Belgian Grand Prix: Driver ratings

By on Monday, August 24, 2015

Lewis Hamilton claimed his sixth win of the season to stretch his title advantage to 28 points. Here, offers its driver ratings from the Belgian Grand Prix.

44 | Lewis Hamilton | Mercedes | G: 1st | R: 1st | 10/10

Pirelli Media

Pirelli Media

Hamilton looked a bit behind on Friday but was soon back to the front on Saturday, storming to pole position. In the race he hooked up a good start for the first time since Canada and never looked threatened at the head of the pack.

6 | Nico Rosberg | Mercedes | G: 2nd | R: 2nd | 8/10

Rosberg was on top on Friday but a high-speed tyre failure left him on the back foot; he was unable to offer a response to Hamilton in qualifying while a poor stint resulted in him playing catch-up in the race. Middle sector times were often weak.

3 | Daniel Ricciardo | Red Bull | G: 5th | R: Ret | 7/10

Ricciardo put his Red Bull onto the third row of the grid and made a good start to emerge as a viable contender for a podium place. He slipped back on Primes but was set to run the Option tyres once more, though a loss of power ended such hopes.

26 | Daniil Kvyat | Red Bull | G: 12th | R: 4th | 7/10

Kvyat put in a fine recovery to charge from 12th to 4th, utilising the superior grip available from the Option tyres to surge towards the front of the pack in the final stint; such has been Kvyat’s recent form that he’s now ahead of Ricciardo in the standings.

19 | Felipe Massa | Williams | G: 6th | R: 6th | 7/10

Pirelli Media

Pirelli Media

It was a difficult day for Massa who struggled on the Option tyre during the first stint and lost a few positions. His pace improve on the Primes but he was marooned behind Sergio Pérez, whose straight line speed proved the difference.

77 | Valtteri Bottas | Williams | G: 3rd | R: 9th | 8/10

Bottas didn’t make the best of getaways and his pace across the opening stint wasn’t hugely encouraging as Williams chased a podium. Then came the mix-up, when the difference between yellow and white was missed…

5 | Sebastian Vettel | Ferrari | G: 8th | R: 12th | 7/10

Vettel rued a mistake on his flying lap which left him only eighth in a tightly congested qualifying session. Vettel tried a one stop strategy but the tyre failed on the final lap; his anger was justified but there’ll be conflicting ideas over what should or should not have happened.

7 | Kimi Räikkönen | Ferrari | G: 16th | R: 7th | 7/10

Räikkönen’s misfortune carried on from Hungary as a drop in oil pressure halted his Ferrari during Q2. A gearbox penalty relegated him two positions further and from there it was a case of making the most of a bad situation.

14 | Fernando Alonso | McLaren | G: 20th | R: 13th | 7/10

McLaren Honda

McLaren Honda

Alonso suggested that McLaren should get a cake to celebrate its record 105 place grid penalty, so at least his sense of humour remains intact. He made a superb start to emerge in 14th position from 20th but only profited thereafter when faster rivals encountered problems.

22 | Jenson Button | McLaren | G: 19th | R: 14th | 6/10

Button’s weekend was similar to Alonso’s except that he had the better fortune on Saturday, Alonso Sunday. Button’s ERS wouldn’t deploy properly in the race and that left him with a serious power shortfall.

27 | Nico Hülkenberg | Force India | G: 11th | R: DNS | N/A

Hülkenberg was on course for Q3 though a costly lock up at La Source left him in 11th position. Unfortunately for Hülkenberg a lack of power manifested itself as he drove to the grid; Force India tried a repair but it was ultimately fruitless.

11 | Sergio Pérez | Force India | G: 4th | R: 5th | 9/10

Pérez pulled a lap out of the bag in qualifying to leave Force India in the unusual position of the second row of the grid. Pérez’s start was phenomenal and he came achingly close to taking the lead. A lack of overall pace meant he slipped back but fifth remains a top result for Force India.

33 | Max Verstappen | Toro Rosso | G: 18th | R: 8th | 9/10

Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

At his adopted home race Verstappen was scuppered by an engine change which relegated him towards the back of the pack. However, the Dutch rookie put in a storming charge in the race, the highlight coming when he nonchalantly set up a move on Felipe Nasr by going around the outside at Blanchimont.

55 | Carlos Sainz | Toro Rosso | G: 10th| R: Ret | 7/10

Sainz Jr. hasn’t made the explosive impact of Verstappen, but the points table does not reflect on how good the Spaniard has been. Sainz impressed by making Q3 but a loss of power on the formation lap ended his race before it had started.

8 | Romain Grosjean | Lotus | G: 9th | R: 3rd | 10/10

Grosjean did exceptionally well to qualify fourth but a gearbox penalty dropped him to ninth. However, the Frenchman drove one of the best races of his career to return to the podium – a well-deserved result.

13 | Pastor Maldonado | Lotus | G: 7th | R: Ret | 7/10

Maldonado said he was a bit unlucky to crash during practice, though the Venezuelan’s concept of fortune has always been peculiar. He should have scored points in the race, but an early loss of power ended his prospects.

28 | Will Stevens | Manor Marussia | G: 15th | R: 16th | 6/10

Manor Marussia

Manor Marussia

Stevens narrowly beat Merhi in qualifying but he was compromised at the start when he was sandwiched between two cars on the exit of La Source. That put him on the back foot, and he was unable to recover.

98 | Roberto Merhi | Manor Marussia | G: 17th | R: 17th | 7/10

Merhi, who already raced at the circuit in Formula Renault 3.5 earlier this year, continued his recent form as he beat Stevens to the chequered flag. Merhi hailed the team’s strategy, claiming that it limited the effects of the blue flags.

9 | Marcus Ericsson | Sauber | G: 13th | R: 10th | 7/10

Sauber had hoped to make a substantial step forwards with Ferrari’s engine improvements but again were on the fringes of Q1/2. Ericsson moved into the top 10 with Vettel’s tyre failure and the Swede accepted that he gained a lucky point.

12 | Felipe Nasr | Sauber | G: 14th | R: 11th | 6/10

Nasr was afflicted by several issues in the race; the first was wheel spin off the line which cost him places, before more braking woes affected his progress. A slow puncture during the last stint didn’t help either; one to forget.

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