricciardo continues to destroy Liuzzi’s F1 career by outracing and out qualifying him already, though another one of Liuzzi’s first lap punts – apparently the nasty Italian hit a Virgin from the back and broke his front wing- saw him way behind the rest from the get go in Korea. I think it will take a miracle for Liuzzi to continue in F1 next year, as HRT are now dumping him and not the rookie for Khartikeyan to make his glorious comeback on home soil. Ricciardo is even catching up to Liuzzi in our standings, which is an impressiv efeat seeing he’s got 7 less races to his count. We won’t seeChandhok  in the Lotus for the Indian GP which in a way is sad because Karun is such a great guy but unless they can’t fit the new power steering which will just make Trulli whine all weekend, the wisest move is to just give Karun a Friday drive and let Trulli do the racing. With TL’s improved performance they might even snatch a point if there’s a few DNFs up front, and it would be folly to waste such a good opportunity by putting the underwhelming Chandhok in a race seat.

For a dry race, Monza saw a very high attrition rate unlike the rest of the season where reliability records have been impressive almost throughout the field. Of course this was in part helped by Liuzzi’s best bowling efforts into turn 1, effectively taking out 3 cars within 30 secs after the start. The midfielders were worst hit by subsequent car failures, with both Saubers failing to score and the untimely retirement of Sutil for Force India could see his position as best of the rest behind the Mercs undermined. The high attrition in the midfield could provide some opportunity for the minnows to claw back important points and shake up the WDC. Half of the backmarkers also failed to finish the race, opening up opportunities for those who managed to keep going. But first: Let’s take a look at how the top dogs shaped up:

1. The Top Dogs

Yes, there’s still that annoying guy up front; and you have to be on crack to still believe anyone can take the WDC away from Vettel after yet another dominant victory. Building on the expert in depth  analysis by Matt immediately after the Grand Prix, we can now really say that the WDC is over, done and dusted. Congrats Mister Vettel for a truly stunning season. Can you now please stay home for the remainder of the season so we can see some battles for the win instead of 2nd place? As you can see, the fight for second place is still hot as ever, with just four points separating the challengers. With another class drive Button has now completely recovered from his unfortunate double DNF to take 2nd place, albeit just one point ahead of the ever consistent Mr. Eyebrows. Without these DNFs, Button would probably be well clear of the pack by now to emerge as Seb’s challenger. As for Alonso, you have to hand it to the Spaniard. No matter what happens, no matter how (un)competitive his car, the man is always there or thereabouts. Hamilton saw his race ruined by Schumacher, but only has himself to blame for getting behind him in the first place. His initial getaway off the line was good, but despite being alongside Vettel into T1, he had Alonso mug him on the inside, and he braked earlier than Vettel allowing fingerboy to take p2. Then as the rubble from the Liuzzi bowling bonanza had been cleared, he was caught napping at the restart and lost his one chance to challenge for the win and to add insult to injury, Schumacher blasted past him with the Mercs’ superior top speed, and would stay ahead for a good 20 laps. Still, in light of his earlier escapades this season, Hamilton drove a smart race, avoiding the red mist and clinching good points in 4th. Had the race been a few laps longer he’d have passed Alonso for third as the Ferrari was yet again struggling on the harder compound but in the end he just lost too much time behind the Schum. Dashing hopes for my shock prediction to come through, Webber rammed into Massa in a way too optimistic move on the outside of T1, sending Massa into a spin to drive a recovery race from then on. Webber for his part suffered Red Bull’s first DNF of the season as he tried to limp back to the pits but encountered a barrier along the way. This leaves Massa in his natural position of last of the top dogs, and Webber dropping down to 5th. Everything is still to play for behind Vettel, and from now on I’m just going to ignore Vettel even exists so we can have some excitement up front.

