The mid-season awards

By on Friday, August 12, 2011

Deep into the mid-summer break, we take a satirical look back at the first 11 races of the season in our mid-season awards.

Someone pass him a razor

Worst facial hair: Lewis Hamilton

F1 has seen some horrendous facial hair over the years. Jenson Button’s from a few years ago was up there, certainly. This year, there does appear to be a lack of shaving equipment owned by the men at the front, although Hamilton tops it for his attempt to join the Amish community.

Best team radio: Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton wins another award for some of the best team radio’s all season. Timo Glock nearly wins it for his effort after qualifying in Germany, saying the team was making his life ‘a misery’ before quickly retracting his words once he got out of the car, signing a three year deal and saying how everyone at Virgin Racing is lovely. Top bloke. Yet for entertainment value, Hamilton has to be at the top. Sure, Rob Smedley gives a good tirade every now and then, but most of the time he can be seen with his head in his hands after Massa does something wrong yet again (although Smedley will never hit the heights of Felipe Baby again). Hamilton’s best this season include at Monaco, where he professed how the stewards must love him over the radio, before ranting that “some f***er’s hit my freaking rear wing”. He followed it up in Valencia, saying how he couldn’t go any slower at one point in the race and then how he couldn’t go any faster later in the race. How the strategists must love him.

Most embarrassing moment: Karun Chandhok

Driving for a slow team means you’ll never reach the dizzy heights of anything more than 12th place. However, simply getting one lap done would have been an achievement for Karun Chandhok in Australia. Given the chance to test the Lotus T128 during FP1, on cold tyres he crashed exiting Turn 3 on his installation lap. Oops. That meant that Chandhok became the first man to crash in an F1 event two years in a row, as he also became the first victim in Bahrain last season. A close second is Jerome d’Ambrosio for spinning in the pit lane in Hungary, although Glock said he nearly did the same thing so maybe Custard can be excused for that.


Best ‘My son just took the lead!’ face: John Button,Canada

Best reason for a retirement: Sergio Perez

Perez retired in Malaysia, saying “Something came off Sebastien Buemi's car, which was just in front of me, and hit the floor of my car. The fire extinguisher went off and the electrics cut out.” That wasn’t the end of it though, as an investigation revealed a more frightening aspect to the retirement. What fell off of Buemi’s car was 6 kilograms of ballast, meaning that Perez was lucky to escape uninjured as Sauber team manager, Beat Zehnder, said “The chassis looks pretty bad, So far we’ve only been unable to repair one chassis, it was Frenzten’s after he crashed in Monaco in 1994.”And that the loose ballast from Buemi’s car was like “a bomb”

Best attempt at wanting to forge a career as a pilot: Vitaly Petrov

With 2010 winner Mark Webber not taking part in this event this season, there is only one winner. Sure, Nick Heidfeld got a bit of air in Germany whilst the man who shoved him off the road, Sebastien Buemi, went through the air a bit in practice for the same event. However, Petrov’s was utterly spectacular. Running wide at the fast Turn 8, Petrov didn’t lift and went flying over a dip in the grass, landing so hard that his steering wheel column fell off. Luckily, Petrov was uninjured, although it probably wasn’t very comfortable.

Two can play at that game, Seb

Best attempt at mocking Sebastian Vettel: Jenson Button

When he overtook Vettel on the last lap, it was the final piece of the jigsaw in what had been an incredible race. When Button leapt onto the podium, he showed that Vettel isn’t the only driver who can wave his finger about.

Best qualifying lap: Fernando Alonso

Lewis Hamilton is a close second here for his lap in Germany, although seeing as he went on to win the race, some of the amazement surrounding that lap died down. However, Alonso’s lap in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix was breathtaking. At that stage in the season, the Ferrari was woefully lacking in aerodynamic ability, yet Alonso qualified 4th, just 0.003s away from Lewis Hamilton. Alonso said it was the perfect lap and many agreed. Sadly in the race, he came home a lapped 5th. However, that did make the qualifying lap look even more spectacular in hindsight.

Most spectacular career move: Vitantonio Liuzzi

Drove for Red Bull in 2005 (admittedly when they were coming up), before being solidly rubbish at Toro Rosso, taking a few years out and then driving for Force India then HRT. So from what is now a top team to the worst team in six seasons. Nice.

Lack of confidence of the season: Nico Rosberg

Says that "with this car, to me seventh place is like winning."  An endearing reflection of his team. He actually finished 5th twice this season.

Best thing that made fans very angry: Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton makes it a hat-trick for his Monaco weekend. As a driver who splits fans completely, he hit Massa, Maldonado and the made an ill-advised joke immediately after the race. Forum users spent weeks arguing over whether he was to blame for his incidents or not. A close second was the Red Bull team orders furore that erupted at Silverstone. Although now it' s actually legal (it wasn't last year), it's a rather redundant argument.

Best comment of the season: Jarno Trulli

Started his post-Hungary column in an Italian newspaper along the lines (translated) of ‘I don’t usually like to moan’ Ha!

Worst record to pick up in the season: Narain Karthikeyan

All 24 starters made it to the end of the European Grand Prix, the most finishers in the history of Formula One, setting a new record that had been set when only Jaime Alguersuari retired in China. That means Narain Karthikeyan has the unenviable record of being the only man to have ever finished in 24th place in a grand prix.

Best victory celebration: Sebastian Vettel

It's only fair that the (nearly) double world champion gets to win one award, so he gets this one. Not for that habit of waving his finger about and screaming 'YES! Dats vot I'm talking about', but for simply saying 'Yabadabadeeeee' when he crossed the line in Barcelona. It's certainly a step up on the Crazy Frog he's used in the past.

You drive for McLaren, Jenson...

‘Should have gone to specsavers’ award: Jenson Button

Leads the Chinese Grand Prix, accidentally pits at Red Bull’s box. Whoops.

Worst pit-stop: Toro Rosso

McLaren come a close second here for Button at Silverstone, although at least he parked it before the wheel came off. Step up Jaime Alguersuari. Toro Rosso fitted his rear wheel badly (ie, not at all) and it fell off exiting Turn 1.

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