Apologies for the late report but here are the driver rankings from Bulkenburg for the Hungarian GP 2018 which entertained me more in qualifying than the race itself!
Sebastian Vettel – 7.5 / 10
The hot/cold genius/disaster season that is 2018 Seb continues. Some great speed and form, then a tardy pitstop and yet another clumsy on track collision, this time with Bottas. Whilst I think Bottas was a little more at fault, it’s another poorly judged move. Lucky to have been second.
Kimi Raikkonen – 7 / 10
Again the follow-up man that had an utterly meh afternoon with little to no overtaking despite having decent pace. The racing equivalent of gas mark 5. Again. I wish he had got pole in the rain though – he looked interested then.
Lewis Hamilton – 9 / 10
Another win which is worrying for the championship battle but it was another commanding display of a man whose back on form mentally. Since Bottas is not allowed to go after him on the days he can match him, it’s difficult to see how he cannot win this championship now.
Valtteri Bottas – 5 / 10
I give points for effort but my god that was a car crash of a race. Whilst busy battling away with the Ferrari’s, he kept his nose in with Vettel which didn’t end well, although the fact he now has a lap dog reputation is the very reason that collision happened in the first place. If that was a Red Bull, Vettel would have given more room but as he has been No.2’d he isn’t on the same page. The later move on Riccardo was exceptionally poor though and was desperate.
Daniel Riccardo – 8.5 / 10
Some rather fine overtaking on Sunday to make up for a being off the pace to Max elsewhere – now his Renault deal is done, I’m fascinated to see if he will drop back or grow in strength now.
Max Verstappen 9 / 10
Another mighty fine drive that ended way too soon. I can feel his pain from his swear words as another engine falls apart. He may be number one in that team now, but what will happen in the Honda era may cause him a few more hissy fits. Work together, don’t push apart.
Nico Hulkenberg – 6.5 / 10
Outclassed by Sainz in qualifying and didn’t really pull it back in the race. After a superb German GP, it just didn’t come together for Nico and grand prix like this will not go down in a Danny Ric world. Poor team strategies don’t help either.
Carlos Sainz – 8 / 10
A much-needed boost. His Q2 and Q3 efforts were absolutely superb although just like Nico, went backwards in the race. There’s something very curious about how that Renault works over a long run and the team continue to use poor strategies that compromise their races. Undercuts aren’t powerful if you end up trapped behind others.
Kevin Magnussen – 8 / 10
Another decent run and at least tried to keep Riccardo behind unlike most of the midfield. Nice to see the car working in a high downforce set up after the awful Monaco weekend too.
Romain Grosjean – 7 / 10
Still showing the one-lap pace but again lost out in the race. I’m not sure this is enough to keep him in that seat for 2019 with a Perez on the loose…
Sergio Perez – Saviour / 10
A weekend to forget on the track, off the track the man is a hero, helping save the Force India team. Playing with the Sauber’s and bashing into them probably was not the fastest way home either.
Esteban Ocon – 7 / 10
Beat Perez home on track but the team just weren’t at the races today. Like Perez, battling with Saubers slowed him down around lap 1 and surely with both cars damaged, neither showed their true pace.
Fernando Alonso – 8 / 10
After a tepid German run, Nando was back for Hungary and grabbed more points – probably with his future sorted in his head. Outpaced by a Toro Rosso with Honda power – must hurt a great deal.
Stoffel Vandoorne – 7.5 / 10
Welcome back to F1 and to racing Stoffel. I’m not even sure if anyone has missed you but it is nice to have you about. Spent the entire race nose to tail after another meh qualifying session and it was a shame he retired as Vandoorne has not scored points for such a long time – I fear it is nailing his F1 career’s coffin as we speak.
Pierre Gasly – 9 / 10
A superb drive at the perfect time now a Red Bull seat is available. His Q3 effort was superb and the way how he was able to hold his position in an inferior car to be the best of the rest shows hallmarks of a top draw driver. Timely.
Brendan Hartley – 6.5 / 10
Excellent qualifying pace that didn’t translate. Was stuck with the Haas’ and then didn’t get the rub of the strategy either. It just continues to show a driver that isn’t getting the lucky breaks but then isn’t making the best choices either. He’ll see out the season, but I’ll be surprised if he is back for 2019.
Charles Leclerc 6 / 10
All over too soon. With Marcus back on form following points in Hungary, Charles couldn’t match him in qualifying and then walloped into the Force Indias at turn 1 ending what was a quiet weekend too soon. Spa and Monza will be better as they are power circuits.
Marcus Ericsson – 6.5 / 10
Did very well to get into Q2 and outqualify Charles, which he had threatened to do all weekend. The turn 1 incident was awkward as his incident caused Leclerc’s Force India chain reaction so everyone lost out. What was poor though was that after an early pitstop, he caught the Williams duo quickly but then couldn’t pass them and when they pitted with newer tyres, Marcus never really got away from them.
Lance Stroll – 6.5 / 10
Stroll’s wet weather touch is inspired as he dragged the Williams into Q2 but then promptly binned it blotting his copybook a little. The race was poor though, unable to match his teammate. Less frustration, more sensitivity.
Sergey Sirotkin – 6.5 / 10
Sergey’s quali efforts were not great but come the race, a more consistent approach paid off. I’m finding it really difficult to place Sirotkin this season – I feel like he is slowly on the rise and he is clearly appreciated in the Williams garage. There were small signs of a breakthrough at Williams in Germany which didn’t show here, but come the power circuits, I expect Williams to be back with the pack and that will show his form.