Image Courtesy: Getty Images
In the second part of our mid-season review, we review the midfielders, namely Mercedes, Saubers, Williams and Force India. Mercedes and Force India are two teams which have disappointed us, while Sauber and Williams have impressed us with their pace and results.
You can read the first part of our mid-season review here
With the budget and its brand name, it is expected from Mercedes to be a top runner, however, the German team has failed to perform like one. A win at Malaysia(first since their comeback in 2010) was the highlight of the season, but elsewhere they've been off the pace and failed to challenge for podiums and even points at some races. After 11 races, Mercedes are in 5th place in constructors standings, 83 points behind Ferrari.
Nico Rosberg broke his duck of wins with an emphatic victory at Shanghai. Elsewhere, he couldn't do much with a not so good Mercedes. While he's been strong in qualifying thanks to double DRS, his performance in races isn't that good as he usually finishes behind from where he starts.
Michael Schumacher was hit by a number of problems throughout the season and failed to finish in 6 out of 11 races. Like Rosberg, his performance in qualifying has been exception including a pole at Monaco(before 5 place grid penalty). His best result so far is a 3rd place finish at the European Grand Prix.
Sauber have had a amazing season so far with two podium finishes at Malaysia and Canada. Their USP is their ability to manage tyres and they've managed to gain multiple places by doing one stop less than others. They'are currently 6th in the championship and are aiming to finish one place up as they are just 20 points behind Mercedes.
Sergio Perez brought two out of two podiums as the Mexican has performed exceptionally this year. He almost won the Malaysian Grand Prix from Fernando Alonso had he not made a small error during the final stages of the race. One thing he needs to improve on is qualifying; the 22 year old had made into Q3 only four times this season.
Unlike Perez, Kobayashi is yet to taste podium; his best result was a 4th place finish at the German Grand Prix. He hasn't been as strong as he was in 2011 and has scored points at only 5 occasions. The Japanese driver is currently in 10th place in drivers standings, 14 points behind his Mexican teammate.
After their worst season in Formula 1, Williams returned to form in 2012. Pastor Maldonado drove brilliantly to bring team's first victory since Brazil 2004. They are currently 7th in the constructors standings, 7 points clear of Force India.
Apart from an amazing win at Spain, Maldonado has been famous for all the bad reasons. He was involved in multiple collisions throughout the first half of the season and has been criticized by fans and rival drivers alike. He has only scored points at two occasions and is currently 11th in drivers standings tied with 7 time world champion, Michael Schumacher.
Bruno Senna have had a more consistent drive with 6 point scoring finishes. But his performance is qualifying has been below-average; the Brazilian made into Q3 in all but one race. Senna is currently 15th in drivers standings with 24 points, just one point behind Ferrari's Felipe Massa.
Force India are nowhere close to their target of finishing in 5th place in the constructors standings, in fact they've scored less than half the points of Mercedes who are in 5th place in the standings. They've suffered from severe tyre wear and thus aren't able to convert some good qualifying performances into race results(Germany, for instance).
Paul di Resta is rated high in Formula 1 but has failed to match everyone's expectations, primarily because of the car. His best result was a 6th place finish at Bahrain where he used a two stop strategy(three stop was the default strategy) after starting from 10th place. He scored points on four more occasions and is currently 13th in the standings with 27 points.
Nico Hulkenberg took his time to be back to form after spending a year as test driver. He qualified strongly in 4th place at his home race(Germany), but due to heavy tyre wear and general lack of pace, the German failed to finish higher than 9th. In all he scored 19 points this season and is 16th in drivers championship.
by Rachit Thukral