2. The Midfield

With 5 of the midfielders failing to finish the race, there were opportunities for the survivors to rack up some important points, and so they did. Surprisingly though, the standings remain completely unchanged, as every driver fighting in the pack for the ‘best of the rest’ spot behind the Mercs failed to finish. This allowed those who had dropped back from the chasing pack to claw back valuable points, the biggest winners being Di Resta and Alguersuari. Schumacher took an emphatic win to reduce the gap to his unfortunate teammate but is still 23 points behind. It would have been very interesting to see how Rosberg’s tire strategy would have played out, starting on the medium tire, but Liuzzi decided it was not to be. As said, nobody fighting for third managed to finish the race with DNFs for Sutil, Petrov and Kobayashi. This allowed Di Resta to get back in touch  after a solid third place giving him 15 points, leaving him now just 19 points off his teammate. Alguersuari was another driver profiting from the many DNFs by nabbing a brilliant 2nd place after yet again botching his qualifying. P18 is definitely a lucky place for Jaime to start this year, as he has scored all 4 times he qualified in that position. While he didn’t gain any positions he still closed to gap to his teammate, who finished 5th, down to only 4 points and the STR fight for next year’s seat is really heating up. With all these DNFs, both Williams drivers finally managed to pick up some decent points, with Barrichello pulling alongside the unfortunate Perez. Perez was on for another brilliant result when he had to retire from P7, again trying the Sauber trademark one stop strategy. Seeing he had a decent gap to 8th, and all around him were also still to stop for their second time, he was definitely on for another great points finish but his gearbox decided against it. Maldonado grabbed some points for the third race in a row to start making his results less embarrassing, while Senna got his first points on the board with an impressive 4th place finish after losing a lot of time in the turn one mayhem.

3. The Backmarkers

As in the midfield, the backmarkers were also badly hit with crashes and reliability woes, as only half of the drivers managed to finish. While Ricciardo did sort of  race after having stalled on the grid, he was not classified by the FIA since he was 14 laps down by the end, thus earning him no points. Despite solidly outqualifying his teammate Kovalainen by over half a second, Trulli got caught up in an incident with a recovering Massa – again not covered at all by the FOM feed or commentators – forcing him to pit early for a new nose. According to Trulli, Massa lost it under braking into the second chicane and hit Trulli from behind, forcing him into an uncomfortable sandwich into the car in front. Thank you for the footage FOM…NOT. :/ As we cannot see the incident it’s hard for us to judge, but it’s strange Massa didn’t get investigated by the stewards if indeed that is what happened. But since we didn’t see it, I guess it never happened huh?

After this early setback Trulli  fought his way past Glock but Kovalainen was by then out of reach. The win sees Kovalainen reduce the gap to Trulli which is now again just 3 points. A gearbox failure saw D’Ambrosio retire on the first lap allowing Glock to put some breathing space between them in the fight for third, while Liuzzi completed his dismal weekend with his stupidity after Ricciardo outqualified him on his home track. Had he been a rookie and pulled that move, he’d have lost his FIA superlicense. Blaming Kovalainen for his own stupidity just makes it worse. Liuzzi got a great launch, but then got too greedy and instead of holding back took to the grass and swiped into the pack as he was sliding along helplessly. The five place grid drop penalty for Singapore is a bit of a joke of course, since 23-24th is his usual starting position anyway. What are they gonna do? Let him start from the harbor? Then again FIA needs some consistency with their penalties, and I guess it’s just fair. They can’t just change their system just because a car is at the back of the grid.

With our supercomputer running overtime to bring you the updated calculations here at backmarkersf1 HQ, we put on our science caps and put some points on the table, even for those not fortunate enough to be in front of the grid cars. There were a few shake-ups this week, with a (un) healthy number of retirements and strong drives from a few of the mid- and backfielders.

1. The Top Dogs

Ooh surprise surprise, Fingerboy yet again extends his lead in the WDC no matter how it’s calculated with another +10 points to his name. Webber completing the Red Bull 1-2 in Spa sees him jump from 5th to second in the standings with a 6 points haul, albeit just a single point ahead of Hamilton and Alonso. Despite suffering his 2nd DNF of the season, Hamilton stays ahead of Alonso by virtue of his 2 wins to Alonso’s 1. Recovering from his earlier double DNF, Button is also a close contender following again just one point behind the 2007 Mclaren manlove duo. Felipe Massa’s weekend looked to be off to a great start with qualifying ahead of his teammate in fourth, but after a few laps and taking it bent over from Alonso and Hamilton, he was back in his ‘natural’ position. A late puncture then sealed his fate to come home 8th and score 0 points yet again in our alternate WDC. He is the first of the top dogs to be mathematically eliminated for WDC contention. Though hopes are getting slimmer with each race for the other competitors as well. While runaway leader Vettel takes some shine off this WDC, the fight for second place is going to be brutal and will be interesting to watch unfold over the next couple GPs.

