Formula One: Team Mate Comparisons After China (Round Three)

Mike CassCorrespondent IApril 21, 2009

SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 19:  Race winner Sebastian Vettel (R) of Germany and Red Bull Racing celebrates with second placed team mate Mark Webber (L) of Australia and Red Bull Racing on the podium after the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit on April 19, 2009 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Continuing my regular article (albeit with a slightly revised layout) where I compare team mates against each other.


I will compare qualifying performance and judge them after the weight of the cars has been known.


I will then give my opinion of who had the better race, which is not necessarily the driver with the best result.


Drivers will be awarded one point for qualifying and one point for the race, come the end of the season we will see who did the better job.


Feel free to challenge my opinion.


Brawn GP


Qualifying: Barrichello +1


For the first time in 2009 Button won't be starting on pole and will have his team mate Barrichello in front of him.


Not only was Barrichello half a tenth quicker but he has 2kg more fuel on board, so the point can only go one way.


P4 Barrichello   1:36.493     661kg

P5 Button           1:36.532    659kg


Race: Button +1


Button sneaked passed Barrichello early on as he ran wide, Rubens then had a pretty quiet afternoon, and thanks to Hamilton taking a spin he managed to claim fourth.


After getting passed Rubens, Button had a battle with Mark Webber, Jenson eventually lost out after Webber went around the outside of turn seven, but claimed a podium finish in third.


Even though Barrichello set the fastest lap of the race (albeit after his pit stop on tyres straight out of the blankets), it wasn't enough of a performance from the Brazilian to claim the point.


P3 Button + 1:58:28.460     Fastest Lap: 1:53.546

P4 Barrichello + 1:58:47.189 Fastest Lap: 1:52.592


Season: Jenson Button 5 – 1 Rubens Barrichello




Qualifying: Hamilton +1


For the first time this season McLaren made it into final qualifying, it was Hamilton rather than Kovalainen that made it into the final ten.


That was to be expected though as Lewis had all of the updated components on his car while Hekki didn't and he was unfairly held up on track in Q2, however Hamilton still deserves the point in my view.


P9 Hamilton       1:38.595       679kg

P12 Kovalainen 1:36.032       697kg


Race: Kovalainen +1


Hamilton was passing drivers all over the place, but kept undoing all his hard work by running wide or spinning off.


Towards the end his tyres were gone, but that's because he didn't manage them properly, Kovalainen didn't go off once!


Meanwhile Kovalainen was having a quiet, but error free afternoon, as far as I can remember Vettel was the only other driver to keep it on the track for the whole race.


That's some achievement for Kovalainen who hadn't even completed a racing lap in 2009 before Shanghai, let alone a race distance. He proved the tortoise can beat the hare, as his cautious driving saw him finish in front of Hamilton and therefore he gets a point from me.


P5 Kovalainen + 1:58:48.587       Fastest Lap: 1:54.516

P6 Hamilton + 1:58:55.351  Fastest Lap: 1:54.665


Season: Lewis Hamilton 4 – 2 Hekki Kovalainen




Qualifying: Raikkonen +1


No mistake for Massa this time, he just didn't make it into the final part of qualifying while Raikkonen did.


P8 Raikkonen       1:38.089     673.5kg

P13 Massa            1:36.033     690kg


Race: Massa +1


Raikkonen wasn't having a spectacular afternoon, and was being passed by Hamilton more often than not.


Massa on the other hand was having a solid afternoon in conditions that he normally struggles in, he even passed his team mate! But once again his prancing horse didn't want to race any more and he was forced to retire.


It's amazing how Ferrari have managed to produce not only a slow car, but an unreliable one!


Massa just edges this one, even though he retired 35 laps short of the finish he showed more commitment and interest than Kimi 'it's time for an ice cream' Raikkonen.


P10 Raikkonen + 1:59:15.235                    Fastest Lap: 1:55.396

P19 Massa + 35 laps -Retired/Mechanical- Fastest Lap: 1:56.484


Season: Felipe Massa 3 – 3 Kimi Raikkonen


Red Bull


Qualifying: Vettel +1


Vettel claimed the second pole of his career and the first ever for Red Bull, it's even more impressive when you consider he only did one run to get pole and did minimal running throughout the qualifying session.


Webber was also very impressive but the times and the fuel levels suggest their performances were very similar, Vettel has to have the point for getting pole though.


P1 Vettel     1:36.184         644kg

P3 Webber 1:36.466         646.5kg


Race: Vettel +1


Last time out in Malaysia Webber was having an epic battle with Alonso for sixth place, this time it was with Button for second.


Vettel though proved he is one of the best drivers on the grid by claiming his second win (again in tricky conditions like Monza), it was a faultless performance and has to take the point.


P1 Vettel 1:57:43.485             Fastest Lap: 1:52.627

P2 Webber 1:57:54.405  Fastest Lap: 1:52.980


Season: Sebastian Vettel 4 – 2 Mark Webber




Qualifying: Trulli +1


Glock had to change his gearbox coming into qualifying and knew he would be taking a five place grid penalty. That didn't seem to be enough to motivate him though and he only managed fourteenth, and therefore will be starting in nineteenth.


Trulli on the other hand again made it into final qualifying and put in a good performance to start in sixth place, so he earns the point.


P6 Trulli        1:36.835       664.5kg

P14 Glock 1:36.066     652kg


Race: Glock +1


The Trulli train was back in Shanghai, as Jarno seemed to be driving over cautious, almost as if he was scared of the conditions.


