Valencia form card - Feature - F1 | ITV Sport
Valencia form card
Tuesday, 22 June 2010 17:59
After the excitement of Montreal, the streets of Valencia are Formula 1's next destination.
We assess the form of the entire 24-man field as they prepare for Spain
1. Jenson Button (GB) - McLaren
Championship position: 2nd, 106 points
It's no longer a surprise that whatever Lewis Hamilton does, Button is right there on his tail - despite all the winter talk of the younger Brit blowing his world championship successor away. But given previous form, you might have expected a race of tyre preservation to be one of the occasions where Button came out on top - and he did not. He might rue that if it becomes a McLaren versus McLaren title fight.
Last five race results: 2nd / 2nd / R / 5th / 1st
(most recent first)
2. Lewis Hamilton (GB) - McLaren
Championship position: 1st, 109 points
No one has ever doubted Lewis's talent, but there have been plenty of occasions when his mental strength or ability to maturely think his way through a complicated race have been questioned. Yet he had every opportunity to mess things up in Canada, and instead took one of his best wins yet in decisive and intelligent fashion. Two wins in a row, in very different circumstances, mean momentum is on his side now.
Last five race results: 1st / 1st / 5th / R / 2nd
3. Michael Schumacher (D) - Mercedes
Championship position: 9th, 34 points
Just when it seemed the comeback was on course at last and all Schumi needed was a quicker Mercedes, he reignited the sceptical gossip with an unsubtle and not very rapid performance in Canada, where a disastrous qualifying was followed by some deeply dodgy defensive chops in the race. His tyre strategy didn't help, but when the soft tyres had barely last six laps all weekend, did anyone ever really believe Schumacher could successfully get 30+ out of them?
Last five race results: 11th / 4th / 12th / 4th / 10th
4. Nico Rosberg (D) - Mercedes
Championship position: 6th, 74 points
When Ross Brawn says Mercedes is still in with a title shout, it's Rosberg he's really talking about. And while that 35 point deficit looks big, it would only have been 14 points in the 'old money' of the 2009 system, an easily recoverable margin with half a season to go. It helps to have a winning car though, and despite Brawn's bullishness, Mercedes hasn't delivered that so far.
Last five race results: 6th / 5th / 7th / 13th / 3rd
5. Sebastian Vettel (D) - Red Bull
Championship position: 5th, 90 points
Glass half empty or half full for Red Bull in Canada? Its strategy (which looked wise on paper) turned out to be the wrong one and its mechanical frailty rear its head again. Conversely, it had expected a trouncing by McLaren in Montreal but was right on the pace, and there was a casino element to which tyre plans worked out and which didn't. More importantly for Vettel, he hasn't won in two months - and Valencia is another track Red Bull has low expectations for.
Last five race results: 4th / R / 2nd / 3rd / 6th
6. Mark Webber (AUS) - Red Bull
Championship position: 3rd, 103 points
Yet more 'what ifs' to add to Webber's bulging collection. If he hadn't needed a new gearbox and been put back from second to seventh on the grid, he might not have needed to take so much out of his tyres early on recovering, so might have been able to build a bigger lead and make Red Bull's pit strategy pay off and win again in Canada. As it stands, his distant fifth dropped him to third in the points, although the margins remain minscule.
Last five race results: 5th / 3rd / 1st / 1st / 8th
7. Felipe Massa (BRA) - Ferrari
Championship position: 8th, 67 points
The Canadian GP isn't a memory Massa will cherish. He was very hard done by when Schumacher swiped his wing off with some rude defending against a move that wouldn't have succeeded anyway. But Massa couldn't really blame anyone else for the underwhelming qualifying or the assualt on Liuzzi at the start. On that evidence, he'll spend his new Ferrari deal mostly in Alonso's shadow as he has this year.
Last five race results: 15th / 7th / 4th / 6th / 4th
8. Fernando Alonso (ESP) - Ferrari
Championship position: 4th, 94 points
He was back in victory contention, but a tough racer like Alonso won't have liked being out-muscled by the McLaren duo in Canada. He put a brave face on it though, and it must have been reassuring for Ferrari to be so quick considering the car was identical to the one that left Alonso floundering in Turkey. Now he's back on home ground, at a track where he has always been frustrated before, and with major upgrades on the way. Could a turning point be imminent?
