27. Narain Karthikeyan, Hispania Racing (HRT), Championship Position: 25th
Many were surprised that Karthikeyan was back in F1 this year following a prolonged absence, and it could all be over already, a one-off Indian Grand Prix return aside. Rarely troubling team-mate Vitantonio Liuzzi, it is arguable that the Indian was on a hiding to nothing right from the start...
26. Karun Chandhok, Team Lotus, Championship Position: 27th
Chandhok found himself as an eleventh-hour replacement for Jarno Trulli at Team Lotus at the Nürburgring, and although he began the weekend some way shy of the pace, he worked well and improved consistently as it progressed. Deserves another chance.
25. Jérôme d'Ambrosio, Virgin Racing, Championship Position: 22nd
Much like his predecessor Lucas Di Grassi, d'Ambrosio has in truth been solid but unspectacular and somewhat anonymous for it, showing few flashes of genuine form – but then, in the abject Virgin MVR-02, it could be argued that nobody would. The pit-lane spin at the Hungaroring was bizarre. Needs to be put into a better car ideally to accurately assess his potential.
24. Jarno Trulli, Team Lotus, Championship Position: 19th
For a renowned single-lap specialist, Trulli found himself out-qualified eight-one by Heikki Kovalainen over the opening nine outings of the F1 2011 campaign, and his punishment was to be 'rested' for the German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. A new power steering system seemed to improve matters somewhat upon his return in Hungary, but the Italian veteran will need to raise his game by season's end if this year is not to be his last.
23. Pedro de la Rosa, Sauber, Championship Position: 18th
'Super-sub' de la Rosa may only have started one race this season – in-place of the convalescing Sergio Pérez for Sauber in Montreal – but despite the short-notice and complete lack of prior preparation, the Spaniard performed admirably. It is doubtful that many others would have done a better job than him in similar circumstances.
22. Timo Glock, Virgin Racing, Championship Position: 24th
Glock is in danger of becoming one of F1's 'nearly men' unless either a) Virgin Racing sharpen up their act pretty damn quick or b) he extricates himself from the situation in similarly short measure. Of course, the German recently pledged his long-term future to the squad, so for his sake, one can only hope the technical overhaul currently taking place bears significant fruit.
21. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, Championship Position: 17th
The most experienced campaigner in the field has struggled in F1 2011 to-date with a car that – no matter what Williams throws at it – is stubbornly refusing to improve. A feisty start in Australia aside, 'Rubinho' has looked a subdued version of his former self for much of this year, and being regularly outpaced of late by a rookie team-mate with a 'pay driver' reputation is certainly not helping his stock.
Make sure to check back on Saturday for the rundown from 20th position to 11th, and then again on Sunday for the all-important top ten.