I generally agree with what’s been said – Petrov has been the most promising of the ‘true’ rookies while Alguersuari has improved no end. Kobayashi’s doing a solid job too.
Most disappointing: Huelkenberg, after all the hype of his pre-F1 career. I’m wondering if he’s going to end up as the next Jan Magnussen – promising so much but only ever showing flashes of brilliance. (Malaysia quali for example.) And also, perhaps rather inevitably, Bruno Senna – obviously there’s little he can do in the HRT but the expectation will always be there because of Ayrton. Personally I did expect him to outpace Chandhok on a more regular basis than has been the case, due to their respective GP2 records, but that may be more because of my underestimation of the latter.
One name I will throw into the mix though: Lucas di Grassi. He’s been solid if unspectacuar, but two things that have really impressed me about him: firstly, that he’s avoided getting frustrated with the car’s lack of pace and making silly mistakes, a phenomenon we’ve seen in various new-team drivers this year and not just the rookies. He may have slipped under the radar somewhat but it’s because he hasn’t been sticking it in the wall! When the car has allowed him to get to the finish, he’s been there. The second one is that on the rare occasion that he’s been able to go wheel-to-wheel with bigger names (Australia vs. Schumacher, Monaco vs. Alonso coming to mind) he’s proven himself to be a gutsy racer and will not give in without a fight. Although it could be argued that this loses him time in the long run, it shows a true racer’s spirit, rather like that displayed by Kovalainen on his do-or-die last quali run in Monaco.