European Grand Prix summary


Rubens Barrichello (1st)
An absolutely perfect race for the Brazilian. He looked just like a certain Brit at the start of the season, produced the fast laps when he needed to, conserved his tyres and never put a foot wrong. He was clearly very emotional at the finish, but as Nigel Roebuck said, it was great to see so many teams cheering him in the pitlane. These drivers are human after all… 10/10 (although I’m tempted to lower that a few points for the uncontrollable tears after the chequered flag)


Lewis Hamilton (2nd)
Back to good old smiley, ‘happy to talk to the media’ Lewis. Sadly his qualifying pace wasn’t as great as we all thought after seeing the race-corrected fuel loads, and I doubt he would have been able to beat Rubens even if there wasn’t so much confusion at his second stop where he lost nigh-on five seconds. 9.5/10

Kimi Räikkönen (3rd)
What? Kimi was racing? It appears so… another quiet but solid race from the Finn. There’s something very appealing about the way he gets on with the job and doesn’t create any fuss. Whatsoever. Either that or there was much more action in another red car slightly further back… 9/10

Heikki Kovalainen (4th)
Given a proverbial boot up the rear end by team principal Martin Whitmarsh before the weekend, Heikki went some way to earning his seat for next year with a strong display. He doesn’t have quite the same car as Lewis, but he still seems to tail off in the race. Another couple of performances like this and his seat will be safe though. 8/10


Nico Rosberg (5th)
The most consistent driver on the grid. At. Every. Grand. Prix. Every. Weekend. Well done Nico, I say. Thankfully Williams is up there, otherwise the affable German would no doubt be racing elsewhere next season. Although what are the chances of the team fighting for wins this season or next? And that’s what Nico is going to want to be doing, isn’t it? 9/1

Fernando Alonso (6th)
Thank goodness the Spaniard was allowed to race, otherwise the 80,000-strong crowd would have been more like 8000. The Renault looked quick all weekend, although that practice lap in P2 was perhaps done to give the crowds something to cheer about. Another good race, although like Whitmarsh we’re just waiting for Ferrari to announce him as a 2010 driver. 8.5/10

Jenson Button (7th)
Jenson last won a championship 11 years ago in Formula Ford. That is a long time to forget ‘how to win’. He seems to be tightening up and has since admitted that he needs to be more aggressive. Something tells me the rest of the grid know how important points are to him so have no qualms about swamping him at the start (mentioning no names… Sebastian Vettel). 6/10


Robert Kubica (8th)
The BMW seems to be getting quicker every weekend, which makes the manufacturer’s decision to pull out of the sport at the end of the season seem slightly odd. It must have raised a small smile under the helmet of the Pole when he was able to keep up with Jenson’s Brawn in the opening stint. 8/10


Mark Webber (9th)
“I hate this track, it’s like Montréal surrounded by walls.” When a driver says that, you just know it isn’t going to be one of his best race weekends… And that’s exactly the way it went for Mark. He just didn’t have the pace all weekend and crucially failed to score any points. 6/10

Adrian Sutil (10th)
Another strong showing for Force India, which promised that car updates would mean its drivers could challenge for Q3. That didn’t happen, but it’s good to see them up there, nearly scoring points. I wonder if the team would be higher up the championship table if Sutil and Fisichella weren’t in the driving seats? They’re both very solid drivers, but when was the last time someone described a great driver as ‘solid’? 7/10

Nick Heidfeld (11th)
Good pass on Sutil on lap four… and… well, Nick had a pretty uneventful race from then on. Quick, but not that quick, he will no doubt be signed up by a new team next year for his invaluable experience. 6/10

Giancarlo Fisichella (12th)
Fisi climbed as high as eighth during a long first stint. He was consistent and quick at times, but, once again, just not on the cusp of the points. 6/10


Jarno Trulli (13th)
To be told on race morning that you aren’t driving for the team the following season is perhaps a little harsh, and even distracting, but then Jarno did want a contract for two years, while Toyota was only willing to sign him for one. “But I want two years.” “Fine, you’re not racing with us next season.” “Merda.” The Toyota was clearly not at its best here. 5/10

Timo Glock (14th)
Had to pit early after contact at the start but was clearly off the pace, which president of Toyota F1 John Howett said was a “complete mystery”. Then near the end of the race Glock posted the fastest lap… What? Was Barrichello towing him on his slowing-down lap? Now there’s a complete mystery for you… 6/10


Romain Grosjean (15th)
All in all a very good Formula 1 debut for the Frenchman, although some of that may be down to the other new face on the grid… Grosjean did keep in touch with Alonso over the weekend, although an early pitstop for damage at the start and a spin later in the race meant he finished well down the standings. 7/10

Jaime Alguersuari (16th)
A pretty quiet race for Jaime, even if he did have a few ‘moments’. It’ll be a learning experience for the rest of the season I suggest, but let’s not forget how strong Vettel was when he first stepped into an F1 car. The Spaniard has absolutely no experience though, which I think is a problem that needs addressing. 6/10


Luca Badoer (17th)
‘Look how bad you are’ didn’t exactly have a weekend made of dreams. It included: four pitlane speeding fines, a drive-through for crossing the white line while exiting the pits during the race, letting Grosjean through in the pitlane and crashing into the back of Sutil’s Force India in parc fermé. But Badoer did make a good start, and it is an unfair situation to be put in. Let’s hope he’ll be faster at Spa. 2/10 (for producing the most action on track all weekend)

Kazuki Nakajima (18th)
Some people have luck on their side, and then there’s Kazuki. A poor qualifying result meant points were always going to be a stretch, but he was up to 10th after a long first stint. Then a puncture late in the race all but ended his challenge. 4/10

Sebastien Buemi (19th – RET)
Early pitstop for damage and then a brake failure late in the race. Not exactly the best weekend for Buemi. 5/10

Sebastian Vettel (20th – RET)
Off the pace all weekend, and then ruined P3 by losing a quite monumental amount of oil all over the track… Another engine blow-up is bad news for the German. “Maybe I am a killer, maybe I am using full throttle too much,” he said. Well, you’re certainly killing your championship hopes Seb. 4/10

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