Well, quite the spectacle this year!
Close racing, crashes, a dejected Frenchman fighting for his job – what more could we ask for?
Without further ado, here are my driver ratings for your kind consideration –
Sebastian Vettel – 10/10
Sebastian gave a masterclass today. Despite battling with tyre degradation and seemingly a neck injury to boot, he led calmly before the safety cars and proved capable of going for the throat at the end. An electrifying win.
Kimi Räikkönnen – 8/10
An eventual strong showing from Kimi, only marginally diminished by his somewhat toothless showing in his early tussles with Verstappen. I found myself with zero faith that he would attack Max again and was proven correct, only the safety car delivered Kimi the extra opportunity. Thankfully, he seized it and ended on a high.
Lewis Hamilton – 9/10
A storming performance borne of frustration after a stint at the back by the end of lap one. Amazing performance only tarnished by his insistence on being a dick about things. Shows a lack of faith in the team that he tends to mask after the race, but I believe it’s truly what he feels. Decisions need to be taken correctly to deliver success and I believe Lewis suspects he’s the only person who can be trusted to make them correctly.
Valtteri Bottas – 9/10
It may seem I’m being overly generous with high scores today but all of the top four finishers delivered big at different stages in the race. But for a single small error, we could be talking about a Bottas victory here. Drove a calm and controlled race and proved in the latter stages that fact from being a pushover, he’s truly able to mix it up with the big boys. Recent performances make me wonder why we ever doubted him.
Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo – 6/10
Another race from Daniel where it never really felt like he was locked in to things. His uninspiring run since Monaco continues and it’s a funk he really needs to break. A touch of the Kimi about him of late, as we saw last year too.
Max Verstappen – 7/10
The man with the widest car in Formula One delivered a respectable Grand Prix. Strategy always seems to come out favouring him however and it does always make you wonder if his advantage over his teammate is really as big as it seemed. No such doubts here though (even if he still seems the favoured Bull) as Daniel never looked to be able to challenge. Better pace and tyre management than his teammate is the bread and butter stuff that Max needed to be doing, only a shame to see it cut short by a failure.
Renault Sport F1
Nico Hülkenbürg – 8/10
Nico continues to form the reliable backbone of the works Renault team. In a somewhat anonymous race where we saw little of him, Nico kept his nose clean and his pace good and continues to haul in the points. I don’t think there can be many better driver/team relationships right now.
Carlos Sainz – 4/10
I have to be harsh here, but only because I rate Carlos so highly. After a great start to life at Renault, Sainz has been in a slump of late and one that is unacceptably large. While I don’t think his drive is at risk by any stretch of the imagination he needs to find his feet again soon. He wasn’t, however, at fault for the collision that ended his grand prix. Earned kudos for the contra-strategy in my eyes and gave us a glimpse of the hitherto pointless hard compound – it didn’t help.
Force India F1
Sergio Perez – 4/10
It’s hard to say how much of his race performance was impacted by his lap one incident but Checo never really seemed to recover. His pace was off and inconsistent and he generally seemed out of character all Grand Prix.
Esteban Ocon – 8/10
A good showing from Esteban. Like the Hulk, Ocon kept his nose clean and his race quiet and it was enough to allow him scope to unleash some of that pace he so obviously has. Had the better of Checo all weekend and was rewarded by finishing that car where it had no real business being.
Kevin Magnusson – 7/10
As a noted appreciator of the K-Mags, I’m trying to remain objective here. But I really do believe that Kevin was capable of more points than he took away here and his teammate is largely to blame for that. His strong recovery shows his renaissance within continues and Haas proves to be the right home for him.
Romain Grosjean – Clown Horn/10
*Sad trumpet sound*
Fernando Alonso – 7/10
Although Alonso did characteristically drag his orange monstrosity into points it didn’t remotely deserve, I had to remove a point or two because that really was as much down to attrition as his undeniable class. Dreadful car and low motivation were no barrier though to a respectable and mature drive.
Stoffel Vandoorne – 1/10
A sigh, made human. The wallpaper paste of F1 has now, in my opinion, gone from the safe zone of being bland and inoffensive to being totally unpalatable. Neither was great, but the former at least would allow him to be ignored into his seat for another year. Now completely and consistently outclassed by Alonso to a degree that would prevent even his own mother from putting him in her fantasy F1 team – Stoffel needs to find something and find it fast.
Scuderia Toro Rosso
Pierre Gasly – 5/10
Struggled for pace all weekend and lucked into his points on attrition and a high propensity for Vandoorne and Williams’ behind him. Outperformed his teammate, but then so did the JCB that tows away crashed cars. Receives a five because it does seem to be the car as much as him that’s failing to weave any magic.
Brendon Hartley – Meat Pie/10
A great afternoon for Brendon, who enjoyed a solitary lap, a spot of lunch and then, hopefully, a beer.
Alfa Romeo Sauber
Charles LeClerc – 9/10
Charles qualified superbly and drove very well in my estimation, until a pitstop mistake robbed him of what would have almost certainly been another haul of points. A real shame but he has a great mindset and will bounce back.
Marcus Ericsson – 6/10
I love me some MEricsson, but given the pace of some cars around him I’d have liked to have seen much more from car number 9 than we got. There was real potential here with this package and while nobody expects him to match LeClerc, he shouldn’t stop pushing to be a little closer than he is. Still, is not disgracing himself in a much more challenging and pressured season.
Hair remains fantastic.
Did you see it spring back into perfect shape after he ripped off his balaclava? Sensational.
Lance Stroll – 3/10
The car is a dog and was made worse by reverting to an inferior, but safer, specification. But still Lance seemed less than nowhere all weekend.
Sergei Sirotkin – 4/10
Scores higher than his teammate, but it was a close call. Most based off earlier session performance. I heard he was also in the race but I never saw him, so it could just be a rumour.