2. The Midfield

For the first time in a while, Rosberg saw his lead to his teammate diminished with Schumacher ‘winning’ the race of the midfielders in Spa with an emphatic drive from the back of the grid and overtaking Rosberg in the final stages to complete a Mercedes 1-2; but Schumacher still has a long way to go if he is to catch his teammate in the standings. Heidfeld’s sad demise saw him drop down from a solid 3rd to 6th, with his spot as best of the rest behind the Mercs now taken up by the first real surprise of the weekend: Adrian Sutil, who bagged a podium finish with another strong drive. If he keeps this up, the Hulk may very well be forced to look elsewhere if he wants a 2012 race seat, because Sutil has really taken the gloves off! Petrov edges ahead of Kobayashi by virtue of his higher finish in Australia. While neither drivers’ race weekends went off flawlessly, Petrov managed to secure a decent 4th place despite a last lap brake failure and spin, while Kobayashi had points taken off him by Maldonado and Di Resta. Pastor finally put some significant points on the board with a score of 10, but he still trails 32 points behind his teammate Barrichello, who failed to score at Spa due to a final laps run in with Kobayashi and subsequent broken front wing. Di Resta picked up some points but sees the gap to his teammate extended and will need some very strong drives to catch him up before the season is over. The Toro Rosso’s both ended up scoreless after an abysmal weekend, having been both taken out of the race through no fault of their own after a promising qualifying session. Perez again struggled to make the most out of his strong qualifying performance until he too was forced to retire thus scoring no points. Debutant Bruno Senna similarly crushed all hopes of capitalizing on an impressive quali when he rammed into Alguersuari and struggled on to finish the race well outside the points.

The Merc inter team battle will be one to watch out for, to see whether after this great drive at Spa Schumacher will now be consistently able to challenge Rosberg, while the fight for best of the rest is heating up with 3 drivers on a napkin (4 if you count Heidfeld who might still make a shock comeback if he wins his court case). Di Resta, Perez and Maldonado will need some good scores if they are to catch their teammates and we’ll see what Senna will do now that he’s got his horrible noob mistake out of the way.

3. The Backmarkers

Despite yet again being outqualified by his teammate Kovalainen, who even dragged the car into q2 with a stunning banzai lap in the dying moments of q1, Trulli manages to finish on top to head home a Team Lotus 1-2, extending his lead to Kovi to 7 points, almost a full win ahead! Team Lotus performed very strongly in the GP despite a first turn collision and picked off the wounded midfielder Barrichello, while managing to stay close to Senna, Kobayashi and Di Resta. A truly encouraging performance for the team. D’Ambrosio found something special at his home GP to finish ahead of Glock for the first time in a few races, though he was helped by Glock’s wild move on Di Resta in T1, which compromised both their races. Still, Glock trails just 6 points behind Kovi and has D’Ambrosio breathing down his neck just 3 points adrift. Liuzzi is in no-mans land though he can be thankful his young teammate Ricciardo was forced to retire with mechanical issues, as the young Aussie was looking in contention for the win in the backmarkers race, retiring from the lead but with the Lotuses close behind. It’s doubtful he would have managed to stay ahead of them, but he was definitely on the road to beating the Virgins and his teammates until disaster struck, ending his race.

The Lotus inter team battle is  shifting into Trulli’s favor, and Kovi is still under pressure from the Virgins. The Lotus will need good reliability to be able to clinch a deserved 1-2 in the standings. The Virgin team battle is still all up in the air with just 3 points separating the drivers, but Jerome will need to improve as he cannot count on unreliability hampering his teammate who still has the upper hand on pure pace. Liuzzi is still comfortably ahead and will likely win the HRT battle, but that’s to be expected as his teammates split the race seat. Ricciardo is nonetheless on the way to beating Vitantonio a few times in races, and depending on what happens in front of them could still claw back the deficit with some emphatic drives.

BackmarkersF1 Alternate WDC Standings!

Posted: August 17, 2011 by thevillainf1 in BackmarkersF1 Alternate WDC

As discussed in the inaugural episode of the backmarkers F1 podcast, one of our vital tools to assess performances in the midfield and back of the pack is our scientifically developed (read drunken maths) alternate WDC ranking method. Today I bring you a nicely cleaned up version of what was at first just a messy excel file.

So here is how this works for WDC1: The Top Dogs: The top 3 teams are put in a championship of their own, as they are basically in a league of their own anyway. However, that leaves us with just 6 cars in this WDC, so we are giving them points based on the scoring systems of the 90’s: 10 points for the winner, 6 for 2nd place, 4,3,2,1 for the rest. If a Driver from the 2nd alternate WDC group (The Midfielders) manages to sneak up into the top 6, he is awarded points based only on the WDC2 ranking method which we’ll discuss shortly. However he will take away points from WDC1 contenders. eg: Petrov’s podium in Australia. He gained 25 points as winner of WDC2, however Alonso finishing behind him only gets points for his fourth place, so midfielders can still take away points from the top dogs!