Last five race results: 3rd / 8th / 6th / 2nd / 4th
9. Rubens Barrichello (BRA) - Williams
Championship position: 12th, 7 points
Last year Barrichello's title challenge finally burst into life when he produced one of his best drives to hunt down and overcome the McLarens in Valencia. How he needs a drive of that sparkle this season, with Williams struggling in the midfield and its recent pace gains being negated by messy grands prix and misfortune for its drivers.
Last five race results: 14th / 14th / R / 9th/ 12th
10. Nico Hulkenberg (D) - Williams
Championship position: 17th, 1 point
On the plus side, Hulkenberg was right on Barrichello's pace in Montreal even though he'd never seen the circuit before, and he was straight into the top ten in the race too. So it could have turned into his best grand prix yet, had he not clattered into Sutil's Force India. With Williams off the pace, Hulkenberg seems to be (understandably) pushing too hard to try and impress in adversity, and it's not doing his reputation many favours.
Last five race results: 13th / 17th / R / 16th / 15th
11. Robert Kubica (POL) - Renault
Championship position: 7th, 73 points
It says a lot about Renault's recovery that the team and Kubica were so dissatisfied with seventh in Canada - but that was mainly because it was one of the races they had highlighted as a chance to do some giant-killing, only for the vagaries of tyre behaviour to spoil their race. Valencia has to be on the 'underdog surprise checklist' too, though... Remember how strong Kubica was on the last street circuit F1 visited?
Last five race results: 7th / 6th / 3rd / 8th / 5th
12. Vitaly Petrov (RUS) - Renault
Championship position: 13th, 6 points
After flying in Turkey, Petrov crashed back down to earth in Canada - and into Pedro de la Rosa as well. That and managing to earn two drivethrough penalties within a few yards of the race start, and the ignominy of finishing behind a Lotus he was unable to overtake due to wrecked tyres, meant the only amazing thing about his Montreal race was how Petrov avoided greater damage when he harpooned the Sauber on the charge to the first corner. But don't bet against a better showing in Valencia - he won there in GP2.
Last five race results: 17th / 15th / R / 11th / 7th
14. Adrian Sutil (D) - Force India
Championship position: 10th, 23 points
The points keep coming for Sutil, despite being delayed by a puncture and being out-paced by resurgent team-mate Tonio Liuzzi in Canada. Given the high Liuzzi has been on since turning his form around in Montreal, Sutil might have to reassert himself in the team this weekend, but given his usual street circuit prowess, that ought to be achievable.
Last five race results: 10th / 9th / 8th / 7th / 11th
15. Tonio Liuzzi (I) - Force India
Championship position: 11th, 12 points
If anyone thought Liuzzi was just making excuses for his poor form when he complained of car problems in the races prior to Canada, they were swiftly silenced when he got a new chassis for Montreal and qualified a career-best sixth then charged back from a first corner mauling by Massa to muscle past Schumacher for ninth. He promises a similar performance in Valencia - hopefully minus the first corner delay.
Last five race results: 9th / 13th / 9th / R / R
16. Sebastien Buemi (CH) - Toro Rosso
Championship position: 14th, 5 points
Having spent much of the year being driven into, Buemi rebounded in style in Canada with a beautiful drive that saw him lead for a lap and pass Schumacher on the way to a quietly impressive eighth place. It was just what he needed after previous disappointments, and bodes well for Valencia - although he won't he able to get away with such mediocre qualifying form on a track where gaining ground in the race is so much harder.
Last five race results: 8th / 16th / 10th / R / R
17. Jaime Alguersuari (ESP) - Toro Rosso
Championship position: 15th, 3 points
Both Alguersuari and Buemi were figuring out Montreal for the first time a fortnight ago and there wasn't much to choose between them as they got on with their learning in practice and qualifying. But come the race, Buemi drove beautifully and grabbed some points, where all Alguersuari had to show for his afternoon was a reprimand for weaving into Barrichello. He'll want to turn the tables again on home ground this weekend.
