The forgotten 3 – Kubica, Heidfeld and Alonso
In all the “excitement” (if that’s what you can call it) of Button winning, Red Bull suddenly becoming competitive and the impending implosion of F1, everyone seems to have forgotten a few of the drivers that have made headlines before but aren’t doing so anymore due to their machinery, namely Robert Kubica, Nick Heidfeld and Fernando Alonso in particular
Kubica’s only really been in the headlines for nearly having his brains mushed by a tyre in Australia whilst on the verge of what, in hindsight, could’ve been a superb shock win. Since then, all we’ve heard from him are whinges. And fair play, what do you expect when you expect to be fighting for race wins and the title and you end up failing to get out of Q1? It’s not the first time in his career he hasn’t had front-running machinery, unlike Hamilton for instance, but it’s probably the worst car he’s sat in, so all credit to him for nearly winning in it. Since then, he’s had a bit of bad luck like in Malaysia with an opening lap retirement and numerous problems in Monaco, but his stock is falling simply because there are now other proving they can do the business in higher machinery, and the longer he stays out of the spotlight, the more the team bosses will forget him. But should he risk leaving BMW?
Heidfeld all but fluked a 2nd place in Malaysia by staying out on wet tyres during the rain, and that’s about it. Back in midfield/backmarker machinery once again, he’s his usual anonymous self, not doing anything spectacular but getting on with the job in hand. Other than that 2nd, he also picked up points in Spain which was overlooked. But it can’t be good for a driver whose career was on the ropes anyway for the same reason as Kubica. You’d have to be wondering where his next drive is going to come from if BMW choose new blood. Maybe a return to Williams?
Alonso has been overshadowed by his team mate this year, but only because his team mate is so dreadful. In actual fact, Alonso has been one of the outstanding drivers of the year, dragging what seems to be a rubbish car into the top 10 in quali and the points on regular occasions, even getting that front row start in China that was obliterated by the rain and even driving without drinks bottles. But unlike the above 2, though, he’ll never be out of the spotlight, because of his status as double world champion, the master of speaking out about anything and everything, and all round F1 good guy and legend. The Ferrari rumours have continued again and will do so forever and a day until he actually lines up on the grid in a red car (which at this rate might never even happen). I hope he does go there because we need Alonso in a front-running car. It’s all well and good giving him credit for dragging rubbish machinery into the points, but we want to see him battling for wins instead of for 7th place. But he definitely isn’t getting the credit he deserves right now – his form is as good as it was at the end of last year when people were claiming it was proof that he was the most complete driver on the grid. Surely more evidence for that, then.
Keep an eye out for these guys this weekend to see what they can do. BMW look better with big improvements to the car, although you can bet they won’t be in contention for wins for a long time yet. Alonso was 2nd in FP2 with more of the “old” magic. It would be a shock if he didn’t get into the top 10.