Backmarkers F1 WDC1:  The Top Dogs

I doubt anyone’s surprised to see Vettel running away with the title no matter what points scoring system we use, but it is interesting to note that Webber is only down in 5th with this method, despite being 2nd in the official FIA standings. This can of course be explained that even though he has been a consistent points finisher, he has not had a win yet, unlike his competitors Alonso (1), Button (2) and Hamilton (2). Massa’s poor performance is clear for all to see again no matter which scoring method we use, consistently bringing up the rear in the races, with an occasional 4th or 5th as ‘highlights’.

BackmarkersF1 WDC2: The Midfielders

So for WDC2 we gather the 6 midfield teams together for their own WDC. As said above finishing in the overall top 6 of a race does not bag them extra points, but they will take points off the top dogs.  As for all 3 WDCs, a DNF,DSQ or DNS automatically results in a 0 points haul for that race, so it might be that 5 of the midfielders retire, they will not gain points even if they could be seen as classified in say 9th. Since we have 12 cars in this WDC, we use the current F1 points scoring system so 25 points for the ‘win’, 18,15,12,…..

Again no surprises here that Rosberg is dominating WDC2, with his teammate Schumacher a distant 2nd. What is interesting is Heidfeld’s good performance in P3, a mere 2 points of Schumacher. With his teammate Petrov 9 points further back in 5th place, it puts an even more dishonest touch to Renault’s recent Heidfeld bashing while heaping praise on Petrov.  Heidfeld is outscoring the rudderless Russian, but probably not by as much as the Renault boys were expecting. Whether this is due to Heidfeld’s poor performance or Petrov’s improved pace is a hot topic to be debated on future podcasts for sure! Kobayashi shows his class by splitting the Renaults in 4th and keeping on Schumi’s tail only 5 points behind ze German. Sutil has racked up quite a lot more points than his rookie teammate, but now that Di Resta’s string of bad luck and rookie mistakes may have been broken with a top performance in Hungary, he might still be in for a good challenge. Buemi has also put some breathing space between himself and his teammate, but one DNF and a good race from Alguersuari could tip the balance again. These boys will be fighting it out to the death to see who retains the STR seat for next year. Finally, Perez’s poor showing should be viewed in light of his 2 missed races as a consequence of the Monaco crash and it has allowed Rubinho to at least keep him honest. However Maldonado’s shockingly bad race pace comes to light looking at his meager 6 points haul. He may have shown flashes of real talent in quali (eg his Monaco and Barcelona laps were mega) but he needs to get on top of race pace to get rid off the pay driver stamp.

BackmarkersF1 WDC3: The Backmarkers

Finally we turn our attention to the beloved backmarkers: the 3 ‘new’ teams Virgin, Lotus and HRT. Since we’re down to 6 cars again ,we shall use the same points scoring method as the top dogs.

A lot of people will be surprised to see Trulli leading the charge despite his constant whining about power steering. The gap to his teammate Kovalainen is very small of course, and being outqualified 10-1 must sting for the former one lap wizzard. This is even more impressive as we have to bear in mind Trulli didn’t even start in the German GP, where he gave up his seat to Chandhok. Despite my claims in the podcast, a drunken maths mistake urging me to asses D’Ambrosio’s ascendance over Glock has shattered my vain hopes. Recounting the totals before posting on this very serious F1 blog, I uncovered my error which saw Glock leap ahead of my compatriot, albeit only by 4 points, a quite respectable performance by D’Ambrosio. However we should bear in mind that Glock has suffered the majority of reliability issues with the Virgin. Liuzzi is doing what he can but had lost touch with the leading group, while in just 3 races Ricciardo has already managed to leapfrog Khartikeyan. We can’t really judge Chandhok of course after only 1 race.

I developed this super scientific WDC scoring system so we could have some extra data to look at when we discuss the going ons behind the top dogs. As a 12th or 15th place in a race quickly fades from memory, but it is an indication of how well drivers in uncompetitive cars are doing. This scoring system helps us put points on weekly performances, so we can see who really deserves to move up and who should just GTFO.

Hope you enjoyed the writeup, A discussion on this will feature in every post race Backmarkers F1 podcast with updated rankings, and stay tuned for ep 2 of the BackmarkersF1 podcast: a silly season special and a look at the feeder series hot shots with Pete Allen from . We hope to be able to bring you the podcast in the coming days, as soon as Matt sorts out his interwebs gremlins which in his words “is more temperamental than Webbo’s KERS”

note:  WDC graphics base file provided by James Robertson