Sebastian Vettel – 6 / 10
It’s rare to see team orders ruin the races of both their drivers but at least in part, I credit that with Vettel’s early shower. Overheated tyres combined with a corner the likes of which I’d like to see more of on the calendar conspired to deliver exactly what they should in these circumstances. A crash.
Begone back to the depths of hell, car park sized run-off areas.
Kimi Raikkonen – 8 / 10
A really strong performance from Kimi despite the team’s aversion to supporting him. Still somewhat toothless, he nevertheless kept the pace and managed a compromised strategy admirably.
Lewis Hamilton – 8 / 10
It’s hard not to admire the progress made on race day. Of course, his machinery is vastly superior to those of the lower orders but that doesn’t diminish his expert carving through the field.
I must disagree with Simon on the pit-in issue.
He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy.
Valtteri Bottas – 8 / 10
I’m liking this reenergized and competitive Bottas. Seems to be finding a good balance between playing for the team and not simply rolling over for Lewis.
I too would have liked to have seen him on the top step here but alas it was not to be – with that said, I’m increasingly confident that we’ll see him continue to strengthen his performances this year and a winner’s trophy feels very close.
Daniel Riccardo – 6 / 10
While his race exit was not his fault, his otherwise average performance absolutely was.
For a man without a contract for next season and an ever diminishing range of options for a drive, he really doesn’t seem to be pushing hard enough or finding the pace to convincingly challenge Max. We know he can do it, he’s done it before and I’m finding it hard to attribute this particular lull to anything other than being a tad demoralised.
Max Verstappen 9 / 10
Another of the sort of drives I’ve been desperately wanting to see from max for the last three years. A more measured Verstappen is truly something to behold, I hope it continues.
The fact he managed to compete at the level he did in this race and for the length of time he did goes to show the genuine class and meteoric talent he has but which is sometimes lost under an avalanche of impatience and arrogance that never delivers a good result.
Nico Hulkenberg – 9 / 10
Very probably my driver of the day. Nico drove a stellar race and displayed the sort of performances that should have seen him in a works ride four years ago. Now he’s here, he isn’t wasting the opportunity and the Hulkenberg/Renault alliances seems destined for strong and steady progress and, I hope, genuine success.
Carlos Sainz – 2 / 10
Sainz continues to disappoint me, which is painful given how much I like him as a personality and rate him as a genuinely talented driver.
To some extent, I lay this gulf at the feet of Renault who seem committed to running him on bizarre strategies. Hulkenberg being on his game only makes Sainz’s drives look even worse than perhaps they objectively are.
For the first time, Renault are hinting that actually, he may not be the shoe-in for 2019 that we all presumed he was and so if ever he was going to find performance, the time to do it would be now.
What really doesn’t help? Overtaking under the safety car. Twat.
Kevin Magnussen – 8 / 10
Seemed nervous in the wet but otherwise drove a strong race. Given that we’ve seen Magnussen take risks in the wet in previous years and with good results, I find myself wondering if a car that has found a real turn of pace lately, is perhaps ill-adapted for equal speed in the wet.
The fact he managed this nervousness only goes to maintain my high esteem for him.
Romain Grosjean – 7 / 10
A definite improvement, and a much-needed one. Great overtaking was the order of the day, could do without the side of whinging though.
Sergio Perez – 8 / 10
I see Checo at Haas next year and I think that would be a good move for all sides and his attempts to replace Grosjean at the resurgent outfit were only aided by a classicly strong Perez drive. The stupid spin was a nice touch, showing he can be a genuine replacement for Grosjean.
Esteban Ocon – 8 / 10
Usually, we mostly note Ocon’s strong offensive driving and genuinely impressive pace – so it was great to see what he’s made of defensively and for the answer to be the same magic that has quietly and consistently continued to impress.
Would like to have seen what he could have done with a start on a harder tyre.
Fernando Alonso – 6 / 10
Seems to have given up on this season and who could blame him?
McLaren have confirmed that this season’s car is essentially a write-off and their work now is all for 2019. While Fernando seems to believe next year’s car will resolve the problems inherent to this machine – it must certainly have hit his motivation in the here and now.
His competitive nature still shines through in flashes and he can still be a joy to watch – but this race was something of a damp rag.
Stoffel Vandoorne – 1 / 10
A yoghurt could qualify the McLaren in last position, and that only costs 40p.
Pierre Gasly – 5 / 10
Still laughing about him ending up on full wet tyres in changeable conditions. This to some extent probably masks the true nature of his performance but he showed little to impress me here and had a tendency to run wide that he refused to learn from.
Brendan Hartley – 7 / 10
Really pleased to see Brendon back in the points. As Simon pointed out, it is probably his experience and championship-winning history that kept him calm and steady in conditions which foxed a lot of other drivers.
Really great to see him closer to the pace he needs and pleased to see this rewarded with points.
Charles Leclerc 8 / 10
I feel increasingly comfortable with the idea of this guy in the Scuderia next season. While I’m reluctant for my beloved Sauber to lose such a talent and such positive energy from within the team, this is a driver who deserves to be rewarded.
Enabling Sauber to once again become a regular feature in Q3 is impressive enough, but that he continues to convert that into points is astonishing.
Still drops it from time to time, but I never get the sense this stems from anything other than inexperience and while it can be easy to forget this is his debut season – we should not, and there’s nothing so far that gives me cause for concern.
Marcus Ericsson – 8 / 10
Continues to quietly and competently get on with the job, which is why we love him.
Something of an unsung hero generally, even more so now he is up against LeClerc – Ericsson continues to do the job expected of him and delivers performances above his pay grade several times per season – this is one of them. For me, he’s done enough to retain his seat in 2019 pending a similar second half to the year.
His pace on the Softs was a very pleasant surprise and a good demonstration of the value he brings.
Lance Stroll – 4 / 10
You’d be angry with eyebrows like that too.
Sergey Sirotkin – 7 / 10
Showing up in Q2 probably didn’t get the credit it deserved among the wider F1 community, but I saw here a promising glimpse of a driver with a lot to prove and little opportunity to really do it.