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F1 Mid-Season Performance Analysis Part -2 : Force India, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Lotus Renault

Tarish Bhatt
Editor's Pick
707   //    18 Jul 2011, 22:54 IST

In the last part of the F1 season analysis, we talked about the performances of HRT, Virgin, Lotus and Williams till the mid way of the season. Now let’s talk about the performance of the mid field runners of the Formula 1 grid Force India, Toro Rosso, Sauber and Lotus Renault in our second edition of the Mid season analysis.

Force India: Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta

Force India have not  looked too competitive  this season compared to the performance they displayed in 2010.  Struggling from a slow start, till now the team is competing with sister Red Bull car Toro Rosso and are way behind Sauber.

Force India is currently placed on 8th in the Constructor’s standing behind  Toro Rosso and ahead of the Williams team. However, they are showing signs of improvement as they are constantly hanging outside the top 10 in the qualifying and now started scoring points.

Force India is in 8th place just not because they are not too competitive but  luck has also played a significant part. If one looks back at the season they will see that the Force India is one of the unluckiest teams in the Formula 1 grid. In the Monaco Grand Prix, Adrian Sutil was hit by a pack of cars and he only managed 7th, while in the British GP terrible miscommunication cost the team their maiden double points finish in 2011.

The two Force India drivers are also looking strong.  Paul Di Resta is the qualifying star of the team where as Sutil is the star racer for the team currently. Di Resta has made into the third leg of qualifying twice this season most notably achieving the highest grid position for the Silverstone based outfit at Silverstone where he qualified on the 6th position, where as Sutil has just once got into the third qualifying leg.

Adrian Sutil is the star performer for the team as he has scored majority of the points for the Force India team whereas Di Resta has only contributed 2 points so far. Sutil  also achieved the highest race finish for the team at Monaco where he finished the race on 7th place behind Hamilton.

Force India will be looking to outpace its rivals in the second leg of the season and they will be challenging for the sixth place in the Constructor’s standing but it will take a toll from them.

Best race result: 7th Adrian Sutil (Monaco GP)
Best qualifying position: 6th Paul Di Resta (British GP)

Toro Rosso: Sebastian Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari

Toro Rosso has been a surprise this season.  They are looking strong and very much competitive as compared to their previous seasons. Currently placed on 7th in the standings ahead of Force India and Williams, Toro Rosso have managed to finish in points scoring positions due to the strong pace of their drivers Buemi and Alguersuari despite poor qualifying outings.

Alguersuari has been the star driver, and has driven strongly throughout the season even after starting from the pit lane. Undoubtedly the Toro Rosso is faster than Force India on race pace but the team has admitted that it will be tough for them to keep their ever improving rivals at bay.

That is a thing for the future, but currently they are only 5 points adrift of Force India and 16 points behind Sauber.

The team has managed Q3 outing on only three occasions and those came in in the initial three races of the season. Out of the three Q3 outings, two have been scored by Buemi and one by Alguersuari.

What will  be interesting to see is for how long Toro Rosso will able to keep Force India at bay and whether the Spanish team up its ante in the remainder of the season.

Best race result: 8th Buemi and Alguersuari (Australia, Canada and Valencia)
Best qualifying position: 7th Jaime Alguersuari (Chinese GP)

Sauber: Kamui Kobayashi and Sergio Perez

Sauber had a bad start to the season, as in the season opener at Australia they faced double disqualification because of their car violating FIA rules.  After that however, they stormed their way forward in such a fashion that they left everyone behind with a very good margin.

Japanese star driver Kamui Kobayashi is looking really strong in the Sauber and the young rookie Sergio Perez has also shown great strength. Sauber has maintained a healthy margin from its closest rival Toro Rosso and is also way ahead of Force India.

The best qualifying position the team has achieved this season is 8th by Kobayashi which came in the British GP.  They have  managed just two Q3 outings both with Kobayashi. The best race finish was also obtained by the Japanese driver at Monaco where he finished the race on 5th place.  Sergio Perez’s highest race finish came in the British GP where he finished in 7th place.

Sauber has shown good pace throughout the season and they are really looking good however, at the end of the season they might get some competition from Force India, though it looks unlikely at the moment.

Best race result: 5th Kamui Kobayashi (Monaco GP)
Best qualifying position: 8th Kamui Kobayashi (British GP)

Lotus Renault: Vitaly Petrov and Nick Heidfeld

Renault started the season strongly with two consecutive podium finishes at Australia and Malaysia with Petrov and Heidfeld respectively. However, they failed to keep their good form going and have suffered a downfall in their performance form last few races.

The team is currently the beast among the rest and is placed on fifth in the Constructor’s Standings behind Mercedes and ahead of Sauber. Renault is just 3 points away from Mercedes and they are in  strong contention to outpace them in the next few races.   But for that to happen, they need to improve their pace to a great extent.

Heidfeld has been a regular points finisher and whereas Petrov has silenced his critics with his impressive performances. Their highest qualifying position  is 6th which they obtained on three occasions, twice by Petrov and once by Heidfeld. The highest race finish for them in this season is #3.

Renault looked really strong in the initial stages but as the season progressed they have suffered resulting in their season falling apart.  The team need push on and get their acts together in order to challenge  Mercedes for fourth place.

Best race result: 3rd Petrov (Australia) and Heidfeld (Malaysia)
Best qualifying position: 6th Petrov (Australia and Spain), Heidfeld (Malaysia)

To read the analysis on HRT, Virgin, Lotus and Williams, click here.
Stay tuned for the analysis of big four of Formula 1 this Wednesday.

Tarish Bhatt
A complete sports buff, you name the sport and I am there! A Formula 1 fanatic and big fan of Narain Karthikeyan, Adrian Sutil, Somdev Devvarman and Hugh Jackman!
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