Jarno was slowly dropping down the field until Kubica ended his race for him, but it was to late to save him from the embarrassment of being passed by his team mate Glock who started from the pits!


Glock's afternoon wasn't error free, and he had a piece of the other BMW of Heidfeld, this forced him to have a new front wing, which showed off Toyota's awesome new nose trolley (the other teams should copy that, rather than their diffuser).


Glock also had a few spins, but still managed to collect a few championship points and therefore has to take the point from me.


P7 Glock + 1:58:57.961                              Fastest Lap: 1:52.703

P20 Trulli + 37 laps -Retired/Crash Damage- Fastest Lap: 2:00.330


Season: Jarno Trulli 4 – 2 Timo Glock




Qualifying: Alonso +1


Three races into the 2009 season and Piquet is yet to get out of the first part of qualifying, while Alonso for the second race in a row made it into final qualifying.


Now I know that Piquet like Kovalainen in the McLaren didn't have all of the updated components like his team mate, but it's still a poor performance.


Alonso saved the blushes of the works team by splitting the two Renault powered Red Bulls (although he was lighter on fuel), he even managed a better lap time than Piquet with race fuel on board, and therefore has to take the point.


P2 Alonso      1:36.381      637kg

P17 Piquet 1:36.908   697.9kg


Race: Alonso +1


The safety car start stopped Alonso from optimizing his strategy and he ended up at the back after an early stop for fuel.


After that Alonso struggled to make his way through the field, he had a few spins, but did pass Raikkonen to claim ninth.


Flavio has been complaining about the cost to redesign the diffuser, but I can see how he could save some money...


Although Piquet somehow finished, he must of cost Renault a small fortune in front wings and noses during the race, as he had to have it replaced twice!


P9 Alonso + 1:59:07.794   Fastest Lap: 1:54.481

P16 Piquet + 2 laps          Fastest Lap: 1:55.535


Season: Fernando Alonso 6 – 0 Nelson Piquet Jr.




Qualifying: Rosberg +1


Nakajima is yet to make it out of Q2 in 2009, while Rosberg has made it into the final part of qualifying at all three races this year and therefore Rosberg has to take the point again.


P7 Rosberg         1:37.397      650.5kg

P15 Nakajima 1:36.193   682.7kg


Race: Rosberg +1


Rosberg wasn't exactly stellar at Shanghai and his gamble for intermediate tyres didn't pay off, but he did a much better job than Nakajima who just couldn't keep it on the track!


P15 Rosberg +1 laps                                 Fastest Lap: 1:54.243

P18 Nakajima 13 laps -Retired/Mechanical- Fastest Lap: 1:56.167


Season: Nico Rosberg 6 – 0 Kazuki Nakajima




Qualifying: Heidfeld +1


Kubica for the first time this season didn't make it into final qualifying, he didn't even make it out of Q1.


Kubica said he made a mistake in turn 12 and was struggling for grip, what ever his problems Heidfeld out qualified him and takes the point.


P11 Heidfeld   1:35.975        679kg

P18 Kubica 1:36.966     659kg


Race: Kubica +1


Heidfeld ran wide early on, allowing a few cars past, he was then hit in the rear by Glock and then had a reasonably quiet afternoon driving to the finish.


In a revenge attack for Glock attacking Heidfeld, Kubica ran into the back of Trulli and took flight.


Trulli was forced to retire, but Kubica managed to get his BMW all the way to the end with only a new nose cone being fitted!


He finished behind Heidfeld, who had started seven places in front of him, and that was enough to earn a point from me.


P12 Heidfeld + 1:59:19.319  Fastest Lap: 1:54.158

P13 Kubica + 1:59:30.338    Fastest Lap: 1:55.350


Season: Robert Kubica 4 – 2 Nick Heidfeld


Force India


Qualifying: Sutil +1


Sutil was quicker than Fisichella by a second, the point can only go to Sutil.


P19: Sutil          1:36.669    648kg

P20: Fisichella 1:37.672    679.5kg


Race: Sutil +1


Didn't see much of Fisichella all afternoon, meanwhile though Sutil looked like he was going to score some good championship points until he crashed out.


He can have a point from me instead for his efforts.


P14 Fisichella + 1 laps                 Fastest Lap: 1:56.239

P17 Sutil + 6 laps -Retired/Crash- Fastest Lap: 1:54.777


Season: Giancarlo Fisichella 2 – 4 Adrian Sutil


Torro Rosso


Qualifying: Buemi +1


It was Bourdais turn to make a mistake and went out at the first hurdle, while Buemi somehow took his Torro Rosso all the way to final qualifying with the stand out performance of the session.


P10 Buemi         1:39.321        673kg

P16 Bourdais 1:36.906     690kg


Race: Buemi +1


My driver of the day Buemi was passing former world champions with ease, and did an exceptional job in the Torro Rosso, unfortunately he only collected one championship point due to a late pit stop.


Bourdais was busy trying to spin or run wide on every lap to do any points scoring, I know he wears glasses and struggles with them fogging up, but it was a woeful performance from the French man.


Buemi blatantly takes the point.


P8 Buemi + 1:58:59.924          Fastest Lap: 1:54.590

P11 Bourdais + 1:59:17.641     Fastest Lap: 1:53.474


Season: Sebastian Buemi 4 – 2 Sebastian Bourdais