Last five race results: 12th / 12th / 17th / 10th / 13th
18. Jarno Trulli (I) - Lotus
Championship position: 22nd, 0 points
A change of chassis has become rather fashionable for struggling drivers this year, and it's Trulli turn in Valencia. Will that provide the breakthrough he needs to get out of Kovalainen's shadow? It's hard to say given that the Italian veteran has always been sceptical about whether this year's hurriedly created car will ever truly suit his perfectionist style.
Last five race results: R / R / 15th / 17th / R
19. Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) - Lotus
Championship position: 19th, 0 points
F1's underdog hero of the year was on fine form again in Canada, almost splitting the Saubers in qualifying, running 10th for a while and fending off Petrov's Renault in the race. He's loving throwing caution to the wind at every sniff of an opportunity for an upset, and Valencia could provide any chance to star. Will Trulli's new chassis get him back on terms with Kovy in the intra-team battle, though?
Last five race results: 16th / R / R / R / 14th
20. Karun Chandhok (IND) - Hispania
Championship position: 20th, 0 points
Listening to Chandhok's intelligent and wittily expressed opinions in the paddock is proving rather more interesting than his form in the slowly and barely reliable Hispania. In the last fortnight he's held court on why he really ought to be in a Force India, why the backmarkers shouldn't be blamed for traffic issues, and why he's not getting kicked out of his seat any time soon. The latter fact is good news for the media pack at least.
Last five race results: 18th / 20th / 14th / R / 17th
21. Bruno Senna (BRA) - Hispania
Championship position: 23rd, 0 points
It's a while since Senna has finished a race, so that has to be his first objective for Valencia. The team has at least got into a closer battle with Virgin recently, and doing so again in its home event would be a satisfactory achievement at present.
Last five race results: R / R / R / R / 16th
22. Pedro de la Rosa (ESP) - Sauber
Championship position: 18th, 0 points
Sauber had, yet again, a dreadful weekend in Canada - slow in the build-up and battered by incidents in the race. Whereas Kobayashi only had himself to blame for finding the wall, de la Rosa was an innocent victim when collected by Petrov, and then his engine later died. Desperately overdue a change in fortune, he'll hope it comes on home ground in Valencia.
Last five race results: R / 11th / R / R / R
23. Kamui Kobayashi (J) - Sauber
Championship position: 16th, 1 points
Had he just hung in there after his brilliant first lap and kept things sensible and steady all afternoon, Kobayashi might well have rescued Sauber's dire Canadian trip by scoring a point or two. But instead he threw his car at the barriers trying to do too much, too soon. In Sauber's current situation it needs its drivers to do their utmost to grab every opportunity - but it needs them to reach the chequered flag too.
Last five race results: R / 10th / R / 12th / R
24. Timo Glock (D) - Virgin
Championship position: 24th, 0 point
Richard Branson realised in Canada that there is a bonus payment for being 10th in the constructors' championship - or winning the new teams' war, in other words, and set his sights on that. But at the moment Virgin is 12th, behind even Hispania, when 'best non-scoring results' are factored in. So as Glock would readily point out, it still needs to sort its speed and reliability.
Last five race results: R / 18th / R / 18th / R
25. Lucas di Grassi (BRA) â€“ Virgin
Championship position: 21st, 0 points
As the cars up front embarked on all kinds of bizarre strategies, di Grassi found himself running 10th for a while in Montreal. It didn't last, and when his hydraulics wilted yet again he tumbled back to last, five laps down, but it had been an encouraging glimmer.
Last five race results: 19th / 21st / R / 19th / R
ITV.com/F1's top tips for Valencia
Momentum is with McLaren at present, and Valencia is tipped as a track that will play to its strengths. Hamilton's confidence will be high after his great Montreal performance too.
Star performer: Alonso
With the home crowd behind him and some important new parts on his Ferrari, Alonso will be out to impress - but will the upgrades have sufficient immediate effet to let him win again and sent Spain wild?
Disappointment: The racing
No one seems that excited about either the track or the chances of entertainment in Valencia, which suggests an anti-climax after the fun of Canada.